Here's part two of our 2007 news round-up. Read on to reminisce about all the fun of E3, Leipzig, the Halo 3 launch and more. Here's part one, by the way, if you missed it.
This year E3 took place in July for the first time ever. It was a much smaller affair than usual, but that didn't stop the hardware manufacturers holding their traditional conferences. Just as in previous years there were plenty of exciting surprises plus plenty of old tat no one cared about.
Microsoft went first. You can read the live text of the whole event if you're that bothered, but here's the 60 second version: Xbox 360 is winning the software war, everyone loves Xbox Live, lots of games you'll have played by the time you're reading this, Peter Moore cannot play Rock Band, American footballer cannot play Madden and mimes to pre-recorded footage, Disney films for all, Gears for PC shocker, Jade Raymond. And to round it all off: a new Halo 3-themed Xbox 360, i.e. a green one.
Nintendo was up next, and we were there live texting away again. In short: Nintendo is winning the hardware war, everyone loves Wi-Fi Connect, lots of games you've played by now, Mario Kart Wii for Q1 2008, say hello to the Wii Wheel, say hello to the Wii Zapper TEN POUNDS are you having a laugh, Satoru Iwata likes onions, lifestyle, women, old people. Departing flourish: Wii Fit.
And finally it was Sony's turn. Off we go then: Sony isn't winning anything just at the moment but won all the previous wars so it'll be fine, everyone will love PlayStation Home, lots of games you've played by now and a couple you were supposed to have played by now, new littler PSP, Chewbacca, Echochrome, Ncsoft exclusives, MGS4 trailer, Home beta "progressing exactly as planned for our fall rollout". Finishing move: Killzone 2.
Of course, plenty of other things happened during the month. The price of PS3 was cut in the US (or not, according to SCEE boss David Reeves), while us Euros got a new bundle pack. PS3 "will be far and away the winner" by March 2008, Reeves predicted. Quick sticks!
Also in July, Xbox boss Peter Moore announced Microsoft had set aside USD 1 billion for Xbox 360 repairs.
Also in July, Xbox boss Peter Moore announced his resignation. He now runs EA Sports and is saving up for laser tattoo removal.
As the dust settled on E3 and everyone's PSPs some more, Take-Two announced GTA IV wouldn't be out till next year after all. That's Jack Thompson's Christmas saved then.
Then everyone hopped on a plane to Leipzig (or a plane to Berlin, a bus, a train, and another bus, in some cases) for the Games Convention. Microsoft's big announcement was a price and date for Halo 3. Nintendo's executives were too busy frantically constructing Wii units to turn up, but Sony did a conference and we did some live text.
In brief: games are winning the war generally that's the whole point you see, 13 million PS3s sold in Europe no wait whoops sorry 1.3 million, everyone still loves PS2, new add-on will turn PS3s into TV recorders and freeview boxes, Buzz! PS3, new colours for PSP, sat-nav and video messaging for PSP, Sky deal, Sony-EA-FIFA threeway, ow ow my knees says Tom. Le fin: SCE Germany boss attempts to sing with famous German rock band. Fails.
In other news: police ruled out any link between videogames and the Virginia Tech shootings. The Dutch decided Holland's adult populace could probably be trusted to play Manhunt 2 without turning homicidal. We got to meet Tony Hawk. Richard quite liked the Xbox 360 Elite, Kristan went bananas for BioShock and Oli loved Legend of Zelda DS.
The Prime Minister promised to work with the games industry, amongst others, as part of a new review studying the issue of violence in the media. We're still waiting for our invite to 10 Downing Street but it probably won't be long now.
Over at the Tokyo Game Show, Kaz Hirai announced plans to do a PS3 controller with rumble after all. Not since WOW unveiled the Lich King had the gaming world been so shocked. Sony also confirmed a delay for PlayStation Home. How disappointing, said Microsoft, with its best sad smiley face on.
But Microsoft made the most headlines during September, even getting in the proper newspapers and everything, when Halo 3 launched. Things didn't go flawlessly - naughty Argos broke the street date, there was a bit of disc scratching nonsense, and hired help Pharrell Williams showed no interest in the game at all. None of this stopped Halo 3 breaking all manner of sales records, however. In the USA alone, the game racked up USD 170 million sales in 24 hours. Beat that, Bauer!
Not content with having offended disabled people in the first half of the year, Ubisoft was in trouble again after the word 'lesbo' was found in Scrabble DS. Rumours the next Assassin's Creed game will be subtitled No One Likes the Chinese are completely made up.
Activision launched a new strategy of buying all games companies with the letters B and Z in their names by purchasing PGR developer Bizarre Creations.
The big review of the month was for Halo 3, which is indeed Better Than Halo, according to Rob. FIFA '08 and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars got reviewed too, and Ellie was allowed to write about a game worth nine out of ten before being sent back up into the broom cupboard with the Wii.
And finally, Sony dismissed rumours it was about to introduce a new 40GB PlayStation 3 priced at GBP 299.
Sony announced it was about to introduce a new 40GB PlayStation 3 priced at GBP 299.
It won't have backwards compatibility, said Sony. WHAT, said everyone. No, wait, it's to make it cheaper and no one uses it anyway, said SCE UK boss Ray Maguire. And sorry but we've run out of free tellies.
At the videogame BAFTAs (like the proper BAFTAs, but instead of Sir Ian McKellen you get Max out of Hollyoaks) BioShock won best game while Wii Sports scooped six trophies. Will Wright won a lifetime achievement award and later gave a lovely speech about how games are the new books.
The Church of England wasn't happy to learn Resistance: Fall of Man was nominated for a BAFTA. But it didn't win anyway.
The Halo 3 juggernaut rolled on. It was declared as the second-fastest selling game in UK chart history, with one in three Xbox 360 owners snapping up a copy. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is still in first place, so doubtless we'll see a lot more dead prostitutes in Halo 4.
In self-indulgent Eurogamer-related news we launched Eurogamer.fr, a special videogames website made by French people, for French people. And we won three shiny perspex rectangles at the Games Media Awards. Actually "we" won two and Tom won the third one, for being the best person ever to do typing on the Internet. He's really precious about it actually and won't let anyone stub fags on it or Tippex his name out or carve ELLIE on the front.
It was a good month for great games, with The Orange Box, Project Gotham Racing 4 and Metroid Prime 3 all getting high scores from Tom and Kristan. Ellie got to interview Alan Hansen and Keith Chegwin.
Microsoft celebrated five years of Xbox Live by offering downloadable Xbox 1 titles and free gifts. Sadly these did not include towels.
Sierra/Vivendi announced the forthcoming arrival of a new Ghostbusters game starring the original cast members and everything. A Eurogamer staff member pledged to perform a sexual act on Bill Murray "out of respect" in exchange for an interview opportunity.
Warner Bros. Bought LEGO Star Wars developer TT Games. They promised LEGO Batman and LEGO Indiana Jones are still on the way, but refused to comment on rumours of LEGO Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer.
A right old furore kicked off after Gamespot's Jeff Gerstmann left the company. Did he fall or was he pushed? He was pushed, by most accounts, but was it by Eidos for saying nasty things about Kane and Lynch? By the way, you should click on that banner on the right, best game of the year.
October's big releases included Hellgate London, which turned out all right, as did Assassin's Creed. Even better were Call of Duty 4 and Crysis, not to mention Tabula Rasa. PlayStation 3 owners had reasons to be cheerful in the shape of Uncharted, the new Ratchet and Clank and SingStar PS3. And let's not forget Mass Effect and Guitar Hero III, either.
Highlights in Eurogamer's features section included the latest PS3 versus 360 face-off, live text interviews with Naughty Dog's Evan Wells and Sir Peter of Molyneux plus this thing about tits. And it's not even Christmas!
The month kicked off with the announcement that Activision, Vivendi and Blizzard are merging to form a giant supercompany specialising in games about skateboards, guitars, elves and bandicoots. But what will the new company be called, everyone wondered amusingly? Vivendivision? Actiblizzard? Or perhaps our favourite, which came from an insider at one of the aforementioned firms: Blactivision.
The Video Appeals Committee decided Manhunt 2 wasn't that bad after all and should be allowed to go on sale. What nonsense, said the BBFC, who called for a judicial review. Industry watchers have suggested the judge will give the game six out of ten.
Sony CEO Howard Stringer caused a row when he declared PS3 offers "infinitely more fun" than the Wii. It's certainly infinitely more available in shops.
Harmonix blamed Activision for blocking a patch that would allow Guitar Hero PS3 guitars to work with Rock Band. Activision blamed Harmonix right back, prompting rumours the two companies will appear on Jeremy Kyle to sort it all out.
In other news, the Wii can cure brain damage. Hopefully the kind you get from being forced to play endless mini-game collections on it.
This month's live text special starred Bungie's Jonty Barnes and Frank O'Connor. Kieron Gillen offered us a defence of BioShock and Tom said Rock Band rocks. The PS3 version of The Orange Box turned out all right, though it was a bit touch and go.
So that was 2007. Here's to 2008 and Mario Kart Wii, LittleBigPlanet, GTA IV, Spore, Wii Fit, Haze, Resident Evil 5, Ghostbusters...Maybe even Manhunt 2, who knows. Happy new year!