This Month in Video Game History: May 17 - May 23

This Month in Video Game History: May 17 - May 23
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May 17


Nintendo released the GameCube video game console in Australia.


According to the Twin Galaxies video game records archive, J.C. Padilla scored 2,181,619,994,299,256,480 points playing the scrolling arcade shooter Giga Wing 2 on the Dreamcast. The score establishes a record for the highest recorded score on any game in history.


Nintendo held a press conference to announce that it had sold over two billion software titles since the company first entered the video game market. At the same press conference, Nintendo introduced the Game Boy Micro, the world’s smallest cartridge-based game system yet. The device measured just two inches across by four inches with a thickness of seven-tenths of an inch.

May 18


Sony Interactive Entertainment established Sony Computer Entertainment of America, a North American division that would market the company’s games.


In Greece, IBM’s Junior 7 supercomputer won a chess match against Chess Grandmaster Mikhail Gurevich to in Greece with three wins and one draw out of six games.


Sony announced that it had shipped over one hundred million PlayStation consoles globally.


Disney’s Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks are equipped with WiFi hot spots. Through the connections, park visitors playing the Disney game Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End on a Nintendo DS could download bonus content not available elsewhere.

May 19


Sony Computer Entertainment reduced the price of the PlayStation console from $299 to $199 in North America.


Nintendo released the educational puzzle game Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! for the Nintendo DS in Japan. The game would become an unexpected success, marking the beginning of a long-running educational game fad in Japan. Japan alone would account for over two million units in sales. (CERO: A)

May 20


Sega announced a partnership with Sony Electronic Publishing to develop games titles on CD-ROM in preparation for Sega to release a CD-ROM component for its Sega Genesis in November.


Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto III (GTA3) for Windows in North America. (ESRB: M)

May 21


Atari announced its Atari 7800 video game console. The console featured superior graphics and game play over its predecessor, the Atari 5200. The system was backward-compatible with Atari 2600 games without an adapter, but it also introduced many new features such as the ability to display as many as 100 independent game objects simultaneously in as many as 256 colors. Atari released the new system in the hope of repairing the blow its reputation incurred when the 5200 turned out to be riddled with design flaws. With the introduction of the Atari 7800, the Atari 5200 was discontinued. Price: $149


Nintendo announced that the release price of its GameCube console would be $199 at launch and that it’s games would cost $49.95 each.


Nintendo reduced the price of its GameCube console from $199.95 to $149.95 in the United States.

May 22


Mortal Kombat Conquest

The final episode of the television series “Mortal Kombat: Conquest,” an adaptation of the popular Mortal Kombat arcade series, aired in the U.S. The episode, “Vengeance,” was the twenty-second episodes. Though the series was never picked up for a second season due to low ratings throughout the first season, it was the first time a video game had been successfully adapted into a live action series.


Rare released the first-person shooter Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 in the UK and US. It would go on to become one of the most popular games for the Nintendo 64. (ESRB: M)

May 23


CCP Games released the persistent-world massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) Eve Online for the PC in Europe.


Disney released a beta version of Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom, a free massively multiplayer online game modeled after the Disneyland and Magic Kingdom theme parks. The game was notable for the extreme lengths it took to keep the game a safe environment for small children, such as limiting in-game chat to a ten thousand word white list. The game was also the first MMOG to limit its daily hours of operation to encourage healthy gaming habits.

Electronics Boutique announced plans to acquire the Jump consumer electronics stores based out of Valencia, Spain in order to expand the chain into the video game market. The acquisition continues Electronics Boutique’s pattern of aggressive global expansion.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was featured on the front cover of Time magazine.