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The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is a major gaming event that started in 1995 in Los Angeles, California and has been held every year since. Though dwarfed in attendance numbers by events like Gamescom and PAX, due to it being primarily industry only, it has a unique place in gaming culture. It is traditionally where new franchises are shown for the first time, where new consoles are unveiled and played live for the audiences, and where long-awaited new installments or franchise reboots are given their introductions. The entire gaming world watches E3, ensuring that these new debuts will have the most exposure possible.

It started off as a spinoff of the Consumer Electronics Show, which used to be the place to announce new game stuff, but a separate show was created when CES said they couldn't create a private space at CES for game developers.note  The first E3 was held by the Interactive Digital Software Association, now known as the Entertainment Software Association, after the organization was formed in 1994. It was originally devoted to retailers, but has since broadened.


In its earlier years, E3 attracted large, somewhat unruly crowds.note  The use of "booth babes", attractive women who draw attention to the games they're advertising, also added to the allure. In 2007, the event allowed only the media and developers to attend and eliminated the booth babes in order to cut down on the noise and crowds. The 2008 event allowed some members of the general public into the convention hall again, but through invitations only. For E3 2009, booth babes made a return, but only if the game companies wanted them in there.

This shifting ground of regulations led Penny Arcade's annual expo and the Tokyo Game Show to become the new de facto expos for a little while, but things have settled over the past couple of years and the status quo returned to what it previously was. Originally closed to the general public, E3 started allowing them to attend for a price in 2017, but members of the press and industry get in for free and have priority passes. The advent of streaming websites in the earlier 2010s meant that you didn't have to be there to see what was going on, live. In this era of social media, particularly notable bloggers are given free passes or brought along by attending companies, keeping a line of communication open between the new press and the general gaming public.


E3 is first and foremost a video game show for the industry at large, including journalists, marketing executives, and those watching at home. Other expos are focused on other aspects of gaming — PAX for the community (and tabletop/card games), GDC for game developers, DICE for executives — but E3 is for everyone, regardless of where they fit in the spectrum of gaming.

The expo is immensely popular, and the entire gaming world has its eyes focused on Los Angeles for the roughly week-long event. It is a source of both joy and heartbreak, of incredibly ecstasy and mouth-frothing rage, and everything in between. Though fandoms the world over may feel elation at the announcement of a new entry in a long awaited franchise, other announcements, or a lack thereof, can easily cause huge backlashes, often in the forms of Flame Wars, They Changed It, Now It Sucks!, Broken Base, Accentuate the Negative, Internet Backdraft, and many others.

Due to the massive intersection of all aspects of games and gaming, controversial issues and events often spring back to up relevance around E3, since the issues tend to resurface or the events are referenced, directly or otherwise. For all that E3 unites the gaming community, it also serves as a stark reminder of underlying problems within gamer culture and business, with the various presentations and interviews subject to a large amount of critical and commercial analysis.

The huge focus isn't all bad, though - all the attention means that certain events in the show are ripe for Memetic Mutation. Sony's disastrous 2006 conference is a good example of this, as that single event alone named three tropes and an index. It also means that if a mistake is made twice it will be noticed, even if the mistake is made by different person(s).

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    E3 1995 - 2000 
  • As E3 1995 was the first edition of the event, some iconic moments were bound to happen:
    • Sega made an announcement in their keynote address that the Sega Saturn, which was releasing on "Saturnday" (September 2), would be $399. Another surprise announcement was that the console was actually already out at select stores. The announcement shocked and angered retailers, developers, and gamers alike, who were not prepared for the release so early, and it was one of the main contributing factors in the death of the Saturn. Though the system had its fans, a huge lack of games in the first six months meant that Sony had to do very little to catch up to the Saturn's pitiful lead.note  The move was calculated to try to cut into Sony's upcoming PlayStation release by being "first on the street", which had helped Sega get the edge over the Super Nintendo Entertainment System a couple of years earlier. Unfortunately, their keynote was scheduled first.note 
    • Sony, in their own keynote address the same year, also made a startling announcement: $299 for the PlayStation.note 
    • Nintendo announced this year that the Nintendo 64, then known as the Nintendo Ultra 64, would be released the summer of the following year. They also gave extensive publicity to the Virtual Boy, though it ended up being a huge hardware failure.
    • The Mortal Kombat conference is remembered for a hilarious, over-the-top presentation that simulated a fight, which was more choreographic than anything else.
  • 1996:
    • Nintendo showed off the Nintendo 64 and a few games (including the anticipated Super Mario 64). They announced that the console would cost $249.95. Additionally, Nintendo unveiled the Game Boy Pocket as well.
    • Sony announced a price drop for the PlayStation from $299 to $199.
    • Sega announced that the Saturn would drop to $199. This was done in order to counter Sony's announcement.
    • The game of the show was Final Fantasy VII, a Role-Playing Game with groundbreaking 3D cinematic production values.
  • 1997:
    • The game of the show was Metal Gear Solid, the first 3D stealth game and the Trope Codifier of the Stealth-Based Game genre, with its mixture of 3D stealth gameplay and cinematic production values.
    • One of the most famous chapters of E3's history took place this year, one of the few times when it was hosted in Atlanta, Georgia instead of Los Angeles, when Quake II was unveiled. Since it was the first Quake game developed without the input of John Romero, who left id Software after some publicized conflicts, Romero himself aimed at stealing their spotlight by showcasing his long-coveted pet project, Daikatana. However, the latter game was running on the engine of the original Quake, while the newer sequel was premiering a more advanced one, so when both games were exposed, Romero and his game were ridiculed. You can learn more here.
    • Several video games which would eventually enter Development Hell were announced or shown in this edition for the first time, such as Paper Mario (then known as Super Mario RPG 2, released eventually in early 2001), Twelve Tales: Conker 64 (early 2001 as well, by then as a heavily revamped game oriented to adults) and most notoriously Duke Nukem Forever (released in 2011).
  • 1998:
  • From 1999 onwards, the event has since been held in Los Angeles. E3 1999 itself is remembered positively for giving fans and journalists a first-time tease on what would be the sixth generation of consoles, including the announcements of games that would expand on online play, the public showing of the Sega Dreamcast, further details of the then-upcoming Nintendo GameCube (codenamed Dolphin at the time), and the PlayStation 2. Regarding current-gen software, the first-person genre had a major presence with the showing of Perfect Dark, Quake III: Arena, Team Fortress 2, Unreal Tournament and a still precarious Daikatana (it was finally released in April 2000, to negative reception).
  • 2000:
    • Sony got fans excited with a video trailer for the much-wanted Metal Gear Solid 2. They also dropped the PS2's U.S. release date (October 26) and price ($299). The anticipated Silent Hill 2 and Final Fantasy X were shown as well.
    • Nintendo showed off their latest Game Boy games and introduced a heavily revamped version of Conker's Bad Fur Day (previously shown in other events including old E3 editions as a family-friendly platformer), a sharp turn for the family-friendly company. Other notable games shown by them were Pokémon Gold and Silver, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and Banjo-Tooie, very anticipated sequels to popular installments released in prior years.
    • Sega, still a major player, was fighting for survival. They brought in a wide variety of games and had one of the biggest booths that year, showing off the Dreamcast's graphical and network prowess. It was here that they unveiled SegaNet, their network infrastructure.
    • Microsoft had their first ever E3 show this year, promoting the recently revealed Xbox console and marking their entry into the console wars in the wake of Sega's departure.

    E3 2001 - 2007 
  • 2001:
    • Grand Theft Auto III was revealed here, a little game you may have heard of.
    • Hardware was the talk of the town - Nintendo and Microsoft were gearing up to launch consoles that year (Nintendo pulling double duty with the Game Boy Advance and GameCube), the Dreamcast was dead, and Sony's PS2 had been a huge hit.
    • Nintendo presented several tech demos for games for the GameCube. One of the demos showed Link and Ganondorf fighting each other with realistic graphics for its time.
    • Microsoft's press conference on the launch of the Xbox was fraught with technical issues and bad timing - held early, the morning after Sony's late-night party, many attendees were still hung over.
    • Sega had gone software-only by this point. As a result, they showed up in almost everyone's conference. While the Dreamcast had been discontinued by then, they still had a solid lineup of franchises to license out, which they did so with gusto.
  • 2002:
    • Doom was back in the form of Doom 3, a major source of hype for the PC crowd. In fact, PC gaming sprung back in a big way in 2002. Other games of note: Ninja Gaiden, Battlefield 1942, Unreal Championship, and TimeSplitters 2.
    • Sony was high on their horse after having sold over 30 million PS2 consoles so far, numbers that Nintendo and Microsoft would never reach with their respective consoles.
    • Nintendo showed off advanced trailers and playable demos from their first-party titles, though many of them, which were previously unveiled at Space World 2001 in Japan, were still controversial at the time for different reasons. Metroid Prime, a long-awaited return of Samus Aran, caused concerns among longtime fans due to its first-person perspective and its development being handled by then-beginners Retro Studios). They also debuted a controversial trailer for the next Zelda (a then-untitled The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker) - long gone were the realistic graphics of 2001's tech demo, replaced by a artsy, cel-shaded style; finally, they showed a more polished version of Star Fox Adventures (previously Dinosaur Planet, now an action-adventure game with Star Fox characters). The internet was less than pleased overall, and while all those games were well-received upon release, the prior controversy left a permanent effect on the already-struggling sales of the GameCube.
  • 2003:
    • Valve Software showed up with Half-Life 2, which was the darling of the show. Doom 3 wasn't MIA, but it wasn't as big as it was last year.
    • Microsoft ended their conference with a movie for Halo 2, the first sequel in a now-iconic series for them.
    • Sony showed off Gran Turismo 4 and ended their press conference with the announcement of the PlayStation Portable, blindsiding Nintendo as their first real competitor in the portable gaming market since Sega released the Game Gear. We all know how it ended up, but at the time, it was a hell of an opening volley.
    • Nintendo had a less than stellar E3. Their big focus was on the GameCube/Game Boy Advance connection, which was neat, but hardly as flashy or interesting as the PSP was by itself. This candid shot of IGN's journalists sums up the overall crowd reaction.
    • Nokia premiered the N-Gage. It was predicted to go nowhere, a prediction it rather swiftly fulfilled.
  • 2004:
    • After Sony fired the opening volley in 2003, Nintendo responded with force in the form of the Nintendo DS. The graphics weren't as good as the PSP's, but it had Nintendo's solid hardware and games behind it, and the touchscreen feature got many people hooked. They also showed off a gorgeous and realistic-looking trailer for the next Zelda game, turning public opinion on the company around by a large margin, especially after their pretty bad 2003. Compare this candid shot of IGN's journalists watching the Twilight Princess trailer to the above shot from 2003. It was also the public debut of Nintendo of America's new marking head, Reggie Fils-Aimé, who quickly became a well-known personality amongst the Nintendo fanbase.
    • Sony brought along the PSP, but it wasn't playable just yet - except for a prototype that Kaz Hirai had with him on screen. They also introduced the very first God of War.
    • Microsoft's big show was Halo 2, and for good reason, given what it introduced to the series.
    • Electronic Arts was very much a rising star by this point, having grown steadily in size over the past few years. The Sims hit it big, and they had The Sims 2 to show off this year.
  • 2005:
    • All three big console companies showed off their new editions this year, with the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360, and the not-yet-finalized Revolution making their debuts.
    • Microsoft had been teasing the Xbox 360 for a while, so it was less of a surprise. Most of the big features had been known.
    • Sony showed off the PS3 with a wonderful sizzle reel and boasting technical specs superior to Microsoft's. The gauntlet had been thrown.
    • Nintendo only showed off the console itself - the controller was MIA, but Nintendo promised backwards compatibility and announced what would become the Virtual Console, along with Super Smash Bros. Brawl. They also gave a major spotlight to Nintendo DS games that would take advantage of its online features, such as Mario Kart DS and Metroid Prime: Hunters.
  • 2006:
    • Sony's E3 2006 press conference was infamous for the following reasons:
      • The PR who discussed the PS3 mentioned how the system was powerful enough for Real-Time Weapon Changenote  and showed Genji: Days of the Blade, “an action game, which [was] based on Japanese history”. This was immediately followed by gameplay of a battle with a Giant Enemy Crab where you could flip it over to Attack Its Weak Point for massive damage. In just a few sentences, he named three trope pages and an index.
      • No one applauded when the original Ridge Racer was shown running on the PSP via emulation, causing the spokesperson, Kaz Hirai, to shout "RIIIIIDGE RAAAAACERRRR!!!" This became a very popular meme across the Internet, as well as prime ammo for a troll to use in a Flame War.
      • The reveal that the 60GB console would cost $599.
    • Nintendo showed the Wii, this time alongside the signature motion controller, along with several new games (such as Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl). It was one of their strongest E3 performances overall, especially because the Smash trailer included the reveal of its first non-Nintendo character ever (Solid Snake of Metal Gear fame). It was also revealed that the long-awaited The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess would see a Multi-Platform release for both the GameCube and Wii.
  • 2007:
    • Overall, E3 2007 was scaled down heavily, moving from LA to Santa Monica and cutting attendance down to about 10,000 people total. This move was in response to several complaints over the large number of attendees and large expense for exhibiting companies, which locked some of them out entirely due to cost.
    • Jamie Kennedy hosted Activision's press conference. It was a complete disaster as he was apparently drunk, heckled the crowd and some of the guests, and was upstaged by a developer at one point. Adding insult to injury, someone in the crowd could clearly be heard saying that the developer was funnier than Kennedy.
    • Nintendo showed more advanced trailers of the games shown in the previous year that had yet to be released, alongside the reveal of Mario Kart Wii and Wii Fit.
    • Sony showed off PlayStation Home, Little Big Planet, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and inFAMOUS.
    • Microsoft, in an interesting move, showed off only games that would be releasing in the calendar year. This included the first Rock Band, Mass Effect, and Halo 3, among other anticipated titles.
    • In important third party news, the Assassin's Creed franchise made its debut this year.

    E3 2008 
  • While no longer in Santa Monica, E3 2008 was still pretty small. Due to the toned down nature of E3, everyone started saving most of their good stuff for their own conferences, PAX, or the Tokyo Game Show. This was disastrous as many fans and publishers were unhappy with the results.
  • Microsoft's event showed many casual friendly features, such as avatars, which looked similar to Nintendo's Miis, minigames in the forms of fly swatting or dancing, etc. This caused the fans of Microsoft to moan and complain that Microsoft was trying to copy Nintendo's Wii. When Final Fantasy XIII was announced to be released for the Xbox 360, it shocked everybody. After the announcement, Sony fans cried foul and claimed that Square Enix was a sellout. It didn't help when Microsoft boasted that most of its 3rd party games used to be with Sony.
  • Sony actually had a decent conference. They used Sackboy to help their presenter through the financial segments and sales numbers, and showed off a strong library: Resistance 2, Killzone 2, inFAMOUS, and a debut for God of War III, with a closing trailer for a 256-person shooter titled MAG.
  • Nintendo's event was, at best, controversial. Fans who expected announcements of big name games like Mario and Zelda were met with disappointment as Nintendo revealed more casual friendly games like Wii Sports Resort and Wii Music. This caused a huge Flame War between fans who claimed Nintendo abandoned the hardcore gamer and fans who believed that Nintendo would have the good games coming eventually. During Nintendo's event, then Nintendo marketing VP Cammie Dunaway told a personal story on how she broke her wrist during a vacation with her kids. The broken wrist story became a fad on forums. A similar fad also began to pop up when Cammie joked to Reggie Fils-Aime about liking the full throttle when he tested a jet ski game. Everyone started to hate Cammie, feeling that she represented all the horrible qualities of casual gamers. Cammie did improve in E3 2009 where she mostly ditched her cheesy act and focused more on the facts and what Nintendo wants in the future, but people still haven't forgiven her. It got so bad at that time that the Wii board on GameFAQs exploded in fury, resulting in numerous topics about how Nintendo was a backstabber, literally lasting for days on end. Hilarity Ensues does not even begin to describe this.

    E3 2009 

    E3 2010 
  • Microsoft: The main focus this year was the controller-less system announced in '09, now titled the "Kinect". Kinect games shown were casual titles that showcased using your own body instead of button inputs (such as playing with a baby tiger or navigating a river in a raft). A new model of Xbox 360 hardware was also announced, which would feature a smaller and quieter (and shinier) design, as well as built-in Wi-Fi, at the same price as a regular 360. An Oprah-like event occurred at the end of the presentation, where each member of the audience got a free 360. Fans have naturally mocked this, their main complaints being that Microsoft was basically ripping off Nintendo and its E3 presentations, and quite a few people have compared this event to Nintendo's event from 2008. The girl playing with the pet tiger ("Skittles!") and the people showing off Dance Central had already became a meme.
  • Nintendo's big item was the 3DS handheld, with 3D capabilities and other enhancements as well as an impressive list of third-party support. As for games, in addition to showing off The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Epic Mickey, Nintendo also announced revivals for several long-dormant franchises: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, a remake of GoldenEye, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and most shockingly, Kid Icarus: Uprising. The showing can basically be summed up in this link.
  • Sony's presentation was pretty average. Aside from a crossover game featuring Ratchet, Jak, and Sly, the biggest announcement came from Gabe Newell, who announced that Portal 2 would come to the PlayStation 3 in spite of his previous dislike for the platform, as well as a new Steam-like program to play it on. Oh, they also announced a new Twisted Metal game for the PS3. The true highlight of the conference, and in some cases of the entire show, was when Kevin Butler (who was starring in their ad campaign at the time) (from the commercials) to give a speech onstage, one that crossed generational and console lines and spoke to gamers everywhere.
  • Konami's E3 2010 also deserves a mention by virtue of being So Bad, It's Good, thanks to vast amounts of Gratuitous English. One. Million. Twoobs.
  • EA started off their press conference with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and caused the fandom to rejoice when the trailer was posted online. They also showed off their previously-announced NBA Jam revival, and the consensus was that it captured the spirit of the old games perfectly.
  • Ubisoft showed off a Michael Jackson game that put an emphasis on dancing using motion controls, as well as a breathing simulator, a new Rayman game, a Reboot of Driver set in San Francisco and Child of Eden, a Spiritual Successor to the Cult Classic game Rez.

    E3 2011 
  • Surprisingly, Konami's E3 event was pre-recorded and shown before the event actually started. Some highlights include compilations of Metal Gear and Zone of the Enders games, which include the miracle of transfarring, as well as a reboot of the Contra series. Aside from that, however, nothing of major value (or comedy) was released.
  • Microsoft's press conference can be summed up by one word: Kinect. Almost every game announced, from Mass Effect 3 and Fable to Minecraft and Sesame Street, relied on the Kinect in some way, though it should be noted that not all of these games required the peripheral - such as Mass Effect 3 and Minecraft, which only had added features with it. In fact, the only new games shown that weren't Kinect or Kinect-enhanced were Halo: Combat Evolved: Anniversary and Halo 4.
  • Sony's press conference was adequate. The good news was that the PlayStation Vita handheld was named after being revealed last year (and now priced at $250), which has touch screen controls and can suspend play to pick up later on the PlayStation 3 and vice versa. In addition, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time was announced, more LittleBigPlanet and ModNation Racers games are on the way, and Cole McGrath was going to fight in Street Fighter X Tekken.
  • Nintendo:
  • Ubisoft's press conference became infamous thanks its host, Mr. Caffeine. It featured him telling uncomfortable jokes throughout the conference, mispronouncing Tom Clancy's name several times, and repeatedly using the phrase "Doodly Doodly Doop" while making a hand gesture to imitate the sound effect of time travel.

    E3 2012 
  • On the whole, one noticeable trend was the sheer amount of Darker and Edgier Bloodier and Gorier games on display, including Splinter Cell Blacklist, a Tomb Raider reboot, God of War: Ascension, and The Last of Us. There also seemed to a high number of chin stabbings in trailers and demos. Journalists wrote articles discussing whether this was a good thing, a bad thing, just boring, or so on for weeks.
  • Microsoft started with a gameplay debut of Halo 4 and a new Splinter Cell Blacklist. Additional game announcements included Gears of War: Judgment, Forza Horizon and South Park: The Stick of Truth courtesy of creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The rebooted Tomb Raider and Resident Evil 6 rounded out more on-stage presentations, with the expected Call of Duty: Black Ops II ending off the conference. "Smartglass" was the new technology presented as a means for other devices like smartphones and tablets will be capable of connecting to the Xbox console via specific apps either for new modes of play with particular games (ie. using a tablet to create custom strategies in Madden NFL) or other features.
  • Electronic Arts' conference began with a co-op presentation of Dead Space 3, followed with gameplay of Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Need for Speed: Most Wanted (once again helmed by 2010's Hot Pursuit developer Criterion Games) and Crysis 3. The developer unveiled further content for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Finally, Battlefield developer DICE announced Battlefield Premium, a clone of Call of Duty Elite.
  • Ubisoft's conference was very strong, especially considering how many of their games were held until other conferences to trumpet their host systems. Just Dance 4 started it off and Far Cry 3 got showcased (as well as the bare breasts of a character, triggering some controversy), alongside the much-anticipated Assassin's Creed III. A Rayman Origins sequel, Rayman Legends, was demoed on-stage with the Nintendo Wii U of the upcoming releases. The presentation was capped by Watch_Dogs, which many considered the best announcement/game of the show.
  • Sony started with the latest project from Quantic Dream - Beyond: Two Souls. They quickly followed that up with showcasing a few things not shown during Ubisoft's conference - naval combat in Assassin's Creed III, a 4-player co-operative campaign in Far Cry 3, and a trailer for Assassin's Creed III Liberation, as well as announcing special PS3 and Vita bundles for III and Liberation respectively. About midway through the conference, Sony announced that they were pulling an Oprah and giving everyone attending the conference a free month of their PlayStation Plus service. This segued into the Vita side of their presentation, which started off with a showcase of Play Station All Stars Battle Royale and its Vita functionality, capped off with the trailer announcement of Nathan Drake and Big Daddy as playable characters. Dipping back into the PS3 side of things, they showed off a new peripheral called the Wonderbook - an augmented-reality 'storybook' that can be interacted with using the PS3's camera and PlayStation Move. To show off this new gadget, they demoed the latest entry in the mass-multimedia Pottermore campaign, Book of Spells. Finally, they ended the show with a playable demo of The Last of Us.
  • Nintendo's conference was rather sparse, especially in comparison to their three previous E3 shows. The final version of the Wii U was shown and playable. Nintendo's first party offerings were dominated by Mario; New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, and Paper Mario: Sticker Star were exhibited. Pikmin 3 and Wii Fit U were announced, continuing those franchises, and Nintendo Land, a theme-park styled game featuring mini-games drawn from other Nintendo franchises, and meant to be the Wii U equivalent of Wii Sports. This was the presentation finisher, capping it with an anemic in-game fireworks display. Everything else was third-party titles, overwhelmingly from Ubisoft, but Warner Bros. also had a good presence with Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition, and Scribblenauts Unlimited. Afterwards, Nintendo started shifting their announcements from one big blowout to multiple smaller events, such as the occasional "Nintendo Direct" webcasts that they had started the previous fall. Before the show, the Wii U had been showcased in New York City, later the day of the presentation a project codenamed Project P-100 was shown (later officially titled The Wonderful 101), as was a new WarioWare game called Game & Wario. Another presentation dedicated to the 3DS happened the next day, which included a confirmation of a North American release for Fire Emblem Awakening; and in the weeks after the show a Nintendo Direct video announced a new 3DS XL model, details on the dev team for the new Smash Bros., and retro game releases on the 3DS eShop.

    E3 2013 
  • Microsoft basically had to do some damage control, as the Xbox One reveal a few weeks prior failed to impress gamers, partially from its actual gaming capabilities being Out of Focus in favor of TV and movies, but also the reveal of its restrictive DRM features. Their presentation addressed the former point well, with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and its open-world mechanics, Respawn Entertainment's new Titanfall First-Person Shooter/Mecha Game, Ryse: Son of Rome, an exclusive-Xbox One reboot of Killer Instinct (though oddly enough, not developed by Rare), Crimson Dragon (now headed to the Xbox One), Dead Rising 3 exclusive to the console, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Battlefield 4 with timed-exclusive Downloadable Content, and Minecraft. To compete with the PlayStation 4, Microsoft will partner with Twitch for live-streaming integration (by comparison, Sony would use Ustream on their console), getting rid of the dreaded Microsoft Points once their console launches, offer Xbox Live gold members free games every month and a re-designed Xbox 360 with a look similar to the Xbox One. However, the DRM issue still loomed large, and pricing for the console had been called steep by the audience at $499 US, and quite a bit more in other territories. Post-conference, further details regarding the launch of the Xbox One in only 21 countries was not pleasing to certain audience members. Notably, after the jabs they received throughout E3 over the new DRM system (particularly Sony's, see below), Microsoft announced the week afterward that they were abandoning it in favor of the policies used on the the Xbox 360.
  • Sony debuted the PlayStation 4 for the first time since its official reveal a few months back, including showing off the physical console for the first time. Sony representatives continued to reiterate their stance on supporting independent developers with exclusive releases for the console. As far as other games go, while The Last Guardian was still missing-in-action, Final Fantasy Versus XIII was officially retitled as Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III was finally announced as in development, alongside the world premiere of gameplay from Destiny. Sony then made one of the most talked-about moments of the show by taking dead aim at Microsoft and its then new DRM policies, proclaiming that the PS4 would have no DRM that wasn't on the PS3 and mocked Microsoft for adding complications. Sony promised that the PlayStation Network would continue to work on the PS4, carrying over from the current generation to the next; unfortunately, online multiplayer still required a PlayStation Plus subscription for the new console. To end off the conference, Sony listed the retail price of the PS4 at $399 US to cheers from the audience.
  • Nintendo shook up their entire E3 strategy; replacing the traditional live presentation with a pre-recorded webcast and partnering with Best Buy to hold nationwide events during the expo that would allow the public to play E3 game demos. The lineup of games on display, on the other hand, was considered solid but predictable; with few surprises: their main presentation, a Nintendo Direct webcast, featured known games Pokémon X and Y, The Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD; and new announcements Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, "X" (a successor to Xenoblade) and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U featuring the Villager from Animal Crossing and Mega Man. Other games shown included Pikmin 3, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, a new Yoshi's Island, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds; finally, to add to the Smash Bros. roster, a third new character was unveiled as the Trainer from Wii Fit.
  • Ubisoft had additional live demonstrations for Watch_Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Splinter Cell Blacklist and announced several new games, including The Crew, an open-world Racing Game with a heavy focus on car tuning for just about every aspect of the vehicle and co-op and Competitive Multiplayer. Perhaps unexpectedly was the annoucement of a new IP: entitled Tom Clancy's The Division, this Massively Multiplayer Online Third-Person Shooter RPG set in a dark future New York City has been praised for its setting and bleakness, with many proclaiming it another game of the show for Ubisoft (note that like Watch Dogs at E3 2012, The Division was not known by the public, nor leaked out prior, until its reveal at E3).
  • EA's conference unveiled 11 new games, alongside Titanfall for the Xbox One. The arguably biggest announcement was of a new Star Wars Battlefront being developed by DICE (who also showed Battlefield 4). As usual for EA, they also showed off a new Need for Speed, this one named Rivals, a new FIFA, NBA, Madden, and another UFC. DICE also, shockingly, announced a sequel to their cult classic Mirror's Edge, which had been requested for several years now. Dragon Age 3 was also renamed to Dragon Age Inquisition, and the first trailer was announced.

    E3 2014 
  • Nintendo built on their previous strategy, making their announcements through a "Digital Event" webcast and offering nationwide demos (this time strictly of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U) through Best Buy. They also broke new ground by running a continuous stream from the show floor hosted by their Treehouse localization team, and held a Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament in order to hype the new installment. As you might guess, Smash Bros. was at the center of Nintendo's announcements; with Mii Fighters, Palutena from Kid Icarus, and Pac-Man being announced for the roster. There was also the official unveiling of their amiibo NFC figure system, to be used with Smash Bros. and other games. Another major announcement was Splatoon, not only a rare new IP from the company but their first entry into the popular multiplayer shooter genre. Other games covered during the Digital Event were Yoshi's Woolly World, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Bayonetta 2, Devil's Third, Mario Maker, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Hyrule Warriors (along with the first look at the next major Zelda game), and Xenoblade Chronicles X. Shigeru Miyamoto dropped by the Nintendo Treehouse livestream to talk about his new projects codenamed Project Giant Robot and Project Guard,note  as well as confirming that he is working on a new Star Fox game for Wii U. And the following day, finished their gaming announcements with Codename STEAM.
  • Ubisoft had a controversial E3 and a bad follow up; while trailers and gameplays demos for games like Assassin's Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4 were met with good reception, both games suffered controversy for the lack of female characters (one developer saying it'd be "too hard" to do it in Unity was met with open derision from fellow Ubisoft employees), and when asked about it, a member of the Far Cry team had a Stunned Silence reaction. Coupled with Watch_Dogs being met with a mixed reception earlier that month due to a perceived downgrade of graphics from its E3 2012 debut, and June wasn't kind to Ubisoft. Despite this, other demos and trailers like The Division and Rainbow Six Siege (a replacement to the prior-announced-several-years-ago-Patriots) were met with good reception as well.

    E3 2015 
  • Bethesda showed off a good slew of games at their first E3 press conference, including the previously announced Doom Reboot and Fallout 4, complete with gameplay footage, as well as a trailer for Dishonored 2. Other announcements included new content for The Elder Scrolls Online and a the debut of a Trading Card Game entitled The Elder Scrolls Legends in the vein of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Also notable is that between the official streams on Bethesda's YouTube and Twitch channels, over six hundred thousand people watched it live, making it a fantastically successful debut conference for the publisher.
  • Microsoft had what is widely considered to be one of their strongest press conferences in years:
    • They kicked things off with campaign gameplay for Halo 5: Guardians and a new multiplayer trailer for its "Warzone" game mode. Other first-party showings consisted of Forza Motorsport 6 (with a second-generation Ford GT brought down from the ceiling for promotion), confirmation of an "Ultimate Edition" for the original Gears of War on the Xbox One, and closing off the conference with a live preview of Gears of War 4.
    • The company gave audiences a surprising treat by addressing one of the Xbox One's complaints, announcing backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 titles using retail discs of the console via a unique roundabout method of reading the disc then downloading an Xbox One-compatible version of the 360 game. They also showed off a new customizable "Elite" version of the revised Xbox One controller to be released for retail, which features attachable paddles on the back, interchangeable control sticks (with PlayStation-esque convex sticks provided alongside the traditional concave sticks), and a disc-based variant of the directional pad.note  Finally, Microsoft demonstrated its working HoloLens augmented reality glasses using Minecraft.
    • Ex-Metroid Prime devs Armature Studios and Keiji Inafune showed off ReCore, a new science fiction game about a girl and her robot - the first installment of a new IP for Microsoft. Rare followed them by announcing another new IP called Sea of Thieves, a multiplayer-based swashbuckler, along with a thirty-dollar Compilation Re-release of thirty of its classic gamesnote  in celebration of their thirtieth anniversary.
    • Capping off the remainder was timed-exclusive third-party game Rise of the Tomb Raider demo, and Bethesda announced Fallout 4 would have official support for mods made on PCs available on consoles, along with some new footage that wasn't present in their conference the previous day.
    • Notably, and for the first time since it was debuted back in 2009, not a single game was shown or mentioned as using the Kinect. This unofficially marked the end of the device's tenure, and though it is unlikely to be abandoned or retired officially for a while, the push to sell the device or integrate it heavily into Xbox games ended there.
  • Electronic Arts:
    • With a large focus on sports at the expense of nearly everything else,note  the company had an overall disappointing show, with many of its titles unveiled being new installments in their various yearly franchises.
    • Fortunately, a few gems were buried within the mire of sports, such as a long-awaited teaser for Mass Effect 4 (now titled Mass Effect: Andromeda). Furthermore, a adorable 2D Platform Game, Unravel, marked a new IP for the publisher; notably, the presenting creative director of the game told audiences about the inspiration behind it and his family vacation, even bringing a small model of the main character with him. It didn't take long for Unravel to become a highlight of the show.
    • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 was shown, complete with awkward on-stage mascot reveal and use of Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone", while a new mobile title featuring the Despicable Me Minions failed to excite the crowd.
    • Things bounced back with a trailer of Mirror's Edge: Catalyst, including discussion regarding its background, new features and talks of the open-world nature of the reboot. Finally, Star Wars: Battlefront showcased the environment of the Battle of Hoth from the perspective of several Rebel and Imperial combatants.
  • With the exception of host Aisha Tyler awkwardly asking a cosplayer for a meme (which, naturally, became a meme), Ubisoft had a decent showing:
    • New titles showcased include a trailer for South Park: The Fractured but Whole, a sequel to South Park: The Stick of Truth, switching to an Avengers-esque theme as opposed to the fantasy Role-Playing Game of the latter; a demonstration of For Honor, a Bushido Blade-inspired new IP that mixes Multiplayer Online Battle Arena elements with Player Versus Player duels; and an announcement for the next installment in the Anno Domini Simulation Game series called Anno 2205.
    • Capping off the conference was Ghost Recon Wildlands, taking a few pages from recent Far Cry releases and, unexpectedly, set in South America.
    • Ubisoft's Racing Games received a few spotlights, detailing an expansion for the The Crew called "Wild Run", additions and further enhancements to Track Mania Turbo (along with being brought to other consoles), and a Trials Fusion expansion pack entitled "Awesome Level Max" allowing players to ride a unicorn, among other things. Similarly, the popular Just Dance series got stage time with talk about the mobile platform.
    • After having apparently not learned from their Usher debacle a few years ago, a brief Jason Derulo concert and interview went about as well as one would expect for a video game conference. Maybe next year, guys.
    • Meanwhile, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate and The Division unveiled additional trailers, with the latter revealing "Dark Zone" areas in the game and the ability for players to turn on their friends during Co-Op Multiplayer was welcomed, promising to rival Mario Kart and Mario Party for friendships ended. Finally, Rainbow Six Siege (originally showcased in 2014) was demonstrated on-stage, including a brief chat with Angela Bassett, who is cast in Seige as "6", the leader of Team Rainbow.
    • On the more meta side: similar to 2014, Ubisoft got flak from social media for showing nearly no women (and even less playable ones) in their games (though having two women of color on stage at the same time was a welcome sight). After the much appreciated announcement pre-E3 that Syndicate would include a playable female assassin as one of the protagonists, not a single woman was visible in its primary promotional trailer, though a second trailer shown during the Sony conference focused on Evie. Wildlands, which takes place largely in South America, had no Latinx protagonists shown; accusations of Mighty Whitey due to the the predominantly Caucasian squad were abound.
  • Sony's conference was quite possibly the highlight of what many are now calling "the E3 of Dreams" with multiple megaton announcements of games that people had previously thought would never see the light of day:
    • After years of radio silence, The Last Guardian was not only alive and well, but playable. It kicked off the conference in the form of a gameplay trailer.
    • Following well over a decade of speculation, teasings, assertions it was never going to happen, and many disappointing absences from E3s of yore, the long rumored Final Fantasy VII remake was announced to be making its debut first on the PS4 before moving on to other platforms. The crowd went absolutely bonkers, and so did most of the internet. Contrast the reaction from the PlayStation Experience last year regarding the VII PC port on the PS4 against the reaction to the remake announcement.
    • Finishing off the trifecta of "Games No One Thought Would Ever Actually Get Made" was an announcement from Yu Suzuki himself: the launch of a Shenmue 3 Kickstarter, which hit its funding goal in less than nine hours.
    • Guerrilla Games, best known for Killzone, unveiled Sony's new IP: Horizon Zero Dawn, an After the End action/adventure featuring a tribal hunter fighting animalistic robots.
    • LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule showcased a playable version of Dreams, based on player creativity and sandbox tools in the vein of their signature work.
    • The Hitman franchise received a trailer for its next entry, simply entitled Hitman, while Square Enix debuted a new cutesy, Super-Deformed Final Fantasy Gaiden Game called World of Final Fantasy, where players use Mons elements to form powerful combat teams.
    • The conference closed with a demo of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, which underwent some minor technical difficulties after the person who was supposed to be playing it grabbed the wrong controller.
    • Third-party titles included a Street Fighter V trailer which revealed two returning characters and the promise of an exclusive beta for the PS4, Destiny expansion "The Taken King" with exclusive PlayStation content, the No Man's Sky team demonstrating the further scale and open-world nature of their game, and additional footage of Star Wars: Battlefront and its single or co-op mode called "Survival". In what could be considered a shot against Microsoft, Sony announced a deep partnership with Call of Duty producer Activision, giving PS4 owners first access to map packs and a beta for Call of Duty: Black Ops III, with trailers highlighting its cooperative campaign and multiplayer aspects.
  • Nintendo continued their strategy of using webcasts via Nintendo Treehouse, public demos at nationwide stores of Best Buy (this time featuring Super Mario Maker), and a tournament. While the headlining Digital Event wasn't bad, it disappointed fans due to a lack of big, exciting announcements - two such items (the next major Zelda game and home console) were specifically being held for next year (and the home console didn't even show up then), and most things that were shown were either already known (Mario Maker and Star Fox Zero were discussed in 2014) or not really what fans were looking for (mostly multiplayer spinoffs when fans wanted regular installments - Metroid Prime: Federation Force in particular angered fans that were desperate for the franchise to get back on track after Other M).
  • Square Enix held their own conference this year, but had the same big issue as EA did: most of their headliners were revealed elsewhere at E3 (such as the Final Fantasy VII remake).
  • The realm of PC gaming got its time to shine with its debut conference, thanks to computer processor developer AMD and PC Gamer. It was creatively called the "PC Gaming Show". The conference was akin to a talk show, with noted streamer "Day9" acting as host, and a parade of developers coming up for interviews or to discuss their products. It was a decent debut conference for the PC crowd, though as with EA and Square Enix, most presenters showed off titles the audience already knew of already. The show also ran uncommonly long, overclocking in at around two and a half hours, at least an hour more than any other presentation at E3.

    E3 2016 
  • For the first time, a secondary event called "E3 Live!" was held alongside the main show, allowing the public to experience a number of games on display. However, it was largely a disappointment, as is was much smaller than expected and most exhibitors didn't even feature game demos, focusing more on selling merchandise.
  • Both Electronic Arts and Activision decided not to have booths at the expo this year. EA did have a press conference as usual, and held their own public events in Los Angeles and London in place of its booth; while Activision had Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare present as part of Sony's booth instead of its own. Disney Interactive also announced that they wouldn't be present at E3, and by the time the show took place they had broken the news that they were getting out of game development entirely.
  • As with 2015, EA's focus on sports was to the detriment of almost everything else:
    • Well over half of the conference was devoted to their sports line up, particularly FIFA. The inclusion of a full-fledged story mode to FIFA was interesting, but most of the sports talk was about their usual gameplay/graphical updates and new esports events that EA is hosting. Repeated crowd shots showed a largely unexcited group of journalists/developers, mirroring the general reaction of the gaming public.
    • Titanfall 2 was first, showing off some of the new features, mobility changes, and a campaign for the single-player campaign, which will center around a man and his mecha.
    • A behind-the-scenes peek of Mass Effect: Andromeda was slightly better than last year's short trailer. A few bits of gameplay and in-engine shots were interspersed with developer footage and interviews (plus 15 to 20 seconds of NASA stock footage), and while what was seen was good, Mass Effect fans were left clamoring for more - especially given the amount of time EA managed to devote to sports.
    • Building off of Yarny's breakout appearance last year, EA announced the start of their EA Originals program, which will seek out and publish original games by smaller, more indie studios. Their first game is Fe, an exploration platformer that takes place in a large, mystical forest and has a strong music focus.
    • EA showed a look at their Star Wars lineup, with appearances from Battlefront and The Old Republic. The segment was mostly made up of developer interviews and behind-the-scenes looks, with very little new information given aside from news that Visceral and Respawn are both working on original action-adventure titles, one of which takes place in a different era than what we're used to.
    • Closing off the show was some Battlefield 1 information and in-game footage - biplane flying, attacking mammoth vehicles, running through exploding houses, and dynamic elements (such as weather conditions) that make every battle unique.
    • Also notable for EA's presentation is that they showed exactly one new game - everything else was known before the conference happened.
  • Bethesda's second E3 press conference hit the big time, with a steak of unexpected announcements along the way:
    • Bethesda opened with the surprising reveal of Quake Champions, a revival of the long-dormant franchise with the promise to bring classic FPS multiplayer to its roots.
    • Hearthstone competitor The Elder Scrolls Legends was next, with the introduction of a story mode and more details on the card game.
    • Todd Howard made a video appearance to show off three more DLC packs for Fallout 4 - one to add a bunch of complex machines to your settlements, one that lets you build and run a Vault in a full-scale version of Fallout Shelter, and one that takes place at the post-apocalyptic amusement park Nuka World.
    • DOOM (2016) was given a few moments of discussion, and Bethesda announced plans for a lot of new multiplayer maps and modes. They also opened up the entire first level of Doom to play for free, for everyone, for the week of E3.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim got a graphical upgrade with a Special Edition, which will also bring mods to consoles in the same way Fallout 4 did, and which will be free for anyone who owns all of Skyrim's DLC and/or the Legendary Edition.
    • The Elder Scrolls Online got some screen time: some details on the Dark Brotherhood expansion, and the opening of the entire map for all players regardless of level were the highlights.
    • Fallout 4 for HTC Vive was announced, coming 2017, and a playable VR version of DOOM (2016) was on the show floor to try out.
    • Bethesda revived the long-dormant Prey franchise with a debut cinematic for a reboot, also titled Prey. This came as no small surprise, as since cancelling Prey 2 back in 2014 after it languished for a few years in Development Hell, the franchise was presumed dead. The reboot is a Psychological Horror Sci-Fi First-Person Shooter starring Morgan Yu, a female or male (at the player's choice) test subject on a space station where things have Gone Horribly Wrong.
    • Dishonored 2 got a good chunk of time and attention, with plot details, a gameplay trailer, and a live demo. New mechanics include cool new powers, playing as either Emily or Corvo, and a time travel device. A collector's edition for Dishonored 2 was also announced.
  • Microsoft:
    • While all three console makers were confirmed or rumored to be preparing new hardware, Microsoft was the only one who chose to reveal theirs at the show:
      • First was the announcement of the Xbox One S to be released later in 2016. The S model is 40% smaller than the original model, can be placed vertically on its side, moves the side USB port and controller sync button to the front, no longer uses the bulky "power brick", is colored white, and includes a revision of the Xbox One controller with textured grips, increased signal range, and Bluetooth support to allow for gaming on PC without a separate adapter. The new S console also introduced 4K video support and high-dynamic-range (HDR) coloring. Showing further signs that Microsoft is distancing itself from Kinect, there is no longer a dedicated proprietary Kinect port, but Microsoft will give out USB 3.0 adapters for existing owners of the sensor.
      • The second, more significant, hardware announcement was "Project Scorpio", an upgraded version of the console meant to support 4K gaming and virtual reality to be released sometime in 2017. Games already released for the console such as Halo 5: Guardians will see performance improvements on "Scorpio". Journalists, who've also said that the announcements of both S and "Scorpio" in the same conference was rather confusing, saw thisnote  as console gaming becoming a tiered platform like smartphones and PCs, with the consistent performance model that console gaming was known for on its way out.
    • A new "Xbox Play Anywhere" program was announced, allowing gamers to play some Xbox One games on their Windows 10 PCs without having to re-purchase the game, with cross-platform play capabilities between console and computer.
    • Dead Rising 4, State Of Decay 2 and Forza Horizon 3 were new announcements. Dead Rising 4 sees Frank West return in a Christmas-themed setting, while Horizon 3 will take place in Australia and feature a four-player co-op campaign.
  • Sony's press conference was widely well-received, consisting of a near constant stream of trailers and demos backed up by a live orchestra:
    • The orchestra first played an unknown song, which was revealed to belong to God of War (PS4). Kratos is back and has a young son, and the focus this time is on Norse mythology. His Blades of Chaos have been replaced with a new ice-themed axe.
    • Horizon Zero Dawn showed off more gameplay, including a dialogue wheel similar to Bioware's RPGs, a vast open map, and an Enemy Scan feature. It also showed that you can "tame" machines to ride them, and had a fight against a new enemy type - the Corruptor, which could enrage other machines and turn them violent against humans. It was given a Feburary 2017 release date.
    • The Last Guardian was back with a new trailer, showing off fantastic locales, giant-sized enemies, and another one of the large creatures that works with the young boy protagonist. It also confirmed an October 25th, 2016 release date.
    • To the audience's delight, Sony announced that they are working on high definition remasters of the first three Crash Bandicoot games for release on the PS4. Crash will also be playable in the new iteration of Skylanders.
    • Quantic Dream was next with a story/gameplay trailer for Detroit: Become Human. It showed one of the main characters, an android police negotiator named Connor, trying to talk down a rogue, possibly malfunctioning android who had taken his owners' daughter hostage. As with their other games, player actions and choices can heavily influence and determine the narrative and course of the story - finding clues to the rogue android's motives and additional equipment (such as a gun) can open up vastly different dialogue options and actions to take, such as choosing between trying to talk him down or shooting the android and trying grab the girl before she fell.
    • PlayStation VR got a massive push with a confirmed 50 games at launch on October 13, 2016. It comes with a $400 price tag, and the games lineup includes Star Wars: Battlefront, Final Fantasy XV (controlling Prompto instead of Noctis), and a trailer for a Silent Hills-esque survival horror game set in a decrepit bayou mansion. This turned out to be Resident Evil 7: biohazard. They also announced a new game in the Batman: Arkham Series which is also going to be a VR launch title.
    • Gameplay from Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare showed up, featuring a campaign mission which had both space dogfights and the shooting that CoD is known for, with a magnetic grappling hook to aid in zero-g mobility. Reactions to this demo were far, far more positive than the reveal trailer from well before E3, resulting in a large upswing in public opinion to the title.
    • A trailer showing the next title from Insomniac Games confirms that they are working on a new PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game.
    • Hideo Kojima came out on stage to massive applause and revealed his new game which he is developing for Sony - Death Stranding, starring Norman Reedus. It featured Reedus, oil, dead whales, a beach, a baby that may or may not have been birthed by in-game Reedus, and five floating figures. It was far and away the most confusing and strange trailer featured this year, and the Internet meme machine went bonkers over it.
    • Finally, there was Days Gone. A story trailer was shown early on in Sony's conference, but they closed with prerecorded gameplay.note  The game itself bears no small resemblance in style and look to fellow end-of-the-world game The Last of Us, with Days Gone being another open-world survival horror game, albeit with bikers and more traditional zombies. Lots of zombies. Lots and lots and lots of zombies.
    • Also, in related news to Microsoft's console announcements, Sony announced before E3 that they too were working on an upgraded version of the PS4 under the project name of "Neo". The updated console, called the PS4 Pro, was revealed and then released the next fall.
  • Nintendo decided to once again buck tradition and change up their format, forgoing their usual Nintendo Direct-style online presentation and focusing entirely on livestreaming from the E3 show floor. Their original announcement specified that they would not be showing their next console (codenamed the "NX") at all, and that their primary focus would be on the upcoming Wii U Zelda. With the Wii U in the midst of a severe software drought, this prompted concerns from fans who were worried that Nintendo had literally nothing else to show, but Nintendo later clarified that other games would be featured.

    E3 2017 
  • In contrast to many previous years, the general public was allowed admission into E3 this year for the price of $249. To help bolster public attendance, and give them something to do that wasn't just waiting in long lines, the ESA and Geoff Keighley created the E3 Coliseum, which was a two-day series of panels and presentations by E3's major players. The intent of the Coliseum was to create a better consumer experience for E3, and was directly inspired by conventions like PAX, which are supremely attendee-friendly.
  • EA decided to forgo a show floor presence as they did in 2016, and host their own event, EA Play, held at the same dates and times as E3:
    • EA's sports offerings once again dominated their presentation, showing off a new story mode for Madden NFL 18, continuing story mode for FIFA 18, and improvements to their Frostbite engine for graphical quality on all of their games.
    • BioWare's yearly allotted two minutes were filled with a teaser for their new IP Anthem (2019), with more information promised to debut in Microsoft's press conference the following day. The game itself appeared visually inspired by Destiny, Mass Effect, Halo, and Titanfall.
    • EA Originals showed off the new game from Hazelight, the studio behind Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, called A Way Out, starring two men named Vincent and Leo, who break out from prison and journey across the country to see their families. As with Brothers, A Way Out is a co-op adventure, with the emphasis being on split-screen cooperative action and third person shooting.
    • The most awkward presentation goes to the Need for Speed Payback opener, consisting of YouTuber Jesse Wellens and executive producer Marcus Nillson, with Wellens not sure how to speak about the gamenote  and Nillson being pretty clearly focused on giving the bullet points in a fake conversational way. EA followed the opener with a gameplay trailer of one of the in-game missions, with the player character and her friends focusing on stealing a car from a semi truck barreling down the interstate. Mass auto destruction ensued.
    • Battlefield 1 is far from dead, and it got some love in the form of new incoming DLC focused on the Russian front with new weapons, characters, and maps. Also incoming are six multiplayer maps that take place at night.
    • They closed off the conference with a section on the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) presented by actress Janina Gavankar, who voiced the main character of the campaign and whose natural, emphatic delivery was a breath of fresh air from the otherwise stodgy executives. EA announced the introduction of classes for multiplayer, free DLC for the game (including new weapons, characters, and maps), and the return of split-screen co-op before closing off their conference with a live demonstration of the multiplayer gameplay.
  • Microsoft shook up their press conference plans completely: unlike previous editions of E3, where the company traditionally held its event on the Monday prior to the expo, the company moved its conference back to Sunday so that its announcements would not be overshadowed by those of other conferences traditionally held the same day, such as Ubisoft and Sony. Microsoft also desired to regain its title of having the "first" E3 press conference, acknowledging that Bethesda had begun to hold E3 press events on Sunday as well.
    • As expected, the company finally fully revealed the details of their "Project Scorpio", now named the Xbox One X. The newest revision of the Xbox One console is smaller than the Xbox One S released the previous year and is capable of native 4K gaming, with performance improvements given to 1080p players as well. Many games shown during their media briefing were shown to be "exclusive" (as a booming voice said multiple times) to Xbox One, Xbox One X, and Windows 10 in some form.
    • As a big surprise, Phil Spencer revealed that OG Xbox games would be made backward compatible for Xbox One in the same vein as Xbox 360 backwards compatibility,note  with System Link support. Only fan favorite Crimson Skies was announced to be part of the program when it launches later in the year.
  • Of course, Bethesda didn’t go in the dark during its third E3 conference:
    • VR was a focus at Bethesda's show, with ports of both Fallout 4 and DOOM to VR systems.
    • Bethesda unveiled their paid mods solution in the form of the Creation Club, where users trade in digital currency for select mods for Bethesda's games.
    • Skyrim's Switch port has amiibo support, with certain amiibo granting use of exclusive in-game weapons and armor.
    • The Dishonored series got a new entry in the form of Dishonored: Death of the Outsider.
    • The Evil Within 2 got a debut trailer, with a focus on wax and blood, and a hard rock cover of Duran Duran's Ordinary World.
    • The next Wolfenstein debuted in the form of a trailer for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, showing off a variety of wonderful and gruesome ways to kill Nazis.
  • Ubisoft had a fairly small conference, but a lot of big announcements.
    • Confirmation of the crossover game, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle with special guest Shigeru Miyamoto making a rare live appearance (his last was for Wii Music in 2010) to help introduce the game, revealing that it'll be a strategy game similar to XCOM.
    • Assassin's Creed Origins, first revealed in the Microsoft conference, was given more gameplay footage followed shortly by The reveal of The Crew 2 which focused not just on cars but boats and planes as well.
    • A release date trailer for South Park: The Fractured but Whole as well as the reveal of a mobile device game, Phone Destoryer.
    • New IP announcements came with a reveal trailer called Transference, set to be directed by Elijah Wood, and a pirate themed multiplayer game, Skull And Bones.
    • Existing properties revealed an expansion pack for Steep and Just Dance 2018 complete with a usual mini-concert (though surprisingly no footage of the game)
    • Another new IP called Starlink which saw Ubisoft entering into the toys-to-life market as the game allows you to customize you ship with real life accessories.
    • The conference closed out with a new trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2, a game that was last seen in development in 2008.
  • Sony kept much the same format as the previous year, with no developer interaction and in fact very little that wasn't game footage or trailers - Shawn Leyden, SIEA's president, took to the stage at the start and end of the conference, but aside from that it was a continuous run of nothing but games. Commenting later on it, Leyden said that E3 is different, and that the show is no longer about the press and retailers as it originally was. Now, it's about the public and the fans, and fans don't usually care about analytics and sales charts.
    • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy went first, introduced by a live orchestra and a trailer that showed off considerable gameplay footage of Chloe and Nadine as they worked to find some treasure in India.
    • Horizon Zero Dawn got a DLC announcement, taking heroine Aloy up to snowy fields and mountains in The Frozen Wilds.
    • Days Gone showed off an extensive gameplay trailer, displaying the game's stealth, combat, and driving elements, bearing more than a few similarities to previous PlayStation-exclusive The Last of Us.
    • Monster Hunter: World showed beautiful graphics and a lush jungle environment for the franchise's first PS4 entry.
    • Shadow of the Colossus was revealed as getting the remake treatment, with vastly updated graphics and a new optional control scheme.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite got a story trailer, showing off more of the game's conflict and some interesting team ups.
    • Call of Duty: WWII showed off some multiplayer footage, revealing a change to a more objective-oriented format and moving away from the traditional team deathmatch emphasis of previous games in the series.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim got another rerelease in the form of a VR port.
    • New indie IP Star Child showed a debut trailer, showing off a sci-fi world and giant robots.
    • Supermassive Games showed off two trailers:
      • First, The Inpatient, a sort-of prequel to their previous game Until Dawn, taking place in Blackwood Sanatorium some 60 years before the events of Until Dawn.
      • Second, a VR FPS named Bravo Team, which uses cover-based mechanics and takes place in a fictional, modern-day Eastern European city.
    • Square Enix used their traditional few minutes of Sony's conference to show off a strange Final Fantasy XV expansion focused entirely around fishing in VR, calling it Monster of the Deep.
    • Polyarc debuted new Zelda-esque adventure title Moss, which is about a mouse journeying the wilderness. The player acts as a helpful spirit, and guides their mouse friend to victory over complex puzzles and towering enemies.
    • God of War (PS4) got a trailer showing off some of the cinematics and going a more in-depth with the combat, with Kratos' new beard in glorious 1080p and 60 FPS.
    • The upcoming Quantic Dream game Detroit: Become Human took the audience deeper into its story choices and branching paths, showing how decisions made can vastly affect the outcome of the plot.
    • Destiny 2 gave a taste of the game's plot and showed off some of the PlayStation timed exclusive content in the forms of a strike, some gear, and a Crucible map.
    • Additionally, a minor talking point emerged when Sony's competitors announced that both Minecraft and Rocket League would be receiving cross-play allowing people to play together between the Xbox/PC and Switch platforms, but not PS4; which led some to question why Sony wouldn't play ball.
  • After scaling back their overall presence the previous year, Nintendo returned to the format they had used in 2014 and 15 - a main "Nintendo Spotlight" web presentation, all-day Treehouse livestreams, and three tournaments for ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Pokkén Tournament DX (though the nationwide demo events from prior years did not return). This was also the first E3 to properly feature the Nintendo Switch, which Nintendo had avoided discussing at prior shows (when it was known as the "NX") but had been unveiled and released since the last one.
  • One last surprise announcement quietly slipped in right as the expo was wrapping up: Atari was going to re-enter the Console Wars with a machine called the "Ataribox", later renamed the Atari VCS.

    E3 2018 
  • Pre-E3 reveals were much more prevalent this year, with several companies making a variety of announcements before their conferences: Sony teased their major hitters weeks before their conference, Nintendo did some Pokémon reveals and announced Paladins for Switch, Ubisoft had a small teaser for Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Bethesda showed a Fallout 76 trailer after a 24 hour livestream, IO Interactive announced Hitman 2, and Square Enix finally gave Kingdom Hearts III an actual release date.
  • Electronic Arts
    • As usual, EA's conference was about half sports and half not. FIFA, Madden, and NBA Live all got their looks, but very little in terms of gameplay description or portrayal. A segment featuring the Madden champion from 2018 was widely mocked online, mostly for his reveal that he skipped his graduation to participate in the tournament.
    • Several of EA's attempts to garner applause from the crowd went as well as one would expect. This was most noticeable during the introduction of the C&C players.
    • Battlefield V had some in-game footage and confirmed a Battle Royale mode, with a promise to detail the single player campaign at Microsoft's press conference the following day.
    • Respawn showed up to introduce the title and setting of their next Star Wars game: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, set in the dark times between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
    • The Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) presentation began with a acknowledgement of the troubled launch and controversies, followed by a look at things added since then (like the well-recieved Ewok Hunt). They closed with an announcement of upcoming Clone Wars content, including new heroes and the biggest map to date.
    • The Unravel creator from a few years ago made a return appearance, earning the largest applause from the crowd up to that point. He was back to introduce Unravel Two with a short cinematic and a live gameplay demo that featured Yarny teaming up with a blue buddy for a co-op experience. His return to the stage was much beloved, and EA then surprised pretty much everyone by revealing that the game was, in fact, out right at that moment.
    • Following that, Cornelia Geppert from German-based developer Jo-Mei showed up to talk about their EA-published indie title, Sea Of Solitude, about a girl who turns into a monster and is trying to figure out why in a flooded modern world. Both she and the Unravel developer were clearly nervous, but also clearly passionate — a wonderful respite from the normally stodgy or fake-polished executives and presenters that E3 often has.
    • The Command & Conquer franchise returned in the worst possible way: a simplified mobile entry called Command & Conquer: Rivals, which debuted in the form of a live shoutcasted battle between two pro gamers. It was rather underwhelming.
    • Finally, Bioware took the last chunk of the presentation to give more details on the upcoming Anthem (2019), speaking on the game's story, shared world aspects, multiplayer integration, armor customization, DLC plans, and release date: February 22, 2019.
  • If 2017 proved that Microsoft can do no wrong with their press conferences, then 2018 turned it all Up to Eleven. After years of hosting their game reveals at the Galen Center, the company set up shop at the Microsoft Theater. Microsoft continued to have exhibitor space in the main convention floor, principally dedicated to its Mixer streaming platform, while it hosted demos and other activities at the Microsoft Theater alongside the other exhibition days.
  • Bethesda
    • Bethesda started off weird - a very corporate-type video about the people working for Bethesda and Pete Hines took to the stage with a pointed jab at Walmart Canada for leaking retail listings for several unannounced games, including Bethesda's Rage 2, a few weeks prior.
    • The Rage 2 presentation began with live performance from Andrew W.K., Bethesda having apparently taken a note from Ubisoft's conference play book. The concert itself was okay, but as was always the case, a little out of place for E3 (despite the song being fitting for Rage 2). They followed this with a gameplay video showing off new graphics, weapons, and powers.
    • A short bit on The Elder Scrolls Legends followed with an announcement of a port to home consoles and with an updated graphical overhaul on all platforms. The Elder Scrolls Online got a new DLC announcement and word of a dungeon update.
    • From the id side of Bethesda, they announced a sequel to DOOM (2016) called Doom Eternal and a free week for Quake Champions, with the added bonus that anyone who tried it during that week would be able to keep the game for free.
    • Prey (2017), despite falling somewhat short of sales expectations the previous year, was far from being an unloved stepchild. A free update to the game went live during the conference, bringing with it a New Game+ mode, a more hardcore survival mode, and a roguelike DLC known as Prey - Mooncrash. They also announced Typhon Hunter, an Asymmetric Multiplayer mode where players are either typhons or a human, each trying to kill the other.
    • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus got standalone DLC in the form of Wolfenstein: Youngblood, a co-op DLC featuring BJ's twin daughters and a VR game called Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot about a resistance hacker who can take over Nazi technology and turn it against them.
    • Todd Howard took the stage for the rest of the conference, bringing with him a slew of videos.
      • Bethesda poked fun at their history of porting The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to every platform imaginable with a short parody video featuring Skyrim for Alexa smart devices, Etch-a-Sketches, Motorola pagers, and Samsung refrigerators — and just to cap off the joke, they actually did make a Skyrim text-adventure game for Alexa.
      • A gameplay demo and elaboration on Fallout 76 followed, showing off the base building, cooperative and PVP play, and the ability to launch a nuke anywhere on the map.
      • The Elder Scrolls fans got two treats from Todd: a new, high quality mobile game called The Elder Scrolls: Blades was announced for basically every platform under the sun, and a short teaser trailer confirming that The Elder Scrolls VI was in pre-production.
    • Todd also showed off a short teaser video of Bethesda's new single player RPG IP, called Starfield.
  • Devolver Digital
    • Much like their 2017 "conference", Devolver Digital's press conference was less of a conference and more of a skit comedy show making fun of the lower points of E3 conferences - but had actual game reveals this time. Of special note was the reveal for a remastered port of Metal Wolf Chaos entitled Metal Wolf Chaos XD, finally bringing FromSoftware's gratuitously American game overseas to the United States after 14 years.
  • Square Enix had one of the most disappointing conferences in recent memory:
  • Sony decided to show some of hand early and promised looks at The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, Spider-Man (PS4), and Ghost of Tsushima. They fulfilled those promises and then some:
    • It began in a church-like tent, with a live performance of some The Last Of Us music by composer Gustavo Santaolalla. Following that was a gameplay trailer for TLOU Pt II, and then segment with some people at a desk while they were setting up the rest of the conference in the auditorium and shuffling the journalists there. It took around 10 to 15 minutes to actually start the showcase proper after that, and the rest of the presentation was pretty standard for them.
    • The above listed games all got in-depth looks at their gameplay and in-game cinematics. Death Stranding was no less confusing than it had always been.
    • Sony also showed off trailers for Destiny 2 expansion Forsaken, Remedy's mind-bending new game Control, a high definition Resident Evil 2 remake, the Justin Roiland created Trover Saves The Universe, Kingdom Hearts III (this one was brand new), and a Nioh 2 announcement.
    • Though the presented line-up was solid, Sony was criticized for having little in the way of new or exciting announcements, and multiple outlets commented on how nonsensical and baffling the first 20 to 30 minutes of the whole event were. Twitch also had some streaming problems, with a host of sound issues and the stream periodically dropping out entirely.
  • Nintendo's format was the same as the past few years - a Nintendo Spotlight presentation opened their E3, followed immediately by all-day Treehouse livestreams. The tournaments du jour were the Splatoon 2 world championships and an invitational for the new Super Smash Bros
    • Like the previous year, Pokémon games were given a separate reveal shortly before the show. The main feature was Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, a streamlined counterpart to the main series for new and lapsed players, especially ones that had gotten involved in Pokemon GO. For existing players, they assured that more traditional titles are still in development and planned for 2019. A free-to-start title called Pokémon Quest was also revealed, available immediately on the Switch and coming soon to mobile.
    • Ubisoft also showed Nintendo some love in its own conference, with a trailer and release date for Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle's Donkey Kong DLC and the reveal that Star Fox content would be a part of the Switch version of their upcoming toys-to-life game Starlink: Battle for Atlas, including an Arwing toy.
    • The Direct itself included a new stylized mech fighting game helmed by Armored Core veterans called Daemon X Machina, the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 expansion Torna: The Golden Country, Super Mario Party, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Fortnite, Overcooked 2, Killer Queen Black, and Hollow Knight. However, these were ultimately just the prelude to the real attraction, as most of the Direct was heavily dominated by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which promised the return of every single previous fighter in the series and detailed three new characters: the Inklings from Splatoon, Princess Daisy from Super Mario Land,note  and the memetically-big Ridley from Metroid.
    • While previous years had usually included at least one game that had a surprise release during the show, this year had an unusually high number of immediate or near-immediate releases, including Pokémon Quest, Paladins,note  Fortnite, Hollow Knight, the Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion DLC,note  a new Octopath Traveler demo,note  and Arcade Archives: Donkey Kong.note  Bethesda also contributed one, having released Fallout Shelter for Switch and PS4 during their conference as well.
    • Notably, three games from last year's Direct — Metroid Prime 4, the Switch Yoshi game, and Pokémon Generation VIII — were no-shows. Nintendo stated that the games simply weren't far enough in development, and that (as usual for them) they wanted to focus on games releasing in the next few months. (Indeed, Pokémon and Metroid had been announced unusually early for Nintendo, undoubtedly to help assure fans that would be put off by Pokémon Let's Go or were hurt by Metroid: Other M and Federation Force respectively.) While Yoshi's Crafted World was released the next spring, it turned out that Metroid was so far behind that six months later, Nintendo decided to scrap it and start over.

    E3 2019 
  • Sony decided to not take part in E3 this year, stating that it was no longer an ideal place to talk business with retailers (as preparations for the big holiday season now have to take place earlier in the year) and that announcements for fans can be better served in their own events since they can now be made any time thanks to 24/7 games journalism.

Alternative Title(s): E 3