Why E3 Is Important For Video Games: They Grow Up So Fast!
Posted on Wednesday, May 15 @ 21:22:00 Eastern by Daniel BischoffIn this (brief) series of articles leading up to gaming's Electronic Entertainment Expo, we'll look at why E3 is important and how have you never heard of E3? Do you live in a (x)box? I can't believe this. You've never heard of E3? It's the most important event in gaming!
Let's take GR's time machine way back to 1995. Yes, Valeri Polyakov had just spent 366 days in space aboard the Mir space station (as of January 9th, 1995) and the sound of Gangsta's Paradise could be heard loudly in my room. We're in 1995 so that means it's just about time for the first E3! Before 1995, video games typically showed up at Consumer Electronics Show and other general tech shows. Then IDG's Infotainment World and the Entertainment Software Association made a baby and they called it E3.
The very first E3 also happened to showcase the debut of a brand new line of home consoles: Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Virtual Boy, Neo-Geo CD and Nintendo (Ultra at the time) 64. Holy crap! Nearly 20 years later and we're about to get even more new home consoles!
I think that moment cemented new hardware reveals as the absolute pinnacle of E3 excitement, elation, ecstasy... I could go on, but that's three E's already. Even Wii U, which has largely gathered dust next to my TV, couldn't help but walk away from Los Angeles with tons of excitement and energy. I think there's something comfortable about new hardware at E3, like watching the leaves fall.
Every console has a life, some short, some long, some successful, some anything-from-Neo-Geo. Our eyes light up and we immediately begin to tell the console's story, from conception in rumors and whispers to "certified collectable." Of course in 1995 the beginning was much slower.
Maybe you're a younger gamer and you were talking about NU64 and Sega Saturn on the playground or the more likely scenario, over bong rips in college (can't say I don't know our audience). I first experienced E3 from a magazine, and who knows how old that information was by that point. It might have been a GamePro borrowed from the library!
The point is, E3 helps to mark the life and time of every home console. We chart the rise and fall of boxes stuffed with wires and chips after every year. "Did Nintendo win E3?" "No, Sony totally stomped them." "Guys, I think both have a lot to offer to gamers this year." "STFU!" You know how it goes. Without E3, I don't think the console industry could have built into the gazillion dollar market it is today.
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