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.
- Luigi's Mansion
- Diddy Kong Racing
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
- Star Fox Adventures
- Wave Race: Blue Storm
- Luigi's Mansion (again)
- Wario Land 4
- Mario Kart Super Circuit
- F-Zero Maximum Velocity
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.
- Jak & Daxter
- Devil May Cry
- SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs
- Dark Cloud
- Twisted Metal Black
- Gran Turismo 3
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
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!
- Medal of Honor: Frontline
- NHL 2002
- F1 2002
- NBA Live 2002
- FIFA 2002
- Triple Play 2002
- Madden NFL 2002
- SSX Tricky
- NBA Street
- Sled Storm
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.