2001 was an eventful year when it came to Gaming. There were new consoles, GamesPaper launched, the end of great companies and numerous game websites, Sony fans got Sega titles on the PS2, and even non-game related events which caused major changes to not only the games industry but the whole world - it's all happened in a very quick past 12 months.
January meant a new year, and a new console revealed, in the form of Microsoft's Xbox - a huge VCR looking black box of tricks, with Microsoft throwing all their weight behind what they hope to be the machine to revolutionise gaming. Numerous publishers also pledged their support for Nintendo's Gamecube console, confirming title after title for the machine.
The month also waved the early signs of a good-bye to Sega's Dreamcast, when the company announced that they were to cease production of the machine from March 2001 - this instantly lead to headlines like "Dreamcast is DEAD" being posted by numerous games websites, and a general bad news week for Sega fans around the world, who had seen their format go from being on top form, to on the edge of oblivion. Sega quickly stepped in to provide some facts about exactly what was happening, ensuring gamers that there were still large stocks of the machine available, and that full game support would continue well in to 2002, with more than 100 games due for the machine worldwide. The format was also to live on, in the form of PACE's Set-top Box, which would make use of Dreamcast chips built in to the hardware.
Sega also confirmed that they were to produce games for other formats, including the Game Boy Advance and PlayStation 2, as part of their aim to become the leading content provider - Once rival PlayStation fans suddenly became fans of everything Sega.
The company made it clear that the Dreamcast was far from dead - the same websites which had previously announced the format as "dead", changed their views and announced the Dreamcast as being far from dead - all very confusing, and as if no one knew quite what was happening.
February was a bit of a quiet month, possibly due to the GamesPaper team preparing the site for launch the following month. However, just like during January, Sega was making yet more big news, with announcements of redundancies at Sega Europe after the previous months announcement that Sega were pulling out of the hardware business, and ceasing production of the Dreamcast.
The format again made the headlines a few days later, at a technology demo in central London when PACE revealed their Sky Digital box with built in Dreamcast support, but no GD drive - a 2002 launch for the machine was expected, although there's been very little news about the DC compatible box since.March
saw the launch of GamesPaper
, after plenty of coding, tweaking, and planning. Codemasters announce that they've booted the pirates for good
by using a new FADE system on their software.
The first Operation Flashpoint demo
became available, and instantly became one of the most downloaded demos. Iomega also announce that they are developing a PlayStation 2 zip drive
which would use the USB ports on the console.
Bill Gates spoke at the Tokyo Games Show
about Microsoft's new Xbox console, in an attempt to gain confidence in the Japanese market, and Sega announced the Xbox titles
that they were developing, including Jet Grind Radio Future and Panzer Dragoon.April
started off with an announcement from Sega Europe that Bigben Interactive were to become the European distributor for the Dreamcast console
- first details of a world wide release on Sonic's 10th birthday of Sonic Adventure 2
Meanwhile, Gamecube was in the news, with Nintendo announcing that the Japanese Gamecube launch
had been delayed from the previously announced date. Sega announced that they were developing games for the Gamecube
, and that more details would be seen at May's E3 expo.
Sega lower prices for new Dreamcast titles
, and also announce that the Dreamcast email will be made available via PC's
using the new Sega Europe website. However, at the end of 2001 the feature was still not available, with a spring 2002 launch of the service expected.Related articles: 2001 - Year in review: May to August2001 - Year in review: September to December