Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The Tuesday 10s - E3 Moments

In less than a week and after a year's absence, E3 returns with E3 2021. This is traditionally the gaming megaevent where the biggest players in gaming converge to reveal the latest cornucopia of software and sometimes even hardware that will make waves in the following year and beyond. E3 2021 is quite different this year compared to previous events--being all digital for one, and also lacking one of its biggest players, PlayStation, which won't be attending this year in any capacity. Still, E3 is essentially "Gaming Christmas" for many, and with this installment of The Tuesday 10s, I wanted to mention some of SPC's most favorite, memorable moments that have happened in E3's illustrious past--both high highs and low lows. 

"Everyone is Here!"

We're going to start with the most recent memorable moment of E3 and go back in time from here with Nintendo's E3 2018 showcase. Now, if you weren't a fan of Super Smash Bros., then this showcase was quite a bit of torture for you, as it took up a significant portion of the presentation. However, for everyone else, Masahiro Sakurai revealed something truly spectacular for the latest game in the Super Smash Bros. series. Not only was almost every stage returning from past Smash Bros. games, but every single playable character ever featured within a Smash Bros. title would return for the game. It was a hype-worthy announcement for Smash fans that really put the "Ultimate" in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle Reveal

After having leaked early, as is typical of many Ubisoft projects in all honesty, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was prematurely mocked and made fun of. The idea of the game seemed ridiculous to many, offering nothing that many Nintendo fans and gamers like wanted. However, when the game was officially revealed at Ubisoft's E3 2017 presentation, the game got an immediate 180 in opinion. Not only did game development guru Shigeru Miyamoto appear on stage with Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot in an impressive display, but Mr. Miyamoto would talk about the game as well to further hype potential players. This worked considerably, and it made for an incredibly heartwarming moment when the game's creative director Davide Soliani couldn't contain himself and started to cry at the overwhelming positive response to the game he helped make and a gaming hero in Miyamoto speaking about the game as well. In such an oftentimes cynical and downright trashy at times industry, it was a breath of fresh air to see a lovely moment like this at E3.

The PlayStation Trinity 

Sony's E3 2015 was the stuff of legends--nay, the stuff of dreams. Three long awaited games were finally announced in one stellar showing of a conference. Final Fantasy VII Remake was one of these, offering an official announcement after a tech demo tease several years and E3s prior. Then, there was The Last Guardian, though smaller in stature by comparison, exited its perceived vaporware territory and saw an updated trailer and more. Finally, the next installment of Yu Suzuki's Shenmue series, Shenmue III, received an announcement and subsequent trailer as well. While the quality of this trio of games varied at the end of the day, it was without question an awesome sight to see during Sony's E3 2015 showing.

PlayStation's Used Games Tutorial

After Xbox pretty much crapped the bed with its reveal of the Xbox One at E3 2013, the waters were red with the sight of blood, and PlayStation was ready to pounce. The fear of used games no longer being an actual thing after Xbox's event sent chills down the spines of many gamers, so the question of whether Sony's PlayStation would follow suit with its PS4 hung in the air. However, that question was definitively answered with echoes that reverberate throughout the gaming world during PlayStation's E3 2013 event. One simple, short, and sweet video would reveal the answer that used games were here to stay on Sony's console, and that answer ended in an exclamation point that delighted gamers all around the world. 

Nintendo 3DS Reveal

We'll see another debut of a Nintendo handheld later in our journey through E3s past, but first let's take a look at what is currently the last dedicated handheld Nintendo has made: the Nintendo 3DS. The system debuted at E3 2010, offering the promise of glasses-free 3D--nowadays a throwaway gimmick of sorts, but then was a cool innovation (and to be fair, it did make many games on the system much more appealing and immersive), as well as new games in classic Nintendo series such as the return of Pit in a starring role with Kid Icarus: Uprising, the Nintendo 3DS seemed poised to make waves right out of the gate. Sure, soon after we'd get the price announcement of $250 and a lackluster launch lineup that would result in the 3DS stumbling early on, requiring a quick price drop and some ambassador games to early adopters. Still, it's all too easy to forget about that since the handheld now ended up with one of the best libraries of any portable. Your mileage will vary, of course, on that, though!

Konami's Bizarre but Awesome 2010 Conference

Awkwardness is just natural when you're doing a live show, but Konami took it to almost uncomfortable levels at times with its 2010 conference at E3. There was Tak Fujii's utterings of "one million troops", his unenthusiastic "wow", and "extreeeeeeeme"-ness. There were luchadores slapping one another, a stare that could kill involving two developers of Silent Hill: Downpour, and stage demos that were painful to watch at best. All in all, you have one of the most unforgettable and humorous (for all the wrong reasons) press conferences in E3 history. Needless to say, Konami took a different tact and approach with its future E3 showcases.

Sony's E3 2006 Misfire 

A "misfire" is a kind way of putting Sony's E3 2006, one that would spawn countless (read: endless) memes and jokes from its presentation. This was at a time when Sony and PlayStation were at its cockiest, resulting in some much needed hubris. Sony ultimately got just that with a showcase haunted by the cries of "RIIIIIIIIDGE RACER", "giant enemy crabs", and a price reveal for the PlayStation 3 that practically handed Nintendo and Microsoft the generation. While Konami's 2010 press conference was more comical and bizarre than anything, Sony's was almost painful to witness. You'd have hot takes soon after on how Sony killed their brand, but fortunately, the PS3 rebounded through some aggressive moves, and nowadays the PlayStation brand is as strong as it ever was--maybe even more so. 

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Reveal

Say what you will about The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess today--I personally adore the game, but others aren't too hot on it--but the announcement and reveal of the game was no doubt incredible. After The Wind Waker's more colorful and cartoony style, the promise of a more "mature" Zelda game sent many Nintendo fans into an absolute frenzy with a trailer for Twilight Princess that echoed with a stirring symphony and choir vocals. Then, by the end of the trailer, Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage, waving the Master Sword and Hylian Shield in his usual charming and cool way. This marked the end of a rather impressive showing for Nintendo, after having conceded marketshare to both Sony and the then-new player in the market, Microsoft. It showed that Nintendo was down but ultimately nowhere near out.

Nintendo DS Reveal

From the same E3 2004 press conference that introduced the world to both The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Reggie Fils-Amie, the world also saw the debut of one of gaming's most successful platforms of all time and the most successful handheld of all time: the Nintendo DS. Featuring two screens, a bottom touch screen, local and more excitingly Wi-Fi communication for free online play, the astonishment that was a new premiere Metroid game that was revealed along with the system, and much more, the Nintendo DS was like Reggie at the show--ready to kick ass, take names, and was all about playing games. And as the sales and impressive run of the system shows, the rest--as they say--is history.


We end our trip through memorable E3 moments with the very first E3 and the moment that made PlayStation an immediate important player in the gaming industry. It was E3 1995, and SEGA was riding high on not its announcement of its Saturn gaming console. Not just that, but the company had announced that the system was having a surprise launch immediately after its show. Priced at $399, SEGA was feeling great about itself. Well, that was until this new, young, fresh face in the gaming scene, Sony saw its first opportunity to witness blood in the water and the company surely struck hard. At the time, SCEA's president was Steve Race, and he promptly took to the stage during E3 to talk about this then-unknown quantity called the PlayStation. All he had to utter was one thing, "$299", and then he promptly left the stage no sooner than he had taken it. Applause then shook the room, followed by a death knell to any sign of the SEGA Saturn's success. A new player jettisoned into the gaming arena with a bold and ultimately successful play, which changed the gaming landscape forever. 


What E3 moments are your favorites and most memorable to you? And if you have a topic you'd like to see featured on a future installment of The Tuesday 10s, let the SPC community know in the comments section below as well!

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