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

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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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