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The 7 Best E3 Bombshells and Announcements

by Logan

May 30, 2010

Continuing the buildup to E3, it's now time to look back at some of its more memorable moments. As I mentioned in my previous article, the E3 expo is a special kind of event. No other entertainment medium really has anything comparable to the mystery and excitement that surrounds it. There've been plenty of monumental occasions, but I'm going to touch on some of the cooler ones, and some that just left that big of a footprint.

 #7. E3 2005: What's So Fucking Revolutionary About The Revolution?

Regardless of how it turned out, this new idea was exciting.

Oh so that's what's so revolutionary! Unveiled a few months prior at TGS, people were using these strange looking remote controls to seemingly do nothing but induce beeps in a video. However, Nintendo soon unveiled a video showing what they thought their new machine was capable of.

Ok, so the machine itself didn't live up to the hype that this video was going for, but when does anything like that ever come to fruition? Regardless, the idea of motion controls was an exciting one, and it was obviously a move that paid off. Nintendo has left Sony and Microsoft in the dust, and they're both now trying to play copy cat just to keep up. Nintendo's bold decision to try something new has worked out great for them, and that's why this announcement earns a special place in history.

 #6. E3 2003: The Halo 2 Spectacle

This "demo" certainly got a lot of people talking.

Ok, whether you despise the Halo franchise or secretly own Master Chief bed sheets, there's no denying the hoopla that was surrounding the Xbox's first huge sequel. As was later revealed to be complete and total bullshit, Halo 2's demo made a huge fucking splash.

So bullshit or not, this was the trailer, and subsequently the game, that defined online console gaming. The party system and competitive matchmaking are still staples of this generation, and that's saying something. Halo 2 broke sales figures and undoubtedly gave Microsoft the success it needed to be where it is today in the console gaming market. So no matter your opinion of the game, its footprint is undeniable, and this trailer was the first glimpse the public ever got.

 #5. E3 2006: Snake Appears in Super Smash Brothers: Brawl

"!" indeed.

Maybe not a monumental bombshell, but it was certainly a neat moment. Nintendo showed off their flagship party game for the first time, and the little inclusion of Snake at the end was totally unexpected.

The inevitable shitstorm that followed this announcement was almost palpable and honestly created a whirlwind of speculation that propelled SSB:Brawl to a plateau it could never reach. People were excited over all of the possibilities for future combatants, and a few were even realized. So while this wasn't the sort of announcement you build your entire presentation around, it's one of those little surprises which makes everything a whole lot sweeter.

 #4. E3 2006: Five Hundred and Ninety-Nine US Dollars!

The ludicrously high price point attacks Sony's games division for massive damage!

While this is definitely filed under the infamous category, the splash that the Playstation 3's price tag reveal made was certainly one of John Goodman -sized proportions. The entire press conference was a total disaster, possibly only rivaled by Nintendo's Ravi Drums Fiasco.

While it can certainly stand on its own for the pure comedic gold and its impressive meme-producing capabilities, the real gravity of this announcement comes from the gigantic hole it put Sony in. After dominating for a solid decade with the PS1 and PS2, the PS3 was met with a lukewarm reception in most territories. Maybe it was the price point, maybe it was the lack of games, but Sony has just now recovered from one the shakier major console launches in recent memory.

 #3. E3 2004: Miyamoto and Aonuma Fool Everybody.

"Gotcha bitch!"

This one is certainly near and dear to me as the Zelda franchise is one of my most beloved. This very site used to be dedicated solely to it and I can still remember the heated discussions over Wind Waker. When Nintendo decided to stray away from the two brilliant N64 iterations of the franchise and create a more “childish” affair, fans of the former were split quite harshly. Then Aonuma confirmed that the next game would be a sequel and the art style would remain, which caused an even bigger rift. However, all of this anger was for naught as Miyamoto turned the tables on everyone during 2004’s press conference.

I mean seriously, watch that video and listen to the amount of excitement surrounding that, it's insane. Miyamoto takes the stage acting like a total idiot and people are screaming like he's Paul fucking McCartney. This is one of those moments that just oozes fun. The crowd loves it and you can just tell that Shiggy is as happy as a pig in shit. Watching this just makes the coming unveil of Zelda Wii all the more titillating.

 #2. E3 2007: Square-Enix Omni-Slashes Final Fantasy XIII's Exclusivity.

Cue the Final Fantasy victory fanfare.

Arguably one of the larger announcements in recent memory, this is definitely the one that nobody saw coming. After the bitter parting of Squaresoft from Nintendo, the Final Fantasy series had found a comfortable home on the Playstation. In a total shocker of a move, Yoichi Wada capped off the Microsoft press conference unveiling that Final Fantasy XIII would no longer be exclusive to the Playstation 3.

The announcement itself, complete with the cheesy "fake walk off, oh wait I'm back" introduction made this a perfect example of what makes E3 fun. The sheer amount of internet fallout made this one a blast to be around and it's a perfect reason to keep tuning in every year.

 #1. E3 1995: Sony unveils its little grey box

"!" indeed.

After almost being an attachment for the SNES and a long-term business partner with Nintendo, Sony decided to cut those ties and venture into the gaming market on its own. There's no questioning the success of the Sony Playstation and its dominance on the late nineties gaming market.

The name Playstation became synonymous with video games just like Nintendo was in the 80s and Atari was in the 70s. The bold move to incorporate a disc-based media gave Sony the technological and financial edge it needed to dominate. It also did loads to distance itself from the "Games are for children" stereotype with more mature oriented games like Metal Gear Solid and Syphon Filter. The notion that a company not known for any major foray into the home games market could come in and just dominate so clearly was a huge statement and it's one that companies like Microsoft have since followed. For its immediate impact and its ongoing legacy, there's no denying that the announcement of the Playstation was one of the largest ever.

With E3 a scant two weeks away now, it's always fun to look back on some of the moments that make it fun to be a part of, even if that only means sitting down and watching it on your couch. Make sure to check out our E3 2010 discussion thread and tell us about some of your favorite memories of the E3s of yore. Also, check out some of our wildest fantasies and complete, unfounded speculation in our other E3 2010 article.