This Day in Video Game History
Video game pioneer Ralph Baer sets out to develop his idea for an electronic game played on a television. He begins by writing a four page explanation of the idea, he then creates schematics of what will become his ground-breaking video game system. Forty years later, Baer will receive the National Medal of Technology for his invention of the home video game console.
Infocom publishes Release 15 of the interactive fiction game Starcross for personal computers. It’s Infocom’s fifth game, and its first science fiction game.
Funware releases three of the nine game titles it announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier in the year: Ambulance, Driving Demon, Saint Nick. The games are released for the Texas Instrument TI-99/4a home computer in defiance of Texas Instruments’ efforts to discourage third-party title development. In order to create the games, Funware had to backward engineer TI’s new proprietary GROM system.
Nintendo releases the platform game Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the U.S.
Konami releases the single-player platform game Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the U.S. This third installment in the Castlevania franchise returns to the platform genre of the first Castlevania game, abandoning the less popular deviation of the second installment. However, it does branch out in other ways. Most notably, the game introduces many on new characters that will go on to become staples in the series. Many critics will considered the game to the be the strongest entry in the popular Castlevania series.
Nintendo releases the racing game Super Mario Kart game for the Super NES in the U.S. It was designed by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto, and it’s notable for its very sophisticated graphics. Over eight million units of the game will be sold. (ESRB: KA)
Nintendo releases the single-player roleplaying game (RPG) Illusion of Gaia for the Super NES in the U.S. The game’s characters were designed by acclaimed manga artist Moto Hagio.
Apple Computer releases the Apple Pippin multimedia platform in the U.S. The system features a 66MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 128KB SRAM, a 14.4 kbit/s modem, 4x CD-ROM drive, and a compact version of the Mac OS. The system end in commercial failure due to competition from Sony’s PlayStation, and Sega’s Saturn, which already dominate the market and pack a great deal more power than the Pippin.
Nintendo releases the single-player platform game Donkey Kong Land 2 (DKL 2) for the Game Boy in the U.S. (ESRB: K-A)
Sony reduces the price of PlayStation games that have sold over one hundred fifty thousand units. The initial price reductions include Destruction Derby, NFL GameDay, NHL Face Off, Twisted Metal, WarHawk, and WipeOut.
Nintendo releases the Nintendo 64 video game console in France.
Nintendo releases the roleplaying games Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue for the Game Boy in the U.S. They’re the first two games in what will become one of the best game franchises in history. The two games will break records, selling 10.23 million copies in Japan and 9.85 million copies in the U.S. It will be highly praised for its excellent use of multiplayer devices, such as the ability to swap Pokeman across systems. ESRB: E (Everyone)
The 3DO Company releases the roleplaying game Might and Magic VIII: Day of the Destroyer for Windows in Germany. (USK: 12+)
Crave releases the racing game Tokyo Xtreme Racer: 2 for the Sega Dreamcast in the U.S. (ESRB: E)
Microsoft announces that eighteen developers have licensed technology to develop games for the upcoming Xbox video game console.
Nintendo releases the puzzle game Pokémon Puzzle League game for the Nintendo 64 in the U.S. It’s the first game in the popular Pokémon franchise to be released in the U.S. before its release in Japan, and it’s the third game in the franchise to be based on the anime series. (ESRB: E)
UbiSoft releases the single-player platform game Rayman 2: The Great Escape for personal computer, the Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and Sega Dreamcast in Europe. The game will be popular among both critics and consumers, for raising the standard for 3D game graphic, deviating from traditional stock platformer storylines, and allows players to roam through earlier levels of the game like a console roleplaying game. (ESRB: E)
Ratbag releases the racing game Dirt Track Racing 2 for the personal computer. (ESRB: E)
Electronic Arts releases the single-player game Bionicle: The Game, based on the movie Bionicle: Mask of Light, for personal computers, the GameBoy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. (ESRB: E)
Nintendo reduces the price of the Game Boy Advance SP handheld video game system in the U.S. from US$99.99 to US$79.99.
Nokia announces that it has shipped one million N-Game handheld video game systems to date.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri, rules that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prevents the alteration of video games published by Blizzard to make them compatible with servers other than Battle.net .
Namco releases the racing game Ridge Racer for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Europe, featuring twelve courses, all taken from previous PlayStation or arcade titles. (PEGI: 3+)
Sony Computer Entertainment releases Ape Escape Academy, a collection of forty-five mini-games, for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Europe. (PEGI: 3+)
Sony Computer Entertainment releases the vehicular combat game Fired Up for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in Europe. (PEGI: 7+)
Sony releases the PlayStation Portable handheld video game system in Europe following three delays. Within three days the system will sell 185,000 units in the U.K. alone.
Sony releases the PlayStation Portable handheld video game system in Australia and New Zealand. It will sell for AU$399.95 (€244), after outrage among consumers forced Sony to reduce the system’s price from the announced price of AU$429.95 (€262).
Ubisoft releases the puzzle game Lumines for the PlayStation Portable in Europe. Lumines is a block game similar to either Columns or Tetris. (PEGI: 3+)
Codemasters releases the music game Dance Factory for the Playstation 2 in Europe. Unlike the more popular game Dance Dance Revolution, it generates dance moves to challenge a player from any music CD.
Shadow Tor Studios releases the single-player horror game Barrow Hill for personal computers in the U.S. (ESRB: T)
THQ releases Saints Row for the Xbox 360 in Europe. The game is similar to the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It will sell over two million copies globally. (PEGI: 18+)