X Marks the Spot - A Nintendo and Microsoft console timeline

hile Itagaki works on porting Dead or Alive 3
DoA3 wasn't a port, was fully made for the ground to the OTL Xbox, so would be here.

Around 1999, Microsoft approaches Nintendo to collaborate on a video game console. While Nintendo already had Dolphin ready, Microsoft decides to provide them with a much more powerful CPU (Around 700 MHz or so), a more powerful GPU (230 MHz), and to develop the online infrastructure of Dolphin, so that it would resemble a combination of OTL's Randnet for the N64 DD and Xbox Live. The more powerful specifications was insisted upon by Microsoft, as they wanted to bring a number of PC-based developers to consoles in order to combat Sony. Microsoft also insists on using DVD technology instead of minidisks, as they afforded more storage than the latter format
Reminder...MS didn't got that Nvidia GPU till much later, they could Use ArtX-Ati Design pretty Easily and buffing it with ATI help, unless Nvidia is less than an ass and allow easier production of NVA2.

well as Gold Chronicle, ITTL's version of True Fantasy Live Online (AN: that title sounds stupid)
3DS Fantasy Life says hi but yeah, Gold Chronicle sounds much better(more if they use the name Gold for the premium version of the online service)

Very nice starting writing up buddy, set very well the ideas and plans for the TL.
Reminder...MS didn't got that Nvidia GPU till much later, they could Use ArtX-Ati Design pretty Easily and buffing it with ATI help, unless Nvidia is less than an ass and allow easier production of NVA2.
alright, so they'd just buff ATI's GPU if that's the case

DoA3 wasn't a port, was fully made for the ground to the OTL Xbox, so would be here.
my mistake lol, I'm just used to every Japanese fighting game from that time having an arcade version from the get-go, though I suppose due to butterflies, DoA3 could have an arcade port ITTL

and Fantasy Life doesn't sound that stupid to me, its simplicity works IMO
alright, so they'd just buff ATI's GPU if that's the case
They could, that help ATI too, dunno if enough to remain independent but again avoid giving nvidia too much power (like OTL free access to DIRECTX thanks to MS) , but is a nice butterfly.
my mistake lol, I'm just used to every Japanese fighting game from that time having an arcade version from the get-go, though I suppose due to butterflies, DoA3 could have an arcade port ITTL
Maybe an early triforce arcade machine? OTL Sega did make a Xbox based machine (the Chihiro) here they could talk with nintendo and get it early and pushing it with Tecmo and Capcom rather namco
honestly idk what to even do with Sega ITTL

having Microsoft or Sony acquire them is a concept that's too predictable, but I have a hard time only seeing two major consoles on the market
honestly idk what to even do with Sega ITTL

having Microsoft or Sony acquire them is a concept that's too predictable, but I have a hard time only seeing two major consoles on the market
Make them stay as OTL, maybe was for the best, sammy was the best boss among japanese third parties( others would have just dismantle Sega) and as say before, that allow the triforce arcade board to happen early and a net positive Sega and Nintendo.

That makes sense
Triforce Arcade Board
The Triforce arcade board is still a collaboration between Nintendo and Sega, but instead of having Namco as the third collaborator, it will instead be Capcom, and terms of tech it's more powerful than OTL's Triforce due to it being based on the Nintendo X from TTL, which is in between OTL's Xbox and GameCube in terms of power. The Triforce is first launched in 2002, though the first game to come out for it doesn't release until 2003.

Nintendo also decides to license out the Triforce arcade board to other developers in the arcade business, but with the caveat that if those games came to consoles, they would be Nintendo exclusives. It is most notably used for F-Zero AX (still developed by Sega), Wave Race Typhoon (a fourth installment in the Wave Race series developed by Nintendo), Project Gotham Racing 2 (still released in 2003 and developed by Bizarre Creations), Dead or Alive 4 (Team Ninja licenses out the board and uses it to developed DoA4 earlier), and a variety of arcade ports handled by Capcom for Nintendo and Microsoft's first-party lineup, most notably Mario Kart: Double Dash (which butterflies away the Mario Kart Arcade GP games) and Halo.

And in addition to all of that, Rareware show interest in potentially making a third Killer Instinct game using the Triforce board, believing it would be a perfect fit for the franchise. Nintendo is initially unsure of those, as Killer Instinct Gold didn't sell well enough on the N64, so they decide to test the waters by first releasing Killer Instinct: 10th Anniversary Collection, which has KI1's arcade version, KI1's SNES port, KI2, and KI Gold all sold in one bundle released in 2004, each fitted with online play. It ends up selling better than Nintendo expected, and they decide to greenlight a fully-fledged third installment in the series as a result of it.
E3 2002
  • Nintendo/Microsoft
    • Sales numbers of the Nintendo X have been incredibly satisfactory; the online functionality, more powerful architecture in comparison to the PS2, and constantly-growing first party lineup has done wonders for the system, having sold 13 million units in seven months.
    • The Triforce arcade board is first unveiled here, with F-Zero AX and Wave Race Typhoon being the primary titles used to showcase it. While those two games will launch only in arcades, Nintendo also announces that they will be receiving console ports on the Nintendo X. They also announce that Capcom will be developing arcade ports of first-party titles, the first of which is Bungie's Halo.
    • Returning games from E3 2001's showcase are Super Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, Eternal Darkness, Battlefield 1942, Splinter Cell and Super Smash Bros. Melee, with the latter featuring the unexpected reveals of Konami's Solid Snake and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog as the latest fighters to join the series, and the first third-party fighters in Smash (ITTL, the extra development time given to Melee in order for an online mode to be implemented also allowed Sakurai to add Snake, Sonic, and Wario into the game).
    • Perfect Dark Crisis received a full reveal, being the sequel to the N64 game Perfect Dark, and this time coming with online multiplayer. There will also be a focus on its single-player campaign, featuring CGI cinematics that Rareware touts as being a step forward for storytelling in games, though time will tell if this actually ends up changing games or becomes a mark of hubris on their part. EDIT: Rareware also shows off Donkey Kong Racing, which doesn't end up being cancelled like in OTL, and also comes with online play.
    • Tecmo announces a Rygar remake and a new Tecmo Bowl with online play, while also showing another trailer for Itagaki's Ninja Gaiden, this time showing gameplay resembling the previous year's very popular Devil May Cry. They also announce that the next Dead or Alive game will be utilizing the Triforce arcade board, becoming the first third-party developer to build a title of their own with the board.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is revealed. Visually it shares the same color palette and visual style of OTL's Wind Waker, but uses realistic body proportions for the characters, rather than the Ghilbi-esque body designs. As such, it doesn't receive the same level of backlash that it did in OTL, though there are still some complaints over the visual style not being more like the recently-released Morrowind's.
    • Capcom announces another exclusive IP from Hideki Kamiya, Viewiful Joe, due for release in 2003. However, when Shinji Mikami is asked about the rumors of Resident Evil 4 being a Nintendo X exclusive, he refuses to comment and says that they'll "wait and see". Other new IPs revealed at Nintendo/Microsoft's E3 include Beyond Good & Evil by Ubisoft and Sega's Billy Hatcher. LucasArts also announces Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, an RPG set in the distant past of Star Wars developed by BioWare.
    • EDIT: Capcom also announces Dino Crisis 3 as an exclusive to the Nintendo X, with ports of Dino Crisis 1 and 2 being scheduled for release later that year. In a similar vein, Sega announced Jet Set Radio Future and Panzer Dragoon Orta as Nintendo X exclusives as well, the former of which also came bundled with a port of the original Jet Set Radio, and the latter was preceded by a collection of the first three Panzer Dragoon games. They also announced ports of Shenmue I and II, due for release later that fall, and provide a first look at the next mainline Sonic game AKA Sonic Heroes. Hudson Soft reveals Bomberman Online: 2003, a rerelease of the Dreamcast title for the Nintendo X with added content, which includes appearances from Nintendo characters like Mario, Link, Samus, Kirby, etc.
    • Lastly, Nintendo announces their most valued announcement for last - Enix's Dragon Quest VIII will be releasing exclusively on the Nintendo X. While reception to this is muted in the west and even criticized by people unfamiliar with the series, in Japan it sparks a sharp rise in sales for the Nintendo X.
    • Overall the show is positively-received, though there's some disappointment over the previously-announced Mario Kart not being present.
  • Sony
    • Not wanting online functionality to be solely taken by Nintendo/Microsoft, Sony announce a glut of games emphasizing online play, such as new IPs Killzone and S.O.C.O.M., Squaresoft's Final Fantasy Online, and Gran Turismo 4, the first in the series featuring online functionality. They also announce that Namco's Tekken 4 is being delayed to make room for online functionality, something that Namco only decided at the last minute after heavy lobbying from Sony. EDIT: Everybody's Golf 4 and Twisted Metal: World Tour (meant to reflect the game's worldwide online functionality) are also announced, despite 989 Studios having not even put the latter game into preproduction.
    • Squaresoft, in addition to showing off Final Fantasy Online, also shows a final trailer for Kingdom Hearts' western release, featuring the same star-studded voice cast from OTL's games. After this, they and Sony announce that Sony has bought a 51% stake in Squaresoft, thus making them a subsidiary of Sony, albeit not fully-owned. Sony felt pressured to make its own acquisition after Microsoft and Nintendo agreed to a join ownership of Rareware, and with Squaresoft in financial woes after the failure of Spirits Within, they offered to acquire them fully. EDIT: As a result of this, Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts become full PlayStation-exclusive series, and Sony pushes some of Squaresoft's lesser-known franchises as well, such as Front Mission and Parasite Eve.
    • As for other first-party titles, Insomniac and Sucker Punch show off Ratchet & Clank and Sly Cooper respectively, Team Soho reveals The Getaway, Japan Studio puts focus onto Ape Escape 2, Psygnosis announces a new IP in the form of Snowblight (an IP original to this timeline), a first-person shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world thrown into a new set of ice ages, EDIT: and Level-5 showcases Dark Chronicle.
    • When Sony is asked if they plan on releasing a more powerful version of the PS2, they say that they have no interest in doing so due to the stellar sales numbers of the current model, but said that things could change if sales slow down significantly enough.
    • On the third-party side of things, Koei shows off Dynasty Warriors 4, Rockstar reveals Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Red Dead Revolver, Konami announces Silent Hill 3, and Activision brings Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, their annual Pro Skater title. The latter ends up disappointing some people, as it wouldn't have online functionality, though Activision announces that 2003's title will have that feature. EDIT: Other noteworthy third-party showcases were Eidos with Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness and Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Nippon Ichi's Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, and Namco with Venus & Braves.
    • EDIT: Overall, while the reception is generally positive, Sony's showing is more or less considered to be a step down from Nintendo/Microsoft's conference, as it was much less of a blowout in comparison to their conference, with the answer Sony gave on a more powerful PS2 being a mark of disappointment for many.
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[AN: I'm still trying to think of things to fit into Sony's E3 2002 presentation]
To being Honest I doubt would change Sony plans that much, besides maybe pushing Online more on PS2(like GC at times was an afterthought) . If anything would be much like OTL baring the butterflies.

Lastly, Nintendo announces their most valued announcement for last - Enix's Dragon Quest VIII will be releasing exclusively on the Nintendo X. While reception to this is muted in the west and even criticized by people unfamiliar with the series, in Japan it sparks a sharp rise in sales for the Nintendo X.
This is the punch Nintendo needed for their system(not even multi otl was a big ouch, specially as weaker PS2 was) if anything the rest is a nice beginning and prove working with MS was a good idea

Snowblight is a first-person shooter developed by Psygnosis and published Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 2. Inspired by the gameplay of Perfect Dark and Halo, Snowblight is set in a post-apocalyptic earth ravaged by a nuclear winter, where the aftermath of nuclear conflict caused lots of dust to enter the stratosphere and shifted the oceans, all of which have been frozen over. The roman calendar and all forms of dating have been abandoned, and there is little to no form of structured civilization. The world before the nuclear winter is known as the "Warmer World". The main form of transportation used by people are Nomads - oil-using vehicles that are a cross between automobiles and snowmobiles. Because of this, the people with the most power in this post-apocalyptic world are Barons; landowners who mine and sell oil, with their workers being provided with homes and basic necessities in exchange for hard labor. Simply put, it's something like Mad Max, but with snow instead of a desert.

The main character of Snowblight is Vincent Kessler, an astronaut piloting the spaceship Valhalla who was lost in space after the nuclear war destroyed NASA. Faced with the possibility of never returning back to Earth, he placed himself in suspended animation and the Valhalla's AI, I.R.I.S. (Interstellar Relay and Intelligence System) pilot it until they could return to earth. I.R.I.S. is the only company he's had for years, and despite being an A.I., there are hints of romance between the two. However, when they arrive back on Earth, the Valhalla and I.R.I.S. are seized by the Round Table, a cooperative group of six Barons and their respective factions who see his ship and capture it in hope of studying it and using it to mass-produce space traveling vehicles and rebuild humanity on other planets with their dictatorial terms. The six factions are:

  • The Brigands - The first faction, which is the most unorganized and least powerful of the six factions, and situated in the ruins of St. Louis. They are mostly compromised of riffraff that the five other factions look down upon, and own the smallest amount of oil-mining territory. They are the ones who initially capture the Valhalla and sell its parts to the five other factions, as they are running hard on currency and have otherwise been losing members due to the poor state the faction finds itself in. Their baron is Snow Mann, a brutish man with a high tolerance for the cold, hence his name.
  • The Apostles - The second faction, which is located in the remains of Houston, Texas. They are a group of spiritual monk-warriors who worship the relics of the Warmer World, and have the largest collection of relics and technology from the Warmer World. However, they lack the technological prowess and know how to actually make use of these relics, but their refusal to hand over any of them puts them at odds with the five other factions. Their baron is Pope William, a blind man who utilizes traps and torture devices instead of actually fighting Kessler head-on.
  • The Machinists - The third faction, which only consists of six fully human scientists, as the majority of their forces are made up of biomechanical lifeforms created by fusing human bodies and organs with cybernetic enhancements, including a neural chip that connects to the baron of the faction, The Programmer. He is missing his lower half, and thus uses a set of spider-like legs to move around. Inside his brain is the main neural firewall, which allows him to connect to and command the other members of the Machines, save for the six fully human scientists. This faction is located in the ruins of San Francisco, utilizing technology found in the Silicon Valley's ruins.
  • The Abominations - The fourth faction, a group of humans who live in the areas most stricken with nuclear waste, and have taken to biological experimenting on themselves in order to hasten their evolutions. As a result, they are mutated and grotesque in appearance, while being incapable of speaking any known human language, instead communicating with seemingly-random sounds. Their baron is Leviathan, a colossal eldritch-like mutant who is a cannibal and the only member of the species who can speak a human language. They are found in the former Los Angeles area, which was the first US city attacked by nuclear weaponry.
  • The Tunnelers - The fifth faction, who mostly resides underground and can see in the dark better than the other factions. They are known for ambushing lone travelers above ground and stealing their belongings, and have a vast network of tunnels that they use for travel. They are also the most secretive of all the factions, not even revealing where their oil territories are. Their baron is Plutus, who utilizes a modified mining exo-skeleton when in combat, and providing him with more protection from attacks and cave-ins. They do not have any specific region, but Plutus is confronted under what was once Las Vegas.
  • The Harvesters - The sixth and final faction, situated at the foot of Mount St. Helens. They are the most brutal and combat-heavy faction, as well as the most powerful and the de facto leader of the Round Table. Their baron is Dr. Ashland, a scientist with ambitions of colonizing humanity in his own image. However, he's given up on Earth being a habitable enough planet for his rule, and has ambitions of traveling through space and establishing a new society on a faraway planet. After reaching him, it's revealed that he has reprogrammed I.R.I.S. to obey him, and Kessler is forced to fight her in order to survive. Once Kessler defeats I.R.I.S., Ashland then uploads his consciousness to the mainframe of the Valhalla II, rebuilt from the shell of Kessler's ship, but with enough power to travel beyond the known galaxy. In order of prevent the Valhalla II from launching, Kessler fires a missile into Mount St. Helens' crater, and sparks a volcanic eruption that destroys most of the Harvesters' compound and the Valhalla II.
After defeating all six members of the Round Table, Kessler is contacted by an unknown individual claiming to have the answers as to why the nuclear war happened, and that the Round Table was just one of the many threats that have overrun the world in his absence. When Kessler asks who this contact is, they answer that they are the President of the USA. The game ends there on a cliffhanger, but there is a 100% completion ending showing a human woman walking through what appears to be New York City. When someone asks her who she is, she answers that her name is "Iris".

Snowblight is released on January 31st, 2003. It receives a generally positive reception for its worldbuilding and gameplay, though the ending leaves more questions than answers, and the game itself is generally not as acclaimed as Halo, Perfect Dark, Half-Life, or Metroid Prime, but is still considered to be a solid FPS all in all. The game goes on to ship 3 million copies by the end of 2003 (mostly attributed to the PS2 lacking in FPSes during this time), and 2004 also sees the release of Snowblight: The Oil Wars, a multiplayer-focused expansion adding an online mode, more weapons, vehicles, and difficulty levels, which is considered to be the definitive version of the game, for all intents and purposes.
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Least and nice original game buddy, you van see how much they were channeling Halo here but was a nice game on his own. This one might butterfly away kill zone?

Nice update buddy
Killzone isn't butterflied away, as I mentioned in my E3 2002 update; think of this as a more solo-focused FPS than a massively multiplayer one, at least when it first released.

That being said, depending on how things go about, Killzone may be abandoned by Sony in favor of Snowblight, but we'll have to see.
Killzone isn't butterflied away, as I mentioned in my E3 2002 update; think of this as a more solo-focused FPS than a massively multiplayer one, at least when it first released.

That being said, depending on how things go about, Killzone may be abandoned by Sony in favor of Snowblight, but we'll have to see.
Ohh i see, but yeah the butterflies can flap anywhere. Still nice original game buddy
Thanks, I hope to add more original games into this timeline, as I think it helps make it feel more different from OTL.
Those always help in that regard. Give more flavour and Uniqueness(you should edit part 1, as we're using Artx/ATI chip here, but of course more buffed that OTL)
Rygar/Tecmo Bowl '03

Rygar is an action-adventure title developed and published by Tecmo exclusively for the Nintendo X. While billed as a remake of the original game, it falls more into the "reimagining" camp than it does into the "remake" camp, as the gameplay is completely overhauled in lieu of a more hack and slash approach. The main premise is that the demon king Rygar was summoned from the underworld by the Cult of Argos, and has enslaved the five gods of Indora to conquer the continent of Indora. In a last-ditch effort to stop Rygar, the gods resurrect the legendary warrior Argus, the wielder of the Diskarmor. The gameplay is a mix of Devil May Cry and Dynasty Warriors, where Argus can use flashy and complex combos to fight hordes of enemies head-on by switching weapons in real-time, though unlike Devil May Cry, players can cycle through all weapons instead of only two. Aside from the Diskarmor, Argus also collects five other weapons throughout the game, each of them being bestowed upon him by the gods of Indora. They are:
  • The Sword of Aquila, a sword that can harness the power of the water goddess, Aquila.
  • The Spear of Pyris, a spear that can harness the power of the fire god, Pyris.
  • The Bow of Aerous, a bow that can harness the power of the wind god, Aerous.
  • The Gauntlets of Terran, a pair of gauntlets that can harness the power of the earth god, Terran.
  • The Whips of Glacia, a pair of whips that can harness the power of the ice goddess, Glacia.
The gods can be rescued in any set order, and once all are rescued, Argus descends into the underworld to combat Rygar. After Rygar is defeated, a story campaign revolved around Rygar is unlocked featuring unique enemies and cutscene, showing how Rygar fought and imprisoned the five gods of Indora before Argus was resurrected. Rygar also plays very differently from Argus, only using his Dragon Claymore (a weapon original to TTL) to fight. This was not only aspect of Rygar that was resigned ITTL, as he is now designed with the physical appearance of a viking or a barbarian, rather than looking like a green monster with a lion's head.

Rygar is released on October 25th, 2002 for the Nintendo X, and sells around 1 million units in terms of lifetime sales. It is very positively-received, especially due to how expansive the combat can become as a result of the weapon-switching, leading to an endless number of combos the player can perform. It increases excitement for the upcoming Ninja Gaiden revival, though comments by Itagaki suggest that the Ninja Gaiden will be a "similar but different flavor" from Rygar. Tecmo greenlights a sequel almost immediately, establishing it as a flagship IP for them, alongside Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive, Fatal Frame, and Tecmo Bowl.

Tecmo Bowl '03

Tecmo Bowl '03 is a sports simulation game, and the sequel to the two Tecmo Bowl games on the NES. While EA still retains the rights to the Madden NFL series, Tecmo struck a deal with NFLPA (as they did in the 80s) for a four year deal in which Tecmo would be allowed to use the likenesses of professional NFL players, albeit without the official team names and brandings. The game has twenty-eight teams in total, and its gameplay modes include standard match, split-screen multiplayer, arcade mode, tournament mode, the heavily-touted online mode, which allows players to play matches or even whole tournaments in an online setting, and retro mode, which emulates the 8-bit graphics and visual style of the first Tecmo Bowl game, with a Tecmo Super Bowl version available after beating arcade mode. The game also features four unlockable characters from Tecmo's other games, which are Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, Kasumi and Ayane from Dead or Alive, and Argus from Rygar.

Tecmo Bowl '03 goes head to head against Madden NFL '03, with fans of Madden making fun of Tecmo Bowl for being blinded by nostalgia, and Tecmo Bowl fans firing back by claiming that Madden fans were too close-minded to enjoy any other football or sports game. It also doesn't help that Madden NFL '03 was releasing on PC and PS2, while Tecmo Bow '03 was only releasing on the Nintendo X, while also made the fan arguments over both games an extension of the platform wars. Tecmo also decides to push the series in PAL territories in order to maximize sales, despite American football not being as popular as association football or rugby in said regions. Overall, Tecmo Bowl '03 receives favorable reviews and sells 5 million units worldwide, with the retro mode, guest characters, and online tournament mode helping distinguish it from Madden NFL '03.
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we'll just have to wait and see where the butterflies take us
Yeah but right now seems those give good winds to Tecmo, with early hits more focused in the 3D era. If anything put a little more pressure on Ninja Gaiden to be that 3D revival, especially with successful Rygar too. Umm wonder if this would Motivated Nintendo or Microsoft to do a 3D Action games following that example(and ask Capcom and Tecmo to port them to PC for the latter)
Speaking of butterflies, with DICE now being owned by Microsoft, I imagine that EA in this timeline will be relying way more on Medal of Honor as their marquee military shooter series, which I assume Sony will try to get priority for. In general, I could see EA and Sony having a closer relationship ITTL as a result of Tecmo Bowl and Battlefield prioritizing Nintendo consoles.