This Day in Video Game History
Release 47 of the Infocom text-based interactive fiction game The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for IBM-compatible computers is released. Douglas Adams and Infocom’s legendary Steve Meretzky collaborated in the game’s development. It loosely mirrors the television series’ plot, starting with the impending destruction of Arthur Dent’s house and ends with the player’s arrival at Magrathea.
Mortal Kombat: The Live Tour, a theatrical performance featuring live martial arts performances, premiered at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Nintendo releases single-player Galactic Pinball for the Virtual Boy in in North America. It distinguished itself by being one the few games to feature a persistent score board, preserved by the system’s batteries. (ESRB: KA)
Nintendo released the single-player game Mario’s Tennis for the Virtual Boy in North America as a pack-in with the Virtual Boy. (ESRB: E)
Nintendo released the single-player rail-shooter game Red Alarm for the Virtual Boy in North America. (ESRB: KA)
UbiSoft released the platform game Rayman for the Atari Jaguar.
Nintendo released the formula one racing game F-1 World Grand Prix for the Nintendo 64 in Europe.
Namco released the arcade game Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness for the PlayStation in North America. (ESRB: E)
Nintendo released the GameCube video game system in Japan. The system features a 405 MHz “Gekko” processor based on the IBM Power PC, 43 MB of RAM, a 162 MHz graphic processing unit, two memory card slots, and four controller ports. The system sold nearly twenty-two million units, coming in a distant second to the PlayStation 2. Code-name: Dolphin Price: ¥25,000
Nintendo released the racing game Mario Kart Super Circuit for the Game Boy Advance in Europe.
Activision and Sega released an enhanced port of the original Dreamcast 1999 game Sonic Adventure as Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut for personal computers in North America. (ESRB: E)
Atari released the fantasy game Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone, based on the Forgotten Realms campaign of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop roleplaying game, for personal computers, the PlayStation 2, and Xbox in the U.S. It was notable for being written by best-selling author R.A. Salvatore and featuring the voice talent of Patrick Stewart. It would receive widespread critical acclaim. (ESRB: T)
Brady Games published the non-fiction book Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life by Chris Kohler as a paperback. (ISBN-13: 978-0744004243) It examines what its author argues is the underestimated influence of Japan upon the evolution of video games. (Length: 312 pages)
EA Games released the single-player simulation game The Sims 2, the sequel to the popular game The Sims, for personal computers in North America. It improved on its predecessor in a number of ways, most notably its powerful 3D graphics engine, and it will rapidly become a hit, selling a record-setting one million units within ten days of its release. (ESRB: T)
Microsoft Game Studios released the single-player roleplaying game Fable for the Xbox in North America. It was extremely well received. Its highly-marketed gameplay is widely praised by critics and consumers alike, largely due to its alignment system, which allows a player to determine whether their character will be good or evil. It won over fifty awards, some prestigious, and became the fastest-selling video game of all time shortly after its release. However, the much of its reception is overshadowed by the bitter complaints of consumers disappointed by creator Peter Molyneux’s failure to deliver on all of the features he promised pre-release. Molyneux pleads in the press that the Xbox console simply had insufficient processing power to deliver all of the features his team designed for the game, such as trees that actually grow over the course of the game. (ESRB: M, OLFC M15+)
Sony Online Entertainment released the expansion pack EverQuest: Omens of War, for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game EverQuest for personal computers. It was the eighth expansion pack for the game, and it features five new levels, the ability for players to advance to level seventy, a new set of epic weapons, a ninth slot for spells, a new tribute system, and a new voice macro system that lets players send comment to each other hands-free. (ESRB: T)
Ubisoft released the side-scroller Advance Guardian Heroes, the sequel to the 1996 Sega Saturn’s Guardian Heroes, for the Game Boy Advance in North America. (ESRB: E)
Activision released the single-player game World Series of Poker for the personal computer in North America. (ESRB: E10+)
Microsoft announced the price of the upcoming Xbox 360 video game console for its Japanese release, ¥37,900 ($345).
The animated feature film Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, which would later be released in the U.S. as "Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children," was released in Japan. The film is a prequel to the 1997 video game Final Fantasy VII.
Humongous released the simulation game Backyard Baseball 2007 for personal computers, the Game Boy Advance, and PlayStation 2 in North America. (ESRB: E)
Majesco released Advent Rising, Bloodrayne, and Bloodrayne 2 for personal computers via the Steam online content delivery system. (ESRB: T, PEGI: 12+)
Namco released the fighting game Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection for the PlayStation Portable in Australia. (OFLC: M)
Nintendo announced the long-awaited specs regarding the release of its Wii video game console in Asia, Australia, Europe, Japan, and the Americas. The company projected disclosed dates, prices, and distribution numbers for the release. In North America, the Wii video game system will be released on November 19 at a price of $249.99. According to the numbers quoted, the majority of systems released in 2006 will be sold in the Americas.
Nintendo first released a headset for the Nintendo DS handheld video game system, featuring an earphone and microphone in Japan.
Nintendo announced the pricing of the Virtual Console games it would release for the Wii. In Japan prices were ¥500 for original Nintendo games, ¥800 for Super NES games, and ¥1,000 for Nintendo 64 games, payable via credit card or “Wii Points” cards. In the United States, Wii Points prices were $5, $8, and $10, respectively. Points would cost one penny a piece.
THQ released the party game Barnyard, based on the animated film of the same name, for personal computers, the Game Boy Advance, and the Playstation 2 in Australia.
THQ released the real-time game Company of Heroes for personal computers in North America. (ESRB: M)
Atari released screenshots of its upcoming 3D fighting game Godzilla: Unleashed. The screenshots, which featured a scene of Anguirus and Godzilla fighting. The graphic style of the scene sparks speculation that the gameplay may mirror the 2004 game Godzilla: Save the Earth.
Electronic Arts released the skateboarding game Skate for the Xbox 360 in North America. (ESRB: T)
Midway Games released the third-person shooter Stranglehold for the Xbox 360 in Europe. The game is based on a heavily modified version of version 3.0 of the Unreal Engine. It was notable for allowing the destruction of practically any item or location in the game, due to the modification of the game’s engine. (OFLC: MA15+)
NIS America released the single-player fantasy-themed turn-based strategy game Generation of Chaos for the PlayStation Portable in Europe. It’s the fourth game in Generation of Chaos series. In it, players choose to either manage their own private kingdom or to command their an army. (PEGI: 12+)
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe released the single-player hack and slash game Heavenly Sword for the PlayStation 3 in Europe. It received praise for its combat system, but it was criticized for its brevity and lack of an online component. (PEGI: 16+)