Let’s look back at the E3 show floor of the ’90s and 2000s

It’s that time of the year when gamers put aside their differences and unite to lovingly roast the equivalent of videogame Christmas: the Electronics Entertainment Expo. Since its inaugural show in 1995, E3 has evolved into a hub for major industry announcements, new hardware and studio showcases, and of course, a bottomless well of memes. There’s always a lead-up of hype and speculation over what’s going to happen each year, which sometimes ends up being all sound and fury. 

E3 has had a huge role in shaping the way audiences interact with studios and developers—even Nintendo’s popular Nintendo Direct streams were a response to the longstanding influence of E3 press conferences. Today E3 is no longer a business-only trade expo, but an extravagant marketing production that plays to press and fans. Here’s a look back at the highs and lows of the world’s biggest and best-known gaming show. 

The 1990s: So it begins

1995: $299

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