E3 can be pretty overwhelming. Maybe it’s the thumping music and flashing lights. Maybe it’s the long lines everywhere you turn. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the sheer number of games to play. Whatever it is, E3 is a beast of an event unlike any other and we got to experience it for the first time last week. The below gallery of nearly 60 photos gives you a taste of the many gaming sights we saw during our time at the Los Angeles Convention Center, from every nook and cranny of Nintendo’s own booth to eye-catching displays from the rest of the show floor.
As you can imagine, we spent the majority of our time at Nintendo’s booth. While you can argue that the company’s lineup was weaker this year (we share our own takes in Episode 100), it didn’t stop their space from being packed with attendees. The main draws were Star Fox Zero and Super Mario Maker, each of which received a dedicated demo area. The Star Fox area let you play inside an elaborate model Arwing chair (the wait was over five hours!), while Mario Maker’s area included a fun Mario level photo op and a stage that hosted trivia, speed runs, and appearances from the voice of Mario himself, Charles Martinet. Sandwiched in between was the Treehouse Live stage, where Nintendo broadcast gameplay demos and interviews all day, every day.
Around the rest of Nintendo’s public booth were glass cases displaying every single upcoming Amiibo and kiosks for many of their upcoming titles. Notably absent from the show floor, however, were both of the new Animal Crossings (Happy Home Designer and Amiibo Festival), Bravely Second, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, and Xenoblade Chronicles X. In the case of Xenoblade Chronicles X, they at least gave the game a couple of TV screens running the latest trailer, but it was surprising to see titles like Just Dance 2016 get booth space in lieu of it.
There was a lot to play and see outside of Nintendo, too. Sony’s upcoming Project Morpheus was demoed in the PlayStation booth, Microsoft provided hands-on opportunities with HoloLens and the new Xbox Elite Controller, and Oculus had a large, blacked-out booth for its VR demos. Third-party publishers also stepped up with elaborate displays for the likes of Guitar Hero Live, Disney Infinity 3.0, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Skylanders SuperChargers, and Street Fighter V.
Yet perhaps the best part of E3 was just being there. It’s one thing to play upcoming games, but it’s a totally different experience when you’re doing so at the epicenter of gaming. One minute you’re unknowingly sitting next the director of the new Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, and the next minute Steven Spielberg is whisked past you to try Forza 6. The gallery below gives you a look at the craziness, and be sure to stay tuned fo impressions of the show in our next podcast episode coming this Sunday, June 28.