Extra: Inside E3 2016

On June 18, 2016 by Jason Rechtman

Extra: Inside E3 2016

There’s one word that sums up E3 2016: Zelda. No matter where you were at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, people were talking about Nintendo’s sole game on display. They talked about the gameplay, they talked about the booth setup, and yes, they most certainly talked about the now infamous line. Yet while The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may have dominated every show floor conversation, it wasn’t the only sight worth seeing at this year’s E3. Below you’ll find a gallery of 60+ photos from around the Los Angeles Convention Center that not only provide a look at every angle of Nintendo’s Zelda booth, but also highlight the many other booths at the show.

We naturally spent the most time in and around Nintendo’s booth, where 140 individual Zelda demo stations awaited eager attendees. Of course, playing the demo was easier said than done. Nintendo enclosed the demo area behind giant walls, leaving only the Treehouse Live stage, three small openings to “Hyrule,” and one massive line of people visible to passersby. At its peak, the line for the demo was a five-hour wait. During the second and third days of E3, the line was capped within mere minutes of the show floor opening. Nintendo also set up a viewing line that let people into the booth just to watch others play – and even that line had a wait! Luckily for those in line, they snaked right past the Treehouse Live stage, which provided entertainment as Nintendo showed off various games with the help of Shigeru Miyamoto, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma, Pokemon’s Tsunekazu Ishihara and Junichi Masuda, Level 5 CEO Akihiro Hino, and others.

The booth itself felt like a theme park attraction. The experience first began with an extended Breath of the Wild trailer screened in a room resembling one of the in-game shrines. Once the video and its synced light show were complete, the screen rose to reveal a doorway and Nintendo reps whisked everyone into the main booth, which was like stepping into Hyrule itself. A life-size Link and Guardian were fighting, a Bokoblin took aim with a bow and arrow on a high tower, a second Bokoblin set up a camp off to one side of the booth, and a treasure chest glowed mysteriously in a different corner. On top of all that, the walls were painted to resemble the Great Plateau, the floor was made up of grass patterns, fake trees and ruins were scattered about, and the booth randomly rotated between various lighting and sound effects to mimic the game’s various weather effects. To say it was impressive would be an understatement.

Nintendo wasn’t the only one with a creative booth, though. Third-parties also got in on the fun. 2K created a full row of building facades to mimic the New Orleans-esque streets of New Bordeaux for Mafia III, Bethesda featured walk-in experiences that brought the settings of Prey and Dishonored 2 to life, Capcom demoed Monster Hunter Generations inside a full-size airship, and Sony set up a giant interactive projection for The Last Guardian that let attendees pet and play with Trico. Elsewhere, other booths were as flashy as ever with Microsoft displaying the $1.9 million Lamborghini Centenario for Forza Horizon 3, Samsung featuring a VR roller coaster simulator (and surprise Lil Wayne concert), and Doritos (yes, the chip brand) building a six-story-tall arcade cabinet that hosted concerts each night of E3 featuring the likes of Steve Aoki and Wiz Khalifa.

Our full gallery below gives you a taste of all the awesomeness, craziness, and downright weirdness that was E3 2016. Be sure to also check back on June 26 for our next podcast episode, where we’ll be sharing our hands-on impressions of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, E3 anecdotes, and much more. Until then, enjoy the photos!

3 Responses to “Extra: Inside E3 2016”

  • Nigel wrote on June 18, 2016 at 10:52 am:

    Great coverage and photos! Those Zelda amiibos <3

  • Satoshi wrote on June 23, 2016 at 11:00 am:

    Awesome photo gallery! You guys took great pictures! Thank you for the cool looking tour. Oh and Jason, I know how you always talk about GoNintendo, I saw this gallery post and your Zelda-waiting in line video on GoNintendo during and just after E3.

    I can’t wait to get those new Zelda amiibo’s, definitely buying the whole set! Oh and did you guys get the Zelda shirt/coin? Hope that you did. Oh and I really like your Fat Chocobo picture, that one’s set to fly. Normally to make it run you bait it with Gysahl Greens, but to make it fly you have to bait it with cake.

    Thanks for the great E3 coverage, can’t wait to hear all about your experience on the next show!

  • Jason Rechtman
    Jason Rechtman wrote on June 27, 2016 at 11:42 am:

    Thanks, guys!

    Satoshi – I was lucky enough to get one Zelda shirt and coin. I hoped to get a second set to give away here on the site, but as you saw in that line video of mine, it was basically impossible to get back into the booth lol.

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