VHScapades: E3 2001

Posted by Marino (4707 posts) -
E3 2001 - West Hall

E3 2013 is over and it was definitely one for the history books. If you've read any of my PAX guides, you probably know that I've been to my fair share of Electronic Threes. For ten straight years (1997-2006), I went to E3 mostly thanks to PlayStation Underground. I've posted some time capsule blogs that I wrote during those shows in the past, but, about a year ago, I bought a relatively cheap capture device so that I could digitize all the VHS tapes I have from E3's past. The footage was originally to use on the TV the Babbage's and Software Etc's that my friends worked at (and later I worked at). It definitely helped boost pre-orders. I uploaded them to YouTube a while ago, but I never formally shared them here, and I think some people may find it interesting. I have tapes from 2001-2005, all in glorious VHS-C quality.

So, here's what I have from E3 2001. It was a big year for E3 since the PlayStation 2 had just come out a few months before, Nintendo was unveiling the GameCube, and Microsoft was joining the fray with the Xbox.

This is super early on Day 3 walking into the lobby of South Hall. Traditionally, South Hall was home to most of the big third party developers like EA, Konami, Ubisoft, and...Acclaim.

At the beginning of this video, I'm taping the big screen in Nintendo's booth while I wait in line to play a wheel of fortune type thing in Nintendo's booth. They had an animatronic Mario/Wario there with Charles Martinet behind a wall doing the voice. Each round, about 12 people could sit at the spinning table, introduce themselves to Wario by telling him where you were from, and then one of Nintendo's classic hired ladies would spin it around. Whatever prizes stopped in front of your seat, you got to keep. There were foam GameCubes, foam GBAs, GBA cases, and other swag. The catch was that one person per spin would win an actual Game Boy Advance, which wasn't out in America yet. Well, I won. I was actually wearing a PlayStation shirt at the time and Wario tried to convince them not to give it to me.

Man...2001 was a pretty great year. Sony's booth was full of to-be-classic games. You know...like Kinetica! Sony had this big ass sphere video thing at the front of their booth that kind of mesmerized me every time I walked by it.

Tecmo and THQ always seemed to get booths in West Hall near the Sony and Nintendo booths. So, I crammed them together in one video. Tecmo was notorious for not really having anything to play and just showing videos of stuff. And women. They always had women.

EA almost always had a giant video wall looping all their trailers. Over the years, it got more and more elaborate until E3 2006 where the floor felt like it was a speaker. So, here's a bunch of stuff they were showing. Get TRICKY!

So, this was the second year that Konami presented a super long trailer for Metal Gear Solid 2. And while it wasn't as shocking as that fabled E3 2000 video, it was still jaw-dropping in its own regard. MGS2 finally launched about six months later.

And here's Microsoft with all the heavy hitters they could muster prior to the launch of their first console. I remember playing Halo and thinking it was nothing special. Bungie got a lot done in those six months prior to launch, because you can clearly see in this video that the framerate was terrible. I also got some footage of Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee in here.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 was (and is) a pretty big deal. Activision even had a full-sized halfpipe set up in their booth where Bucky Lasek, Mat Hoffman, and the Birdman himself would run skate/BMX demos a couple times a day. Return to Castle Wolfenstein was a big draw as well believe it or not. That flamethrower!

Devil May Cry was one of the biggest games of E3 2001. Uppercutting fools with a sword then juggling them with bullets just felt so good.

This footage was mostly for myself and my guild. At the time, the Shadows of Luclin expansion was about to become a big deal. Partly for reasons SOE intended, and partly for reasons they did not. The new graphics engine was beautiful (even if the character model animations were worse), but this expansion also marked the end of an era as several of the people that had been on the EQ team from the start, most notably Brad McQuaid, were about to leave the company. When the expansion finally released in December 2001, many of the zones were not finished (and never would be).

On a side note, the SOE employee playing the demo was wearing a Star Wars Galaxies shirt and refused to say anything about it.

This is near the end of Day 3 where I just ran around West Hall grabbing some panoramic shots of the show floor. I still do this today when I go to places like PAX. I have some weird infatuation with trying to document what it was like to be there.

And that was E3.

I'll post some stuff 2002 later on. Hopefully someone out there will enjoy taking a look back in time.

Staff
#1 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11753 posts) -

I totally forgot that Donkey Kong Racing was a game that was in development at some point. These videos already reaping dividends.

#2 Posted by Marino (4707 posts) -

I totally forgot that Donkey Kong Racing was a game that was in development at some point. These videos already reaping dividends.

Oops. I linked it as Diddy in the bullet points, but yes Donkey Kong Racing was totally a thing that year.

Staff
#3 Edited by L1GHTN1N (457 posts) -

Well, that was a nice trip down memory lane. I've never heard of Kinetica or Extermination, though looking at some video/reviews of them doesn't seem like I was missing much. Also it's a bit funny looking at the Awards section on the wiki and seeing Star Wars: Galaxies taking runner-up for Best-in-Show. I'm sure it seemed great at the time but looking at it knowing the history...

Looking forward to the E3 2002! Rumor has it id is working on a new Doom game, how crazy is that?!

#4 Edited by Reisz (1500 posts) -

Difficult to believe looking back it it that this was already twelve years ago, I remember reading the coverage and wishing I was there to see that Metal Gear Solid 2 demo. This is bloody awesome, thanks Marino.

#5 Posted by ManMadeGod (1561 posts) -

Dam, Halo did look like garbage

#6 Posted by TruthTellah (9124 posts) -

Man, that jump from MGS1 to MGS2 just blew me away. That was one big "next gen" moment.

http://metalgearsolid.nl/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/MGS1-Snake-Kneeling.jpg

http://www.madgamer.sk/images/products/62/6121-5-metal-gear-solid-2-sons-of-liberty.jpg

#7 Posted by Marino (4707 posts) -

@l1ghtn1n said:

Well, that was a nice trip down memory lane. I've never heard of Kinetica or Extermination, though looking at some video/reviews of them doesn't seem like I was missing much. Also it's a bit funny looking at the Awards section on the wiki and seeing Star Wars: Galaxies taking runner-up for Best-in-Show. I'm sure it seemed great at the time but looking at it knowing the history...

Looking forward to the E3 2002! Rumor has it id is working on a new Doom game, how crazy is that?!

Kinetica is actually kinda fun. Extermination is...not. And, I think I have Doom footage in one of these. Not sure it's 2002 though.

Dam, Halo did look like garbage

I know, right? I didn't buy an Xbox til Summer 2003, so when all these people were talking about how awesome Halo was, I just didn't get it.

Staff
#8 Posted by ShaggE (6459 posts) -

I love you for this. As an admitted slave to nostalgia, things like this are my bread and butter. Shame you don't have footage of the 90s E3s, but these will definitely do.

#9 Posted by Marino (4707 posts) -

@shagge said:

I love you for this. As an admitted slave to nostalgia, things like this are my bread and butter. Shame you don't have footage of the 90s E3s, but these will definitely do.

I don't have video, but I have photos as far back as E3 1999 on the site. And there's some pictures of swag from 1997 and 1998. I didn't have a digital camera until 1999.

Staff
#10 Edited by ShaggE (6459 posts) -

@marino said:

@shagge said:

I love you for this. As an admitted slave to nostalgia, things like this are my bread and butter. Shame you don't have footage of the 90s E3s, but these will definitely do.

I don't have video, but I have photos as far back as E3 1999 on the site. And there's some pictures of swag from 1997 and 1998. I didn't have a digital camera until 1999.

Cheers! I got a kick out of seeing Coconut Monkey again, haha.

#11 Posted by Marino (4707 posts) -

@shagge: It took me a second to realize what you were referring to. I wasn't much of a PC gamer until EverQuest, which was a couple years after I got that bumper sticker.

Staff
#12 Posted by TheThirdRLM (148 posts) -

@truthtellah: Good gahd... Its like someone smudged Snake's face

#13 Edited by TruthTellah (9124 posts) -

@truthtellah: Good gahd... Its like someone smudged Snake's face

Right? Imagine that featureless face nodding up and down. That is the cutscenes in the original MGS.

#14 Posted by DarthOrange (3864 posts) -

Very cool duder! Thanks for sharing!

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