E3 is right around the corner and we decided to kick off our new weekly feature with the top 5 E3 moments.
#5: In 2006 Sony announced that the PlayStation 3 would be $599.99 at launch for the 60GB model. Ouch. I had been a launch day console purchaser through several system launches up until that point, but I didn’t buy the PlayStation 3 until it dropped under $400. This is one E3 moment I’d rather forget, but it still burns.
#4: I’ll never forget Mr. Caffeine at Ubisoft’s E3 Press Conference in 2011. And after watching this video, neither will you:
#3: In 2008, Square Enix used E3 to announce that Final Fantasy would be making it’s debut on the Xbox 360 with Final Fantasy XIII. As a passionate fan of the series, I had experienced something of the sort before when Final Fantasy VII ended up on PlayStation instead of Nintendo 64, but this was even more surprising. Final Fantasy had found such a comfortable home on the PlayStation line of platforms over the years, that when the announcement came, I was completely dumbfounded. Of course, in retrospect, it should not have been that surprising. With the ballooning production costs of modern video games, it’s only natural for developers and publishers to want to reach as wide an audience as possible. We are creatures of habit though, aren’t we? I still bought the PS3 version.
#2: I suppose it’s never been a secret that Kojima has a sense of humor. But when Kojima Productions presented a trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2005, I enjoyed one of the funniest moments in E3 history. The trailer included a wacky soundtrack, over the top sound effects, and Snake in a variety of unusual situations he would normally not find himself in. It started off with him hiding behind a building that gets bombarded, leaving only a single wall standing for him to hide behind. A moment later, the wall comically falls over, Snake is spotted by his enemies, and the familiar “!” sound effect occurs. From there it gets completely silly as Snake has to race a bunch of soldiers to fill a variety of director’s chairs that each describe a role on the development team, and a very sparkly Raiden appears to challenge Snake for the “Main Character” chair. Hilarity ensues, and I’ll never forget it.
#1: At E3 in 2005, Square Enix did something entirely cruel. They showed off the introduction sequence from Final Fantasy VII as it would look if it had been remade for PlayStation 3, complete with beautiful art and animation… and then announced that it was merely a technical demonstration and that the game wasn’t actually in development. I’ll never forgive them for that! …unless they actually finish the job for a next gen platform.
#5: 2005: Microsoft announces the Xbox 360 would revolve around you, and introduces someone who makes designs for games and can sell them in an online marketplace. That sure happened.
#4: 2006: Nintendo debuts the Wii to extremely long lines and tons of praise. People couldn’t get enough on it, and the hype train exploded from here.
#3: 2011: Sony announces that the Vita will use AT&T for 3G service. The boos were thunderous and immediate. Sony’s replay videos of this edited the boos out. I’ve never heard anyone BOO anything at E3.
#2: 2008: Nintendo reveals their commitment to the casual audience, culminating with a head-scratching debut of Wii Music. The next year, they screwed far more hardcore, but I’ll never forget this year.
#1: 1995: Sony introduces and hypes the PlayStation with the famous announcement that they will release at $299. It spelled the beginning of the end of Sega as a hardware provider, and truly changed videogames forever. Dude, he gets on the stage, says $299, and just leaves. Crowd goes nuts.
#5: Back during E3 2006, I recalled Guitar Hero 2 being shown at Kentia Hall and, being high on music games at the time, I couldn’t wait to play it. During the show, Activision also announced that it had purchased Red Octane, in a curious move, with Viacom purchasing Harmonix later that year. This split between Red Octane, the hardware developer, and Harmonix, the software developer, marked the beginning of several years’ worth of music games that sold millions of downloads and spanned several iterations of music games. Granted the genre is pretty much dead now, but Harmonix was quoted recently saying that Rock Band will return when the time is right.
#4: E3 2009, specifically Microsoft’s Pre-E3 Press Conference. Microsoft promises to change your lifestyle with Natal… and fails with Kinect. Remember the promise of being able to shit talk your CPU opponent? Remember the promise of being able to drive a car like you were holding a virtual steering wheel while sitting down and using your feet for gas and braking? Remember the promise of being able to scan your gear, like your skateboard, and use it in your games? Remember the promise of being able to decide your wardrobe with your friend and virtually wear gear you’ve scanned in to see what you wanted to wear that day? Remember the promise of having the Kinect learn your name?
All bull. Not only did the Kinect launch a year later, with Microsoft claiming that the device “didn’t really need the microprocessor that Natal had,” but the resulting lag made plenty of games unresponsive. Also, the device couldn’t properly identify people who were sitting on a couch, thus requiring all Kinect players to stand up while playing.
#3: E3 2006. This wasn’t particularly a moment that people know about, but I know of it as the infamous, “Shigeru Miyamoto plays Warhawk” moment. I was playing the Resistance: Fall of Man demo at the Sony booth when my friend nudged me on the side and mentioned that Miyamoto, along with Bill Trenen who was acting as translator, was trying out Warhawk. A nervous developer helped Miyamoto get used to the controls, but looking at his face I noticed that he tried to measure the latency of the SixAxis, which was then unveiled, rather than play the game. After he had his fill, he drops the controller unceremoniously and walks away. That image of him doing that is burned into my brain.
#2: E3 2006. Again. “RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDGE RACERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!” Need I say more?
#1: E3 2006 yet again. This E3 memory brought forth the meme that required you to hit a giant enemy crab’s weak point for massive damage. Yes, Sony ultimately wins this top 5.
If you need your mind refreshed Bill Ritch, who was one of the producers of the game, came onstage to introduce Genji 2 for the PlayStation 3. He remarked how the game’s epic battle scenes were based on famous battles that actually took place in ancient Japan. This was instantaneously, and hilariously, followed by gameplay footage of Genji 2 depicting a giant enemy crab going into battle. Many notable quotes include, “hit its weak point for massive damage,” and “real time weapon change,” which helped underscore the lack of notable features in Genji 2. Of course many years later, we know of Genji 2‘s fate and its developers over at Game Republic.
For your enjoyment, I have a remix of that entire Sony E3 2006 Press Conference which comprises items #1 and #2 of my top 5 list. We laughed at it then, and we laugh at it now, but I gotta admit that Sony’s getting a bit better with their messaging. But, in the meantime, there’s this:
#5: 1995: Sega announces the Sega Saturn then goes on let the audience know that their new console had shipped to retailers the night before and is already in stores. I never had a Sega Saturn, I was never a Sega fan so I let this one pass me by. Plus, once I heard the PlayStation was cheaper, I planned on getting that one instead.
#4: 1995: Sony announces the PlayStation console for $299 stealing Sega’s thunder and making it a better buy. I went out and bought the console a few months after its launch.
#3: 2000: Sony announces the PlayStation 2 will have a DVD-ROM drive and play DVD movies making the PS2 my first DVD player.
#2: 2006: Sony announced the PlayStation 3, its Blu-Ray drive and its $599 price tag. Sony tells the consumer that they will have to get an extra job to afford their new console scaring away potential purchasers. This made it easier for me to purchase the 60gig model as it was the only one in stock.
#1: 2009: Bioware announces Mass Effect 2 and that the players progress from Mass Effect will carry over to the next game. Mass Effect is my favorite franchise of all time. I was super excited to hear the news about Mass Effect 2 and couldn’t wait to purchase the game and play it.
#5: James Cameron shows up at Ubisoft’s press conference to talk and talk and talk about Avatar the game. Wait, you don’t remember that there was an Avatar game?
#4: “My name is Reggie. I’m about kicking ass, I’m about taking names, and we’re about making games.” I’m not a Nintendo fan, but that was awesome.
#3: Final Fantasy XIII is coming to Xbox 360. Maybe it’s the heel fan in me, but I love when so many people get that upset about something so trivial.
#2: Grand Theft Auto IV is announced for Xbox 360 by Peter Moore’s “tattoo.” ‘Nuff said.
#1: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Seeing that portion of All Ghillied Up played live on Microsoft’s stage was mind-blowing. Even better was watching X-Play’s live demo of it where the player uses the Javelin to take out the tanks on the bridge. It was then I knew that console shooters were going to be taken to a whole other level. For better or worse, that was a game changer.
With a two new consoles on the way at this year’s E3 and a slew of next gen games and announcements, surely next year’s list will have at least one from E3 2013. In the meantime, what are your top E3 moments?