The SEGA Generation

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by EternalMadness1997, Mar 18, 2018.

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  1. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    May 4, 2009
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    Santa Marta,Magdalena,West Venezuela
    But that was not Sega but Sammy(modern Sega is just Sammy branding anyway) Atlus is up to grabs in 2013 them
     
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  2. THAHORSEMEN Well-Known Member

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    Sep 2, 2018
    Ahh my bad thanks for correcting me
     
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  3. Narissa Confused

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    "Atlus Co., Ltd. (株式会社アトラス Kabushiki gaisha Atorasu) is a Japanese video game developer, publisher and distribution company based in Tokyo, and a subsidiary of Sega."
    Not sure bout that one, chief.
     
  4. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Marta,Magdalena,West Venezuela
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  5. Narissa Confused

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Fair enough but to say that modern SEGA is just Sammy in SEGA's clothings is frankly wrong. You don't see the same people working on the gaming branch working on the gambling half, and vice versa. Sure, there's been a pretty big quality drop in modern SEGA, and Sammy is partially to blame, but SEGA still is decently independent.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: 2004 Part I - "I Need a Hero"

    EternalMadness1997 Oh Lawdy Lawdy Lawd

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    Aug 17, 2016
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    United States of America
    In light of how bad the previous hiatus is and how much content I have to put into 2004, as it turns out, I'm dividing 2004 into two parts. Also, I almost ran into another file not opening glitch but thankfully uploading the file to google drive and then google docs has saved the time line from having to redo the entire year again. Had to redo part of it, though. Better than all of it. Do I know why OpenOffice suddenly decided to not cooperate with me? No. Anyway, Part I covers the first major game of the year and goes up to the 2004 Olympics. Part II will, well, be the rest of the year unless I decide there's a need for more than two parts.

    ALSO: Going to go back and change some stuff around, add some noteworthy games I missed, among other things. Look out for these edits.




    SONIC CUSTOM BATTLE GP

    January, 2004


    Make your own vehicle.


    Battle your way to the finish line.


    Make sure you're the first one to cross.


    - Excerpt from the back cover of Sonic Custom Battle GP, a Neptune exclusive. In America & Europe, it was released as “Sonic Custom Racing”




    POKEMON: STATE OF THE SERIES

    January, 2004


    Pokemon, Pocket Monsters, perhaps the most famous portable game series that there has ever been. A Nintendo behemoth that actually rivals if not surpasses Super Mario Bros. - it's own fellow Nintendo series. Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably already know very well what Pokemon is. And if you don't, then get out from under that rock!


    Pokemon is basically a game where you play as a boy or girl and travel through a “region”, battling, catching, breeding and training Pokemon along the way – and of course defeating all the gym leaders. For some of the 3D games though, you have to connect your console to the portable game to transfer your Pokemon over into the world of 3D gaming – depending on the Pokemon game in question, some of their console outings can actually be rather different!


    This however, is a lookback on the history of the series and the current state of it.


    Pokemon began in 1996, with the Japanese releases of Red & Green – though there was also a Japanese only 'Blue' release. This was the 'First Generation' of Pokemon, and introduced all of the classic faces we know and love – Pikachu, Charizard, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Mew, Mewtwo, you know the ones. However, people didn't know them back then – in fact it actually took a little while (but not too much of a while) for Pokemon to catch on in Japan. By the time it did though, the anime was already on it's way and Pokemon Pikachu Yellow was to be released by 1998. Once the games and the anime were introduced to the western world, the absolute hysteria over it began.


    The first movie, Pokemon: The First Movie, was released in 1998 yet Sonic still takes all the credit for best video game movie ever. Critics are such snobs.


    The Sega Game Gear was completely obliterated in the wake of Pokemon, that's how successful it was.

    Then came Generation II in 1999, with the release of Gold, Silver and Crystal. Even more Pokemon, and also the first games to be in colour, thanks to being released for the Game Boy Color. Generation II also introduced the Johto region.


    By this point, some N64 outings such as the Pokemon Stadium games, Pokemon Snap and Hey You, Pikachu! were released – and of course were well received by target audiences. Honestly it almost seemed like Pikachu was going to become Nintendo's new mascot over Mario. But of course, that would just be wishful thinking. In a world where 3DO was still around and Sega was ruling the home, Pokemon was pretty much what Nintendo needed to keep itself alive.


    Generation III, introducing the Hoenn region, began in 2002 with the release of Ruby & Sapphire, with Emerald to be released this year. At least in Japan, Emerald will come to the west next year. Of course, this is the first Game Boy Advance generation of Pokemon – and the current generation as well. We're also getting remakes of the original games in the form of Fire Red & Leaf Green which just got released this year, though it doesn't look like we will be getting a remake of Blue or Yellow. With the anime and movies related to it still going strong and updating their own storyline with the latest Pokemon (though making sure Pikachu is still a main-stay), ti's safe to say that while the hysteria for Pokemon has died down since the 90's, the franchise as a whole is still just as strong & healthy. And will likely remain so for years to come.


    As the anime says, Gotta Catch 'em All!


    - Blog Post, 2004



    SLIDE SHOW: VAPORWARE AWARDS: NUKE 'EM IF YA GOT 'EM


    Team Fortress 2: Brotherhood of Arms took the 4th-place Vaporware Award because it has spent 5.5 years in development.


    Duke Nukem Forever has been in the works so long that advance screenshots have been replaced on 3D Realms' website with the following statement: "The screenshots and videos that were here have been removed as they no longer represent the game's current look and feel. We will put more up at a later date."


    - Wired, January 2004. 2003 Vaporware Awards.



    METROID: ZERO MISSION

    February, 2004


    The full story of Samus Aran's first mission unfolds....

    The first Metroid game just scratched the surface of the cataclysmic events on planet Zebes, and at long last the rest of the tale has come to light. Experience the first of Samus' adventures through the all-new cutscenes and action sequences as the bounty hunter races through the deeps towards her showdown with the leader of space pirates. But will the end of mother brain really be the end of the story.....?


    - Back cover for Metroid: Zero Mission, a Game Boy Advance exclusive and, as implied, an extension/sequel/interquel for the original Metroid title


    EGYPT: KINGDOM OF THE SUN

    February, 2004


    The Romans have held Egypt under their rule since the founding of the empire, yet now as the empire is locked in war with Persia, history may very well begin turning quite differently. Only you, as the latest member of the powerful Apion family, are capable of taking charge and seeing Egypt throw off her Roman chackles once for all, and perhaps from there rise against even Persia, or whatever other threat may be on it's way....


    - Back cover for Egypt: Kingdom of the Sun, a Nokia Neo exclusive, developed by Nokia themselves.






    SONIC HEROES

    February, 2004


    JOIN THE TEAM!


    Sonic has returned with his long-time pals Knuckles and Tails to defeat the evil Dr. Eggman. Through teamwork, this powerful group of heroes, along with three other newly formed super teams, must dash past, soar over and bash through the villainous Eggman's forces. In the fight for world domination, which team will you join?


    - Back cover for Sonic Heroes, a Sonic Team developed Neptune exclusive.





    CHAO WORLD ONLINE

    February, 2004


    The most adorable thing since puppies & kittens!


    This is your key to an entire world....an entire Chao World, to be exact. Not only will you be able to play as some of your favorite Sega characters, but you will be able to raise, breed, exchange, race, dress up, karate battle and even make sweet music with your Chao. Obtain your rings from a series of mini-games, and use these rings to purchase more eggs and items for your Chao! Maintain more Chao and more Gardens than ever before, and last but not least connect online to exchange Chao, Chao items and even venture into the virtual world of Chao 3D Adventure! What you are waiting for? Put this game in and get to work on that garden!


    - Back cover for Chao World Online, both a stand-alone Neptune title and a disc used to connect to what is essentially an MMOG





    METAL GEAR SOLID: THE TWIN SNAKES

    March, 2004


    Classic Metal. New Gear!


    Two of the greatest games of all time, Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, are fused together to form the Nintendo Game Cube classic Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. As Solid Snake, your mission is to rescue hostages from an Alaskan military installation and prevent a terrorist group from launching a nuclear strike. For the first time ever, experience Metal Gear Solid in the way it was always meant to be played.



      • Back cover for Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, a combination/expansion of the original 'MGS' titles, released exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube.



    E3 2004 – ELECTRONICS ENTERTAINMENT EXPO WIKI GUIDE


    E3 2004 should have been the battle of the handheld systems, but one handheld system was not even there. Having initiated the next generation in handheld game systems, Sony was not ready to place its Pluto in the hands of players. Sony's Kaz Hirai demonstrated a working Pluto from the stage in his press conference; but the units people saw on the floor were attached to a stand and not playing games. The whole thing had the feel of a technology demo. Despite not even being at the show though, the Pluto won the top E3 award for 2004.


    Meanwhile, Nintendo came armed with it's newly unveiled DS – a portable that featured a touch sensitive screen, WiFi communications, and a stylus. Of course the feature that raised the most questions was the DS's dual screens. Behind the scenes, Shigeru Miyamoto worked very hard to attach himself to the new hardware. It was well known that Miyamoto never worked on Virtual Boy game, since for good reason Nintendo saved his limited time for the N64. This time, Nintendo executives wanted people to know that Miyamoto was involved in creating DS games.


    Half-Life 2 and DOOM 3 still had not been released by E3 2004, and while the games were of great interest, they were not widely talked about on the show floor. Halo 2 by this point, and with that Panasonic had to show this time around, garnered much more of the interest. For that matter so did Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. However, the only problem for San Andreas was that Rockstar did not bring it to the show.


    Atari inc, though far removed from the company that was the one who created the long forgotten Jaguar, also made an appearance along with accompanying developers for whom they would be publishing games for. Pipeworks was showcasing Godzilla: Save the Earth, a promising sequel to their original Godzilla fighting title, Destroy All Monsters Melee. Reflections was showing off Driver 3 (stylized DRIV3R), the third installment in the then-heavily popular Driver series, which was basically the GTA of it's day. No one back then could have possibly guessed how things were going to ultimately end up.


    The company with many names, Vivendi, also known as Black Label at the time, also showcased a video game based upon the film Kill Bill, seeing as how Kill Bill Vol.2 had just came out the previous month. It was a licensed game, of course, but it looked improved since the last time the demo had been shown off. No release date beyond 2004 was given.


    In the first E3s, Electronic Arts was a big company that did not receive its share of attention. Over the last few years, that trend had changed. By E3 2004, EA was a major shaker. EA had Muhammad Ali in it's booth. It also had the one PC game destined to outsell 'em all – The Sims 2. Bouncing back from the much-hyped launch of The Sims Online, all-things-Sims creator Will Wright launched a new 3D Sims that was 3D, graphically sensational, and brilliantly witty.


    Beyond the Pluto, Sony had plenty of games showcased throughout the show. For their mascot, Sonic, there wasn't really much beyond the games Hirai had shown off for the Pluto. Other Sega related showings for the show included a sequel to Samba De Amigo, Sega Superstars which was to utilize the new EyeToy camera attachment for the Neptune, Gran Turismo 4, Skies of Arcadia 2, the third Ratchet & Clank game (Up Your Arsenal), and even the third Jak game (Jak III). Of all of their games being shown off though, the one that got the most attention during the show was their newest IP – God of War. Ultra-violent and ultra-impressive, it was an adventure game set in ancient Greece. Much like HL2 and Doom 3, Gran Turismo 4 had yet to be released despite having been shown at the previous E3.


    Nokia's show was not as terrible as it was in 2003, though they still did not have much of note to show. They had Sly 2: Band of Thieves and Battlefield Vietnam, though one thing that did interest audiences was what appeared to be a Scandinavian-set noir style game that was overall unique from everything the competition was showcasing. Nokia also talked about their upcoming cell phone/smartphone lines, and how they were again attempting to merge gaming with cell phones. Or something like that. As a whole, Nokia had another rather boring conference.


    The Neo was largely saved because Halo 2, a game that set the world on it's ear, was apparently only capable of working properly on the Neo, meaning Panasonic was making it exclusive to that system.


    For its part, Nintendo divided up it's Zelda franchise, unveiling a new, more adult-oriented Legend of Zelda game with an older Link. The demo was short, but it got the audience buzzing.


    Overall though, E3 2004 was mostly a snooze fest. Everybody knew that Nokia, Sony and Nintendo were going to be bringing out their next pieces of hardware for 2005.

    - IGN, 2012



    SHREK 2

    May, 2004


    Sequel surpasses original in creativity, laughs


    (CNN) – “Shrek 2” is a Hollywood rarity: a sequel every bit as good – if not better – than the original.


    The whole gang is back and then some. Mike Myers returns as the voice of the lovable ogre Shrek; Cameron Diaz is once again Princess Fiona, now happily married to the ogre of her life; and Eddie Murphy is still spouting one-liners, providing marvelous comic relief as Donkey.


    Fiona and her man are settling down into domestic bliss when her parents, the King (John Cleese) and Queen (Julie Andrews) of te Kingdom of Far Far Away command them to attend a royal ball. Now, they're the ones who sent Fiona in exile in the first place, due to her annoying habit of turning into an ogre when the sun sets.


    The parents' plan was for Prince Charming (Rupert Everett) to rescue her, thereby breaking the curse and making her beautiful 24/7. It didn't work, because Shrek rescued her first, but the King and Queen haven't learned that yet – nor do they know that the couple is married. (As always, the parents are the last to know).


    So, when Fiona shows up with Shrek (and Donkey in tow), the parents are royally, well, let's just say they're less than thrilled.

    Welcoming a clever cat and a fairy godmother

    In addition to the royal couple and Prince Charming -- whose charm is questionable -- there are some other wonderful characters added to the mix.

    Antonio Banderas is hilarious as Puss-In-Boots, a feline assassin who is sent to kill Shrek, but instead becomes his staunch ally. Donkey, however, is not happy with his new sidekick competition.

    At one point, he turns to Puss with the withering comment, "I'm sorry, but the position of annoying talking animal has already been taken."

    Jennifer Saunders of "Absolutely Fabulous" fame plays the Fairy Godmother, who is secretly the mother of Prince Charming. Notice there is no "good" proceeding "Fairy" in her name. This fairy godmother is rotten to the core, and determined to replace Shrek with her toothy smiling son, no matter what the cost.

    - CNN, 2004 Excerpt


    “All in all, "Shrek 2" is downright wonderful. It's the best comedy of the year so far. “ - CNN, 2004 excerpt.




    SAMBA DE AMIGO 2: EL GRANDE SIESTA!

    May, 2004


    UNO! DOS! TRES! SIESTA!


    Amigo is back – and he's here to Samba!


    Enjoy an even larger library of latino songs from across the latin world in this rich, cultural experience to utilize the peak of Neptune technology! Have your maracas at the ready, and get ready to shake it!


    - Back cover blurb for Samba De Amigo 2, released in Japan as Samba De Amigo 2004 ver.




    SAMMY PURCHASES NAMCO, FORMS NAMCO SAMMY HOLDINGS

    May, 2004


    It appears that the gaming world has been shaken by yet another buy-out, only a few years after the shocking surprise of the Sony-Sega purchase back at the beginning of the decade. Go figure, it also involves an iconic gaming company being purchased and incorporated into another. In this specific instance, it is the Pachinko machine company Sammy purchasing the gaming company Namco, with them having formed Namco Sammy Holdings afterwards.


    There are not many details released regarding the political issues leading up to the buy-out, though it is believed that the originating reason is the fact that both Japanese corporations had been suffering financial losses for a time – Namco reporting less-than-stellar finances for the past few years in fact.

    Sammy is well known in Japan as a developer and retailer of pachinko and pachislot systems, distributing their machines primarily in South Korea & Japan. They are not known much in the west however, where arcades and their associated machines have been in a decline as the 21st Century has begun.


    Namco is much more well known than Sammy, on the other hand. They are the corporation responsible for titles such as Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug, historical video games cherished throughout the world. In more recent times, they are known as the creators of Klonoa, Tales of Symphonia, Tekken and Soul Calibur. A third party developer when it came to home consoles, they released titles for the competing home consoles rather than releasing their own – whether or not they ever planned such a thing (such as fellow arcade competitors Sega – now Sony and SNK – now Nokia) is unknown.


    Sammy had completed their purchase of Namco a few weeks ago – the purchase having created a new holding company in the form of Namco Sammy Holdings to serve as a parent company for both now effectively merged corporations.





      • Excerpt, Electronic Gaming Monthly, 2004


    SONY PARKS & EXPERIENCES: THE LATEST DIVISION OF SONY

    May, 2004


    With the grand opening of “Sega World Greece” coming next month, a press release has been issued by the previously 'top secret' new division of Sony, Sony Parks & Experiences – which they have crafted in order to oversee & manage the actual running of their upcoming amusement parks – and possibly the existing park-arcades as well.


    From Tokyo, Sony Parks & Experiences is itself managed by a man named Isei Senri, who was the one addressing the public in the official Press Release regarding Sony's incoming projects during a press release in which he revealed previously unheard of details about the upcoming park in Greece, such as the rides and attractions that will be available on opening day in addition to clarifying information regarding it's location – and even information regarding locations besides the initial one to be in Greece.


    “The location in Greece, to be named Sonypolis, will be our first location to open and will be, to date, our largest [Sega World] project. In addition the primary theme park area, there will be a resort area along the coast [of Athens] for those both abroad and local to stay. Should the location in Greece prove successful, which we are expecting for it to be, we will open further locations in the future. More locations in Asia are of particular interest to us in particular, such as South Korea, Japan, China or even Taiwan, though we will have to wait for the future before any serious decision is made. We also hope to expand our presence in Europe and Brazil, places where our brands have always remained strong.”


    When asked about Australia and the United States:


    “The United States is a given, of course we will be present there. However, we are not renovating the original Sega of America Headquarters into a Sega World location, that was a miscommunication. Sony is simply establishing more studios and offices in the building. I do not know if these are for films or for games, most likely the latter, or perhaps even both to an extent, but that is all I know that they are doing with the building. The property is not large enough for a full scale theme park.”


    Senri has been working in the arcade and theme park business since the beginning of his work history – at age 16 he was working at an arcade in Osaka during the 1980's, his first ever game being Space Invaders. Nowadays, having just turned 40, he has found himself being chosen by Sony to oversee their newly created theme park division, which itself oversees Joypolis, the upcoming Sonypolis, and any other location that they decide to think up. He even jokingly added that:


    “We will likely refer to these new locations as 'Mega Joypolis' in Asia, since Joypolis is already well known and successful there. I should know, I worked there [in Tokyo] before.”


    He did not offer any insightful comments about Sega World Sydney, which has been closed down for renovations since 2002, having been advertised as having it's sown 'face lift' into one of these 'mega locations' in order to boost it's attendance.”


    - Los Angeles Times




    SONYPOLIS GREECE: SONY OPENS LONG AWAITED THEME PARK

    June, 2004


    Greece. One of the oldest countries of the world. A foundation of western civilization. The home of Zeus, Hades, Hercules and the rest of the Gods of old. Now, however, it is the proud home of an all new amusement park – Sonypolis, the newest location and total overhaul of the Sega World brand of parks.


    Situated in Athens and now dominating the city's skyline, it's The Sony Zone resort & amusement park – the long waited 'Mega' version of Sega World Sydney, upgrading the brand from an indoor arcade with a few rides into what is essentially Sony's answer to Universal Studios & Walt Disney World. The original Sega World for Europe, Sega World London, closed down in the late 1990's, but Sony Zone Greece more than makes up for the loss as it completely dwarfs all previous Sega World locations – even the ever impressive Joypolis in Japan.


    With it's neon lights and larger-than-life attractions, the theme park now rules over the Athens skyline, especially during the night. Some people expect it to become a treasured landmark in the future just due to the life it adds to the city, and it's expected to also have plenty of attendence with the Olympics approaching in the coming months – which is likely why Greece was chosen in the first place.


    Upon your walk beyond the large parking lot and the entrance gates, you will first be greeted with a beautiful courtyard with a giant Sonic statue as the center piece of a large fountain, welcoming you to the park. The presence, size and presence of this statue is very reminiscent of Casinopolis from Sonic Adventure – and many other references to their games decorate the rest of the park.


    The biggest attraction is of course the large Sonic-themed roller coaster, the crown jewel of the park which will send you soaring through the skies of Greece at Sonic speeds. There's also the NiGHTS into Dreams roller coaster as well, which is an enclosed track, though is like taking a trip into the land of dreams with the scenery that Sony placed into it.


    There's also other rides, such as to experience a rotating swing that sends you in a spiral upwards, styled after Carnival Night and Flying Battery from Sonic 3 & Knuckles – the two of these towers stand out when you gaze at the park from the distance. There's also the use of Ecco the Dolphin and other aquatic Sega-Sony characters at an entire section of the park that basically turns things into a water park – water slides, an expansive series of pools & springs, and even a water coaster through Byzantine ruins & aqueducts.


    There's also a nature walk through what is very likely inspired by the Mystic Ruins of Sonic Adventure, complete with “real” ancient ruins. No animal you may encounter on this trip is explicitly dangerous though.


    Back at the main 'polis' of the park though, there's also the Sony Theater, where the park puts on display the vast assortment of movies which Sony owns the rights too. Or at least the G, PG and PG-13 ones. Stuff like Men in Black, Sonic the Hedgehog, stuff like that. In addition to a cinema, they also have a stage where you can watch a live show of Space Channel 5. There's also a haunted house attraction, based unsurprisingly off of House of the Dead.


    Beware the Crazy Taxi ride though – that one will drive you absolutely mad!


    Another piece of the park is the very Japanese, tech-aesthetic streets that only breaks away at specific, previously mentioned attractions. Actual plants, such as Cherry Blossoms, were imported from Japan just to add to the beauty of the walking areas and overall aesthetic of the place, which brings to mind memories of Shenmue and Shinobi, with the shops and the flashy lights bringing to mind modern Tokyo.


    There many kiosks for authentic European and Japanese snacks (and chili dogs), in addition to games for winning unique Sega/Sony prizes that you probably won't find anywhere else. You can also purchase things at one of the multiple gift shops though – many of them being exclusive merch! And yes, Sony electronics and video games are for sale too. All of them are placed and designed though you are actually walking through the market place of an actual city. There's also small scale diners where you can eat like you're in Japan, and even Latin America in honour of Amigo!


    At the center of the park though, is the place where those who come from abroad get to stay – the Hotel + Arcade. Of course, you have to book your stay first. The resort is styled from Casinopolis from Sonic Adventure, right down to the music playing. Rich, red carpets, flashy lights, the only thing really missing is actual gambling. In addition to the room for guests, there's also a rather exquisite dining hall and of course the indoor arcade which features a plethora of arcade games both new and old, even some previously Japan only Pachislot and Pachinko machines. You can even play Lazer Tag!


    With the 2004 Summer Olympics coming to Athens in a few months, attendance and reservations for the park are expected to be rather high. Even right now, many attendees from Greece are already enjoying finally being able to enjoy the summer.


    - New York Times





    THE DRIV3R SCANDAL – RETROSPECTIVE


    The Driver series.


    Modern gamers may not remember it, but back in the days of the Saturn and the Neptune, the Driver series was the 'GTA' of it's day in terms of it's popularity at the time. Created by Reflections interactive, it was considered an 'action driving' video game – usually featuring multiple city locations and your ability to roam around in them, with more of an emphasis on driving than in the game series that it had a problem of being compared to.


    This popularity could've remained the status quo too, had it not been for one infamous scandal involving the third installment in the series – Driver 3, and what would come to be known for years to come as 'Driv3rgate'. In the days before modern social media, it's rather difficult to find information about the scandal, but thanks to the work of archivers that had been around at the time we were able to stitch the story back together so that it can be around for as long as humans – or at least the internet – may be around.


    The Drivergate scandal started when top rated independent Neptune and Neo magazines gave the third Driver title near perfect review scores, despite the game being very clearly a highly rushed out release. These scores had quite clearly been the result of bribes on part of the developers & publisher, and of course corruption in gaming journalism. However, it did not stop the fact that once the game was actually being played, review scores from respectable journalists and the gamers themselves came in.

    Taking for forums and asking the companies themselves about the issue, gamers found themselves being censored. Which only infuriated them more, of course. The situation was far worse than 'copyright strikes' of today, reaching a boiling point when hired 'guerillas' actually went into the forum to basically crusade against gamers protesting the injustice they were facing. No really, Atari/Reflective actually did that.


    They really couldn't just admit they goofed up and rushed the game, or bribed journalists. They really couldn't just apologize. They had to try and censor the fact they did anything wrong.


    Now of course, that's still all just scratching the surface of what happened. We recommend watching Larry Bundy's video about the scandal if you wish to know the complete story beyond the briefing which we've given you here.


    [URL link to the aforementioned video]

    - Online Blog, 2018


    SONY'S SPIDER-MAN 2

    June, 2004


    Back in 2002, Sony Pictures' Spider-Man was released to theathers as a resounding box office success – making over 800 million dollars compeared to a 139 million dollar budget. This past weekend, Sony followed that film up with Spider-Man 2, complete with Tobey Maquire returning in the titular role, and it so far has been just as much of a massive success – and it has an even more massive (200 million) budget.


    Spider-Man 2 is a continuation of the craze that started with the original film 2 years ago – it's as much of a critifical and fan success as it is a financial success so far, and there is little doubt that we are likely to see a third film in the very near future.


    Starring Tobey Maquire back in the role of Peter Parker/Spiderman, the friendly neighborhood hero is struggling manage his personal life and heroic duties. Meanwhile, Alfred Molina appears as Otto Octavius, who becomes Dr. Octopus, serving as the villain for this film (since the good ol' Goblin already had his time). With his experiments threatening to destroy the city, Spidey has to not only put a stop to him, but he also has a put a stop to a growing desire he's having to actually stop being Spider-Man.


    Most of the cast from the previous film returns: Kirsten Dunst returns as Mary Jane Watson, Rosemary Harris as Aunt May, and J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson.


    Other actors in this movie include Donna Murphy as Dr. Octavious' wife, and James Franco as Harry Osborn – the son of the Green Goblin. Stan Lee also, as to be expected, has a relatively small appearance in the film. Sam Raimi is also back in the seat of directing it, as he was for the first film.


    The film was produced by Marvel Enterprises, with assistance from Columbia Pictures and Laura Ziskin Productions. It is being internationally distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.

    - CNN



    GAME BOY ADVANCE GAMES – WHAT'S WORTH IT AND WHAT'S NOT

    July, 2004


    The Game Boy has been the king of handheld gaming since it's release in the late 1980's, and this goes for the brand as a whole, not just the original. The original Game Boy, the Game Boy Pocket, the Game Boy Color, the Game Boy Advance, and just last year the Game Boy Advance SP. Even next year yet another entry in the series of handheld systems will be introduced to the world.


    Currently however, we are focusing on the Advance and it's alternative model, the SP (there is no differences in what games you can play for either). Though true that gaming media has not spent much time talking about the handheld side of things, it's really because there simply hasn't been much to talk about before aside from the Game Boy ruling the roost and competitors being shot down about as quickly as they arrived. It's rather difficult for anything to compete with Pokemon, after all.


    So, which games for the GBA this year are most worth your time and money? Here's a quick rundown of them, with some words on games to come out in the coming months!


    To start things off, Pokemon LeafGreen, FireRed, and the upcoming Emerald. These should be a no-brainer, if you own a Nintendo handheld you absolutely should own Pokemon. Or at least your kids should. Come on, it's Pokemon.


    Similarily, we're also looking forward to The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, which is coming from Nintendo this November. Not only is it a Zelda game, but a game that brings attention to Link'scap of all things such just seems straight up interesting! Plus the Wind Waker-esque art style really fits the portable world of the GBA.


    For Mario, we have/will have a fine selection. Mario Golf: Advance Tour, Mario vs Donkey Kong, WarioWare: Twisted! And Mario Pinball are all on the table for this year in the name of the world famous red plumber.


    Nintendo has also given us Metroid: Zero Mission, a must have for anyone that likes Samus Aran and her adventures through space.


    Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is also a must have, as the latest Kirby game released this past April.


    Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories also takes the Disney-FF-Crossover RPG game series that has made a strong name for itself on the Sony systems into the world of Nintendo for the first time! Again, if you know the hit series, get it!


    Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls also gives the Final Fantasy series itself an appearance on the system.


    Other games worth at least looking into include Digimon Racing, Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure, Mega Man Battle Network 5, Grand Theft Auto Advance, Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django, Cartoon Network: Block Party, Hamtaro: Ham-Ham Games, Shaman King: Master of Spirits, Around the World in 80 Days, Racing Gears Advanced and Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament.


    Unfortunately, most of the other GBA titles coming out this year are ports of games available on other systems – such as games based on movies. There is also a Kim Possible game coming out this year, for those interested in that show.


    - Nintendo Power, 2004



    CATWOMAN (2004)

    July, 2004


    "Catwoman" is a movie about Halle Berry's beauty, sex appeal, figure, eyes, lips and costume design. It gets those right. Everything else is secondary, except for the plot, which is tertiary. What a letdown. The filmmakers have given great thought to photographing Berry, who looks fabulous, and little thought to providing her with a strong character, story, supporting characters or action sequences. In a summer when "Spider-Man 2" represents the state of the art, "Catwoman" is tired and dated.

    Although the movie's faults are many, the crucial one is that we never get any sense of what it feels like to turn into a catwoman. The strength of "Spider-Man 2" is in the ambivalence that Peter Parker has about being part nerdy student, part superhero. In "Catwoman," where are the scenes where a woman comes to grip with the fact that her entire nature and even her species seems to have changed?


    - Roger Ebert, 2004. Taken from Ebert's film reviewing website. The film also had it's share of video game adaptations surrounding it's release.



    PUYO POP FEVER

    July, 2004


    Get a taste of this addictive, endless fun!


    Sonic Team revamps Sega's signature brain teaser with wacky new puzzle pieces and a combo-crazy Fever Mode!


    Endless Fun – The fun never stops with the availability of multiple modes.


    Multiplayer – Obliterate your opponent by linking explosive combinations.


    Strategy – Completing combinations requires high-speed tactical strategy.


    Let the Addiction set in – Fever Mode will keep you glued to your gamepad for weeks.





      • Back cover for Puyo Pop Fever, released as a Neptune exclusive courtesy of Sonic Team as a new installment in the Puyo Puyo franchise. Puyo Pop Fever had previously been relased in arcades during 2003.


    SUDEKI

    July, 2004


    RECLAIM A UNIVERSE SHATTERED BY DARKNESS AND DECEIT


    Sudeki, one world ripped apart, where shadow battles light, and evil stalks both realms. Four heroes must heal the rift and unite their lands; A sultry wizardress, a powerful swordsman, a soaring gunslinger, and a dark huntress. Together they battle for the soul of two lands, where deception wears many masks.


    Control any of the four distinctive champions at any time.


    Evolve new powers & abilities while facing over 65 unique enemies.


    Customize each character's weapons, armor, spells and more.


    Unleash furious attacks & awesome magic in fast-paced real-time combat.





      • Back cover blurb for Sudeki, released in 2004 as a Nokia Neo exclusive.


    I LOVE BEES & THE HALO 2 HYPE TRAIN – A RETROSPECTIVE BLOG POST

    July, 2014


    Gamers of today may not remember the Halo 2 hype train from way back in 2004, but those who do remember quite a crazy time for the world of gaming.


    Halo 2, destined to be the sequel to Halo: Combat Evolved, was the second installment in what was and is the most well known of Panasonic Interactive Entertainment (PIE, formerly known as 3DO) franchises. At the time, Halo 2 looked like it gave quite a delicious amount of flavor to PIE. Pun completely intended.

    Now, crazy marketing schemes and gaming go practically hand in hand. Masturbation and hairy palms, and even blindness, were used to market the Game Gear. The Atari Jaguar's ads would always demand you to 'Do the Math'. The 3DO called the competition 'Baby Toys', and the successor (M2) actually flushed it's competition down the toilet, in addition to other rather controversial ads. Star Fox 64's marketing involved a rather bizarre ad involving 3DO and Sega torturing Mario. In fact, just last year NFL 2K4 was the subject of a rather psychotic marketing campaign courtesy of Sony, in which a website was created by a 'man' claiming to be a beta tester for ESPN NFL Football on the Sony Neptune. Beta-7, as he was called, began to have episodes after the testing where he would randomly black out, friends who witnesses these episodes said that when he did, he'd jump to his feet, get into a three-point stance and act like a football player – even violently crashing into walls and/or furniture. He even set up video cameras in his home to record one of these episodes for evidence. Essentially, he pinned Sony as responsible for causing his ailments, and though he claimed otherwise it most certainly was a marketing campaign.


    Now, let us return to Panasonic Interactive Entertainment. Being that they are 3DO, the fact they have some peculiar marketing scheme is not news at all. However, of all the marketing campaigns employed for the hype train surrounding Halo 2 , one that sticks out to this very day in the minds and memories of gamers is the 'ARG' titled 'I Love Bees'. The reason we went into detail about the ESPN one was because of this one – the two are similar in that they both play into your sense of reality, and attempt to make you – the potential gamer – think the events are actually happening in our strange universe. Hence the full name being “Alternate Reality Game”.


    According to I Love Bees, a simple Beekeeping website – which shares it's name with the ARG itself, fell victim to an AI crashing to earth and merging with it – causing the website to become severely glitched and corrupted.


    The game begins with the participating viewers to locate all of the payphones (or Axons, as referred by Dana) across the United States. Participants who answered the axons at each countdown would be given a recording of an AI and be asked basic questions about the character. If answered correctly, an audio clip would be released and a number would be added to the counter of the website. The audio clips, when threaded together, formed an audio drama about the characters in the Halo Universe. When the number reached 777, the AI, as played by a voice actor instead of a recording, would begin to interact with the players through the payphones. The AI would question the participants on general subjects such as name and jokes.


    After the game was over, the participants were given access to play Halo 2 multiplayer before its release at various sites across America. Access to these sites would be granted provided that the participants say "The Operator left a message for me," though not all hosts of these sites were aware of the marketing campaign. At each event, participants were given DVDs of the marketing campaign, containing all of the audio files, as well as deleted materials.




      • Online blog, 2014


    DOOM 3

    August, 2004

    DOOM 3 is a great game. Not necessarily for the gameplay aspects, but for the fact that my eyes and ears never went a moment without being completely entertained. DOOM 3 is extremely immersive with about as perfect a presentation as I've ever seen in a game. Visually, it has no peer at the moment. Even Far Cry's impressive vistas and wonderful environments can't stand up to the artistic and technical might of this sensory feast. Playing this on a 5.1 surround sound in the dark is an intense experience that, if possible, must be enjoyed.



    Without the atmosphere, DOOM 3 is a plain shooter that hearkens back to those of the '90s. Certainly, that's what id was trying to do, and they've done it. While I don't appreciate those types of shooters as much as I used to, it didn't really matter. I was drawn in and addicted almost completely from the moment that nameless marine arrived at Mars City to the moment the final credits began rolling.



      • IGN Review, Excerpt


    PIKMIN 2

    August, 2004

    The first Pikmin was a great game. It splashed in elements of real-time strategy titles, peppered everything with play mechanics seemingly inspired by classics like Lemmings, and topped it all off with a lovable style that was wholly owned by Nintendo. For some, it was an initially daunting experience. All of those colorful creatures and no idea what to do with them. But those who gave the game a chance quickly learned that the experience was made completely intuitive thanks to smartly simplified controls. Commanding Pikmin was fun, not frustrating, which surprised many console gamers who had come to believe that the term "RTS" was synonymous with complicated functionality.

    Pikmin was great, we should add, while it lasted. It was a relatively short game made shorter by an unfortunate 30-day system that forced players to complete their goals in the designated time limit.

    That's all gone for the sequel, which is as far as we're concerned an all-around well-crafted continuation of the series. Pikmin 2 is better than its predecessor in just about every way. It features new types of Pikmin that allow for unique, interesting ways to play the title. It's dramatically longer and in many ways more difficult than the first. It sports new two-player and challenge modes. And to top everything off, the presentation is one of Nintendo's best, complemented by a detailed collectibles system that gives Super Smash Bros. Melee a run for its money.



      • IGN Review, Excerpt



    ATHENS 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES

    August, 2004

    Welp, the 2004 Olympic Games have come and gone. Having brought the games back to their ancient homeland of Greece, the excitement surrounding the homecoming was tempered by security concerns related to Athens’s proximity to the politically volatile Middle East. Moreover, serious construction delays and worries that Athens’s hot, humid weather and high levels of air pollution would be detrimental to the athletes prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to briefly consider moving the Games to another city. The media seized on these matters and predicted dismal failure. None of the expected calamities occurred. By opening day the city had been splendidly rebuilt. All venues and facilities were ready; exceptionally modern transportation systems functioned well; and security was the best ever. The heat did affect some competitors, and spectator attendance was poor for some of the earlier events (partly as a result of unfavourable press). More than 20 athletes were disqualified after they failed tests for performance-enhancing-drug use, and controversies over scoring in gymnastics and fencing made headlines. Nevertheless, most of the 17-day event went smoothly, and the 35 competition venues were deemed excellent. The world press raved about the success of the Games as it apologized to Greece for its dire but groundless predictions. IOC president Jacques Rogge declared the Athens Olympics “unforgettable, dream Games.”

    In 2004 a record 201 national Olympic committees were represented. Nearly 11,100 athletes competed in 37 disciplines in 28 sports; women participated in freestyle wrestling and sabre fencing for the first time. American swimming phenomenon Michael Phelps topped the medals table with a record-tying eight (six gold and two bronze). On the track, Kelly Holmes of Great Britain and Ethiopia’s Hicham El Guerroujwere double gold medalists, and hurdler Liu Xiang won China’s first gold medal in men’s athletics (track and field). The concluding event, the men’s marathon, was won by Stefano Baldini of Italy after the leader, Brazil’s Vanderlei Lima, was assaulted by a deranged spectator about 4 miles (6.4 km) from the finish line. Lima, who recovered to take the bronze, was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for “his exceptional demonstration of fair play and Olympic values.”




      • Excerpt, Brittanica.com



    SONYPOLIS PERFORMANCE, SUMMER 2004

    August, 2004

    Having opened but a few months ago, in June, the Sonypolis theme park has already established itself as a world class theme park. Situated in Athens, Greece, the park is the first of what Sony Parks & Experiences President Isei Senri refers to as “Mega Joypolis”, a resort, amusement park, and arcade all rolled into one massive union.

    Likely why the park was placed in Greece, the Olympic Games of the past few weeks managed to bring a plethora of guests to the park both from home and abroad, with the total amount of guests numbering very well into the millions. The quality and services of the park have also been positively received, though there are many who remain skeptical of Sony’s decision to choose Greece as it’s starting location. Senri however, was happy to announce in a press release that he is confident in Sonypolis Greece’s ability to endure, and also to announce that Summer 2004 had proven to be profitable for the park.




      • Los Angeles Times


    SEGA WORLD SYDNEY BURNS TO THE GROUND: ACCIDENTAL FIRE GUTS BUILDING

    August, 2004

    A tragedy has struck Sydney, Australia today. The popular arcade theme park, Sega World Sydney, has fallen victim to an accidental fire. The park, which had been closed due to a desire by Sony to renovate and modernize the park, was under reconstruction since late 2002. The exact cause of the fire is currently unknown but is believed to have been caused by a malfunction of either construction or park equipment. None of the construction workers were killed or harmed in the event, but the fire quickly spread throughout the building before emergency teams arrived to put it out - leaving almost the entire building gutted.

    Very few of the items from the amusement park managed to survive the fire. Those that did are either being placed into storage or sold off to auctions.

    Most of the rides and arcade machines, including those to be added in the renovation did not survive. Many of the outside attractions, which were also to be added to the park as part of the renovations, were not damaged by the fire - though Sony is still making moves to remove what they had started. It is not known what will occur to these unfinished rides.

    Sony has not announced any plans to rebuild or reopen Sega World Sydney. It is very likely this is the end of the park’s story, having opened in Sydney back in 1997.




      • Sydney Gazette

     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  7. THAHORSEMEN Well-Known Member

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    Sep 2, 2018
    Intresting to see Sony is investing in theme parks.
     
    EternalMadness1997 likes this.
  8. EternalMadness1997 Oh Lawdy Lawdy Lawd

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
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    United States of America
    Indeed.
    Sega already has, or had, theme parks. I figured it would make sense for Sony to expand on what Sega already had going.
     
  9. THAHORSEMEN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2018
    Dang Sony is going all out in everything besides gaming
     
  10. EternalMadness1997 Oh Lawdy Lawdy Lawd

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
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    lol

    That will change. 2003 was a dry year.....and I honestly can be dry for ideas on what to mention and have happen sometimes if I'm being honest XD
     
    THAHORSEMEN likes this.
  11. THAHORSEMEN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2018
    Ah man writers block can be a pain, I wanted to start my own TL like this but I probably would run out of ideas quick
     
  12. EternalMadness1997 Oh Lawdy Lawdy Lawd

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
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    United States of America
    Yeah.

    I try to come up with ideas.

    If anyone's got ideas how I can improve this TL and focus on gaming more, they're free to message me.
    XD
     
  13. THAHORSEMEN Well-Known Member

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    Sep 2, 2018
    Hmmm maybe a minor thing but in major games that come out, try to mention the voice actors in it and how critics and fans feel about it along with the reception of the game , probably a minor thing
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  14. EternalMadness1997 Oh Lawdy Lawdy Lawd

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    Ah, okay.

    In general, Sony won't reveal the next console until 2005, and they did announce a new handheld.
     
    THAHORSEMEN likes this.
  15. Threadmarks: 2004 Part I.5 - "Announcements from Sony"

    EternalMadness1997 Oh Lawdy Lawdy Lawd

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    Decided to make this a separate, small-scale post. There isn't really much going on here besides previews of the future. Trying to focus on the gaming aspect of this timeline again.


    SONY ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR MORE SONIC SPIN-OFFS

    September, 2004


    Between theme parks and two feature length films, Sony has been all over video gaming news, but it appears that after a rather dry 2003, Sony is returning to what they do best for this second half of the year - games.


    God of War will unfortunately have to wait until next year, and there is still no confirmation on whether or not there will be a sequel to Byzantium: Legacy of Rome, though we will be seeing more from both Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank this year. However, those games are certainly important - just not nearly as important as the fact that Sony has announced a drastic change in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise - they are announcing that they developing more spin-off titles for the blue blur, presumably to compete with the massive flow of spin-offs that his eternal rival, Mario, tends to get each year courtesy of Nintendo.


    Of particular reveals, Knuckles the Echidna has been confirmed to be receiving his own game - if not game series, to also be released next year. They are also really pumping up the advertising for Chao World Online, that online virtual world where you can raise & exchange your Chao for a subscription fee similar to WoW or ToonTown. They will be releasing more Chao-related games, though these will mostly be for the Pluto - and will likely feature online connectivity. Shadow the Hedgehog, who was brought back in Sonic Heroes due to sheer popularity amongst fans, will also be receiving his own game “in the near future”, teased Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, however it appears that Sonic Team is not going to be working on all of these titles themselves. Instead, Iizuka has also revealed that Sony has been focusing on helping the studios to be more focused with their work - Sonic, as the big seller for the entire megacorporation, is of key importance.


    To keep things brief and understandable, Sonic Team is definitely working on what will be the next major Sonic the Hedgehog title. However, these spin-offs have been confirmed as being developed by different studios within the Sony family. However, which ones has not been made clear yet.

    - Electronic Gaming Monthly



    SONY RELEASES DETAILS ON NEW GAMING STUDIOS


    September, 2004


    A few months ago, it was announced casually by Isei Senri, of Sony Parks & Experiences (which is separated from the video game industry), that Sega of America’s original Headquarters in San Francisco was not in fact being turned into a theme park-arcade, but instead into a new set of studios - though he failed to clarify whether these were film studios, animation studios or gaming studios. This clarification has now been made by SSCEE themselves, who have revealed that they are in fact expanding the existing S.T.I. gaming studio, and establishing three new gaming studios in the building as well.


    S.T.I. has been greatly expanded, now taking up most of the former Headquarters itself, and now includes a plethora of fresh faces in addition to mainstays such as Christina Coffin and Offer Alon, whom were on the team working on Sonic X-Treme and Sonic Adventure 2. Christian Senn has long since left the team though, being departed from it since 1996-1997, as he revealed recently on his personal blog.


    The new studios being established in the building are named SSCEE San Francisco Studio and Team Emerald. While it has been confirmed that they are in fact video game research & development studios, it has not yet been announced which specific projects either of these three studios are going to be working on - though it is speculated that Team Emerald’s projects may or may not become Sonic the Hedgehog related.


    Sony is also further increasing their focus on their powerful and ever financially stable video games division. There is also of course the Sony Pluto to be released this year.


    SSCEE, Sony-Sega Computer Entertainment Enterprises, is currently the leader of the video game industry, with both the Neptune and it’s predecessor the Saturn, having sold well over 100 million units - making them both the highest selling video game consoles of all time. It is debatably the final remnant of video game company Sega, who had been absorbed by Sony in 2001 after a business partnership from 1993 turned into an outright buy-out.

    - Eurogamer
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  16. THAHORSEMEN Well-Known Member

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    Sep 2, 2018
    Oooh the eyetoy, will it be a commercial failure, or will it succeed in this TL and be featured in more games?
     
    EternalMadness1997 likes this.
  17. EternalMadness1997 Oh Lawdy Lawdy Lawd

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
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    I had an EyeToy, but I only had that one hoverboard game for it which for some reason I never played that much.....and Sega Superstars.

    That was....it.


    Did it fail for any particular reason or would it be easy to make it succeed? XD Kinda seems like it was just forgotten as soon it came out XD
     
  18. THAHORSEMEN Well-Known Member

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    Sep 2, 2018
    It sold decently well, but it have didn't really have much software. So no support=death
     
  19. EternalMadness1997 Oh Lawdy Lawdy Lawd

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    Ah, well, in all fairness.....2004, then 2005, then the Wii came out in 2006. Oh and the PS3 had it's own motion control system.
     
  20. EternalMadness1997 Oh Lawdy Lawdy Lawd

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
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    Oops, I just realized the EyeToy should've been released in 2003, not 2004.

    Huh

    Shows how much I know.
     
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