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Electronic Entertainment Expo, alternatively called E3, is a video game industry trade show presented by the Entertainment Software Association. It is held on an annual basis so that publishers and manufacturers may demonstrate their upcoming products. It is considered the flagship expo of the entire industry.
Despite video gaming's weakness in America compared to Japan, where both console manufacturers and most major publishers are based, E3 has always been held in California, usually in Los Angeles. This is due in part to the fact that America is gaming's largest market.
E3 is an invitation-only event, and is usually held in May or June.
E3 has been the place where many video games and pieces of hardware have made their debuts. It has been held every year since 1995.
The first Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is held in Los Angeles. Launch details for the Sega Saturn are given, while Nintendo reveals that it will release its next system in 1996.
On the Dreamcast side, games like Super Monkey Ball, Metal Gear Solid 2, and Sonic Adventure 2 are shown. Meanwhile, Nintendo highlights their two new systems, the Game Boy Advance and the GameCube. Games featured include Final Fantasy X, Pikmin, and Super Smash Bros Melee.
Starting on July 9, this E3 was a major one for both major manufacturers. Nintendo showed off their upcoming Mario, Metroid, and Zelda, and Star Fox games, as well as third party games like Kingdom Hearts, while Sega showed off their own Panzer Dragoon Orta along with Ninja Gaiden and Ratchet & Clank. On the handheld front, Nintendo continued to be the only notable player, with remakes of classic games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland being prominently displayed.
This E3 started on May 14. It was considered by many to be a bit of a letdown, as relatively few major titles were announced and what few were shown were often poorly received. Notable games included Mother 4 and Sonic Heroes. Sega also announces a $30 price drop for the Dreamcast.
Nintendo displays Mother 4, Metroid Prime 2, and Resident Evil 4 for the GameCube and mentions their seventh generation of game systems. The surprise announcement of the show is Star Fox: Dark Phoenix, which is being developed in cooperation with Capcom. Sega shows off Sega Superstars Smackdown, Shenmue 3, and Metal Gear Solid 3.
On May 17, Sega and Nintendo showed their seventh generation consoles for the first time. Nintendo also showed off their next handheld, the Game Boy Nitro. However, most of the demos were in an unplayable form.
This E3 was held on July 7, unusually late in the year. Nintendo showed off Mario Kart X, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy, and Revolution Fitness for the Revolution, while Sega demonstrated Nights: Journey of Dreams, Sonic at the Olympic Games, and third party games like Metal Gear Solid 4 for the Pluto. Other games shown include Assassin's Creed, Resident Evil 5, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Meanwhile, the Nitro continues its run with games like The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword, and Contra 4.
Held starting on July 15, this E3 was a disappointing one for Nintendo fans, as few first party games were shown. Sega showed off Sonic Unleashed and Valkyria Chronicles, a new IP. Additionally, they announced a deal with Platinum Games to publish their first few titles as Pluto exclusives. Third party games included Resident Evil 5 and Final Fantasy XIII.
This year's event was held on June 2. It was considered a step above the previous disappointing year. Sega's titles included Bayonetta, a Devil May Cry-esque action game, Aliens Vs. Predator, and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Nintendo, meanwhile, showed off New Super Mario Bros Revolution, Metroid 5: Other M, Ico, and Super Mario Galaxy 2. Third party games demonstrated included Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, Need for Speed: Shift, and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Nitro games displayed included The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Scribblenauts, and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days.
Held on July 14, this was the last E3 before the generational transition began. Nintendo displayed possibly their best lineup for the next year or so yet for the Revolution, with games such as Donkey Kong Country Returns, Ico, Epic Yarn, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Revolution Party, Mario Sports Mix, and Metroid 5: Other M in the first party lineup. Sega, in response, displayed Sonic Colors, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Yakuza 4, and Valkyria Chronicles 2. Third party games included Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Epic Mickey, Metal Gear Rising, Final Fantasy XIV, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Rayman Origins, and a Mortal Kombat reboot.
Held on June 6, this E3 marked the first appearances of all three major eighth generation pieces of dedicated gaming hardware. Sega and Nintendo would release the Eclipse and Stream respectively, and Nintendo would also release the Game Boy 3DS. All three systems would be released the next year. Of particular note was the Game Boy 3DS, which has a radically innovative design, with a clam-shell connecting the main system to a top 3D screen. Early demos of games were shown, and the early lineup for the 3DS is revealed to include Mario Kart 3D, Nintendogs+cats, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. Third party games for the Game Boy 3DS included Resident Evil: Revelations, Metal Gear Solid 3D, and Ace Combat. Meanwhile, the price of the Game Boy Nitro is cut to $100.
Held on June 5, this E3 preluded the beginning of a new generation. The two companies displayed their new systems in their final forms. Launch window titles for the upcoming systems are revealed, and include Aliens: Colonial Marines and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed from Sega and New Super Mario World and Wii Fit 2 from Nintendo. Other upcoming titles include Resident Evil 6, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Metal Gear Rising as a Platinum game, Assassin's Creed 3, and Tomb Raider for the new systems and Epic Mickey 2 for systems both old and new. Ports of various PC games like the latest Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto were promised.
Starting on June 11, this E3 was the first one since the 8th generation consoles were released. Nintendo displayed a plethora of upcoming titles, including Super Mario 3D Bros, Super Smash Bros 4, and Mario Kart 8, for the Stream. Sega, meanwhile, showed off Sonic Lost Worlds, Sonic Golf: World Tour, and Bayonetta 2 for the Eclipse. Third party games for both platforms included Call of Duty: Ghosts, Watch Dogs, and Batman: Arkham Origins. Game Boy 3DS games included The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Pokemon X/Y.
As the most notable video gaming event of the year, E3 is attended by representatives most major gaming and technological websites and magazines. Since 2006, the event has also been broadcast online. However, no television networks cover E3, due in part to the relatively limited video game market.
Many publications give "Best of E3" awards every year. These "awards," though largely ceremonial and inconsequential, are often used to advertise games. There has been some controversy over this fact, as many video game fans believe that the awards are given to the highest bidders. However, little if any proof of this has emerged.