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The Los Angeles Convention Center during E3's mid-2000s heyday.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Dan Ackerman/Libe Goad
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Crash Bandicoot caught red-handed eating an E3 attendee.

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What's odder, this guy in a full-body Stormtrooper costume or that hat I'm wearing?

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Microsoft's Project Natal...oh wait, that's the Sony EyeToy.

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Our first look at the Sony PSP.

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The packed halls of E3, circa 2004.

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Whatever happened to Starcraft Ghost? This Blizzard game has been sitting in development limbo for years, despite never being officially canceled.

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The Nintendo Game Boy Micro seemed like a really good idea at the time, but it never caught on.

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Whatever happened to Pac-Man? Seems like an intellectual property ready for a big comeback (and not just as a retro iPad app).

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A giant Katamari ball, 'nuff said.

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One would have thought that The Nightmare Before Christmas would have made a great idea for a video game.

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A show highlight: the cavalcade of costumed characters.

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Doom 3 blew our collective minds when it was first unveiled in 2003.

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Sorry, Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, you've got to stay locked in hermetically sealed display cases until you can learn to play nice together.

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The early days of the World of Warcraft juggernaut.

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Whatever game this giant stuffed animal represented has been lost to the sands of time...

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Giant anthropomorphized dog, plus armor.

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Spongebob in the flesh...uh, sponge...

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Military guys, promoting some kind of military game, no doubt.

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I'm shocked that the gaming floor mat never took off.

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Music soothes the savage beast...

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Your guess is as good as mine.

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Who knew there was a Jolly Green Giant game?

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Someone got lost on the way to the renaissance fair.

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Big creepy house, might have been from Luigi's Mansion for GameCube.

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How do you promote a Castlevania game? Build a huge castle on the show floor, of course.

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Back when the original PlayStation was the dominant force in gaming.

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Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime intros the first version of the DS handheld.

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Another look at the original Nintendo DS.

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A huge display for Spider-Man 2.

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An underrated RPG from 2004.

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A helicopter is exactly the kind of big-budget item rarely seen at E3 these days.

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Giant inflatable superhero. No convention is complete without one.

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Being a vegetarian, I've never had one of these allegedly delicious-looking bacon-wrapped hot dogs frequently sold outside the show.

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Yes, there was a Playboy game. No, it wasn't very good.

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Katamari's little prince inspired a green fashion trend.

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There was apparently a Dukes of Hazard game, as someone bothered to lug the General Lee to E3 one year.

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Leisure Suit Larry: proof that not every classic game needs to be revived.

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In a dark time before the Nintendo Wii, this is what motion-controlled gaming meant.

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I've got one of these in my living room right now.

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A classic Computer Space arcade machine, from a vintage arcade exhibit at E3 in 2004.

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Another vintage game; I'm pretty sure this one didn't really take off.

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Another look at motion gaming in the pre-Wii, pre-Natal era.

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Who knew Disney plus Square was actually a good idea?

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Years before anyone thought of doing a movie sequel, Tron 2.0 was a forgettable first-person shooter.

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There was a reason for all these beach balls to be in the pool of the Figueroa Hotel, but it escapes me now.

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One of the costumed actors at the show breaks character for a moment (they're usually pretty unflappable).

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The excellent "Batman Begins" film deserved a better game. At least we got to see a full-size Batmobile at E3 in 2005.

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