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The best moments in E3 history

E3 has been giving us great gaming moments since 1995. Here are our favorites.

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dvb-headshot-5

Daniel Van Boom

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1 of 13 Nintendo

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess


E3 has been giving us great gaming moments since 1995. Here are our favorites.


"I hope you've all enjoyed our program this morning, but before you leave I'd like you to step inside one more world."

Those are the now-famous words of Reggie Fils-Aime -- then the executive vice president of marketing for Nintendo in the Americas -- from Nintendo's 2004 E3 press conference. 

What came next was the first trailer for Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on the GameCube, at that time the most realistic looking Zelda game yet.   

The rapturous applause from the audience was contagious. 

Launch of Nintendo DS at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)
2 of 13 Bob Riha Jr/Getty

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto hit the stage after the trailer, triumphantly swinging a Master Sword while brandishing Link's famous shield.

The game would be released, after several delays, just over two years later on both the GameCube and the Wii. 

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3 of 13 Nintendo

Reggie, the meme maker

Since his 2004 E3 debut, Reggie Fils-Aime and his presentations have been a hit among gamers. One of his greatest successes wasn't a game announcement, or even on purpose.

He was helping Miyamoto in 2008 show off Wii Fit Balance Board, a new peripheral for the Wii. As he stepped on the scale, Fils-Aime blurted, "My body is ready."
And that's where that phrase, now ubiquitous in internet culture, comes from. 

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4 of 13 Sony

PlayStation, yours for $299

Between Sony, Nintendo, Sega and Atari(!), the console wars of the early '90s were mighty fierce.  E3 in 1995, though, was the beginning of the end for Sega, and it was all because of one number.

At the time, both the Sega Saturn and the Sony PlayStation had been released in Japan but were awaiting a US launch. Sega at its press conference hoped to score an advantage, announcing that the Saturn would be available immediately for $399. 

In a game of one-upmanship, Sony's Steve Race took the stage at PlayStation's press conference for a three-word speech: "Two ninety nine." The crowd was much more responsive to that price. 

In the end, Sega's hot-shotting the Saturn worked against it. The system launched with a limited supply, with few games and too high a price. 

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5 of 13 Microsoft

Halo 2: The sweet before the sour

One of the great demos of E3 came in 2003, when we got a 10-minute look at Halo 2. Halo is a revered franchise to this day, but back then it was God-tier. 

People lost their minds at the peek into Halo 2. We saw dual weilding for the first time, a crazy new lighting engine and frantic, insane-looking vehicle combat. 

The sweetness turned sour upon Halo 2's actual release, when it turned out that the demo was overly ambitious, and that the Xbox couldn't actually run what was shown. 

But on the day, man. What a demo. 

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6 of 13 Sony

Sony savagery continues

When Microsoft announced the Xbox One prior to E3 2013, a big kerfuffle was made about its always-internet-connected features. Most controversially, there would be a restriction on used games, including discs you borrow from friends.

Sony had fun with this, playing a video at E3 that year demonstrating how to share games with friends. It's fairly savage. Watch it here

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7 of 13 Microsoft

Microsoft's revenge

Microsoft would have its day two years later, at E3 in 2015. It announced that backward compatibility would be coming to the Xbox One, meaning that more than 100 Xbox 360 games would be playable on the One. 

It was a hugely popular move, one that astonishingly hasn't been made by Sony. 

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8 of 13 Square Enix

Final Fantasy 7 Remake, part one

Sony unveiled its PlayStation 3 back in E3 2005. It wanted something that could really show off its technical capabilities, so it got Square Enix to produce possibly the biggest tease of all time.

A video of Final Fantasy 7's opening, reimagined with PS3 graphics, was played. Fans thought it was a trailer for an actual remake. It was not. It was just a technical demo. 

Sadness ensued for 10 years. 

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9 of 13 Square Enix

Final Fantasy 7 Remake, part two

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending.

In 2015, after 10 long years of hearing fans clamour for the game that was teased back in 2005, Final Fantasy 7 Remake was officially announced for the PlayStation 4. 

If you want to watch something that'll make you smile, check out the audience gradually losing its collective mind

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10 of 13 Square Enix

Final Fantasy XIII comes to Xbox 360

One more FF moment.

The franchise had been synonymous with PlayStation since 1997, when Final Fantasy VII was released for the PS1. That's why it was such a shock to see Lightning, the heroin of Final Fantasy XIII, show up on screen at Microsoft's 2008 E3 press conference.

It was a huge blow for Sony, which for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 years enjoyed a monopoly on several key franchises. 

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11 of 13 Bethesda

Fallout 4

Speaking of highly anticipated, by the time of Bethesda's (first ever) E3 press conference in 2015, it had been five years since the release of Fallout: New Vegas. When it came time for Fallout director Todd Howard to demo the game, the crowd was absolutely in the palm of his hand. 

They were ravenous for information, which was good because Howard had a 30-minute presentation for them

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12 of 13 Sony

Gabe Newell's Sony surprise

In 2007, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell famously called the PlayStation 3 a "waste of time." So you can understand everyone's shock when he was invited onstage at Sony's press conference in 2008.

"I've been pretty outspoken in my comments about the current generation of game consoles," he opened, much to the crowd's amusement. He would go on to not only announce that Portal 2, the sequel to the universally beloved Portal, would be coming to the PlayStation 3, but that the PS3 would be the best place to play it.

That moment had many people shook. 

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13 of 13 Valve

Half-Life 2

The Portal 2 announcement wasn't Newell's first E3 moment of glory. In 2003, he gave an extended demo of Half-Life 2, a much-anticipated followup to 1998's Half-Life.

It may look standard now, but the ability to interact with the environment -- by blowing enemies to their death via a spinning fan, for instance, or using the explosion of a flame canister to hurl a car at them -- was revolutionary at the time.

To this day, fans dream of the E3 when Half-Life 3 is demoed. One day, everyone. One day.  

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