E3 2019 came and went. It wasn’t the best year but we’ve certainly seen worse. With that in mind, let’s celebrate five moments from its past that make us question what we’re watching and why such time-wastage was allowed to fecund in front of the press and the anticipating audience of gamers yearning for massive videogame reveals as well as the hype and fervor we all get when big announcements are made.
To celebrate a quarter of a century of Ubisoft’s existence, Aaron Priceman showcased his passion for the esteemed publisher by……making outdated pop culture references, lecturing us about videogame-related penis jokes, oh yeah, and presenting DRIVER: San Francisco to us. At least one of those three things were worthwhile.
Far from the worst E3 moment ever, sure, but when you bring in a guy who tries to be entertaining and simply isn’t, then you really should try to find a better representative for your company at an important and prestigious event like E3. Priceman should lay off the caffeine and get some funny jokes. And Ubisoft could’ve done much better to carry the prestige of its legacy into this big event without a cringey presenter.
Konami 2010 Press Conference
“One million troops”-Tak Fuji’s infamous description of how many AI can fit onto the screen in 99 Knights II. Was Tak intoxicated? Was Tak noxious? In any case, what Konami gave us with its EXTREME! (another Tak Fuji quote) 2010 E3 presser was a lot of meme potential and a giggling level of unbridled silliness.
Take the two wrestlers palm-chopping each other back and forth or Naoki Maeda dancing while playing Dance Dance Revolution. Or that bloke staring at his colleague’s neck. Konami had quite possibly manufactured the most unintentional yet funniest E3 press conference ever devised.
Nintendo Wii Music Showcase
Now comes the Nintendo drilling that will surely make Shigeru Miyamoto question his on-stage antics. In 2008 a new rhythm action game was on the horizon, it contained classic musical instruments, Mii’s and an arthritic amount of Wiimote waggling.
Enter Wii Music, Nintendo’s casual response to the seismic success of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, where instead of witnessing notes fly down a highway, you plainly see your Mii avatars attempting to replicate scores from classic Nintendo franchises as the performing players start to look like they’ve been throwing tantrum at themselves, flailing the Wii Remote and Nun-chuk about earnestly attempting to generate good listenable music.
In fairness, Wii Music does let petulant children liberally butcher their daddy’s memories with every loud symbol smash. But seeing Nintendo convince its faithful audience that Wii Music was a great game couldn’t have met with anymore seat slouching discomfiture.
Nintendo – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Gameplay Demonstration
Oh Shigsy, you blundered again! This time all of us waited with bated breath to see a brand new, beautiful Zelda game unveiled in front of us, only to be met with damning technical problems that apparently didn’t crop up in rehearsal. Nintendo left us all questioning the true quality of Skyward Sword after we witnessed Miyamoto trying desperately to make his Wii gestures register on the big screen. And left us all in doubt over what turned out to be a pretty damn decent Zelda outing.
But when the hopes of millions are temporarily dashed because the game they were all frothing for turned out to have performance woes on the grandest videogame stage, it seriously makes you think what hype can shrivel down to if the act of playing doesn’t hold up.
Sony 2006 E3 Presentation
“IT’S RIDGE RACER! RIIIIIIDGE RACER!” Okay, Kaz Hirai’s excitement for Ridge Racer on PSP wasn’t a total deal breaker, but when it came to the price of the newly minted PS3 console, hearts should’ve stopped and the world ought to have frozen still and implode in on itself. $599 for a PS3 was the real stinker.
A new console that should’ve given gamers the ultimate reason to switch from their loyal PS2s turned out to suck because the first impression SONY gave us was sheer greed. The astounding rate of butchery going on at SONY’s 2006 E3 continued with hypocrisy, gimmicks and a giant crab that was reminiscent of epic battles in ancient Japan apparently.
Ubisoft Battle Tag
There’s no easy way to say this, but Battle Tag is no Laser Quest. Ubisoft thought it a treat to have a new game presented to the audience, whereby the participants run around shooting invisible lasers at each other whilst taking cover as they zap over audience members and climb over the stage like hyperactive children without a babysitter.
The audience was silent and visibly looking at their mobile phones as they waited for this tomfoolery to subside. The producer Gael Seydoux did look the part, attired like a recently dismissed Ghostbuster without his Proton Pack and carrying a fake gun with fake ammunition. Gael even managed to play a game of Battle Tag with the presenter, which looked as fun as that sounds – dull and wearisome as the one-on-one battle commenced with nary a reaction from the audience.