This Day in Video Game History
Atari released the 1200XL home computer, featuring a 1.79 MHz CPU, 64 KB RAM, and a 256 color output. The system would be discontinued in 1983 due to technological shortcoming that would relegate it to obscurity. Price: $900 - $1,000
Apple Computer broke its long-standing tradition of vertical integration with the announcement of the technical specifications for its Pippin video game console and plans to license its Macintosh technologies to Bandai for the purposes of manufacturing and selling the platform in Japan. The system featured a 66 MHz PowerPC 603 CPU, a 14.4kbps modem, and a CD-ROM drive.
Atari announced the reduced price of $99 for its Jaguar game console to sales representatives and distributors across the nation.
Virgin Interactive released the The 11th Hour horror-puzzle hybrid game for MS-DOS. (ESRB: M)
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced that it has sold over two million PlayStation game consoles since the system’s launch December 3, 1994.
WebQuest International, creators of the iPONG Game Arcade website announced that Nolan Bushnell, the founder of game pioneer Atari, had taken a position on its Board of Directors.
Hasbro Interactive released the B-17 Flying Fortress The Mighty 8th flight simulator for Windows in the U.S. (ESRB: T)
Ubisoft released the scrolling fighting game Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker for the Nintendo 64 in the U.S. (ESRB: E)
Capcom released Breath of Fire roleplaying game for the Game Boy Advance in North America. (ESRB: E)
Tecmo released the Fatal Frame survival horror game for the PlayStation 2 in Japan.
Bam Entertainment released The Powerpuff Girls: Relish Rampage, based on the animated series The Powerpuff Girls, for the GameCube and PlayStation 2 in Europe. (PEGI: 7+)
Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker roleplaying game as Zeruda no Densetsu Kaze no Takuto (”The Legend of Zelda: Baton of Wind”) for the GameCube in Japan. It was the tenth game in The Legend of Zelda series.
Sony released the PSX digital video recorder featuring fully integrated PlayStation and PlayStation 2 game consoles in Japan. The device supported both analog VHF and CATV with composite, RF, and S-Video inputs. It also featured the ability to transfer media via USB port to Sony PlayStation Portables. The PSX came available in two models, the DESR-5000 and DESR-7000, featuring 160 and 250 GB hard drives.
Game developer Electronic Arts announced that it had secured exclusive rights to create NFL-branded football games in the future.
Reuters news service reports that retailers across Japan had nearly completely sold out of the Sony PlayStation Portable handheld system within the first day of its release.
The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) announced that it would yield to political pressures and henceforth ban advertisements for games rated “M” or “AO” in Boston’s subways. The controversy over game ads in the Boston subway began when Harvard’s Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood advocacy group called for the removal of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories ads in November. The organization responded to the announcement with, ‘We are thrilled that the MBTA has been so responsive to community concerns. The children of Boston can now ride the MBTA without being targets for advertising that glorifies violence… (the MBTA decision) sends a strong message to the video game industry that public property cannot be used to promote violence to children. We hope that other cities will follow suit."
Microsoft announced that over 140,000 users had signed up for the Halo 3 multiplayer demo on the first day the registration website was launched.
Sierra Online released the arcade-style top-down shooter Assault Heroes for the Xbox 360 in Europe and the U.S. (ESRB: T)
Blizzard creates waves across the net with the confirmation of rumors that it was developing a new massively multiplayer online game. Blizzard was best known for it hit massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft.
Nineteen year-old Allieu Shaw of Gaithersburg, Maryland was arrested at Frostburg State University and charged with two misdemeanor counts of disrupting school operations after threatening to shoot up the school on Xbox Live with playing the first-person shooter Call of Duty 4. Reports of the threat prompted the campus to post an additional forty police officers as a precautionary measure. After his arrested, Shaw told investigators that “he was joking and had no intention of following through with the threats.”
One year after its success in removing ads for adult-oriented games from Boston’s subway, the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood (CCFC) issued a press release demanding that the Webkinz game website, which was targeted towards younger children, remove all advertisements for third-party products.
Ubisoft released the Beowulf hack and slash game based on the Robert Zemeckis film Beowulf for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and Xbox 360 in Europe. (PEGI: 18+)
U.S. Representative Edward Markey attends a United Nations summit on climate change held in Bali inside the massively multiplayer online game Second Life. Inside the game Markey’s avatar addressed the summit as Markey himself sat in his Washington D.C. home.