This Day in Video Game History
Atari released its Lynx handheld game console in the U.S. The system featured a 4 MHz CPU, 64 KB DRAM, a 16-bit graphics processor, and six sound channels. The Lynx also featured a three and a half inch screen, making it the world’s first handheld electronic game system to feature a color LCD display. It played cartridges with 2 MB capacities. Despite numerous innovations and a solid marketing platform, the device never achieved the popularity required to attract third-party game developers, and it would ultimately founder as a platform for a lack of titles. Nintendo’s Game Boy, which had been released in August, far surpassed the Lynx in terms of popularity. Price: $189.95
Nintendo released its Super Family Computer or "Super Famicom" video game console in Japan, featuring a 16-bit processor and 512 KB RAM. The system would become a run-away success, exceeding all of Nintendo’s sales projection. Within three days of the system’s launch, Nintendo would sell out all of its initial units of the system. After its release in North America as the Super NES, the platform would go on to sell nearly fifty million units globally.
Nintendo released the F-Zero racing game and the PilotWings flight simulator for the Super Famicom in Japan.
It the annual CBS This Morning pre-Christmas toy test, the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington reports that after children tested fifty-seven different titles over a three week period, the Nintendo 64 system was selected as the number one preferred console.
New Line Cinema released Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, based on the popular Mortal Kombat game franchise, to theaters. Particularly focusing on the storyline of Mortal Kombat 3, the film followed a group of martial artists who must a tournament within six days in order to save the Earth from invasion. The film, which had been produced on a meager budget of thirty million, would gross in excess of sixteen million dollars in its opening weekend alone. Despite its lukewarm financial success, the film will be heckled by critics and franchise fans alike, nearly all of which deride the film as being far inferior to its predecessor, the original Mortal Kombat film. Annihilation was generally said to appeal to a narrower audience, feature less authentic choreography, and follow a campier storyline. (MPAA Rating: PG-13)
Nintendo released the Diddy Kong Racing racing game for the Nintendo 64 in Europe and Japan.
Konami released the Dance Dance Revolution music game to arcades.
Gathering of Developers released Blair Witch Volume 3: The Elly Kedward Tale for Windows in the U.S. It was the third game in a trilogy, and it was designed to establish a backstory for the franchise’s original film, The Blair Witch Project. (ESRB: M)
THQ released the WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role wrestling game for the PlayStation in the U.S. (ESRB: T)
In North America, Sega reduced the sticker price of its Dreamcast console from $79.95 to $49.95.
Nintendo released the Nintendo DS handheld video game console in North America. The system featured both a 67 MHz ARM CPU and a 33 MHz ARM co-processor along with 4 MB RAM, its signature pair of three-inch diagonal LCD screens, stereo sound, a microphone, and wireless communications. The system came with PictoChat and a Metroid Prime: Hunters demo. The "DS" in its name was an acronym for "Dual Screen." This was the console Nintendo launched outside of Japan prior to its domestic launch in Japan, where Nintendo typically gauged its systems’ market competitiveness. Price: $149.99
Nintendo released the Super Mario 64 DS platform game for the Nintendo DS in the U.S. (ESRB: E)
Nintendo announced that an estimated forty-five percent of the one hundred twelve thousand Nintendo DS users would had purchased Mario Kart DS in the U.S. within the first week of the game’s release had taken advantage of the system’s Wi-Fi Connection.
Bethesda Softworks released the The Elder Scrolls IV: Knights of the Nine role-playing game (RPG) for Windows and the Xbox 360 in North America. (ESRB: M)
The Boston Globe reported that Boston mayor Thomas Menino, along with fifty-nine other community leaders, publicly issued a letter condemning the display of ads for Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories in Boston’s subway system. The letter read, in part: "At a time of escalating concerns about youth violence in the Boston area, it is unconscionable that the MBTA would feature advertising for a violent video game…"