Nintendo of Europe has announced plans to release Animal Crossing in Europe in typically understated fashion, sliding a printed press release into our freebie bags at today's press conference in Los Angeles confirming the news. Cube owners will be able to pick up a PAL copy of the game on September 24th.
Ignoring for a moment the disgracefully long wait since the game's original release in the States, we should note that the release makes no mention of any Europe-specific events - instead it's padded out with talk relating to the original game and its real-time freeform gameplay, its GBA/GC connectivity features and the fact that it won an Edge award for Gameplay Innovation of the Year.
Returning to the disgracefully long wait factor, though, we actually bought our copy of Animal Crossing from an importer in July 2002. You can buy it right now from US importers on the "Player's Choice" budget label for $29.99. It will launch in Europe for 60 Euro, roughly Ł40. Which is, um, pathetic.
We're keen on anything that increases the world's exposure to this mesmerising piece of unusual entertainment, but this is definitely a case of "better late than never", and given that most of the people who would have played this will have bought an import copy by now, it's only marginally better.