September started with GamesPaper heading off to ECTS at the ExCeL centre in London's Docklands, where Kemco impressed with an impressive range of Gamecube and GBA titles on show including Universal Studios, Mech Platoon and Phalanx. Other first day impressions from ECTS included the amazing Burnout which was being shown off by Criterion.
Peter Molyneux's Black and White grabbed numerous awards at the presentation of The Stars awards. Sony's PS2 won console of the year, and publisher of the year award went to Ubi Soft. Bigben Interactive announced a new Dreamcast Ultimate pack, which would see the machine, three games and VMU on sale for under £100.
Nintendo were also holding their London show on the same day, in central London, and left all of the GamesPaper team amazed at what we saw
on show, including their special Pokemon announcement, in the form of Pokemon Mini
Other highlights from the show included a live demonstration of Luigi's Mansion, along with the numerous playable Gamecube and Game Boy Advance titles including Diddy Kong Pilot and Mario Kart Super Circuit. Oh, and England beat Germany 5 - 1 in the world cup qualifiers - not strictly game related, but all part of a very busy and enjoyable weekend.
A week later, and the world was in shock after the Terrorist attacks in America. They had a marked effect on the games industry, with Konami making changes to a level in Metal Gear Solid 2 which was set in the World Trade Centre. Microsoft removed the World Trade Centre from their latest flight simulator, and Bizarre Creations were considering the removal of the towers from their Project Gotham racer. JoWood put a hold on their World War III: Black Gold title, and Bigben Interactive announced that Sega had canned Propeller Arena. The next few weeks saw numerous changes and delays to games which had Terrorism, War, and even flight related gameplay in them.October
saw the PlayStation 2 pass the 20 million sales mark, with the announcement of limited edition PS2 consoles
, with 600 of each machine available in each territory around the world. However, the month wasn't all celebrations, as SNK closed their business, which had been in operation for some 23 years.
The month also saw the return of Jaguar, Lynx and GameGear
, after EB and Game announced that they'd be selling the retro machines, along with a selection of the popular titles from several years ago.
Microsoft's Xbox made it's debut in Europe
, where the launch date and prices
were announced, along with numerous new Xbox exclusives from third party developers. Not wanting to stay out of the news, Microsoft go on to announce the Xbox Xperience
which would see the machines playable in Europe before Christmas.November
saw Channel 4 air Thumb Bandits
, their replacement for Bits - the show instantly received mixed responses from viewers. Luckily over the weeks the show, presented by Iain Lee and Aleks Krotowski, did improve, but still there were calls for the popular Bits series to make a return.
Xbox and Gamecube launched in America, and first day sales of both machines were strong. Infact, so strong that both Nitendo and Microsoft argued over who sold most during the first week with both companies claiming to be the winner of the console battle.
Emulation company Bleem closed, with a simple but effective picture of Sonic standing beside a gravestone on their website. The company had been in a number of legal battles with Sony over emulation of PlayStation software, and had also seen the launch of their Bleemcast software delayed on several occasions.
Dreamcast gamers got the most games released for months, with Headhunter, Floigan Bros, Virtua Tennis II, and Shenmue II, along with the latest screens of REZ
. The month also saw a huge number of new releases in the run up to Christmas, with a number of Christmas number one chart hopefuls making their appearance on the shelves of stores across the country.
Barbican Gallery announced that they'd be hosting Game On exhibition during 2002
, which would see 40 years of gaming history celebrated.December
finally got to see Sky Sports Football Manager kick off
, as it's online season started, allowing gamers to pit their football management skills against real gamers.
The UK also got it's first sights of the PS2 Broadband network
, thanks to trials by Telewest, which are due to see the full system going in to action during 2002.
Bigben make a further price cut to the Dreamcast
, offering the machine with a game for a positively bargain price of £69.99 - cheaper than a Game Boy Advance or PSone.
With Christmas less than a week away, the big news was that software sales topped a massive £51.1m in the last week alone, with EA topping the charts with their Harry Potter titles, and Sony selling an astounding 100,000 PlayStation 2 consoles per week since the start of the month.
So all in all, a very busy year with lots of changes. We'd like to thank you for your support over the past year, and hope that 2002 will be the best yet for gaming, with launches of the Nintendo Gamecube, Microsoft's Xbox, and numerous great games on all platforms to look forward to. See you this time next year for our review of 2002, and happy gaming!Related articles: 2001 - Year in review: January to April2001 - Year in review: May to August