The Four Greatest Moments in E3 History

Yowza! E3 is nearly upon us again, and we’re absolutely tearing ourselves to shreds in a frenzy of anticipation. To really build up the hype – to redline ourselves, risking death by sheer enthusiasm – we’ve rounded up the four most incredible moments from past E3s that melted our brains and left us shattered husks, existing permanently on the edge of an anticipation which can never, truly, be satisfied. Let’s get stuck in!

4. James Pond Reveals Himself to A Stunned Crowd (E3 1999)

There have been some incredible celebrity appearances at E3 over the years, but few have shaken the Los Angeles Convention Centre quite like James Pond’s incredible emergence in 1999. Pond, the fish-man star of numerous 90s titles, appeared to promote the ultimately cancelled James Pond: Benefit of the Trout. Amid screams from audience members and his own impossibly strained pleas for salvation, Trout collapsed on stage and suffocated, unable to coexist between the worlds of human and fish. Pond, a true abomination and an affront to the laws of the gods, was a great reminder that when it comes to E3, anything is possible – even things which should not be.

3. A Woman is Briefly Allowed on Stage (E3 1998)

Pundits were stunned during an E3 presentation all the way back in 1998 – well before women existed within the world of games – when an honest-to-goodness woman was briefly allowed on stage to discuss the upcoming James Pond: A Fish in Time. Although they seemed to realise their error immediately – the woman was pulled away after introducing herself, and for the rest of the presentation the increasingly bewildered crowd could hear her being berated off-stage – it was an incredible win for what we would come to understand to be feminism, and a great reminder that games would eventually be marketed as being for ‘everyone’, as long as the definition for ‘everyone’ does not threaten any existing patriarchal power structures (sorry advertisers!). It’s a shame that her name, and all footage, have been lost to time.

2. Kaz Hirai announces Graphics (E3 2007)

This was a true turning point for Sony – the moment where we knew what the PlayStation 3 would be huge. When CEO Kaz Hirai first walked out and clearly enunciated the word “graphics” into a silent room, there was polite applause; over the next hour and a half, as he continued to stand perfectly still, screaming “graphics” at a steadily increasing pace and volume, the room hit a fever pitch, the crowd eventually destroying itself in a blissful fervour. We’re not sure what was more exciting: when he yelled “GRAPHICS!” really loudly twenty-five minutes in, or when he screamed “GRAPHICS!!” at the one-hour mark, blood pouring from his mouth and eyes. Hit that share button if you remember Graphics!

1. The Very First E3 (2511 BC)

Few who attended would ever forget the first E3, held atop a Mesopotamian ziggurat during the peak of the Blood Moon and sponsored by what we now know to be the ancient ancestor of Mountain Dew. Little footage remains, but there’s no doubt that some amazing games were announced, and that the sacrifices made on that day ensured several centuries of hot releases. Poet William Yeats would, famously, later ask what rough beast was slouching towards Bethlehem to be born; the attendees of the first E3 knew that fearsome, gibbering answer beyond any doubt. It set the tone for what would become the most epic week on the gaming calendar.

Do you have an E3 moment that left you a catatonic mess? Share it with us in the comments!

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