The E3 gaming convention has been the stage for many video game publishers to launch themselves — and their games/gaming products — since 1995. Since then, E3 continues to present the latest and greatest video games, consoles, and other accessories to the clamoring masses. But out of the numerous E3 presentations, there have been a few that have stuck with us since the news first reached our ears. Without further ado, here are the top 10 most memorable moments from E3!
10. Kevin Butler's "I. Love. Gaming." Speech
Anyone remember the awesome Kevin Butler ads for the PlayStation 3? For those that don't, Kevin Butler is a character created by Sony and portrayed by Jerry Lambert. They were arguably some of the best ads that Sony has ever released. As a huge surprise to everyone, Kevin Butler made an appearance at E3 2010, giving an epic speech about what it's like being a gamer.
"I say it's time we focus on what really matters: the games. Who's with me? See, I. Love. Gaming. I love walk-off homers, and head-shots. I love drifting the turn at 100 miles per hour and boss battles with a 600 foot tall Greek God who may or may not be your father. Gaming is having a ridiculously huge TV in a tiny one-room apartment. Staying up until 3 AM to earn a trophy that isn't real... but is. And those girls who know that a way to man's heart is through a melee attack. I. Love. Gaming."
It may be over the top and, yes, you could even call it cheesy. But there's no denying that this is one of the more charismatic speakers that Sony has ever featured.
9. Reggie Fils-Aimé: The Walking Meme
Reggie joined Nintendo in 2003 as the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. We first remember him from his appearance at E3 2004 when he dropped a surprising line at Nintendo's conference.
"My name is Reggie. I'm about kickin' a**, I'm about takin' names, and we're about makin' games."
Reggie is a gold mine of quotable phrases and has made the Nintendo conferences a delight to watch — making this year a little heartbreaking, as Nintendo has decided not to have their own conference. Nevertheless, we're sure Reggie will return in the future, and when he does, he'll probably say something else that we'll be quoting for months (or even years)!
8. GLaDOS Gave Us a Surprise
Valve's franchises are always big hits. Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead — there's just no possible way that you've never heard of them. One of Valve's most recent franchises, Portal, is arguably one of their largest. Released in 2007, Portal featured the comically insane artificial intelligence everyone fell in love with: GLaDOS. So, hearing her introduce Gabe Newell (co-founder of Valve), who then showed us a new trailer for Portal 2, made this a very big deal.
"Now I've been pretty outspoken in my comments about the current generation of game consoles, so I'd really like to thank everyone at Sony for their gracious hospitality, and for not repeatedly punching me in the face. If I seem a little nervous, it's because Kevin Butler was introduced to me backstage as the VP of sharpening things."
7. & 6. Sony Stole SEGA's Thunder
As mentioned previously, 1995 was E3's first year, and the presenting companies had a pretty fantastic start! SEGA opened with the announcement of the SEGA Saturn and how they had secretly shipped the console to a group of major retailers across the United States. What did this mean? It meant that the console would be immediately available for purchase — and for only $399 USD! From the moment the world heard about this, anyone could go out and buy one! This was a huge deal! But unfortunately for SEGA, Sony had a surprise of their own.
"Steve Race, join me, for a... brief... presentation."
The audience applauds as Race walks up to the stage. He sets his papers on the podium, clears his throat, looks up to the crowd, and says:
That's it. That's all there was to the presentation, but it was all that was necessary. You see, the PlayStation was predicted to cost more than the SEGA, but it ended up being $100 cheaper. The crowd, understandably, erupted with laughter, cheer, and applause.
5. The Remake the World Wanted
Final Fantasy VII: an all-time favorite in the series. Remakes are done quite frequently nowadays and can sometimes feel unnecessary. However, with the original Final Fantasy VII being released nearly 20 years ago, this was not the case. Fans of the Final Fantasy series were overjoyed to discover that it would be remade. Even as a Final Fantasy rookie, I can't deny that I got chills watching the trailer!
4. & 3. Battle of the Consoles: PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One
Ah, yes... the Xbox One reveal. Not only did it receive flak for its name, but the entire conference was a bit messy. From announcing that you would have to remain online to play your games to fuzzy details on whether or not you could buy pre-owned games — it felt like this game console was being marketed as if it were only for streaming, sports, and Call of Duty.
Things got so bad that Don Mattrick (head of Microsoft's Xbox division at the time) left Microsoft to join Zynga. Thankfully, however, Phil Spencer stepped in as the new head of Xbox, and Microsoft has made choices that really put the Xbox One back in the game.
On the other hand, Sony immediately sold us when they announced the PlayStation 4. They offered us a diverse group of games including action, RPG, and adventure genres, and even showcased how creative we could be with Media Molecule's work-in-progress game (which we would later know as Dreams). Of course, they made sure to announce that we wouldn't need to be online at all times, and that we could lend and buy used games. Needless to say, we left quite happy.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Reveal
Whether you were a fan of the series since the first game's release or had never heard of The Legend of Zelda before, it did not matter. I'm about 99.9% sure that everyone who laid their eyes on the trailer became excited for the newest installment in the series. Don't believe me? Just listen to the crowd lose their minds in the clip above.
The crowd went insane the second they saw Link flash on the screen — and they hadn't even seen the last surprise yet! As soon as the trailer ended, Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of the series) appeared on stage wielding the Master Sword and Hylian Shield. All of this adds up to be one of the most memorable moments in all of E3's conferences.
1. Bethesda's Entire 2015 Conference
You'll notice that I didn't highlight a single element from Bethesda's hour-long conference and there's a good reason for that. While this was Bethesda's first time, they knew how to throw a party and keep us on the edges of our seats the entire time.
Opening with the announcement of DOOM and Dishonored 2, Bethesda made us think it couldn't get any better. To our surprise, they announced Fallout 4, which was more complete than any of us had anticipated thanks to it secretly being in development for 7 years. And we just sat there thinking, "Man, this can't get any better!" — but then Todd Howard (director and executive producer at Bethesda) said with a smug look, "Now, to the cool stuff," as if everything we had just seen was mediocre at best.
And then Howard dropped the bomb: there would be a physical, completely functional replica Pip-Boy that would come with the limited edition of the game. Fans everywhere were applauding and cheering — I even remember one ecstatic audience member screaming, "Oh, holy s**t!" and "How much is it?!"
The cherry on top? They immediately released a free mobile game, Fallout Shelter, to help entertain us while we waited. Needless to say, Bethesda won all of E3 2015 for many — myself included. We can only hope that 2016 will be just as grand!