This Day in Video Game History
Jack St Clair Kilby demonstrated the first integrated circuit (IC) in history to a small group of researchers and executives at Texas Instruments. The miniaturized circuit proves that resistors and capacitors manufactured of the same material can be integrated on a single chip. The prototype was composed of tive components: germanium mesa transistors, resistors, and capacitors linked by wires, all mounted on a germanium board half an inch long and thinner than a toothpick. February 6, 1959, Kilby will apply for a patent, and he will receive it on June 23, 1964.
In a speech given at Rice University, President John F. Kennedy announced that America should attempt to put men on the Moon and return them safely to Earth. In the speech, he stated, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth.” The speech marks the beginning of the so-called “Space Race,” sparking the imagination of the nation and leaving an indelible mark upon the culture and media of the sixties and the seventies that follow. Rockets and aliens explode into literature and film and comics, all of which later influence the video game industry.
Release 219 of the Infocom interactive text-based fiction game The Lurking Horror was published for IBM-compatible computers. It was was written by Dave Lebling and inspired by the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. In it, a student at G.U.E. Tech braves a snowstorm to travel to the school’s computer lab to work on the report, only to find it has been partially overwritten by the Department of Alchemy’s files. Soon after, the student stumbles upon the powerful evil that lies within the school’s depths.
NEC Home Electronics introduced a coin-operated version of the TurboGrafx-16 video game console, which was the first system in North America to feature a CD-ROM peripheral.
Game developer and publisher Electronic Arts publicly announced that it would acquire Austin, Texas-based Origin Systems, the developer behind Ultima and Wing Commander.
In Severna Park, Maryland, Toad Computer announced that it would mirror the popular Atari software archive of University of Michigan, which is composed of just over 700MB of compressed software for the Atari 8-bit, ST, STe, TT030 and Falcon computers that has been given into the public domain.
The last three employees of Atari, David Bajer, Barbara Castillo, and John Skruch, move their offices to JTS headquarter, marking the end of the game company’s independence.
The Dataquest research firm released a report that speculates that there isn’t sufficient economic suport for more than three game consoles on the market. The game raises some questions as to its efficacy but largely bolsters confidence in the current console developers of the day.
Acclaim Entertainment released the racing game XG3: Extreme G Racing for the PlayStation 2 in North America. (ESRB: T)
Kemco releases the puzzle game Egg Mania: Eggstreme Madness for GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox in the US. (ESRB: E)
LucasArts released the single-player roleplaying game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, closely based on the Wizards of the Coast’s tabletop Star Wars roleplaying game, for the Xbox in Europe. The tabletop version is based on the d20 roleplaying system based on the Dungeons & Dragons third edition rules, and the adaptation reflects that rather effectively. (PEGI: 12+)
Strategy First releases the turn-based strategy game Galactic Civilizations for Windows in the UK. (PEGI: 7+)
THQ released the single-player platform game Scooby-Doo! Unmasked, based on the classic cartoon series, for the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox in North America. (ESRB: E)
Atlus releases the single-player survival horror game Rule of Rose for the PlayStation 2 in North America. Set in nineteen-thirties England, the game follows a girl who finds herself in a world rules by children. Sony, the game’s initial publisher made the choice not to release it in North America because of the erotic overtones and subtext of the game, which largely revolves around young girls, but Atlus finally decided to release the game in Sony’s place, claiming that the eroticism is only a very small part of the game. The game review site The AV Club said of the game, "aside from a few deep curtsies and an unlockable Gothic Lolita costume, the characters are more sinister than sexualised." (ESRB: M)
Konami released the maze game Bomberman for the PlayStation Portable in North America. It’s a remake of the 1983 computer game. (ESRB: E)
Konami released the fantasy-themed game Rengoku 2 for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) in North America. Its European release will be named "The Stairway To H.E.A.V.E.N." (ESRB: T)
LucasArts released Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy for personal computers, the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox, and Xbox 360 in Europe. It was based on the Star Wars-themed Lego line, and it would go on to sell more than 1.1 million units globally in just its first week of release. (ESRB: E10+)
Majesco Entertainment released the single-player simulation game Cooking Mama for the Nintendo DS in North America. (ESRB: E)
Majesco Entertainment released MechAssault: Phantom War for the Nintendo DS in North America. (ESRB: T)
Sierra Entertainment released the real-time tactics game Joint Task Force for Windows in North America. The game places players in command of modern military forces in the midst modern day conflicts armed with officially vehicles and weapons systems modeled after and licensed from major defense contractors such as Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Sikorsky. (ESRB: T)
The UK’s Financial Times reports that, upon analysis, the Nintendo Wii is the dominant and leading console of the seventh generation, based on the research of Enterbrain, GfK, and the NPD Group.