This Day in Video Game History
Release 21 of the Infocom interactive fiction game Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels for personal computers.
Atari released the I-WAR shooting game for the Atari Jaguar. In it, players destroy computer viruses inside the virtual world of a global computer network.
Nintendo released the Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest platform game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in Europe.
[email protected] and Sega of America announced an agreement to cooperatively develop an internet gaming portal for the Dreamcast console.
The research firm PC Data published the results of a study entitled “Spotlight on Games: Categories and Hardware” that revealed that, while males comprised approximately fifty-five percent of the console gaming market, the majority of online gamers were, in fact, female. The study demonstrated that men generally preferred war, sports, and first-person shooting games, while women preferred card, casino, and trivia games.
The Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) refused to rate Rockstar Games' game Grand Theft Auto III, effectively banning the game under the country’s federal laws which forbid selling unrated games.
Capcom released the Breath of Fire roleplaying game for the Game Boy Advance in Europe.
Capcom released the Resident Evil Gaiden survival horror game for the Game Boy Color in Europe.
DreamCatcher Interactive released Frank Herbert’s Dune, based on the Sci Fi Channel miniseries of the same name, for Windows and the PlayStation 2 in the U.S. It follows Paul Atreides' time in the desert with the Fremen before becoming Muad’Dib, and it follows the novel’s storyline fairly faithfully. The game was a commercial failure, and shortly after the games release, the game’s developer, Cryo Interactive, went bankrupt. (ESRB: T)
In Japan, Nintendo released its Game Boy Advance handheld game system in two new colors: Black and Orange. The new systems feature brighter displays.
In Japan, Panasonic released the SLGC-10 game console (otherwise known as “Q”), a special model of the GameCube capable of plaubg both CD and DVD disc media. Price: 39,800 yen
Vivendi Universal Games released Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance for PlayStation 2 in Europe. (PEGI: 12+)
In the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Project Entropia, a twenty-two year old player using the handle “Deathifier” purchased a virtual island for $26,500 in real-world U.S. currency, setting a new record for a virtual purchase.
The Spike cable network held its 2004 Spike Video Game Awards in California. Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas won Best Action Game, Best Performance by a Human Male for Samuel L. Jackson, Best Soundtrack, and Game of the Year. Halo took home awards for Best First-Person Action Game and Designer of the Year.
Bethesda Softworks released the Star Trek: Legacy strategy game for the Xbox 360 in Australia and the U.S. The game’s PC version was nearly universally regarded as a bomb due to graphical and technical issues, however, the console version of the game was well-received by fans and critics alike, with the Official Xbox 360 Magazine calling it the “best space combat in ages.” (ESRB: E10+)
EA Games released the The Sims 2: Pets simulation game for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Australia and the U.S. The game would go on to sell over six million copies. (ESRB: T)
The Free Software Foundation announced that it would make a $60,000 donation to the Free Ryzom Campaign , which had been established in the hope of purchasing the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Ryzom from its defunct developer, Nevrax, to released it into the public domain. Ryzom was a pay to play MMORPG that had gained notoriety as an excellent game, even earing the Best Story award at MMORPG.COM’s 2005 Reader’s Choice Awards. However, on November 20, 2006, Nevrax announced that it would enter receivership in December and that it would cease to exist within weeks. The Free Ryzom Campaign was launched November 14, 2006 to rescue the game.
GfK Australia announced that Nintendo’s Wii game console had officially set a record as the fastest selling console in Australian history with 32,901 units sold in just four days, breaking the previous record, which Microsoft set with the sale of 30,241 Xbox 360 game consoles over the weekend of its release.
Nintendo announced that its had sold 325,000 Wii console in the first day of its release in Europe.
Nintendo released the Pokémon Battle Revolution versus fighting game for the Wii in Japan. It was the first game to feature wireless Nintendo DS interactivity. (CERO: A)
Nintendo announced a raincheck program under which any consumer who paid for a certificate in advance would be guaranteed a Wii game console no later than January 29th.
Nintendo announced that, according to its demographic data, the average age of a Wii user was twenty-nine years old.