The Most Shocking Events in E3′s history
It’s no secret that the gaming world has witnessed some of the most awe inspiring, most absurd and unexpected announcements at E3. With this year’s show just around the corner, we at gM thought that we would do a quick recap of those events that define E3. We made our judgements based on how totally out of the blue those announcements were, and not on how prestigious the game or developer it concerned was. The only way we could have seen the following entries coming, was if we had a DeLorian in our hands. So fanboys, if you don’t see your favourite game announcement in the list, stop whining and take a hike. Without further delay, these are the moments that made us realize that we could soil both sides of pants, without us even noticing.
Sega does a Blitzkrieg with the Saturn
When it happened: E3 1995
The glorious 16-bit era was nearing its end and despite early efforts from Sega and Atari to jump ahead of its competitors with the 32X and Jaguar, we all knew that the storm had yet to arrive. The Saturn had already hogged up a significant part of market share in Japan when it hit shelves in 1994, which only made the wait more agonizing. In early 199c5, Sega made the announcement that the Saturn would be arriving on September 2nd, 1995, leading the new kid on the block at the time, Sony, to follow it up by announcing that the PlayStation would release only a week later. At that point, little could gamers foresee the monumental sales and impact that Sony’s console would have on the industry, as it didn’t exactly enjoy a stellar launch in Japan. So our eyes were still kept on Sega’s Saturn and what Nintendo was cooking up.
We then witnessed the dawn of E3, which would eventually become an Industry staple. Gamers passed through the gates, more thrilled than a fat kid at a candy factory. In the most explosive way to kick off the show, Sega made the announcement that the original September release date was merely a ruse, and that the console would be available immediately at retailers high price tag of $399. It didn’t take long for Sony to seize the opportunity, announcing a cheap $299 price for the PlayStation at the very show.
While the move by Sega left us all baffled, we soon realized that the decision was doomed from the start. Relationships between Sega and retailers were crippled as only four select retailers were included in the marketing plan, which unfortunately, also contributed to the small sales of the Dreamcast. Most absurd of all, is the fact that Third Party Developers themselves weren’t aware of the release date. The Saturn launched with just six games by its side, as most gamers were slated to be rolled out around the original September 2 launch date. This one of the worst business strategies to ever go into practice, and we still can’t comprehend how Sega could have not seen the plan backfiring.
Sony brings console level graphics to a handheld
When it happened: E3 2004
There was no denying that Nintendo dominated the handheld domain ever since the release of the original Game Boy to such an extent that opponents refused to even step in to the ring. The bold move made by Sony to enter handheld territory got our attention. If they could bring even a fraction of what they achieved on home consoles, it would be more than just worthy of a competitor to Nintendo, something which we hadn’t seen for years. Though the technical specs revealed at the previous year’s E3 set the internet ablaze, the industry was eager to see how all that processing power would come in to practice. Needless to say, the PSP left us speechless when it was finally unveiled, and games were showcased at E3 2004. Multimedia and Internet capabilities and graphics which gave home consoles a run for their money, coupled with 99 developers who had pledged their sword to Sony, provided all the fuel that the PSP needed to take off.
Although Nintendo proved that graphics don’t make or break a game, with both the DS and the Wii, it was hard not to be left in awe, when the thought of playing Metal Gear Solid on the go first entered out minds.