E3 is more than two decades old, and in those two decades, there have been a number of highs and lows. It's at the annual gaming expo that the future of the video game industry is revealed.
Sometimes, that future is brighter than at other times. As is often the case, announcements made at the show will cause those in attendance to clap, cheer and sometimes, even cry as dreams become reality onstage. Other times, the reveals (and those making them) only induce pain on all those watching from around the world. There are more than a few jokes and memes from E3 conferences that still permeate across the web, and it seems like every year, another one is added to the list of "what not to do" at gaming's biggest event.
However, for every misstep or cringe-worthy show host, the good moments far outweigh the bad. The energy surrounding E3 week is truly unlike anything else in the entertainment industry, and that's why millions of fans tune in each summer to watch it all unfold live. Here are some of the best, and the worst, moments in 25 years of E3 history.
Peter Moore Reveals Halo 2's Release Date
How do you make the announcement of a heavily-anticipated game's release date even more exciting? Tattoo the date on your arm, of course! That's exactly what then-Xbox executive Peter Moore did during Microsoft's E3 2004 press conference, and it's hard to argue with the results. Was it a real tattoo? No way, but it was still a fun way to make a major announcement for what would prove to be the biggest game in Xbox history.
Kevin Butler's Epic E3 2010 Speech
Sony was fighting a losing battle against Microsoft in 2010, and fictional Sony executive Kevin Butler's epic speech as Sony's press conference that year served as the perfect way to rally the troops. Sure, it's corny at times, and Butler (played by actor Jerry Lambert) took a few jabs at Xbox, but overall, the speech was one about gamers uniting to celebrate the medium that spawned E3 in the first place. It's too bad that a portion of the speech was essentially Butler plugging Sony's lackluster Move motion controller, but overall, the speech still resonates today.
Reggie's Debut And The Sentence That Would Spawn A Thousand Memes
Nintendo of America executive Reggie-Fils-Aime was a breath of fresh air for Nintendo when he made his press conference debut back in 2004. His bold press conference opener, "I'm about kicking ass, I'm about taking names, and we're about making games," served as a vital battle cry for Nintendo fans at the time, but Reggie's greatest E3 moment would come three years later. With one unintentionally funny sentence, Reggie would spawn a meme that is still heavily used today to accurately reflect how gamers feel about any upcoming announcement. We are, of course, talking about "My Body is Ready." Fils-Aime first uttered the phrase at E3 2007 during a demo of Wii Fit. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Final Fantasy VII Remake Becomes Reality At Sony's 2015 Press Conference
For years, fans of Final Fantasy had dreamed of playing a completely remade Final Fantasy VII. Square Enix had even teased as much years earlier in a tech demo for the PS3, only to later tell fans it had no plans of recreating the RPG classic. It seemed fans would have to continue dreaming about what Final Fantasy VII could look like on modern hardware, but those dreams became a reality in 2015, making for one of the more powerful reveals in recent E3 history.
Sony Drops The Mic At E3 1995
This is how you announce a console's price. At the very first E3, Sony's Steve Race walked to the podium for a "brief presentation," only to say one word: $299, the launch price of the original PlayStation. He then proceeded to casually walk off amid a cheering crowd.
Shigeru Miyamoto Storms The Stage With Sword In Hand During Nintendo's E3 2004 Press Conference
The reveal of a new Legend of Zelda game is always a big deal, and no reveal was bigger than that of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. After the cel-shaded Wind Waker, Nintendo, at long last, revealed a more realistic, darker-looking Legend of Zelda title that had fanboys openly weeping with joy. Moments after the trailer ended, Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto rushed out onstage with Link's iconic Master Sword and Hylian Shield in hand. People freaked out.
Sony's Entire 2006 Press Conference
No E3 press conference in the history of the show has ever spawned so many jokes. From the PlayStation 3's original $599 price point to "Giant Enemy Crabs," it was a mess from beginning to end. Toss in Ridge Racer and the Six Axis motion controller, and you have a perfect example of what not to do at E3.
Cringe-worthy is the only way to describe the man who introduces himself as "Mr. Caffeine." His name alone should have been a giant red flag to those at Ubisoft responsible for booking the host for their 2011 press conference, but somehow, he got the gig anyway. Viewers paid the price. Painful jokes and awkward silences made this one of the most unbearable events in the history of the show. Yikes.
Everything About Microsoft's 2013 Press Conference
Much like Sony did years earlier, Microsoft's 2013 Xbox One reveal press conference was a complete disaster. A heavy emphasis on television and the Kinect, two things no gamer cared about, didn't help win Microsoft any brownie points, but it was the nature of the Xbox One console itself that scared off most viewers. Talk of always-online DRM, the inability to share games with friends, a Kinect-required console and a $499 price point all contributed to crushing Microsoft's dreams months before the Xbox One ever arrived in stores. While the company would reverse or de-emphasize many of those unpopular talking points, team Xbox still has yet to fully recover from its tone deaf performance at E3 2013.
Like many things Wii-related, Wii Music was more gimmick than actual fun. That didn't stop Nintendo from putting the title front and center during its E3 2008 press conference, with some painful results. Things didn't get any better when Shigeru Miyamoto, and others, then took the stage to perform.
What are some of your favorite (or least favorite) E3 moments? Let us know in the comments below.