2006 Year in Review
A brief summary of the important, the influential, and just plain crazy things that we had to put up with this year...
-Texas gubernatorial primary candidate Star Locke (we can't even make this stuff up) proposes a 100% tax on violent video games, a 50% tax on soda with added sugar, and a 50% tax on deep-fried food. Not surprisingly, Locke loses the primary to Rick Perry...by a margin of 80.61 percentage points.
-Ex-Tiger Telematics exec Stefan Eriksson takes his 2003 Ferrari Enzo out on Pacific Coast Highway and promptly wraps it around a pole. Amazingly, he emerges from the wreckage unscathed, though the same can't be said of his Gizmondo.
-Sony announces a "price cut" for the PSP, dropping from $249 to $199, though now you have to buy the case, the headphones, the remote control, and the Memory Stick separately. Nobody can wait for the day that PSP game prices are cut to $2.99 - though you have to buy the UMD separately.
-The last Elf Bowling 1 & 2 review hits Metacritic, sticking it with the dubious honor of the all-time lowest Nintendo DS rating of 12. Fun fact: Modojo gave it the highest score of all the reviews (20%) simply by virtue of not giving out zero stars.
- Yeah, it was a weak month.
-Details of both Sony's and Nintendo's newest consoles are announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Good news: The PS3 "boomerang" controller is gone; the Wii will launch with a Zelda game. Bad news: PS3 will set you back a cool 600 bones; the name "Wii" is easily the worst for a video game console since, well, "PlayStation."
- Nintendo silently apologizes for the ugliness and darkness of the original DS by bringing the hotly anticipated DS Lite stateside. More importantly, at long-last, you can now plug the words "sexy" and "Nintendo" into Google at the same time and the Internet no longer laughs at you.
- E3 cracks down and becomes invitation-only, as gaming companies realize that 90% of the attendees are not actually "industry professionals" (read: people who have a million dollars of company money to throw around). Crestfallen bloggers now have only one remaining place to go to have hot booth babes pretend to like them: Hooters.
- Sega Genesis Collection is announced for the PSP, but based on the games that will be included, it's clear that Sega hates you. Wise fwom your gwave!
- Gamestop employees sue the company for skimping on overtime pay, which turns out to be only the second-worst thing Gamestop does. The worst? Re-shrinkwrapping games and selling them as new.
-Sony Computer Entertainment Prez Ken Kutaragi announces that only 500,000 PS3s will be available for the United States and Japan at launch. Analysts apply the Sony Conversion Theorem (divide by two and subtract 100 for each time a Sony rep says "the launch numbers are irrelevant because we'll be constantly replenishing through the holidays") to come to a more realistic launch number of 300. Note: I completely made up that last sentence.
- Popular import gaming retailer Lik-Sang closes shop, reportedly due to financial losses stemming from legal proceedings initiated by Sony to halt the sales of grey-market PSP systems.
- In what is undoubtedly just one more sign of the apocalypse, "Final" Fantasy XII is released, while the "Neverending" Story is still stuck at III.
- As predicted, the few Wii and PS3 systems that weren't preordered were frantically snatched up like freshman girls at a frat house. Everyone else who hasn't already gotten fired for playing hooky for three straight days gets trampled and/or shot.
- A 12-year old boy in South Carolina opens his Christmas present a tad early, and it turns out to be a Game Boy Advance. His angry mother punishes him, not by grounding him or sending him to his room, but by calling the cops on him. He is charged with petty larceny.
- Enthusiastic Wii owners waste no time in putting their hands through ceiling lights and sending controllers into their screens while playing half-baked sports games. Everyone blames Nintendo.