This Day in Video Game History:
The first electronic video game in the world is introduced by William Higinbotham of the Brookhaven National Laboratory. The game a ping-pong simulator, Tennis for Two, was built around an oscilloscope, the first graphical display ever to be featured by an electronic game. Higinbotham built the game himself and put it out on “Vistitor’s Day” at the Brookhaven National Laboratory to entertain guests. It was only used publicly twice at the Laboratory, and it would never have been noted by history if not for later testimony offered by Higinbotham during that later patent lawsuits of Magnavox and Ralph Baer.
Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the United States more than two years after the system’s debut in Japan. It was an break-out success, and Nintendo quickly moved to expand sales to nationwide distributors in February 1986. The NES came in a bundle that included the Robotic Operating Buddy (R.O.B.), the Zapper light gun, and two game titles, Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros., which, due to the success of the console, set records for the best-selling games of all time. Nintendo market the system with the slogan “Now You’re Playing With Power!” Price: US$125
Nintendo released eighteen games titles for the NES at the time of its launch, including: 10-Yard Fight, Baseball, Clu Clu Land, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Duck Hunt, Excitebike, Golf, Gyromite, Hogan’s Alley, Ice Climber, Kung Fu, Mach Rider, Pinball, Stack-Up, Super Mario Bros., Tennis, Wild Gunman, and Wrecking Crew.
Sega released the platform game Sonic & Knuckles for the Genesis in the Europe, Japan, and the U.S. It is the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
Midway released the Mortal Kombat 3 fighting game for personal computers in the U.S.
Altitude Productions released a beta of the Diaspora massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) for Windows. Ten days later, the game will go live, and by April of the following year, the game will boast approximately seventy thousand registered players.
Sega releases the Virtua Fighter 3 fighting game for the Dreamcast in the U.S.
CBS aired an episode of 48 Hours prominently featuring an investigation of the dangers of online gaming. The investigative news program particularly focused on the popular MMORPG EverQuest. In the story, 48 Hours journalists drastically over-dramatized the game’s addictive qualities and made it sound as if the online sexual predators were lurking around every corner of the game. Its report swiftly become the butt of many jokes within the Everquest community.
Bandai America announced that its Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex for the PlayStation 2 has gone gold.
Capcom released Mega Man Battle Network 4 for the Game Boy Advance in Europe.
KOEI announced today that its Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends for the PlayStation 2 has gone gold.
Activision released the Quake 4 first-person shooter (FPS) for Windows in North America. (ESRB: M)
Activision released X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse for the PlayStation Portable (PSP). (ESRB: T)
Atari released the first-person shooter (FPS) Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler’s Green for personal computers and the Xbox as a prequel to George A. Romero’s horror film Land of the Dead. (ESRB: M)
Microsoft Game Studios released the Age of Empires III real-time strategy game for personal computers in North America. The game will be well-received, winning a number of awards, including GameSpy’s “Best RTS game of 2005.″ (ESRB: T)
Namco released the Sniper Elite shooting game for Windows, the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in North America. The game is widely praised for its realistic ballistics, which are influenced by a wide range of in-game factors, including bullet drop, a character’s breathing, and wind. (ESRB: M)
Sony Computer Entertainment released the single-player game Shadow of the Colossus for the PlayStation 2 in North America. The game was widely acclaimed and well-received by gamers. By August 8, 2006, the game will become one of Sony’s Greatest Hit titles. Much of its sales numbers were attributed to the massive viral marketing campaign that was launched by Sony on the Internet. The game was featured prominently in the 2007 Adam Sandler film Reign Over Me. (ESRB: T)
Vivendi Universal released the F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) first-person shooter for Windows, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Europe and the U.S. It was well-received by critics and gamers alike. PC Gamer declared it to be “the first game to convincingly channel the kinetic exhilaration of ‘John Woo violence‘ in the FPS format.” (ESRB: M, PEGI: 18+)
Vivendi Universal released the single-player platform game Spyro: Shadow Legacy for the Nintendo DS. It was the fifth handheld game in the Spyro series. (ESRB: E)
Electronic Arts released the Battlefield 2142 first person shooter for personal computers in Australia, Hong Kong, and North America. It was the fourth game in the popular Battlefield series. (ESRB: T)
Sega released Football Manager 2007 for personal computers in Europe. (PEGI: 3+)
Sony Computer Entertainment America president Jack Tretton officially announced that the 40GB PlayStation 3 model was scheduled for a November 2nd release in the United States, at a price of $399.99.