On This Day: This Day in Video Game History: August 17

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This Day in Video Game History


Fantasmagorie, produced by Emile Cohl for Léon Gaumont, premieres at the Théâtre du Gymnase, Paris. It is the fully animated film in history, earning Cohl the title of “The Father of the Animated Cartoon.” Animation will later have a significant impact on the development of the video game industry, which will borrow many conventions and techniques from anime and american cartoons.


Konami releases the platform game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in PAL regions.

Warner Bros. Pictures releases the comedy film My Blue Heaven to US theaters. In it, the platform game The Goonies II is played on a Nintendo Entertainment System, but with the sounds effects of Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 heard.


Epic MegaGames releases version 2.1 of Epic Pinball for MS-DOS. The game, which was originally released in November 1993, was created by James Schmalz and is notable for being programmed entirely in assembly language.


California-based video game developer Electronic Arts announces that it will acquire Las Vegas-based developer Westwood Studios from British developer Virgin Interactive in a deal worth US$122.5 million. Westwood is best known for its real-time strategy series, Command & Conquer.


Game developer THQ, Inc. announces the appointment of Peter Dille, formerly senior director of product marketing for Sony Computer Entertainment America, as vice president of marketing.


Microsoft Canada announces that it will launch the Xbox video game console in Canada on November 8. Price: CDN$459.99 (US$298)


Microsoft adds thirteen Xbox game titles to its Platinum Hits line. Price: US$19.99


Namco releases the survival horror game Ghosthunter for the PlayStation 2 in North America. Its storyline has been favorably compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Ghostbusters in the manner which it blends action, comedy, and horror elements. (ESRB: E)

Sega releases Astro Boy: Omega Factor for the Game Boy Advance in the US. The game is based on Osamu Tezuka’s popular Astro Boy manga. Omega Factor combines various characters and plotlines from throughout the manga’s entire run to create a new story. Unlike most game releases, the US version of the game features a number of improvements over the original Japanese release, including a health meter on the game’s bosses and new action sequences. (ESRB: E)

Sony Computer Entertainment releases Everybody’s Golf 4 as Hot Shots Golf Fore! for the PlayStation 2 in the US. (ESRB: E)


At Standford University’s Hot Chips conference, Microsoft announces the technical details of the Xbox 360 video game console, as well as the system’s pricing in the US. The system will include a 3.2GHz custom-built CPU, a 500MHz custom-built GPU, 512MB memory, and a 20GB hard drive. The bundle will cost US$399.99 and the core system will cost US$299.99.

EA Sports releases the football game Madden NFL 06 for Windows. It’s the sixteenth installment in EA Sports’ Madden NFL series. By September 25, 2007, the game will have sold over 6.5 million copies, becoming the fourth best-selling game in the US. (ESRB: E)


Business Week magazine publishes an article discussing the use and benefits of video games on children under medical care, particularly those undergoing invasive surgery. The article details the efforts of a team of researchers at University of Maryland to relieve pain by distraction. In one test, the researchers discovered that children could, on the average, keep their arm submerged in ice-cold water four hundred percent longer when playing the video game Free Dive than without the distraction. Read the article online at BusinessWeek.com.

The multiplayer component of the first-person shooter F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon is released as a free download under the title F.E.A.R. Combat. Downloaders may play the the game online with owners of the retail edition. (BBFC: 18, ESRB: M, PEGI: 18+, OFLC: MA15+)


Activision’s Call of Duty 3 Enhanced for the PlayStation 2 joins Sony’s greatest hits collection.

Activision’s M_arvel: Ultimate Alliance: Enhanced_ for the PlayStation 2 joins Sony’s greatest hits collection.