2002: The Mars Odyssey finds water on the red planet, Stephen Bradbury finds gold in Salt Lake City by not falling over, Spider-Man is king of the cinemas, and Fujitsu release their iPAD. It flopped, but they did make a cool US$4mill flogging the trademark to Apple.

Meanwhile, another tech behemoth, Microsoft, invaded the Australian home console space in March with their Xbox. With Nintendo and Sony dominating and SEGA flailing, they saw a chance and they took it. Essentially a highly-specced (for the time) PC in a box, they had a secret weapon for world domination – or at least a decent share of the console market – up their sleeve. It was a game called Halo: Combat Evolved, or simply “Halo” to pretty much everybody with a pulse and itchy trigger finger. It was an ace first-person shooter, and confused many a cooking show fan with its lead character, Master Chief…

Microsoft aren’t the only ones to have launched a major console locally in March, though. In 2007, Sony unleashed their magnificent PlayStation 3, packing a then new-tech Blu-ray player into a sleek box that also had a load of incredible game-powering tech within. However, the PS3 didn’t have a launch title as all-consuming as Halo until six months later, and the arrival of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

Not to be outdone, Nintendo have used March to launch two of their biggest consoles over the years. On March 1, 1997, we finally got to get our Aussie mitts on the Nintendo 64. Despite packing one of the most, erm, interesting controllers that we’d ever seen, any reservations melted away as we got down to some serious Mario – in 3D!

That machine was a huge success, its follow-up the GameCube wasn’t, its follow-up the Wii was, its follow-up the Wii U wasn’t, and then it was time to Switch. March 3, 2017 was the day, and the story continues…

gaming history

Notable games released in March

Shining Force (1992)
Chrono Trigger (1995)
Conker’s Bad Fur Day (2001)
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (2008)
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013)
Tom Clancy’s The Division (2016)
Dead or Alive 6 (2019)