Footage From The First-Ever E3 Is A Real Trip

E3 2016. Photo via ESA
E3 2016. Photo via ESA

E3 today is a thunderstorm of neon spectacle. It’s marketing buzzwords and hip executives wearing blazers and t-shirts as they show us their hot new video game trailers. Twenty years ago, though... Twenty years ago it was a little different.

This incredible new footage of the first E3 expo, in 1995 (shot by Anthony Parisi), is a lot of fun to watch today. Back when E3 was more of a trade show and less of the customer-centric marketing campaign it is today, video game executives spent a whole lot of time discussing stats, showing charts, and complaining about piracy.

The camera is shaky and the sound quality isn’t great—it’s from 1995, after all—but this video is a trip. At 2:49 you’ll find the Sega keynote, then at 37:45 is Sony, then 1:03:00 is Nintendo. Then at 1:36:25 we get a look at the show floor, starting with some excellent demo footage from Secret of Evermore, complete with placeholder boss fights.

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Wow, were counterfeit cartridges really a big issue back in the 90's??? That is something I absolutely didn’t know