E3 is a magical time for gamers everywhere. All the biggest announcements, extensive gameplay demos, and interesting Q&As with some of the best developers around – what’s not to love?
Quite a lot, it would seem. See, while E3 has had its fair share of truly incredible moments, it would be unfair to say that there haven’t been some piss poor reveals, horrendous hosts, and disastrous demonstrations that we all wish we could forget.
With that said, let’s dig up old bones and have a good laugh.
The Wii U Is Announced (2011)
The Wii was a ridiculous success for Nintendo. If you took every single Wii console sold worldwide, and put them on top of each other, you could probably climb to the moon (or at least have a bloody good go).
So when the time came for the Wii’s successor to be announced, the world watched on with interest. What we got was… incredibly confusing and desperately unclear.
What made things so frustrating was that it wasn’t really clear at all that this was a new console. It was made to look like a hardware attachment for the Wii, and the name certainly didn’t help.
I’ve watched that trailer a few times now, and I’m 99% sure you don’t see the console anywhere in the video, it’s just the gamepad. Poor move, Nintendo.
Konami’s Rock Revolution Fiasco (2008)
The company best known for Metal Gear decided they wanted to compete against the likes of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, which were enjoying their respective peaks around 2008. Konami’s offering was a game called Rock Revolution. It sucked.
It didn’t help that the presenters tasked with showing the game off failed spectacularly when it came to playing the songs, and were (virtually) booed off stage.
You can actually see the moment the light and life leaves their eyes. Poor things.
PlayStation 3 Launch Price (2006)
Sony got it so, so right when they announced the launch price of the original PlayStation back in 1995. Fast forward to 2006, and things were very different indeed.
It would have been one thing to expect people to fork out $599 (about £415) for an absolute must-own machine, but the only console Sony’s abysmal 2006 conference managed to sell was the Xbox 360.
One of the biggest games they had to show off was Genji. It was billed as historically accurate title featuring real battles from Japan’s history – as such, we were all surprised when a giant mutant crab showed up in the gameplay demo.
Xbox One (2013)
Thanks to Microsoft’s horrendous 2013 E3 briefing, it was honestly looking like the Xbox One would fail before it even had a chance.
The company talked up a series of baffling features, and never properly explained how or why we as consumers should want them.
The idea that the system needed to always be online to work was perhaps the worst, and it didn’t help matters at all when Microsoft exec Don Mattrick basically told anyone who had a problem with that feature to stick to the Xbox 360.
Oh, and Sony essentially tore them apart during their own E3 conference. As we now know, Microsoft did a complete 180 and managed to just about save the Xbox One.
Battle Tag (2010)
Remember when Ubisoft invented this groundbreaking new game called laser tag in 2010? Oh, but they called it Battle Tag, so it was totally this groundbreaking new game.
It was bad enough that we had to watch Ubisoft try and sell us LASER TAG as if it was a shiny new thing in 2010, but having to watch comedian and actor Joel McHale try his best to act like he cared was just plain hard to watch.
After all, I’m sure Mr McHale had his fill of laser tag back in the late 90s/early 00s, just like the rest of us.
Jamie Kennedy (2007)
If you feel like watching something through the gaps in your fingers today, watch actor/comedian Jamie Kennedy hosting E3 2007 on behalf of Activision.
From making a load of easy “gamers are nerds” jokes to a room full of gamers, to speaking over fellow presenters and generally establishing himself as a massive douche, Kennedy did himself no favours at E3 2007.
I’m no comedian, but when the biggest laugh of the night comes from a heckler, I suspect you’ve done something terribly wrong. Then again, this guy starred in Son of the Mask, so he’s done a few things terribly wrong.
Mr Caffeine (Felt like forever)
Ubisoft have had some pretty killer moments at E3, but I’m certain they’d want you to forget all about Mr Caffeine, their shockingly awful host.
Mr Caffeine sucks because he talked down to gamers in a way that made us all look bad – He had a painfully juvenile sense of humour, and was over the top in his delivery to the point that I’d almost consider it performance art if he wasn’t so clearly such an unbearable little twat.
There’s absolutely a place for humour at E3, but Mr Caffeine treated the room like children. It just wasn’t good PR for a medium that was struggling to be taken seriously, especially at such a massive industry event.
Konami’s Entire Press Conference (2010)
You could write a book on everything that Konami fucked up during their E3 201o press conference. Granted, it wouldn’t be a terribly long book, but it’d still be fairly substantial.
Instead of your standard presentation involving announcements, trailers, and developer discussions, Konami decided to go for something a little different. By different, I mean batshit insane – you honestly really just need to see it.
“Now, you can move your fat body freely”. Truly, the pinnacle of videogame industry events right here.
I’ll be honest, as much as I’m hoping E3 2016 goes off without a hitch, a tiny part of me is still looking forward to any potential fuck ups. They’re always good for a few laughs.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.