This Day in Video Game History
Konami releases the horizontal arcade-style scrolling shooter Gradius 2 for the MSX computer in Japan. The game is a departure from previous such games in that it has an elaborate backstory which is told through a series of cut-scenes, and it represents the beginning of the popular arcade gaming genre’s growth into the story-driven platform games of the early nineties.
Nintendo releases the ground-breaking fantasy-themed platform game The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America. The game, which was designed by game pioneer Shigeru Miyamoto, marks the birth of the console roleplaying game genre. The game blends the action of mainstream games with puzzle-like challenges into a new type of game that takes the world by storm and introduces a pile of innovations besides. The game follows Link, who, like Mario of Nintendo’s first hit game series, must rescue a princess. Unlike Super Mario Brothers and every other platform that came before it, The Legend of Zelda features the non-linear exploration of map which players can roam at will. Link must collect the eight fragments of the Triforce artifact to free Princess Zelda from the clutches of her captor, Ganon. Unlike most other titles, however, the game doesn’t end there. After completing his quest, Link is offered a second mission, doubling the length of gameplay while utilitizing the same map. This isn’t the first game to do so, however, it marks the beginning of the game device’s popularity. All told, The Legend of Zelda will sell a record-setting 6.5 million copies and spawn a frachise of no fewer than fourteen games.
Squaresoft releases the console roleplaying game (RPG) Chrono Trigger for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in North America. At 32 megabits, it is Squaresoft’s largest game for the SNES. Its size it partially due to the inclusion of multiple endings to the game. Several of the game’s innovative features are firsts, including its multiple endings, its unique battle system, its highly detailed graphics, and its use of plot-driven side quests, which focus on character development. (ESRB: K-A)
At his mansion in Woodside, California, Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, holds a press conference to demonstrate new products that will enable consumers to play video games remotely with other players, order music selections, and access the web. The products will be released through Aristo International Corporation under the name TeamNet in early September.
At the World of Atari ‘98 classic video game and computer show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Nyko unveils a new trackball for the PlayStation video game console.
The Nintendo GameCube is unveiled to the public just one day before Nintendo’s SpaceWorld trade show. Code-name: Dolphin
Agetec releases the mech shooting game Armored Core 2: Another Age for the PlayStation 2 in North America. (ESRB: T)
Nintendo announces a release date for the Nintendo GameCube Broadband Adapter.
Electronic Arts releases the single-player action game Dead to Rights for the GameCube and PlayStation 2 in PAL regions. The game is one of the earliest to use the “bullet time” effect which was popularized by the Matrix film triology. (ELSPA: 15+)
Encore Software, Inc. and JoWooD Productions release the futuristic submarine simulator/shooter AquaNox 2: Revelation for Windows. (ESRB: M, USK: 12+)
Sillysoft Games releases version 3.0 of the Risk-clone Lux for personal computers. The game uses the same system of rules as the board game but expands the system to function on any map.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s World Rally Championship 2 Extreme goes Platinum in Europe.
Microsoft announces that it has finalized a deal to produce a film version of its wildly popular first-person shooter, Halo.
Nintendo releases the real-time simulation game Nintendogs for the Nintendo DS in North America and Singapore. The game, which sold over 168,000 units in its first week of sales in Japan, will be a hit around the world, ultimately selling nearly two million copies, earning a pile of prizes for both its family-friendly and addictive qualities, and spawning a series of similar games and competing clones.
Nintendo releases the turn-based tactics game Advance Wars: Dual Strike for the Nintendo DS in the US. ESRB: E (Everyone)
Japanese game publisher Square Enix acquires the Taito Corporation, a game developer and manufacturer of arcade hardware. The acquisition will mark the beginning of Square Enix’s entry into the arcade market.
EA Sports releases the American football game Madden NFL 07 for the GameBoy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, the personal computer, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable (PSP), Xbox, and XBox 360 in the US. The PlayStation 2 version alone will sell 1.8 million copies, making the game a top seller of 2006. (ESRB: E)
Lighthouse Interactive releases the turn-based strategy game Sword of the Stars for Windows. (ESRB: E)
SNK Playmore releases the fighting game King of Fighters for the PlayStation 2.
At the 2007 Leipzig Games Convention, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) announces that its new, free Go!Messenger instant messaging program now allows PlayStation Portable owners to use the the Go!Cam for video conferencing or voice chat.
Microsoft issues a voluntary recall of its Wireless Racing Wheel for the Xbox 360, offering a free retrofit to all customers after several units proved to have a defect that lead to the unit smoking while plugged into an AC/DC power supply.
Sega of America and Sega Europe announce the upcoming title Empire: Total War, the next installment in the popular Total War turn-based strategy game series. The game is expected to hit shelves on February 3, 2009.
Square Enix releases the soundtrack of Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors featuring music by composer Manami Matsumae