The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it’s known to most, heralds some of the biggest game-related announcements of the year, where publishers go head-to-head in an attempt to steal the spotlight of the show with the biggest announcement.
New consoles are nearly always revealed at E3 events, while the vast majority of the biggest games in the industry are practically guaranteed to be there, unless your name is Rockstar Games.
With E3 2017 fast approaching, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest ever moments from E3 of past years. The list isn’t just a compilation of huge announcements, as we’ve got weird, exciting, and just plain memorable moments throughout the list.
The Biggest E3 Moments of All Time
1: Final Fantasy XIII Coming to the Xbox
Back in 2008, when Final Fantasy was arguably considered one of the greatest brands in video games, it had still never found its way onto a Microsoft platform. All this changed at E3 2008, when an unknown character (now known as Lightning) appeared onscreen, to herald the shifting of Final Fantasy to a multi-platform brand.
As we all now know, the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy wasn’t exactly a series of home runs for Square Enix, but it did mark the very first time that Final Fantasy was available on both PlayStation and Xbox systems.
2: Miyamoto Holding the Master Sword
A surprise that seemingly came out of nowhere in 2004 was the announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, via a trailer that came at the end of Nintendo’s presentation. But that wasn’t the end of it, as legendary developer Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage, Master Sword and Hylian Shield in hand, to formally announce Twilight Princess to the world.
This indisputably marks one of the better occasions in video games, and Miyamoto has only become more beloved since then, popping up on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon to rave responses over the last year.
3: Sony’s Nostalgia Hat Trick
Just a few years ago at E3 2015, Sony revealed a few games that, while nothing technically new, astounded a large portion of their audience. These games were The Last Guardian, which had been floating around in limbo for nearly a decade, a remake of Final Fantasy VII, which fans had been crying out for years for, and Shenmue 3.
While there was a certain amount of ire given the Kickstarter nature of Shenmue 3, the other two games were undeniable smash hit successes, with The Last Guardian finally receiving a release date, and Final Fantasy VII bringing tears to those in the audience that were old enough to remember it.
4: Xbox One’s Always-Online Requirement
The Xbox One might now be selling some decent units, but it wasn’t always this way. Microsoft completely dropped the ball with the reveal back at E3 2013, announcing that the console would always have to be connected to the internet, or else the player risked losing access to all their games.
Microsoft obviously backtracked as quickly as possible after incurring the ire of their customers, but the damage was already done, and the Xbox One had a difficult time for roughly the first year. The announcement of always-online connectivity was quickly dropped, with Phil Spencer replacing Don Mattrick as the head honcho at Xbox.
5: Reggie, and the Birth of a Meme
Put ‘Reggie Fils-Aime’ into Google image search, and roughly 50% of the images you come across will be meme-worthy. The origin is Reggie as a meme began at E3 2004, when he was asked to step onto a Balance Board to demonstrate Wii Fit to the audience.
After stepping onto the Balance Board, Reggie uttered the infamous line of “my body is ready”, instantly cementing his status as one of the easily meme-worthy characters in the games industry today.
6: Yoko Taro Unveiling NieR: Automata
Now, this is a strange one. Not only did Yoko Taro appear in a mask that resembled a side character in an unannounced game, but no one else on stage acknowledged how weird the entire ordeal was, instead continuing about as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
Fast forward two years, and the mask that Yoko Taro wears in all his public appearances is now instantly recognisable, and NieR: Automata has become a beloved game, selling over 1.5 million copies as of May 2017. But when the enigmatic developer first appeared onstage at E3 2015, absolutely no one had a clue what was going on, making it one of the more memorable E3 moments.
7: The PlayStation $299 Price Point (1995)
We might be accustomed to brand new consoles costing around $400/$500 nowadays, but this wasn’t always the case. In 1995, Sony’s Steve Race took to the stage at the company’s E3 presentation, to utter a single line: “two hundred and ninety nine dollars.”
Fast forward roughly a decade, and Sony had the disastrous PlayStation 3 price reveal at E3, but the company has now recently sold over 60 million PlayStation 4’s, meaning it’s peaks and valleys for Sony since the PlayStation reveal just over two decades ago.
These are just some of the biggest moments ever to happen at E3. If you think we've missed any monumental moments from our list, feel free to comment below with your own biggest moments from the show.