Final Fantasy XIII on Xbox 360 Reveal (2008)
Microsoft and Sony have been battling these last few years to try and get their console synonymous with particular third party releases. Marketing rights for Call of Duty moved over from the Xbox to PlayStation 4 a couple of years ago, while Microsoft struck up a deal with Crystal Dynamics to have exclusive rights to Rise of the Tomb Raider for one year.
These kinds of deals have been happening for years, however, and the Final Fantasy XIII reveal at E3 2008 is one of the most significant. At Microsoft’s conference, they revealed that the game would be coming to Xbox 360, marking the first time a main-line Final Fantasy game has come to a non-PlayStation console since Final Fantasy VI. The announcement stunned the gaming world and helped push the Xbox 360 even further ahead of the struggling PlayStation 3. It showed how the tables had turned.
Gabe Newell & Portal 2 (2010)
Gabe Newell had spent most of the PlayStation 3 generation insulting the console and the the handling of it by Sony. Therefore, GLaDOS interrupting Jack Tretton to introduce him to the stage during Sony’s E3 2010 conference was a huge surprise. He was there to reveal that Portal 2 would be coming to the console, but before he did, he thanked Sony for not repeatedly punching him in the face for his comments about their console. At the time, he was one of the last people we would have expected to see on Sony’s stage.
“My Body is Ready” (2007)
Since his first appearance in 2004, Reggie Fils-Aime has become one of the most liked and recognizable faces in the video game industry. He is synonymous with Nintendo and his actions have created some famous memes, including “My Body is Ready”. During the reveal of Wii Fit, the presenter said that they needed to ‘body test’ someone before they used the game. As Reggie comes over, he stands in front of the Wii Fit board and says the famous phrase and it is met by laughter from the audience. He’s become even more likeable since that moment.
“It’s Ridge Racer!” (2006)
This one isn’t the best in terms of games or announcements but it is easily one of the funniest E3 conference moments of all time. In 2006, Kaz Hirai took to the stage to show off the PSP. He addresses the crowd and, while holding the device, he talks about how they will likely recognize the start up screen and suggests that they’ll be excited about the title he’s about to show off. Eventually, he says that the title is Ridge Racer for PSP, which is met by near to no reaction at all. Clearly exasperated, Kaz Hirai shouts Ridge Racer loudly to prompt a reaction, but once again is doesn’t work. Possibly the most amusing example of a game company completely overestimating how excited people will be for a game.
Sega Saturn Available Now (1995)
Surprises are a huge part of E3 and publishers love to say that a game is out ‘right now’. However, nothing has surpassed the surprise from Sega at the first ever E3 in 1995. They revealed that their new console, the Sega Saturn, was available as they were speaking – much to the frustration of retailers. Stores had no time to promote the console, organise stock, or create shelf space for the machine, making selling it difficult. It also proved to be a bad idea of Sega’s part and the console didn’t sell well due to the logistical problems that surrounded its release.
Game Sharing Sony Video (2013)
Microsoft’s choice to initially not allow game sharing or pre-owned games on the Xbox One is one reason why fans became less than impressed with the company before their console’s launch and it spawned this video from Sony that laughs at Microsoft’s decision. Shown during the PlayStation 4 reveal in 2013, the 21 second clip gives fans the steps for sharing their games on PlayStation 4, but there is just one step. That only step is shown by Shuhei Yoshida passing a boxed copy of Killzone: Shadown Fall to Adam Boyes and him replying, “thanks!” It is gloriously silly way of promoting their ‘for the gamers’ message while undermining the Xbox One. It only helped push Sony further ahead of their competition that year.
$299 speech (1995)
Sony have always loved a silly moment that resonated with fans while promoting the most impressive aspects of what they are trying to promote. Like the jovial game sharing video, the price reveal of the original PlayStation is the perfect ‘mic-drop’ moment. At the end of their conference, Steve Race is introduced, he walks up to the microphone, pauses and simply says, “299” and leaves the stage to rapturous applause. That price-point made the PlayStation $100 cheaper than the Sega Saturn and the way is was announced is a great way to end a conference leaving the fans with that at the front of their mind.
Twilight Princess Reveal (2004)
E3 2004 is widely regarded as the best Nintendo E3 press conference ever. It saw the debut of the Nintendo DS and the first appearance from Reggie Fils-Aime but the show’s ‘one more thing’ announcement amazed everyone. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess’ reveal was met by the loudest pop in the auditorium, and the trailer was fantastic. Shigeru Miyamoto appeared on stage holding a sword and a shield and fans were overjoyed. A fantastic way to end what is undoubtedly one of the best E3 press conferences of all time.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Reveal (2015)
Final Fantasy VII is one of the best and most popular games of all time, so when the remake was revealed at E3 2015, the crowd went mad. Compared to the original game, it looked incredible and you could hear screams and people were saying that they were crying at the news. Two years later, we are no closer to knowing when the Final Fantasy VII Remake will actually release, nor how to it will be released to us. All we can do is hope that it isn’t too long and maybe hope for an announcement at E3 either this year, or in the future.
Kingdom Hearts 3 & Final Fantasy XV Reveals (2014)
Two of the most anticipated titles of all time are Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3. The former took more than a decade to release and fans were finally able to play it last fall. Kingdom Hearts 3 however, is in the same realm as Final Fantasy VII Remake in that we have no idea when the game will come out. There have been suggestions from the developer that it will be sometime over the next few years, but we don’t really know. The reveals of the games at the 2014 conference were met by huge screams and countless excitable fans. They are some of the biggest game reveals of recent times.