That Was The News 2007
Part 2: July to December.
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.
The new World of Warcraft expansion was unveiled at BlizzCon, even though everyone knew about it already. id Software also held a Con, where Tom had a lovely time.
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.
Rally driver Colin McRae, known to millions of gamers as the face of the driving series he helped create, died in a helicopter crash. Publisher Codemasters sent condolences.
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.
Also at TGS, Sony revealed it had snapped up Motorstorm developer Evolution Studios. And Konami announced Active Life: Athletic World, a rival to Wii Fit.
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.