VHScapades: E3 2002

West Hall

Last week, I shared my VHS footage from one of the best E3's of all time; 2001. This week, it's time to check out the mostly forgettable E3 2002. There were no sexy new consoles or even handhelds to flaunt in 2002, so it was truly all about the games. More specifically, playing games online. Xbox Live was about to be launched, Sony was touting SOCOM and the PS2's official network adapter, and of course there were plenty of online games being featured for PC including the first looks at World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, Battlefield 1942, and Star Wars Galaxies. And there was this other game called Doom III that was getting a lot of attention at the Activision booth, but I don't think video was allowed til next year.

So, here's another dozen videos or so in glorious VHS-C definition. Keep in mind that one of the main reasons I was videoing this stuff was to play it my friends' Babbage's and Software Etc to boost reservations. It totally worked.

Coming into South Hall super early in the morning to get in line for the show. The thing I remember most about this is that they had set up a bag check station outside for the first time, which is why there's a cut in the video before I got inside. This was the first E3 after September 11th, so there was a bit more security than in years passed.

The famous Electronic Arts video wall. This video isn't very exciting, but it was an easy way to get trailers into the store for pre-orders. You have to remember that there was no "GameStop TV" crap in the stores back then. The company would sometimes send video tapes for the store to put on loop, but we just replaced it with these each year. Game trailers in this video include:

Continuing with EA, here's a bunch of sports games featuring a distinct lack of SSX. What was I even doing? Games that are featured include:

Here's a game that doesn't exist and one that we wish never did. Historically, Eidos' booth was always packed with people, but not because of games. It was primarily because of the models they hired to throw t-shirts and the infamous Lara Croft models. Nothing says 2002 like a Fear Effect 3 trailer set to Linkin Park.

By this point, the "Metal Gear Trailer" had become a tradition in the Konami booth. Here's what MGS2 Substance from the show floor.

Microsoft's booth was always kinda weird around this time. It was kinda like even they weren't too sure this whole Xbox thing was gonna work as there were big sections of their booth still dedicated to PC games (like the Ensemble Studios area at the beginning of this video). Within a couple years, the PC area of their booth became dwarfed by Xbox. Any mention of Halo 2 would have to wait til next year. Games included in this video are:

Around this time, I was still a die-hard EverQuest player, but I wasn't beyond looking for something new. At the time, Shadowbane seemed like it could be pretty cool and the demo I got at the Ubisoft (yes, Ubisoft published an MMO) was quite good. I wonder if @andy was there...

We all know movie games typically suck. But, Two Towers was actually alright if you ask me. EA also had a bunch of movie props in glass cases around the booth. Lord of the Rings was kind of a big deal at the time, you know.

For several years, LucasArts never had an actual booth at the show. Their only presence was always this big video wall in the lobby area of West Hall. Here's a look at Clone Wars and Galaxies.

Sony had a cool booth that featured a lot of glass. In a world that was still populated by big-ass CRT monitors, seeing games projected onto a pane of glass was kinda neat. They also had a bunch of games to show I guess including the debut of a couple mascots. Non-glass things to see at Sony's booth included:

After having a closed booth at E3 2001, Sega was back in 2002 after basically abandoning the Dreamcast in favor of developing their games for everyone. Seeing the 2K games running on PS2 was super weird.

Nintendo didn't seem to be on the online bandwagon with everyone else (big surprise), but no one seemed to care after they played Metroid Prime and Wind Waker. They probably weren't saying great things about WrestleMania X8 though. Super Mario Sunshine was also a focal point of the booth. History would not be so kind to that game.

This was a weird time for Capcom I think. It was before Resident Evil 4 and way before Street Fighter would make a comeback. And after flooring everyone with Devil May Cry, the sequel they brought in 2002 didn't fair as well. Games included in this video are:

To get into SOE's booth, you either had to have an appointment or you had to find a post card in a copy of the E3 daily newspapers. The backs of the postcards had either "ACCESS GRANTED" or "ACCESS DENIED" printed on the back, but it could only be read under a black light. A friend of mine and I raided a stack of the newspapers and ended up getting about a dozen of them. We each went once a day and gave the rest to friends. They were showing the next EverQuest expansion, The Planes of Power. But, they were also showing the Star Wars Galaxies character creator (no video was allowed) and the first ever look at EverQuest II. There's even a part in the EQ2 demo where he starts to talk about a city of Marr, which never actually ended up in the game.


Edited by Nightriff

I will have to check out last weeks and this out, this looks like it could fill a boring night shift of mine living in memories

Posted by Marino

I will have to check out last weeks and this out, this looks like it could fill a boring night shift of mine living in memories

Last week's stuff is probably the better half so far. I'll have 2003-05 up in the next few weeks.