That Was The News 2007
Part 1: January to June.
What a year it's been in the world of videogame-related news. All the platform holders have enjoyed highs and lows. Microsoft had the Halo 3 launch, but also the ring of death fiasco. Nintendo sold billions of machines and games about maths, but can't make enough Wiis to go round. Sony won GDC, but... Hmm, just can't think of anything. In particular.
It's all been documented on the pages of Eurogamer. To wade through every headline from the last 12 months would be a lengthy and tedious task. We know this because we've just done it. But you don't have to!
Below you'll find highlights from the months of January to June. From Boris Johnson and the Burning Crusade to Halo 3 and headless goats, it's all here - so read on.
With Christmas over, the platform holders ceased kicking footballs across the trenches and got back to lobbing dog eggs. Microsoft boss (as he was then) Peter Moore took a pop at PS3, declaring, "I really don't know what we're missing." Sony's Kaz Hirai dismissed suggestions other consoles could match the power of PS3 as "simply not true". Nintendo poked its head above the parapet to announce 3.19 million Wii consoles were sold during 2006, thereby winning the argument.
You're all as bad as each other, said comedy MP Boris Johnson, and it's your fault kids can't read. "Just say no to Nintendo," he urged, like some kind of big fat blonde posh Zammo.
Sony had a funny old month. Again. First they went round telling everyone they'd won an Emmy for the Sixaxis motion controller, except they'd actually won one for Dual Shock 2. Then they showed off some pretty graphics to promote Gran Turismo HD Concept, except the graphics were actually from Project Gotham Racing 3. Then CEO Howard Stringer went on about how excited they were about the April launch of PlayStation 3, except it was actually launching in March. Bundled with rumble controller and PGR3.
Over at the Consumer Electronics Show in America, Bill Gates got all excited about videogames during his keynote speech. Robbie Bach joined him on stage to declare more than 300 games would be available for Xbox 360 by the end of 2007. We've just checked and he wasn't wrong.
Blizzard got busy during January with the launch of World of Warcraft expansion The Burning Crusade. Around 1500 people turned up for the London launch and 2.4 million copies were snapped up in the first 24 hours on sale. Top marks, said Eurogamer stalwart Rob Fahey.
Time for Sony to keep its head down and Microsoft to take a battering. BBC consumer show Watchdog launched an investigation into the mysterious "ring of death" plaguing Xbox 360 consoles across the land, inviting one of Eurogamer's own on to discuss the matter. PLEASE RESPECT MY FAMILY'S RIGHT TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE. Microsoft responded by declaring there was "no systemic issue" with Xbox 360 and refusing to cough up for extra towels.
Auburn-haired Electronic Arts boss Larry Probst left the company after years of service. He was replaced by silver fox John Riccitiello. Rumours EA will be getting a new boss each year who is pretty much like the last one but with better graphics emerged for the sake of a poor and obvious joke.
With unremarkable foresight Rockstar sensed it was all going to kick off over Manhunt 2 and tried to pre-empt controversy over the game's age rating. It'll get an 18, they said. No worries there then.
It was a bumper month for womens in games, what with Miyamoto banging on about his wife's Wii fetish and Bill Gates extolling the virtues of Viva Pinata. "That's for girls," he said, causing Tom to burst into tears, grab his handbag and run home to his stupid Ground Force puppets.
And finally, a US news reporter accused Nintendo of helping fiddlers on the hoof to contact children via PictoChat. Nonce sense.
As for actual games big releases were thin on the frosty ground during February, with the notable exception of Final Fantasy XII. Rob attended the UK launch, nearly losing an eye to one of the more extreme hairstyles in attendance. Test Drive Unlimited turned out all right, too.
This year's Game Developers Conference was all set to be bigger than ever, following the announcement this year's E3 2007 would be smaller than ever. Sony made the most headlines, with Phil Harrison unveiling PlayStation Home and LittleBigPlanet for the first time.
Shigeru Miyamoto's GDC speech was less exciting, being as it was an hour-long discussion of his wife. Those who sat through the entire thing were rewarded with the information that Super Mario Galaxy would arrive before the end of the year. A text message would have done, frankly.
Having promised to stun the world of gaming with a big GDC announcement, Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux revealed Fable 2 will let you have a dog.
The other big news of the month was the European launch of PlayStation 3. The queue outside Virgin Megastore didn't quite extend around the block, or indeed past the World Cinema section, but SCE UK still managed to create a buzz by giving everyone massive tellies. Meanwhile, naughty Microsoft tried to rain on Sony's parade with some hilarious japes involving boats and stools.
Paddy Power's prediction that PS3 would sell out within 60 seconds of going on sale didn't quite come true. However, Sony did manage to shift 600,000 machines in five days.
March was also the month the company offered the first indication that a "smaller, lighter" version of the PSP was on the way, and Microsoft unveiled the Xbox 360 Elite. It would boast a bigger hard drive, black casing and quieter fan, they said, although if you ask us it still sounds like a wind turbine in a biscuit tin.