This Day in Video Game History: August 27
Michael Baird, age 18, scores 12,311,126 points on Atari’s Centipede after playing the game for twenty-one hours and twelve minutes at Phil’s Amusement in Lakewood, California.
Mark Halper publishes a story in Electronic News, examining Atari’s strategy of reducing the price of its 800XL computers from US$230 to US$160 and the price of the Atari 2600 video game system from US$60 to US$40. The article also speculates as to the potential benefits of the company’s US$100 million lawsuit against Amiga.
Atari publicly announces that it has agreed to acquire the Federated Group, Inc. for US$67.3 million in cash as part of a plan to produce a line of Atari-label electronics products.. The Federated Group of Electronics Stores is a chain of sixty-seven electronics stores in the southwest United States.
Atlus releases Golf Grand Slam for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in North America.
Konami releases the single-player platform game Super Castlevania IV for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe.
Nintendo releases the single-player puzzle game Mario and Wario for the Super Famicom in Japan. The game is notable for being one of the few that make use of the SNES Mouse. In the game, Wario has covered Mario’s head with items that blind him like buckets and players must guide him safely through each level, using the mouse to control a character named Wanda. With the click of the mouse, Wanda can attack, turn Mario around, or affect items, such as doors. The mouse was originally released with Mario Paint.
Nintendo releases the single-player EarthBound as Mother 2: Gyiyg no Gyakushu for the Super Famicom in Japan. The game lampoons the roleplaying game (RPG) genres, satirizing the elements and culture surrounding RPGs. While it will never become a hit, it will grow into a cult classic among gamers, not for its gameplay, as with most classics, but for its humor.
Nintendo releases the single-player shooter compilation Super Scope 6 bundled with the Super Scope light gun for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe. The compilation include six games for the light gun, including: Blastris A, which is similar to Nintendo’s Tetris, Blastris B, which is similar to Sega’s Columns, and Mole Patrol, a Whac-A-Mole game.
Sony releases the Dual Analog Controller for the PlayStation console in the U.S. The controllers’ analog mode allows players more precise and fluid control of characters. Analog-capable titles include the fighting games Bushido Blade and Tobal 2. In April, it was released in Japan featuring a “rumble” effect, however, the vibration feedback mechanism was removed for its release overseas. After a rocky reception due to the disappointment over the loss of the rumble effect, Sony will discontinue the device in early 1998. However, that move, too, turned out to be unpopular, and, as players scramble to snap up the few remaining units, the Dual Analog Controller will become a highly prized collector’s piece among hardcore gamers.
Sega releases the flight simulator game AeroWings 2: Airstrike for the Sega Dreamcast in the U.S. Unlike its predecessor, in which players perform aerial stunts, AeroWings 2 casts player in the role of fighter pilots. (ESRB: E)
Microsoft announces that the release date of the Xbox in Japan has been delayed yet again to February 22, 2002.
Nintendo releases the racing game Mario Kart Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance in North America. The game combines the best features of its predecessors, Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart 64. (ESRB: E)
Sony Computer Entertainment releases the tactical third-person shooter SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs for the PlayStation 2 in two editions in North America. The game features online play via the internet without any addition fees and is the first game title to use either the PlayStation’s online adapter or the console’s headset. It’ll go on to sell more than two million copies worldwide. (ESRB: M) Price: US$59.99Sony releases the PS2 Network Adapter for the PlayStation 2 in the US. Price: US$39.99
Sega releases the single-player hack and slash game Otogi: Myth of Demons for the Xbox in North America. (ESRB: T)
Bandai releases the single-player fighting game Digimon Battle Spirit 2 for the Game Boy Advance in Europe. (PEGI: 3+)
Following a year of severe financial difficulties, American video developer Acclaim Entertainment shuts down its operations after failing to secure stopgap financing. After seventeen years in business, the company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, leaving most of its employees without a paycheck. September 1, the company will move forward with Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidate their assets to pay off their one million dollars of debt.