Image courtesy of the Entertainment Software Association The Electronic Entertainment Expo, aka E3, has been a massive marketing spectacle for years now, a place for splashy trailers and hashtags, but it hasn't always been that way. It used to be a business-focused affair where executives would get up on stage and use fancy presentations to get retailers ready for their next slate of games. Anthony Parisi, one of my old buddies, recently went through his old video tapes and discovered that he'd recorded the Sony, Nintendo, and Sega press conferences from E3 1995, the first E3. It's fascinating viewing.
Again, this was long before the Internet was really a thing, which is when E3 began to shift its attention. The press was allowed to attend and cover E3—in fact, I attended E3 1998 when I was only, uh, 13-years-old—but they weren't the focus.
Here are some key moments to fast forward to, if you don't want to watch the whole thing:
- 2:49 - Sega's press conference
- 36:52 - Sega reveals the Saturn isn't shipping in the fall, it's on sale now
- 37:45 - Sony's press conference
- 59:56 - The moment Sony revealed PlayStation would only cost $299
- 1:03:00 - Nintendo's press conference
- 3:07:06 - A look at the Ultra 64, before it became the Nintendo 64
- 1:36:25 - Tour of the E3 1995 show floor
- 2:39:40 - What virtual reality looked like in 1995