2004 was one of the best gaming years in memory. New versions of Doom, Half Life and Halo graced our screens, and the hardware to play them on just got better and better.
Good news for Java enthusiasts in March, when Sun and Nokia teamed up to set up online multi-player games. This was one step closer to any time, anywhere gaming, although few results have been forthcoming from the partnership thus far.
The summer is a traditionally fallow time in the gaming arena as the industry consolidates and prepares for the pre-Christmas build up. However, the slack was taken up by the Olympics, whose IT worries continued to attract interest.
Those of us who have been gaming for a while remember the impact Doom had on gaming. Doom 3 from ID software hit the shops in August and proved wildly popular, even though the anti-violence lobby grumbled that more wholesome games were not as popular.
September is Intel Developer Forum time but the gaming community was top of the company's priorities. It is hoping that entertainment PCs will be the platform of choice for tomorrow's gamers.
AMD bounced back the next month and released its fastest Athlon 64 to date. Games PCs were one of the big growth areas for manufacturers as the hardcore fans will pay through the nose for the latest, fastest kit.
Half Life fans got their fix in October with version two proving crashingly popular on release. The first pirated copies were also found and locked out.
Meanwhile the future of online gaming was confirmed with one of the key drivers being Halo 2, according to one report. When the new Counterstrike mod comes out for Half Life expect traffic to shoot up further.
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