E3 may not be the biggest video game trade show in terms of size and attendance, but it is far and away the year’s most anticipated. The annual gaming showcase takes place in Los Angeles every June and has been home to some of the biggest and most exciting gaming news, from console reveals to tons of surprise game announcements (not to mention plenty of often-unintentional hilarity).
The Electronic Entertainment Expo has been around for more than two decades now, and in that time it has solidified itself as the preeminent video game trade show. Every major developer and publisher typically reserves its biggest reveals for E3; Sony announced the price and release date of the original PlayStation during the first-ever E3, and Microsoft unveiled its debut home console, the original Xbox, a few years later at the event. E3 is also where Nintendo dropped the very first trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, causing an entire theater to erupt in cheers.
Despite how deeply ingrained E3 has become in the gaming industry, the expo has undergone some dramatic changes in its 22-year history. While it was always intended as a venue for press and industry insiders to get their first look at the biggest upcoming titles and hardware, the ESA attempted to downsize the event in 2007, and the next couple of years featured much smaller–and decidedly less exciting–showings. E3 would revert back to its original scale in 2009 and continue to expand since, even opening its doors to the public for the first time last year.
With E3 2018 quickly approaching, we wanted to take a look back at the long history of the expo and how it has changed over the years. In the video above, you can watch us recount the history of E3, from its debut as the first dedicated video game trade show in 1995 through to last year’s event. You can also relive some of the many unintentional memes the show has spawned over the past two decades, from giant enemy crabs to overcaffeinated spokespeople.
E3 2018 officially begins on June 12, but it will be preceded by several press conferences from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, EA, and Bethesda. You can find the full E3 2018 press conference schedule here. There will undoubtedly be a lot to see throughout the week-long event, so stay tuned to GameSpot for our complete coverage.