The good, the rad and the weird
The only part of an E3 that you can count on more than the cool game announcements are the stilted, silly and super cool moments that the publishers pepper into their live events. Luckily for us, E3 2015 has already delivered all three, and Day One isn't just ended.
From holographic Minecraft to an awkward attempt at creating a meme, we've captured every last exciting and excruciating detail from this year's proceedings in chronological order. Read on, dear friend!
Update: I've added the strangest moments from Nintendo and Square Enix's E3 media events to the of this gallery. Check them out!
Minecraft in your living room - literally
We've seen it teased in sizzle reels and discussed in countless, photo-less hands on reviews, but not before today have we been shown Minecraft on HoloLens in real time. Microsoft is serious about this thing – even in gaming, to our pleasant surprise.
While no release date was announced, the Redmond-owned developer Mojang showed off how HoloLens can cast a screened experience of Minecraft to any flat surface. However, what's way more interesting is how players can interact with an instance of the Minecraft world overlayed on a flat surface nearby. Better yet, your friends can walk through that very world – and you can see them. So cool!
Oh yeah, and did Microsoft say that it's buddied up with Valve VR? That was definitely said, and the implications could only be advantageous for Redmond.
That slick new Xbox One controller: the Elite
Microsoft's brand new, next-generation game controller looks stunning, certainly more exciting than just having a new 3.5mm audio jack. The biggest change brings two pairs of paddle switches on the reverse sides of the controller, kind of like the new Steam controller.
Replete with hair trigger buttons with adjustable force levels, the controller will be fully compatible with Xbox One and Windows 10 out of the box. And finally, the entire controller's button layout can be customized as you please. Truly a weapon for the Elite gamer, Microsoft wants this to beat the PS4 Dual Shock 4 as the de facto PC gaming controller – at least it looks pretty obvious.
Plants vs. Zombies shuffles out another mascot
Guys, the zombies are cute and all, but this ain't no Disney. EA introduced the sequel to its successful shooter take on the series, Garden Warfare 2, with a giant zombie super hero.
No one laughed, so the skit ended rather quitely. And after a rousing showing of the actually decent-looking new game in action, we moved right on to something more interesting.
Do not be surprised if you see these things roaming the halls of this year's show. Don't encourage them, please?
EA immortalized 'Hoop Gawd' as the new Zordon
The company that makes all of the sports games has to try to make things interesting every year, otherwise the next game would just look realer each year and not much more. Still, EA sometimes goes in odd directions with its ideas that end up looking like – in this case – the MCP from Tron.
EA demoed an app that uses HD face scanning technology to bring your likeness into NBA Live 2016 with the help of Hoop Gawd, the game's community manager. Once his face was on the screen after an iPhone scan, it was all over.
The wrath of Hoop Gawd hovered above the audience of confused journalists, developers, and fans like Big Brother in 1984. Thankfully the wave of awkward subsided a few minutes later, but the enormous face of Hoop Gawd will live on in our nightmares.
Pele held storytime!
This year, in a last ditch effort to make soccer, football, "the beautiful game" more interesting, EA brought Pele on stage to tell tales about his time as the greatest football player that ever lived. Well, the guy's about 75 years old and English is not his first language, so that went about as well as you could expect for an otherwise explosion-packed presser.
After Pele told us how he coined the phrase "the beautiful game," which I still can't recall, the storied veteran of the real FIFA went on to tell more stories that sounded generally unrelated to the new FIFA game. But hey, diehard football and soccer fans got to gush over one of the greats of the sport for 10 minutes, so that's cool I guess. On with the games!
'Never again,' Trey and Matt said
It was little awkward and tense after the latest South Park game, The Fractured But Whole, was shown off at Ubisoft's E3 conference. Famed series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone soon after took the stage, which is when host Aisha Tyler asked what they thought of the news.
"It's OK," one of the them said with little more than a huff, as if they themselves couldn't believe they were there. Frankly, the two looked cautious even on stage after previously saying that they'd never work on a video game again. Short after, the duo began cracking jokes again, but we all remember Trey and Matt's awkward acknowledgment that, yes against their arguably sane selves, they are doing it again.
Remember when Ubisoft tried to create a meme?
This year, we learned one very important, comforting lesson: corporations cannot, now matter how hard they try, make memes happen. But we'll sure as hell watch them try every chance we get for the lulz.
Who you see here is Rick, someone on the Assassin's Creed: Syndicate team dressed up as Jacob Fry, a character from the game. Ubisoft's host, Aisha Tyler, seems to think that this is enough to deem her friend Rick a meme. No, that's cosplay. They're two different things, and everyone knows it.
The only event in which the two internet phenomena have ever crossed paths was the infamous Lightning Bolt video, which is basically the phrase "lightning in a bottle" defined literally.
Ubisoft tried to make lightning strike twice here and hilariously failed in a skit that awkwardly trailed off. Just look at the side eye this dude is getting!
The sole musical performance WASN'T that weird
Too bad it was just 'meh'. Chart topper Jason Derulo lept onto the Ubisoft E3 stage to dance and sing to his latest hit, "Want to Want Me," and ring in the latest Just Dance game.
Frankly, Jason should stick to the studio or learn the art of auto tone. His dance moves are dope though. What was Usher up to this year?
The Last Guardian lives on PS4
Like the coming of the messiah, the gameplay trailer debut of the long-awaited, long-delayed artistic adventure game The Last Guardian was met with a cacophony of claps and cheers. Hell, this game is practically Sony legend, and the company up and started its night of unveilings with this.
It's clear, Sony has mastered the art of the reveal. Is it too much to say that Sony has become the Apple of reveals in the gaming world? Or should we leave that to Oculus?
Morpheus goes multiplayer
Sony wasn't about to stop at surprise announcements like an HD remake of Square Enix's darling Final Fantasy 7 for PS4. No, the company's in the VR business like near everyone else, and you better bet it's out to show off some stuff at E3 2015.
Project Morpheus has gone multiplayer in a new game developed by Guerilla Games's Cambridge studio, Rigs. It's a 3-on-3 mech combat sporting event that players can enjoy using their own Morpheus head-mounted displays in the same room. In fact, Sony will be giving demos of the game on the E3 show floor – and you better bet we'll get our hands on it.
Nintendo went Jim Henson on us
To ring in its E3 2015 game announcements, Nintendo head honchos Reggie Fils-Aime, Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto had puppets of them made up. That's right, puppets – and their likenesses were shockingly accurate.
You had Reggie's chiseled chin, Iwata's blank stare and Miyamoto's squint all recreated in plushy glory. But Nintendo isn't one to leave a joke be. No, the trio of senior team members proceeded to transform into Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare and Fox McCloud of Star Fox fame.
It was adorable. (And it reminded me of the classic box art for Star Fox on SNES.) Then puppet Iwata stared at some miniature bananas – again.
Miyamoto can make music, too!
Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of the Super Mario series, The Legend of Zelda and Metroid, is already widely known as a master of game design. Naturally, it turns out that's not his only talent.
Shiggy can shred! In a segment aimed to honor Mario's 30th anniversary, Nintendo showed off dozens of everyday folks tapping, singing and humming the classic tune. But closing it off was Miyamoto playing the little diddy on an acoustic guitar with a small band. What did you do today?
Someone clearly neglected to tell this guy that cosplay was optional. That's the only logical explanation as to why Yoko Taro, director on a new entry in the already-obscure NieR game series, got on stage dressed like he was ready for Otakon 2015 during Square Enix's E3 conference.
From his muffled voice speaking in Japanese through the always-smiling, always-staring face of whatever-the-frick he's trying to be, to the fact that everyone acts as if this is 100% par for the course, this was a weird E3 moment of legendary proportions.
The guy even returned from backstage later in the conference for a send off, still wearing the damned getup (and clapping super strangely). And no one batted an eye! Casual Fridays at the Square Enix office must be downright scarring.