Roundtable: What are our favourite E3 conferences?

June 5, 2016

E3 2016 is almost upon us, and with it come the conferences that many of us love. With the yearly arguments over who ‘won’ E3, we thought now would be a great time to have a think about what we consider to be our favourite E3 conferences.


Adam Ghiggino:

When people talk about the Konami E3 Press Conference from 2010, they’re usually referring to the infamous highlight videos which soon followed its streaming. But not for me. It was my first E3, my first time at a Konami event. I was there. I lived the nightmare, stared into the abyss, and came back with only broken shards of what some may consider sanity. From Tak Fuji’s confused attempts to rouse a skeptical and tired audience with calls for ‘EXTREEEEME’, to a Glee concert playing to absolutely the wrong crowd, to the exceptionally misjudged severed head gimmick for Never Dead, to the astonishingly awkward Mexican wrestling bout that amounted to a lot of slapping naked pectorals on. It was all awful to sit through, and left an impression so deep in my brain it may one day result in a seizure. It’s definitely my most memorable E3 press conference.



Sean Warhurst:

My most memorable E3 moment is actually a fairly recent one. Last generation I switched from being a PlayStation faithful to jump on the Microsoft bandwagon, neglecting to pick up a PS3 until near the end of its life cycle in order to take advantage of the 360’s more stable online service and exclusives like the first Dead Rising.

This all changed with E3 2013 however; my excitement for the reveal of the next generation of consoles was tempered somewhat by Microsoft’s almost draconian DRM limitations and the announcement that the Xbox One was required to be online at all time. Then Sony held their conference and instantly won me over again by eschewing all of the controversial aspects of Microsoft’s future plans.

Of course, Microsoft backflipped and removed the features after the outcry from fans but it was too late for me… I had decided to once again back Sony’s latest console and, in some strange way, it felt like coming home again. I’m kind of glad things went the way they did, because otherwise I would never had experienced the sublime gaming experience that was Bloodborne.


Jarrod Mawson:




Andrew Cathie:

2010 was a couple of years after I’d finished high school, and so it was also right around the time that I began staying up overnight to watch E3 press conferences. My family hadn’t owned a Nintendo console since the NES (not counting a 64 with 3 games), but I’d had every Nintendo handheld since the gameboy pocket and absolutely adored them. So it probably should come as a surprise that my favourite E3 press conference happens to be when Nintendo announced a new handheld.

For me, Nintendo’s press conference in 2010 was like a slice of heaven that I didn’t know existed. We had the announcement of the 3DS, and more specifically the trailers for Mario Kart 7 and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Because I hadn’t had a Nintendo conference in years, both of these games blew away my perception of what a handheld could do. Then there was Kid Icarus, which looked absolutely insane and is still one of the most ambitious 3DS titles I’ve seen.

But it wasn’t just about the 3DS, oh no, there were other games as well. I hadn’t played a Donkey Kong game since playing the Country games on SNES at friend’s houses, so Donkey Kong Country Returns pulled at me in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time. The same can be said for Kirby’s Epic Yarn which just looked so incredibly adorable, and reminded me of the times I had played and loved past Kirby games.

It brought back a sense of whimsy and fun that I hadn’t felt from games in a long time and showed me the future of what I probably considered to be my favourite method of playing games, the handheld. For me, Nintendo’s 2010 E3 conference was an easy choice.



Joseph Rositano:

I’ll be honest and say I don’t have one single favourite conference. I do, however, have favourite moments. Some include Reggie’s “My body is ready” during the Wii Fit reveal, or the hilariously bad “attack its weak point for massive damage!” during Sony’s conference one year. One particular moment though continues to give me goosebumps to this very day, and that is none other than the Smash Bros. Melee reveal during Nintendo’s E3 2001 conference.

At the time, broadband internet connections hadn’t been around for too long, and being in a budget-minded family I was limited to slow dial-up connections. So it was some years before I viewed footage from the actual conference.

The reveal trailer itself was just the opening title screen of the final game, but it was the fans’ reactions which will delight even the most hardened Nintendo enthusiast. As soon as the game’s title appeared there was a thunderous applause. The graphics were unlike anything we’d seen before from Nintendo, so understandably that caused the initial excitement. It then turns into a popularity contest as you listen out for which character gets the biggest applause. “Kirby!” you can hear one fan scream as the pink puffball glides across the screen. But of course, it’s Samus fighting Ridley which causes the whole room to have a massive nerd-gasm.

This is my favourite E3 conference because it demonstrates a few things. Firstly, it highlights improvements in 3D graphics which up until then were pixelated on console hardware (ignoring the fact the PS2 had been out for a while). Secondly, it shows the enthusiasm of Nintendo fans (just give us a new Earthbound Nintendo!). And thirdly, it was the first showing of arguably one of the best fighting games ever.



Zachary Clarke:

Nintendo’s E3 2004 press conference was probably one of the earliest E3 memories I have and it’s probably what kicked off my love and obsession behind events like E3. While I didn’t get to watch it live, instead having to watch recordings of the conference and the trailers after school on sites like Gametrailers and IGN, that didn’t inhibit the sheer excitement and hype felt by the press and fans in the Nokia theatre that morning.

The conference opens strong, with a montage of previously announced, but soon to release titles for the Gamecube and GBA like Metroid Prime 2, Baten Kaitos, Resident Evil 4, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Killer 7 and F-Zero GP Legend. Cut to Reggie Fils-Aime and perhaps one of the most iconic lines in E3 history is uttered “My Name is Reggie and I am about kicking ass, taking names and we are about making games”. In my opinion, that was one of, if not the strongest opening to any E3 press conference in history. But it doesn’t stop there, Reggie follows up by delivering expanded trailers for Metroid Prime 2, Starfox Assault & Resident Evil 4 and then proceeds to take a few pot-shots at Sony and Microsoft, ticking more boxes off on the ‘how to have a successful press E3 press conference’.

There were just so many great games highlighted in this press conference, most of them were lucky to even be mentioned on stage with games like Pikmin 2, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Battalion Wars, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Pokemon Fire Red & Leaf Green, Tales of Symphonia and Viewtiful Joe 2 all relegated to mere montages.

So you may be asking, why did Nintendo rush through all these amazing games? The reveal of the DS, of course. The name “Nintendo DS” had already been floating around prior to E3 so the press and fans were feverishly awaiting the announcement of Nintendo’s new handheld and Nintendo delivered. The first DS gameplay footage we see is Super Mario 64 DS, highlighting the systems 3D capabilities, followed immediately by Metroid Prime Hunters, showcasing the DS’s touch screen. Reggie doesn’t just stop there though, running through some of the key features such as backwards compatibility with GBA titles and the ability to connect online via Wi-Fi. These highlighted that the DS was truly the next step in handheld gaming… and it was coming out within the next twelve months.

Surely the unveiling of a new handheld is a big enough announcement for one E3 right? Well Iwata seemed to have thought otherwise as he took the stage and proceeded to casually announce “The Revolution”, the next Nintendo home console that promised to change the way we play games. It wasn’t a lot of information, but it was enough to send one’s imagination running wild.

So that’s it right? A slew of new games, a new handheld and the first information on Nintendo’s next home console… there can’t be anymore right? But oh there was. Reggie tells us there is one more final surprise, the lights go down, grandiose music begins to play and a trailer begins for the The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, showing off the mature looking Zelda title fans have been clamouring for since the Gamecube was announced. Miyamoto appears on stage, carrying the Master Sword and a Hylian Shield and the fans go nuts.  This moment is perhaps one of the best moments in all of E3 and helps solidify Nintendo’s 2004 E3 Press Conference as one of the best in E3 history.


Tim Norman