The Electronic Entertainment Expo is conference that is known for high points that shake up the gaming world, along with low points that can't be shaken from memory. Not to say all the conferences are triumphant or memorable, but each stood out in their own way.
Here are some of our favorite highlights over the years from the big event, and maybe we'll add on a few more after next week.
E3 2010: Kevin Butler Dominates With a Speech
"Deep down inside, we all serve one master, one king...and his name is gaming! FOREVER MAY HE REIGN!"
The time for Sony spokesman Kevin Butler may be come and gone, but during Sony's pre-E3 presentation, he stole the show simply by walking on stage and delivering a mother of a speech about E3 and the power of gaming. We've included the full speech above for your viewing pleasure, so sit back, have a Coke, and revel back in the days when a single man could change the course of an event. Speaking of which…
E3 2004: Miyamoto Is Armed and Awesome
Years before Kevin Butler would steal the show, Shigeru Miyamoto left his own mark during Nintendo's press conference at E3 2004. After the company got the audience's attention with a rousing trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Miyamoto took over the stage, brandishing Link's heroic sword and shield. The crowd went nuts, and ten years later, it's a memory worth reliving.
E3 1995: Saturn's Jump Into Stores
Not willing to let Sony steal all the thunder in the forthcoming console race of 1995, Sega made a surprise announcement that floored gamers and retailers alike: the Sega Saturn would launch months ahead of its fall release. In fact, it released the day that the announcement was made. While fans flocked to stores and bought the system, it was left in a dry spell for several months with no new games that would contribute to its demise. Sony, undaunted by the move, simply priced its hardware lower at $299 and sold millions of units.
E3 1999: When Quake II Stole Daikatana's Thunder and Audience
In 1999, John Romero and his team at Ion Storm were ready to make a killer impact with the first-person shooter Daikatana, which made full use of the Quake engine. Unfortunately, during E3 1999, the team never found a chance to shine, as the long-awaited Quake II managed to steal the spotlight first, attracting all the hardcore shooter fans. Daikatana finally arrived in 2000, completely overhauled with the Quake II engine, but by that time, it had become the equivalent of a long, sad, joke. It even arrived, in poor fashion, on Nintendo 64. We're still trying to figure that out.
E3 2003: When Halo 2 Introduced Dual Wielding
In 2003, fans flocked to Microsoft's press conference to hear the first details for Halo 2, and they weren't disappointed. Perhaps the biggest statement that they went crazy over was the fact that you could now dual-wield weapons in the game, increasing your firepower. Don't believe us? Watch the announcement above for yourself.
E3 2005: Sony's Mighty Stumble
Here was Sony, set to step into the next generation of gaming with the PSP and the PlayStation 3. What could possibly go wrong, you ask? How about everything? Between technical hiccups with the hardware, the insistence that giant enemy crabs existed in Chinese history, the $599 price tag, and the infamous "RIIIIIIIDGE Racer" phrase from Kaz Hirai…well, just see for yourself.
E3 2007: Jamie Kennedy Becomes the Worst Host Ever
E3 2007 was a mess enough as it was, by moving from the Los Angeles Convention Center to several buildings in Santa Monica. Activision, however, made the mistake of bringing in actor Jamie Kennedy to host its presentation – a job he clearly wasn't prepared for. What followed was a really awkward showcase of strange behavior and uncomfortable seatings, something that wouldn't repeat until he hosted a live New Year's special years later. Was he X'ing us?
E3 2008: The Wii Music Party That Wasn't
In 2008, Nintendo attempted to capitalize on its Wii success by introducing a new music simulation game for the motion-sensitive device, only no one really wanted something so lame to replace their Rock Band. As a result of the opening segment, the entirety of the press conference just felt weird and out of place. So... does anyone still own Wii Music?
E3 2011: Mr. Caffeine
This E3 2011 presentation from Ubisoft just defies description. We'd even take James Cameron droning on about nothing for 30 minutes over this…
E3 2006: Peter Moore's Grand Theft Auto IV Tattoo
When then Microsoft president Peter Moore announced Grand Theft Auto IV coming to Xbox 360 with exclusive content, fans went nuts. But the guy was cool enough to not just explain the announcement in words, but to also get a tattoo. Sure it was fake, but how many presenters actually go out of their way to roll up their sleeves?
E3 2007: Peter Moore crashes the Rock Band show
As he achieved glory with his fake GTA IV tattoo, Peter Moore also found a bit of humility at E3 in 2007, when he took the stage with a crew to perform a song from Harmonix's Rock Band. Although the game definitely lived up to the hype, Moore's performance didn't, as he repeatedly brought the show to a halt by accidentally hit the guide button on his guitar peripheral. That's okay, Peter, not everyone can be a rock god.
E3 2010: Gabe Newell Crashes the Sony Party
Sony's 2010 presentation wasn't just epic for Kevin Butler. Valve's Gabe Newell also showed up to crash the party, and crash it did. Sure, he didn't announce Half-Life 3, but the ability to cross-save between the PS3 and PC versions of Portal 2 was a nice second-place gift. Plus, how many shows does this guy actually appear at anymore? Yeah, hardly any.
E3 2013: Sony Dominates With the PS4
Last but certainly not least, after Microsoft spent its Xbox 2013 conference talking about the Xbox One's features and such. Sony focused on games, which upended its competition to the point that Microsoft had to make some vital changes to recover. During the Sony press conference, the company reiterated that its system would be able to play used games, and wouldn't tie down users with DRM. Better still, it promised a next-generation experience for $100 less; something fans would definitely get vocal over.