Miyamoto enters ?Golden Halls?

Mario creator becomes the first entrant to the Computer and Video Games Golden Joystick Hall of Fame at today?s awards ceremony.

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Rockstar get theirs from Jupitus
Rockstar get theirs from Jupitus
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The creator of the World's most famous plumber, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, has become the first entrant to the Golden Joystick Hall of Fame. This announcement was one of the highlights of today's Computer and Video Games Golden Joystick Awards ceremony, which were presented by TV comedian Phill Jupitus at a glittering awards ceremony at London's Park Lane Sheraton Hotel.

In a videotaped acceptance speech, Mr. Miyamoto said: "I'm honoured to become the first recipient of the Golden Joystick Hall of Fame award. I would like to thank all of the game fans and game media in Europe who are helping to energise the video game industry. For more than 20 years I have been fortunate enough to work with very talented people with amazing foresight from the early Donkey Kong days to our most recent, Mario Kart: Double Dash!! I really have enjoyed every minute. It's an amazing industry to work in."

Mr. Miyamoto's induction to the hall of Fame wasn't Nintendo's only reason to celebrate at today's awards, as the company also picked up the coveted 'Publisher of the Year' award, while two of its games also received recognition: Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube Game of the Year) and Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Most Wanted Game for Xmas 2003). In addition, the company's handheld games machine, the Game Boy Advance SP, beat off strong competition from Sony's Eye Toy and Microsoft's Xbox Live! to be named Hardware of the Year.

The Golden Joystick Awards, the UK's premier awards for interactive entertainment, are presented by Dennis Publishing, a leading publisher of magazines in the computer and video games and men's lifestyle sectors. The awards are voted for by readers of Dennis' magazines and visitors to its consumer websites.

"The success of today's event has underlined that the Golden Joysticks are the definitive UK awards for computer and video gaming," says Tara Leathers, Games Division Publisher for Dennis Publishing. "The 88,000 votes which we received from the general public and the fact that all 480 seats for today's ceremony were sold out well in advance go together to prove that these awards are not only the people's choice, they're the industry's too."

Nintendo's success was almost matched by games reflecting two of modern man's greatest obsessions ? fast cars and football ? as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and CM4 claimed two awards each.

CM4, the latest incarnation of the best-selling football management game (developed by Sports Interactive and published by Eidos) collected the 'PC Game of the Year' and 'Best of British' awards, while Rockstar Games' orgy of motor-based crime and action set to an eighties soundtrack, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, was named as both 'PS2 Game of the Year' and 'Ultimate Game of the Year'.

"It's always nice to win awards, but it's especially good when, like the Golden Joysticks, they are voted for by members of the public," says Miles Jacobson, Managing Director of Sports Interactive. "We're particularly pleased that one of our awards was voted for by readers of The Mirror and the other by readers of Computer & Video Games, which shows how wide the appeal of computer and video gaming is becoming."

Highlights of today's ceremony, which was attended by 480 members of the UK games industry, will be broadcast in a special edition of MTV's movie and games programme, Screenplay (www.mtv.co.uk/screenplay) on Friday, December 5th.

The Golden Joystick Awards 2003 were sponsored by Electronic Arts (Retailer of the Year), GAME (Most Wanted Game for Xmas 2003), Macrovision (Publisher of the Year), Nokia N-Gage (After-show Party), Sonopress (Xbox Game of the Year) and Vivendi Universal Games and Crash Nitro (Best New Hardware).

The full list of winners and finalists is as follows...

PS2 Game of the Year
Winner:
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Finalists:
Eye Toy: Play
Pro Evolution Soccer 2

GameCube Game of the Year
Winner:
Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Finalists:
Metroid Prime
Resident Evil Zero

Handheld Game of the Year
Winner:
Advance Wars 2
Finalists:
Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Xbox Game of the Year
Winner:
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Finalists:
Soul Calibur II
Splinter Cell

PC Game of the Year
Winner:
CM4
Finalists:
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Battlefield 1942

Online Game of the Year
Winner:
Battlefield 1942
Finalists:
Phantasy Star Online
Unreal Championship

MTV Film to Game of the Year
Winner:
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Finalists:
Enter the Matrix
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

The Mirror: The Best of British
Winner:
CM4
Finalists:
Conflict Desert Storm 2
Republic: The Revolution

Publisher of the Year
Winner:
Nintendo
Finalists:
Electronic Arts
Rockstar

Retailer of the Year
Winner:
GAME
Finalists:
Amazon.co.uk
Gameplay.com

Hardware of the Year
Winner:
Game Boy Advance SP
Finalists:
Eye Toy
Xbox Live!

Unsung Hero Game of the Year
Winner:
Viewtiful Joe
Finalists:
No One Lives Forever
Steel Battalion

Hall of Fame Industry Personality of the Year
Shigeru Miyamoto

Editor's Award: Game of the Year
Winner:
Pro Evolution Soccer 3
Finalists:
Call of Duty
Legend of Zelda: The Wind Maker
Metroid Prime

Most Wanted Game for Xmas
Winner:
Mario Kart: Double Dash!!
Finalists:
Pro Evolution Soccer 3
WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain

Most Anticipated Game for 2004
Winner:
Half Life 2
Finalists:
Doom 3
Halo 2

Ultimate Game of the Year
Winner:
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Finalists:
Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic