Did you enjoy part 1 of our look back at the year's news headlines? Well, we've done part 2 anyway. Read on for a reminder of all the biggest stories from July to December, and a rehash of all the jokes we used when they first broke. Merry Christmas!
Microsoft kicked off this year's E3 with a raft of announcements, or rather a raft of confirmations of leaked Intellisponse data. The only thing missing was Bungie's big reveal, after Microsoft cancelled the unveiling at the last minute.
Don Mattrick said this was because the conference was already packed with captivating stuff, like the first showing of You're In the Movies. It certainly turned out to be the most embarassing E3 executive performance since Jack Tretton and Kaz Hirai chilled here on the deck. Mattrick later claimed Bungie had simply laughed off the cancellation, but this turned out to be an error.
Sony's conference included the unveiling of MAG, a new shooter for up to 256 players, the PS3 video store and the promise that Home was on the way. Again.
In non-E3-related news, the big merger between Activision and Vivendi was approved by the men in suits, and properties such as Ghostbusters and Leisure Suit Larry went on eBay.
Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher blamed games for rising knife crime, observing, "In my day, status was trying to be somebody, do you know what I mean?" Like John Lennon, for example.
Eurogamer got in trouble for putting the word "porn" in a headline just for the sake of a few cheap hits. We do apologise. That's just as bad as peppering an article with words like breasts, girth, backdoor, watersports, lesbians and bukkake for the sake of a better Google page ranking.
The best headline of the month, and indeed the year, appeared on a story about Jun Takeuchi's response to accusations of racism in Resident Evil 5. A strong contender for headline of the decade in fact, though last year's winner will be tough to beat.
Once again, Sony was the only platform holder to bother holding a conference at the Leipzig Games Convention. Highlights included the unveiling of Heavy Rain, a new iteration of the PSP, a 160GB PS3 and SingStar Turkish Party.
Microsoft did have a stand at the show, but its only real announcement was that a new controller had been designed specially for use with PES. There was some excitement at this revelation but it's hardly SingStar Turkish Party, is it?
The Fable II Pub Games collection finally appeared on Xbox Live, and players quickly discovered a loophole which allowed them to rack up huge winnings. Unfortunately, despite extensive experimentation, the same loophole does not exist in the Deal or No Deal machine down our local Wetherspoons.
Over in wacky mainstream media land, it was the turn of Wii exclusive MadWorld to come under fire. "We need to ensure that modern and civilised values take priority rather than killing and maiming people," said a campaigner for Mediawatch-UK, whose prioritised to-do list presumably goes, '1. Holding doors open for ladies etc. 2. Killing. 3. Maiming people.'
Eidos hired a golf club receptionist from Croydon to be the new Lara Croft. "Lara has everything a man would want from a woman," said 23 year-old Alison Carroll, who is presumably too young to know about lesbian twin sisters.
Meanwhile, NCsoft said Tabula Rasa was safe, Free Radical invited players to choose platforms for TimeSplitters 4 and Peter Molyneux claimed the Fable II Pub Games glitch was intentional.
Having spent seven months trying to acquire Take-Two, EA announced it was no longer interested in trying to acquire Take-Two. Also in September, the publisher dismissed reports Mirror's Edge would be a timed PS3 exclusive. But we are getting exclusive DLC, honest, said Sony. Curiously, said DLC has yet to appear, and EA has yet to answer any of the 387 emails we've sent them about it.
The Financial Times calculated that each Nintendo employee makes the company USD 1.6 million in profit. But, you know, they probably get free games and stuff.
Nintendo kicked off the month by unveiling the DSi, a new iteration of the handheld featuring bigger screens, a camera and a smack in the face for import fans. Then Reggie went on record complaining Wii Music had been made to appear "too simple" at E3. So that's the reason for the slow sales, not the fact that it's too rubbish.
Sony began the month apologising for Sackboy toy shortages, but that turned out to be the least of its problems. A song in LittleBigPlanet was found to feature two expressions from the Qur'an, leading to complaints, controversy and a worldwide recall of the game. Former Sony exec Big Phil Harrison said this was "absolutely the right decision", with all the confidence of a man who's relieved this sort of thing isn't his problem any more.
In his keynote speech at the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft's John Schappert revealed an expansion was on the way for Halo 3, much to the delight of the three Xbox 360 owners in the audience. Meanwhile, LucasArts unveiled a new Knights of the Old Republic MMO, to the surprise of no one at all who had glanced at the internet in the preceding weeks.
Yet more Fable II drama this month as the Collector's Edition was scaled down. It looked like Peter Molyneux's ambitious nature had gotten the better of him once again, as the CE would no longer include the planned Hobbe figurine, collector's cards, decorative box and house-sized mural depicting every event that had ever happened to the purchaser in their entire life. In 3D.
Microsoft swaggered on about Gears of War 2 being kind of a big deal after 2 million copies were sold in the game's opening weekend. Blizzard laughed in its face just weeks later, having shifted 2.8 million copies of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King in 24 hours.
Meanwhile LittleBigPlanet failed to set the charts alight, tumbling to number 19 in its second week on sale. "This is an incredibly volatile time of year and the chart reflects that," said a spokesperson, probably while wishing he worked for Blizzard.
NCsoft appeared to be keeping the faith with troubled MMO Tabula Rasa, promising new camera modes even as the game started going for under a dollar on Amazon. Unfortunately, a first-person perspective wasn't enough to save the game, as it turned out.
There were a few hiccups as the New Xbox Experience launched, but nothing serious enough to ruin millions of people's unbridled joy at getting to design yet another avatar. Speaking of which, Don Mattrick claimed once again that he invented avatars, which is about as plausible as Guitar Hero and Rock Band not being in competition with each other.
(Incidentally, Mattrick first made the Avatars claim back in July, speaking to Eurogamer, but we're reluctant to moan about people not recognising our claim to something popular when it concerns moaning about people not recognising someone's claim to something popular, innit).
Meanwhile, the expansion pack formerly known as Halo 3: Recon was given the much catchier title of Halo 3: Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Rumours Microsoft is also changing the name of Xbox 360 to Xbox Games Machine Which Also Plays Music And Stuff are completely made up.
What a month for exciting videogames news it hasn't been. With all the big Christmas titles in the shops, everyone in the games industry has gone down the pub, forcing the likes of us to write news stories about Family Ski 2 and Gardening Mama.
A few interesting things have happened though. PlayStation Home launched, for example. It's all a bit late, according to Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg. But he would say that and besides, at least we didn't have to wait as long for Home to arrive as we do to play a game of pool in it.
You can always rely on the Daily Mail to stir up some videogames-related controversy. This time it's the turn of Scrabble DS to take the flack, specifically for teaching little kiddies swearwords. As everyone knows, that should be the job of the parents.
The financial crisis is taking its toll, with developers such as Free Radical feeling the pinch. If you're depressed about the state of the economy, why not cheer yourself up with Logitech's new Guitar Hero controller? At only GBP 150, it's the ideal Christmas pick-me-up for anyone who's planning on killing themselves before the Visa bill arrives anyway.
On a serious note, it seems the credit crunch could put a halt to the relaunch of the Gizmondo. "I was at one point thinking of abandoning the whole project, because I didn't see a way out of it," said visionary genius Carl Freer. NO, Carl, NO! With its inevitable raft of poor-quality Breakout clones and totally broken GPS "feature", Gizmondo is the only light that can hope to lead us out of these dark times. Happy New Year!