From an erratic Kevin Butler to Final Fantasy VII HD Remake, here are just some of the moments from E3 past that took us by surprise.
We begin with one from the gaming archives: Sony’s reveal of the PlayStation price tag. More than 20 years ago, executive Steve Race walked on stage to announce that the PlayStation, a landmark machine that would go on to redraw the lines of console gaming, was to be priced at $299 – a full $100 cheaper than the Sega Saturn. It was the equivalent of dropping the mic…in 1995.
Proving that 10 years is a lifetime in the video game industry, Sony's E3 2006 press conference wrote its name in the history book for all the wrong reasons, whether it’s Kaz Hirai's half-hearted cry of "Riiiiiidge Racer!” or the mere mention of PS3’s eye-watering price point which, at $599, would’ve required two jobs to afford at launch. Yeesh!
To say that Gabe Newell was left disappointed by the PS3 would be to deal in wild understatement. For one, the Valve boss deemed Sony’s flagship hardware to be a “total disaster” and even suggested that the company cancel it and start over. Ouch!
So you can imagine our surprise when Newell swung by Sony’s E3 2010 presser to talk Portal 2. His appearance helped stoke excitement among the crowd, and it certainly helped that he was announcing one of the most beloved sequels of all time.
For the first time in the franchise's decorated history, XIII marked the first Final Fantasy title to go multiplatform, meaning Lightning's adventure was also available for Xbox owners.
Before the PS3 even hit store shelves, Guerrilla Games was already swinging for the fences – so much so, in fact, that the studio created a by-now infamous E3 trailer for Killzone 2 without actually knowing the PS3's final specs.
And sure enough, the sizzle reel blew everyone away with its deft animation and character models, though it later transpired that the studio was really playing fast and loose with its graphics benchmark for Killzone 2.
For many Metal Gear fans, David Hayter is Solid Snake…and Big Boss, and Naked Snake, and Old Snake and, well, you get the drift. Fast forward to E3, though, and Konami announced changing of the guard. No longer would the gravel-voiced Hayter portray Metal Gear’s beloved lead; instead, the Powers That Be had chosen 24 actor Kiefer Sutherland. And Metal Gear would never be the same again.
With each passing year, E3 tends to serve up a headline-worhty speech (here's looking at you, Jason VandenBerghe), but none more memorable than Kevin Butler's epic speech of 2010.
Butler, a fictional marketing character brought to life with real glee by Jerry Lambert, took to the stage at E3 2010 to deliver a celebration of the gaming industry and all of its many quirks.
Cheesy? You betcha'. But there hasn't been another E3 speech like it.
If the Playstation powerhouse stole headlines left, right and center in 1995, only to drop the ball quite spectacularly in 2006, then E3 2013 marked Sony's claim for the console throne.
With the industry still reeling from Microsoft's newly-unveiled DRM policies and online requirements, all of which formed the basis of the Xbox One architecture, former Sony boss Jack Tretton executed what is perhaps the perfect PR coup, one which allowed PS4 to become the most sought-after console of 2013.
If Sony's 2013 presentation was all about hardware, then E3 2015 brought what will now be referred to as the hat trick of PS4 megatons: an HD remaster of Final Fantasy 7, The Last Guardian, and Shenmue 3.
Only one of those titles has made it to release (and even it took close to 10 years), though we'll be damned if Sony's E3 2015 presser wasn't one for the ages.