E3 is one of the few times during the year when publishers are hoisted out of the placid, predictable waters of controlled press releases and orchestrated trailers. Dropped into the choppy seas of the unpredictable, unplanned, and the down right misjudged, executive and directors are prime candidates for gaffes and cringe-worthy moments. Unfortunately, as E3 becomes increasingly professionalized and planned, these bungles and blunders become rarer. Luckily some of the best moments have been immortalized thanks to the internet.
Though E3 is very much about these blooper moments, it’s also about those momentous occasions when a shared love of video games manifests itself in truly breathtaking ways and a vibrant community of like-minded people congregate to celebrate and rejoice together.
Here are 10 of the most memorable E3 moments.
Flash back to Sony’s 1995 E3 keynote speech, where Steve Race approaches the stand and utters one simple number ‘299’ to the raucous applause of the crowd. To give some context, the 299 relates to the price of the Sony PlayStation console. A mic drop before it’s time.
2. Gabe Newell and Portal 2
A rare occurrence it is to see Valve’s Gabe Newell grace the hallowed halls of E3, even more so when he gets on stage contrite in the face of a long held contempt for a generation of consoles. Nervous and somewhat bashful, Newell announces Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3. Hey, we all make mistakes, and it’s heartwarming to see one of the industry’s biggest personalities admit to his and use the trailer to further his point in a jocular manner.
3. Shigeru Miyamoto as Link
Shigeru Miyamoto gracing the stage decked out with a master sword and shield to announce The Legend of Zelda – Twilight Princess. He’s got moves as well. What more is there to say? Classic.
4. How To Share Games On PlayStation
Microsoft’s disastrous Xbox One reveal is well documented and not for the right reasons. Intent on cementing dominance in this generation of consoles after the less than ideal PlayStation 3 era, Sony didn’t waste any time. As soon as Microsoft announced DRM-restricted Xbox games that prevented sharing, Sony’s repeated quips and jabs were pure gold. Released during E3 2013, this instructional video on how to share games on PlayStation is trolling at its best. The fact the two can barely keep a straight face makes it even better.
5. Wii Music
Oh dear, Nintendo’s Wii Music game play reveal at E3 2008. Just watch. The cringe is borderline nauseating and an example of how to butcher a classic video game score. You get a gold star if you sit through the whole video.
6. Peggle 2
Peggle 2! The poor announcer, his totally inappropriate jumping air punch, the over-the-top orchestral music. You can’t make this stuff up. Fortunately, EA were able to save face with a self-deprecating trailer for Peggle 2 incorporating actual footage from the reveal.
7. Final Fantasy VII Remake Announcement
The Final Fantasy VII Remake announcement at E3 2015 was one of those special moments of absolute congruence between the unexpected and the blissful. The cheering crowd and the excitement on the speakers face are palpable. One of E3’s greatest moments.
8. Ubisoft’s E3 2010 Battle Tag Demo
The whole segment was a disaster. Have a look for yourself.
9. Tak Fuji – Konami E3 2010
Extreme! Extreme! The speech starts out terribly, faces a few fateful bumps along the road, yet turns out okay in the end. A veritable roller coaster of cringe, misplaced jokes, and an overall satisfying win for Tak Fuji.
10. Jamie Kennedy at Activision E3 2007 Showcase
I’ve racked my brains to understand why Activision thought it was advisable to hire comedian Jamie Kennedy for E3 2007 and I still don’t understand. Confrontational and looking as he’d just come out of a 3 day bender, it’s a miracle he got through the whole showcase.