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2006 in video gaming

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Year 2006[edit | edit source]

Duke Nukem Forever is now in its 9th year of production, it was expected to be released this year, but slipped again.

Console Hardware Releases[edit | edit source]

Microsoft[edit | edit source]

Xbox 360

Nintendo[edit | edit source]

Sony[edit | edit source]

Console Hardware Non-Releases[edit | edit source]

Infinium Labs[edit | edit source]

Notable Software Releases[edit | edit source]

The fashion world's entry into the video game industry.
The first non-Pokemon release from Game Freak since the NES days.
First Tales of series game released outside of Japan since Tales of Symphonia.
The largely hyped, innovative, musical toy, championed by Nintendo as an example of what unique concepts the DS is capable of having.
The next installment of the fan favorite Dead or Alive series, and Xbox 360 hit.

Key Events[edit | edit source]

See February 2006 for more details.

See May 2006 for more details.

Videogame Sales[edit | edit source]

Video game sales[edit | edit source]

Wow.jpg

Ten best-selling PC games of 2006: [1]

Ten best-selling PS2 games of 2006:[2]

Ten best-selling PS3 games of 2006:[3]

Ten best-selling Xbox games of 2006:[4]

Ten best-selling Xbox 360 games of 2006:[5]

Ten best-selling GameCube games of 2006:[6]

Ten best-selling Wii games of 2006:[7]

Ten best-selling DS games of 2006:[8]

February[edit | edit source]

February 1 2006 (Wednesday)[edit | edit source]

Box-Art-Gun-UK-PS2.jpg

Boycot campaign on Gun

  • The Association for American Indian Development (AAID) have launched a boycotting campaign against Gun, it's publisher Activision and developer Neversoft. On [www.boycottgun.com www.boycottgun.com], the AAID complain that the game contains "very disturbing racist and genocidal elements toward Native Americans". However, since the game's popularity never really took off, it is believed that this will have little impact on current retailers.

(Gamasutra)

February 9 2006 (Thursday)[edit | edit source]

Awards for games from people that matter, i.e. not Spike TV

DS Kiosk, WiFi Chat

  • At the DICE 2006 summit, Nintendo announced that the wireless broadcast kiosks that Japan has had for quite some time will be introduced in North America at Best Buy, GameStop, and other major retailers in March. These kiosks will allow players to access demos, videos and trailers. The first game demos Nintendo plans to make available through its download service include Brain Age, Pokémon Trozei, Mario Kart DS, Meteos, and True Swing Golf.
In addition to this announcement, Nintendo also announced that Metroid Prime: Hunters will be the first game on the Nintendo DS to support voice chat. Players who use the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection will be able to talk to people on their Friends list before and after games, although not during them.

February 15 2006 (Wednesday)[edit | edit source]

Nintendo DS, not just for games anymore

  • At a press conference today in Tokyo, Nintendo announced plans for two new applications that will take the DS to other territories than gaming: A web browser and a television tuner.
Front-Cover-Nintendo-DS-Browser-JP-DS.jpg
The web browser, titled "Nintendo DS Browser", is a cooperative project between Nintendo and Opera Software. The browser, based off Opera mobile browser software, uses the bottom screen to display pages in their full and the top screen to show close ups of content. Users can also use the two screens as one tall vertical window. The touch pen is used for inputting characters on to a soft keyboard or a transcriber, with ATOK Japanese recognition software built in. Since the Nintendo DS is limited in terms of storage capabilities, the Nintendo DS Browser will ship with a expansion cartridge. (Two versions will be shipped: one for Nintendo DS, one for Nintendo DS Lite. The difference will be the physical dimensions of the expansion cartridge)
The TV tuner, DS Terrestrial Digital Broadcast Receiver, will use a service called 1seg (pronounced One Seg), a digital broadcasts system for mobile devices in Japan. The card turns the Nintendo DS into a television capable of receiving 1seg broadcasts. The touchscreen will be used as a remote with digital buttons, and the broadcast viewed on the top screen.
In spite of the non-game announcements, Nintendo did reiterate and announced some of the new titles coming out for the Nintendo DS, showing off titles such as Cooking Mama, Tales of the Tempest, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 4, Mario Basketball: 3 On 3 and Final Fantasy III. In addition, titles such as Winning Eleven DS and Dynasty Warrior DS were announced will feature Nintendo Wi-Fi Online play.

February 16 2006 (Thursday)[edit | edit source]

Xbox 360 Underperforms in Japan, Head Honcho dropped

  • Takashi Sensui will replace Yoshihiro Maruyama, the former head of the Japanese Xbox division as the XBOX 360 continues to struggle in the Japanese market. Currently the Xbox 360 has sold less than 100,000 consoles, with just 1,288 units in the last week. Once again below that of the GameCube (the sales of which have been in a continuous slump in Japan).

Gamasutra)

February 20 2006 (Monday)[edit | edit source]

Perry not so Shiny anymore

  • David Perry, founder of Shiny Entertainment, has quit the company. Atari, which owns Shiny, recently announced that it would be selling off all its internal development studios.

(Gamasutra)

February 21 2006 (Tuesday)[edit | edit source]

EA doing something not evil?

How fast can you spend $62.7 million?

  • Last month, Infinium Labs announced that Golden Gate Investors will invest $5 million on the turbulent development of the Phantom gaming platform. As a prerequisite, Infinium filed a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission, documenting the company's losses prior to the investment. From the prospectus, it seems that Infinium Labs was in a much bigger hole than expected.
In the short three years of existence, Infinium Labs totaled $62.7 million in losses, $3.5 million on development costs, and the remaining portions split between advertising (over $30 million), consultants ($12.8 million), salaries ($11.9 million), and general and administrative expenses ($5.9 million).
So what will be the fate of the Phantom console? It seems that the project will see more delays. "We are developing and seeking to commercialize the Phantom Lapboard, a wireless, rotating custom keyboard/turntable with integrated mousepad," the prospectus reads. "After establishing the Phantom Lapboard, we may seek to develop and commercialize the Phantom Game Service. Given our limited resources, and the delays experienced thus far, we are not in a position to anticipate a completion date for development of our product or a launch date for the Phantom Lapboard."

(Gamespot)

Half-Life 2: Episode Two in the works, no word on whether it will have a proper ending

(Gamespot)

February 22 2006 (Wednesday)[edit | edit source]

Japan revises its rating system.

  • Due to controversy sparked by GTA III which was banned from being sold to minors in two prefectures in Japan and the GTA series which continues to cause controversy around the globe, Japan will be revises it's rating system to accommodate what would be an equal to the ESRB's Adults Only rating.
The new system will be put in place March 1, 2006. There will be five ratings, with the A rating being the equivalent of Free, B equaling 12, C the equal to 15, D which would be for people ages seventeen and older, and Z for people ages eighteen and older. Only the Z rating will be regulated by the government. (GamesIndustry.biz)

February 28 2006 (Tuesday)[edit | edit source]

PlayStation Spot: Sony's answer to Nintendo's Download Station

  • Sony Computer Entertainment Japan has announced PlayStation Spot, a service that allows PSP owners to download limited use content and game demos. Starting today, Japanese PSP owners can use the service at certain locations to download content through the PSP's "Gameshare" feature, meaning that demos can not be saved onto a memory stick, and are deleted from memory once the unit is powered off. The service is available only to PSP users running firmware version 2.0 or above.

(Gamasutra)

March[edit | edit source]

March 23 2006 (Thursday)[edit | edit source]

  • Genesis and TurboGrafx to the Revolution
In a surprise announcement during Satoru Iwata's keynote speech at GDC 2006, it was announced that the Revolution would also play over 1000 Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx-16 games with it's virtual console. Whaaa? So in addition to all Nintendo games from the NES to N64, you can also play classics from other consoles. The sky is going to implode.
(GameSpot)
  • Zelda DS: It's Another Item Name
A new Zelda is coming other than Twilight Princess, this time in classic 2D top-down view for the Nintendo DS. It will feature Wind Waker 3D graphics, though. Best of all, this new game (Being titled The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass) is being developed by Nintendo, not the Minish-cappers over at Capcom's Flagship. It may even come out before the end of 2006.
IGN
  • The Winner Is...
In the Game Developers Choice Awards 2006, the overall winner was none other than your friendly neighborhood Shadow of the Colossus. It beat out the other high-scoring PlayStation 2 game, God of War for the top honor. Shadow of the Colossus also took away 3 other awards in character design, game design, and visual arts. Other winners included Nintendogs for innovation and technology, as well as Psychonauts for writing.
(GameSpot)

March 14 2006 (Tuesday)[edit | edit source]

  • More Like...DelayStation 3!
Sony's PlayStation 3 is not going to be coming out anytime soon. It has been reported in Japanese newspapers that the console will be delayed until November of 2006. You may think this delays the European and North American release dates to 2007, but you're, Captain Fallacy. Sony will be launching worldwide come November.
(1up)

March 13 2006 (Monday)[edit | edit source]

Frequent Game of the Year candidate of 2005, God of War, had a sequel officially announced today. The third-person action game starred Kratos in a brutal, gorey, M-rated adventure. The sequel will be called God of War 2: Divine Retribution and will come out on the PS2. Rumor has it the game will not be out until February of 2007.
(1up)

April[edit | edit source]

April 27 2006 (Wednesday)[edit | edit source]

Remember the Nintendo Revolution? Well, you can forget about it, because Nintendo announced the long rumored name change. It was always known that "Revolution" was merely a temporary code name, but no one expected them to ultimately choose a non-existant word to replace it - Wii. Pronounced "We", the name is supposed to represent inclusiveness, with two I's, representing two peple, or two controllers. "ii" is also a Japanese word for "good", though only fans have been pointing this out, and not Nintendo themselves. Fan reaction is mixed, or in some cases, negative.

April 10 2006 (Thursday)[edit | edit source]

  • Red Steel Revolution
Ubisoft reveals the first Nintendo Revolution screenshots in the pages of Game Informer with Red Steel, an upcoming action game with at least some parts in first-person perspective. You play an American battling the Yakuza in Japan, using at least a gun and a Katana. The game is said to be highly immersive, making use of the unique motion sensing control of the Revolution, with game mechanics such as sparing the lives of your enemies and gaining respect.
(Joystiq)

June[edit | edit source]

June 28 2006 (Wednesday)[edit | edit source]

Kaz hirai.jpg
SCEA's president has said some pretty strange things lately. Namely, in an interview with PSM, Kaz Hirai stated that their getting tired of Microsoft constantly copying everything Sony's been doing. In the same interview he said that games could retail for more than $59.99, but that their was no reason to worry because they certainly wouldn't go for anything over $99.99. So, Microsoft are a bunch of copycats and PS3 games could retail for more than $60.00... Sony's hubris knows no bounds.
Kotaku, 1up

June 23 2006 (Friday)[edit | edit source]

  • EA to Mythic: You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile
EA woke up this morning and thought to itself, "Hey you know what I haven't done in a while? Bought out a successful video game developer!" — 11 year old Mythic Entertainment is most well known for critically loved games such as the 2001 MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot. EA's acquisition of Mythic is expected to be finalized in EA's second quarter of fiscal 2007.
Upon completion of the acquisition, Mark Jacobs, the President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Mythic, will become Vice President, General Manager of EA Mythic. Rob Denton, the Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Mythic will assume the role of Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of EA Mythic. Mythic's 175-person development team will remain in Fairfax, Virginia. - Yahoo Finance
(Yahoo Finance)
Sonic the Hedgehog's birthday is upon us. Fifteen years ago, Sonic debuted on the Sega Genesis, changing platformers and finally giving Sega a suitable mascot. To celebrate, a port of the original game will be released on the Game Boy Advance with a save feature and the Spin Dash move that didn't debut until Sonic 2. In the mean time, Sonic has upcoming games on all the next-gen consoles.
(IGN Wii)

July[edit | edit source]

July 30 2006 (Sunday)[edit | edit source]

E3logo.jpg
Next Generation is reporting an end to E3 for the foreseeable future. The reason for ending the event is due to larger publishers believing the money spent on the event does not justify the returns and smaller publishers following suit. Official confirmation by ESA president Doug Lowenstein is expected to occur on monday.
Next-gen.biz, Gamespot
UPDATE: Rather than not having E3 at all, it appears that 2007 will see a more scaled back version of the show. The expo will now resemble what it was originally intended to be by becoming a more "closed doors" event open only to industry insiders.
arstechnica

July 21 2006 (Friday)[edit | edit source]

Today marks the end, atleast in so far as the Federal Trade Commission is concerned, to the Hot Coffee scandal that rocked the world, or atleast a few politicians who have never picked up a controller and think that the internet is somehow related to a truck and a series of interconnected tubes. No fines or penalties have been issued to Take-Two Interactive for this scandilicious affair. There are, however, still some ongoing civil suits and investigations into the mod.
Gamasutra

July 20 2006 (Thursday)[edit | edit source]

Activision sued over its stock option grant practices. Thats pretty much it actually, oh and Take-Two Interactive is currently under investigation for possible manipulation of stock option grants. -- Cash rules everything around me. CREAM. Get the money. Doller Doller bill y'all.
GameDailyBIZ

July 18 2006 (Tuesday)[edit | edit source]

  • THQ revs up new development team to work on Cars
A newly announced development team from THQ, Incinerator Games, has been formed to work primarily on video games for the next-gen consoles. Currently Incinerater Games are working on the next-gen version of Disney/Pixar's Cars as well as unspecified future projects for next generation consoles.
Based in Carlsbad, CA., Incinerator is comprised of veterans of the Twisted Metal, NFL GameDay and MLB 2006: The Show projects from Sony's 989 studios, as well as the Midnight Club franchise from Rockstar. - Next Generation
Next Generation

July 12 2006 (Tuesday)[edit | edit source]

  • Japan gets black DS Lites, many Americans weep
New Jet Black DS Lites will soon be available in DS Lite obsessed Japan. Retailing at ¥16,800 ($145), the new color will be released on September 2, 2006. With the release of the Black DS Lite Japan will have a total of five color choices. A Final Fantasy III branded DS Lite will also soon be available to spoiled Japanese gamers on August 24, 2006.
Evo: Phase One
gamasutra
  • Another console enters the ring
Scheduled for release October 26, 2006 (in North America) Evo: Phase One, a new convergence device from Envizions Computer Entertainment, will combine a PC, media center and game console. Games, movies, and television shows will be available for purchase through Envizions online game store. Evo: Phase One will carry the hefty price of $679.99.
eToychest, Envizionsinc.com

July 11 2006 (Monday)[edit | edit source]

  • Under Pressure: White PSP ad update
Though the ads were never meant for areas outside of Amsterdam, pressure largely generated from USA has lead to Sony pulling their controversial white PSP ads.
GameDaily BIZ

July 5 2006 (Wednesday)[edit | edit source]

  • Sony's got this pissing-off-customers-thing down to a science.
Done with ebonics spewing squirrels, graffitti of tripped out kids licking PSP's, and mexican dustballs, Sony's newest advertising campaign for their PlayStation Portable retains their affinity for lame attempts at being edgy. On billboards located in Amsterdam, ads for the new white PSP feature two women, one white and one black, in various aggressive poses. Many people have called the ads offensive saying they were made with the intent to gain mindshare by shocking consumers with racially charged images. Sony has responded to these critics saying the ads were not made with any racist intentions.
Kotaku, Gameindustry.biz (Sony's response)

August[edit | edit source]

August 16 2006 (Wednesday)[edit | edit source]

  • Then, suddenly, the Phantom appears!
Well not really. Phantom Entertainment has ditched its plans to produce a console and instead plans to start a gaming service through software only. The Phantom Game Service will be a subscription-based software that will run on PCs with the Windows XP operating system.
Gamasutra

September[edit | edit source]

September 28, 2006 (Saturday)[edit | edit source]

  • Pokémon Diamond & Pearl Released
Nintendo released Pokémon Diamond and Pearl in Japan. Pokémon Diamond & Pearl broke yet another sales record on their release date, all two million copies of the game are sold out along with 500.000 special Palkia/Dialga Nintendo DS Lite Systems. Unlike previous Pokémon games, Diamond and Pearl added 109 new Pokémon making a total of 493 Pokémon in the series. There are 14 new legendary Pokémon. Day/Night transitions are also back in the game. Pokemon D/P will be released in the US in the spring of 2007
Previews
New Pokemon pokedex
Gamespot

September 22 2006 (Friday)[edit | edit source]

  • MTV Hero
You know that guitar-based music game that many love, Guitar Hero? Well, it's developer Harmonix, has been absorbed into the mega media fold known as MTV. The deal reportedly cost MTV $175 million. No word yet on how this buy out affects the upcoming and highly anticipated sequel, Guitar Hero 2.
GameSpot

October[edit | edit source]

October 11, 2006[edit | edit source]

  • Thompson in Mortal Kombat
Jack Thompson sent an cease and desist letter to Midway Games, demanding that the company stop distributing Mortal Kombat: Armageddon because it contains a "Jack Thompson" character. Problem is, the 62 playable fighters in Armageddon" don't include a "Jack Thompson"; the website Gaming Target built him using the game's Kreate a Fighter feature.
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2006-11-03-news-bytes_x.htm