Before everyone had a smartphone glued to their fingers and video streaming became a viable thing, footage from video game events was incredibly rare. Someone would need to drag a heavy camcorder around a showfloor, making sure it was loaded with enough tape and batteries to last for the entire day. And even then, they wouldn't necessarily have the ability to distribute it with ease once they'd finished.
As a result, it's always incredible when footage of an old event turns up, allowing us to revisit moments from history in more detail than ever before. And that was exactly our reaction over the weekend when we saw that Hard4Games had uploaded the entire E3 1999 Press Conference online in video form (as shot by @Jud1070).
Previously, very little from this conference had been available on film, with Howard Lincoln's closing speech being published on IGN only as a transcript. That's in spite of the event featuring the first reveal of the GameCube (referred to here as the Dolphin) and some fascinating sales data of how Nintendo was performing during the period.
The conference starts with Nintendo's executive vice president of marketing and sales, Peter Main, responding to (then) President Bill Clinton's comments on video game violence following the shooting at Columbine High School. In the speech, Main acknowledges video games are now mass-market and part of pop culture, and states that developers have an obligation to better communicate age ratings to consumers on the packaging of their software.
Main then transitions to talking about the tremendous growth of the games industry, highlighting that in the US the video game industry had achieved 7 billion dollars in revenues, with the opportunity for a further 7.5 billion dollars in retail sales that would be realized in the balance of 1999 and the year 2000. He argues that this will be achieved with great game experiences, and uses it as an opportunity to showcase several upcoming games, including Star Wars Episode 1: Racer, Jet Force Gemini, Perfect Dark, Donkey Kong 64, and Pokémon Pinball.
The most significant announcement, however, has to be (then) Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln, reveal of the GameCube. At the conference, he describes it as "extremely powerful", but not "expensive", and says that it will be available at the end of the year 2000. He then goes into some of the specs and gives the N64 and GameCube graphics chip engineer Dr. Wei Yen, a chance to stand up and be recognized. If you want to watch the full thing, you can do so below:
What are your favorite E3 memories? Let us know in the comments below!