2003 in video gaming

2003 in video gaming

Events

* February 27 — Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences hosts 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards; inducts Yu Suzuki of SEGA to the AIAS Hall of Fame.
* March 6-9 — Game Developers Conference hosts 3rd annual Game Developers Choice Awards and Gama Network's 5th annual Independent Games Festival (IGF).
*April 1-Enix Corporation and Square Co., Ltd. officially merge, forming Square Enix Co., Ltd.
* May 14-16 — 9th annual (Electronic Entertainment Expo) held at Los Angeles Convention Center; 6th annual Game Critics Awards for the Best of E³.
* July - IEMA (Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association) hosts 4th annual Executive Summit
* July 16 — Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA) renamed as Entertainment Software Association (ESA).
*September 12 - Valve releases the first stable version of Steam, which would replace the WON system that has been used for Counter-Strike and other Valve games a year later.
* October 1 — DreamWorks SKG and Tecmo announce a movie adaptation of the video game "Fatal Frame" has been fast-tracked with John Rogers and Steven Spielberg involvement.
* October 20 — Families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young adults shot by teens William and Josh Buckner (who in statements to investigators claimed their actions were inspired by "Grand Theft Auto III"), file a USD$246 million lawsuit against developer Rockstar Games, publisher Take Two Interactive Software, retailer Wal-Mart, and console-maker Sony Computer Entertainment America.
* October 31 — BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) announces that nominations for the 6th annual BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards will instead be split between the 1st annual BAFTA Games Awards for video game publications and (on November 24) the BAFTA Interactive Awards for multimedia technologies; ceremonies to be held in February 2004.
* November — Kazushige Nojima resigns from Square Enix.

Hardware

* February 14 — Nintendo releases the Game Boy Advance SP, an enhanced version of its popular Game Boy Advance handheld game console.
* September — Nintendo's Famicom (NES) and Super Famicom (SNES) are officially axed from production worldwide.
* Nokia releases the hybrid N-Gage handheld console / mobile phone.
* First PlayStation Portable prototype shown by Sony.
* Nintendo states that the next generation console will be fully compatible with GameCube.

Business

* February 19 — Microsoft announces a deal to buy Connectix Corp.
* Take Two Interactive buys TDK Mediactive, Inc.
* Infogrames, Inc., a subsidiary of Infogrames Entertainment SA renames itself Atari
* Enix Corporation officially absorbs Square Co., Ltd., forming Square Enix Co., Ltd.
* [http://money.cnn.com CNN/Money] reports that video games are a USD$10 billion dollar industry
* April — Pan European Game Information (PEGI), a European video game content rating system, comes into use.
* May — The 3DO Company announces bankruptcy and closes down its New World Computing subsidiary
* June 12 — Obsidian Entertainment founded
* August — Microsoft announced ATI as the developer of the GPU for their next generation console, Project Xenon. Their previous contract with NVIDIA was finished but the GPU of the Xbox continued in production.
* December — Interplay closes its Black Isle Studios division
* Late 2003 — Nintendo buys shares from Japanese toy and animation conglomerate Bandai making Nintendo one of Bandai's top 10 shareholders
* Late 2003 — GameSpot reports a rebuttal regarding two statements from Nintendo and Bandai execs denying a potential Nintendo takeover of Bandai; according to the story, Nintendo is working with a Japanese banking firm that has Bandai and Nintendo as their corporate clients to try to take over Bandai
* Late 2003 — Data East goes defunct.

Notable releases

North American release dates:
*January 12 — "Panzer Dragoon Orta" (Xbox)
*January 25 — "Devil May Cry 2" (PS2)
*February 13 — "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell" (PC)
*February 17 — "Dark Cloud 2" (PS2)
*February 25 — "Master of Orion III" (PC)
*February 26 — "" (PS2)
*March 2 — "" (GBA, GC)
*March 4 — ""
*March 17 — "Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire" (GBA)
*March 18 — "Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc" (PS2, Xbox)
*March 19 — "" (PC)
*March 24 — "Amplitude" (PS2)
*March 24 — "Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc" (PC)
*March 24 — "" (North America) (GC)
*March 25 — "Dynasty Warriors 4" (PS2)
*March 26 — "Galactic Civilizations" (PC)
*April 9 — "" (GC)
*April 17 — "" (Japan)
*April 20 — "Siren" (PS2)
*May 1 — "Burnout 2: Point of Impact" (Xbox)
*May 14 — "Enter The Matrix" (PC)
*May 20 — "Rise of Nations" (PC)
*May 21 — "" (GBA)
*May 27 — "Hulk" (PC), (PS2), (GC), (Xbox)
*June 2 — "Toontown Online" (PC) (Public release)
*June 20 — "" (PS2)
*July 1 — "" (PC)
*July 1 — "Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness" (PC)
*July 9 — "" (PC)
*July 17 — "" (Xbox)
*July 28 — "" (GC)
*August 6 — "Silent Hill 3" (PS2)
*August 13 — "" (PS2)
*August 25 — "F-Zero GX" (GC)
*August 27 — "" (Xbox)
*August 27 —"Soul Calibur II" (GC, PS2, Xbox)
*September 4 — "" (PC)
*September 8 — "" (PC)
*September 8 — ""
*September 16 — "Homeworld 2" (PC)
*September 16 — "" (GC, PS2, Xbox)
*September 17 — "" (PC)
*September 22 — "" (PC})
*October 1 — "Freedom Fighters" (GC, PC, PS2, Xbox)
*October 7 — "Viewtiful Joe" (GC)
*October 14 — "Jak II" (PS2)
*October 14 — "" (PC)
*October 20 — "SSX 3" (GC, PS2, Xbox)
*October 27 — "Tony Hawk's Underground" (GBA, GC, PS2, Xbox)
*October 28 — "Final Fantasy XI" (PC) (US)
*October 29 — "Call of Duty" (PC)
*November 3 — "Fire Emblem" (GBA)
*November 3 — "" (GC, PS2, Xbox)
*November 4 — "" (PC)
*November 4 — "" (Xbox)
*November 4 — "" (PS2)
*November 6 — "" (PS2)
*November 11 — "Beyond Good & Evil" (PS2)
*November 11 — "" (PS2)
*November 11 — "SSX 3" (GBA)
*November 12 — "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" (Xbox)
*November 12 — "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield" (Xbox)
*November 13 — "The Simpsons: Hit & Run" (PC)
*November 14 — "Kya Dark Lineage" (PlayStation 2)
*November 17 — "" (GBA)
*November 17 — "" (GC)
*November 18 — "Final Fantasy X-2" (PS2)
*November 18 — "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" (GC)
*November 18 — "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic" (PC)
*November 18 — Manhunt (PS2)
*November 18 — "Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun" (PC)
*November 19 — "Beyond Good & Evil" (PC)
*November 19 — "Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy" (Xbox)
*November 25 — "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" (Xbox)
*November 30 — "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" (PC)
*December 2 — "Beyond Good & Evil" (Xbox)
*December 2 — "" (PC, Xbox)
*December 2 — "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" (PS2)
*December 2 — "Silent Hill 3"
*December 11 — "Beyond Good & Evil" (GC)

Trends

Computer games continue to lose ground to console video games with a US sales drop of 14% in 2003. [http://www.npdtechworld.com/techServlet?nextpage=pr_body_it.html&content_id=720 (NPD)] Total 2003 entertainment software sales in the United States grew slightly to $7 billion USD; console sales increased to $5.8 billion and computer games accounted for the remaining $1.2 billion. [http://www.theesa.com/files/2005EssentialFacts.pdf ESA (pdf)]

Video game consoles

The dominant video game consoles in 2003 were:
*Sony's PlayStation 2
*Nintendo's GameCube
*Microsoft's Xbox

Handheld game systems

The dominant handheld systems in 2003 were:
*Nintendo's Game Boy Advance

Additionally, two new handheld consoles were introduced in 2003, the Game Boy Advance SP (an enhanced GBA) and Nokia's N-Gage.

Video game sales

The top 10 selling console video games in 2003 in the United States ranked by units sold, according to [http://www.npdfunworld.com/funServlet?nextpage=trend_body.html&content_id=780 NPD] , were:


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