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THIS WEEK IN GAMING HISTORY: NINTENDO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, SEGA SATURN GETS AXED

This Week in Gaming History looks back at the biggest events and releases from throughout the years.

The Nintendo World Championships kicked off in Dallas, Texas on March 8, 1990 before it toured the U.S. passing through 29 cities by the end of the year. The special promotional event tasked contestants with completing a series of challenges from three NES classics, Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer and Tetris. Each game featured modified rules for bit-sized challenges and was all contained in a specially made NES cartridge. Nowadays, this rare item sells for thousands online as only about a hundred cartridges were ever produced.

Nintendo brought back the Nintendo World Championships after a 25-year hiatus with an event in 2015 and then in 2017, both of which took place during the week of E3. Wii U and 3DS games like Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Metroid: Samus Returns and Super Mario Maker were among the games featured.

A sad Saturday morning blew in on March 14, 1998 when Sega announced the discontinuation of its Sega Saturn console. After a mishandled early launch, a higher price point and a rough four years competing against Sony’s PlayStation and later the Nintendo 64, support for the Saturn was cut short in favor of focusing on Sega’s then unannounced upcoming console, the Sega Dreamcast.

Fast forward to March 14, 2007 to find Microsoft announcing their Games for Windows Live service for PC. The now notoriously frustrating service brought achievements, a friend system and Xbox Live integration to PC but would later be seen as a wonky platform plagued with login issues and connectivity problems.

Noteworthy Releases, Anniversaries

A trio of titles released on March 11, 2014 with Dark Souls II, Hearthstone and Titanfall making their initial debut in North America. While each offers something different and seeks to impress different audiences, all three games left enough of an impact in that they are still often brought up today.

Take a look at some of the biggest releases during the current week from throughout the years below (this list focuses on releases in North America only).

March 8:

2011 | Dragon Age II (10 years)
2016 | Tom Clancy’s The Division (5 years)
2019 | Devil May Cry 5 (2 years)

March 9:

2003 | Sonic Advance 2 (18 years)
2004 | Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (17 years)
2008 | Super Smash Bros. Brawl (13 years)
2010 | Final Fantasy XIII (11 years)
2010 | Yakuza 3 (11 years)

March 10:

1998 | Yoshi’s Story (23 years)
2009 | MadWorld (12 years)
2015 | Cities: Skylines (6 years)
2016 | Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation (5 years)
2020 | Call of Duty: Warzone (1 year)

March 11:

1998 | Castlevania Legends (23 years)
2012 | Mario Party 9 (9 years)
2014 | Hearthstone (7 years)
2014 | Dark Souls II (7 years)
2014 | Titanfall (7 years)
2015 | Ori and the Blind Forest (6 years)
2016 | Hitman (5 years)
2020 | Ori and the Will of the Wisps (1 year)

March 12:

2013 | God of War: Ascension (8 years)
2013 | StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (8 years)
2019 | Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (2 years)

March 13:

1994 | Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (27 years)
2007 | God of War II (14 years)
2009 | Resident Evil 5 (12 years)
2012 | Journey (9 years)
2012 | Silent Hill: Downpour (9 years)
2015 | Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. (6 years)
2019 | Nioh 2 (2 years)

March 14:
2000 | Syphon Filter 2 (21 years)
2010 | Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver (11 years)
2014 | Yoshi’s New Island (7 years)

Photo courtesy of Sony Interactive Entertainment

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