History of Nintendo at E3 (1995-2010)

It is almost here. Soon, we will see the next home console from Nintendo. It will surely be a big day in the history of the gaming company. As the big day gets closer and closer, I thought it would be fun to look back at the history of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Since its inception in 1995, we have witnessed many great announcements and debuts. Despite the changes E3 has made through the years, including moving to different cities, shrinking, and growing, many console manufacturers and game developers have used E3 to show off many of their new equipment and games. Here is a brief history of Nintendo at E3.

1995
Nintendo talked about its next home console, known at the time as the Ultra 64. The big news was the company’s unveiling of the Virtual Boy. This attempted venture into the world of 3D ended up as Nintendo’s only “commercial failure.” SNES games Killer Instinct, Donkey Kong 2, and Earthbound were also highlighted.

1996
Nintendo unveiled the Nintendo 64 and the first 3D Mario game, Super Mario 64. Pilotwings 64, Shadows of the Empire, and Wave Race were also featured. The Virtual Boy got a significant price drop, and the Gameboy Pocket was shown.

1997
Nintendo featured Nintendo 64 games such as GoldenEye 007, Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64Banjo-Kazooie, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

1998
Nintendo shows off the final version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64, which goes on to be a hit among Zelda fans, and arguably the best Zelda game. Perfect Dark was also announced as a follow-up to Rare’s Goldeneye 007. The Gameboy Color was also given a release date, and Pokemon was featured.

1999
Nintendo 64 games Star Wars Episode 1 Racer and Donkey Kong 64 were shown. The Gameboy game, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe is also featured. Near the end, Nintendo gives a sneak peak at the development of their next home console, codenamed Dolphin, which would use DVDs for games instead of cartridges.

2000
Nintendo kept quiet about their upcoming Dolphin console. Instead, they focused on Nintendo 64 games like Conker’s Bad Fur Day and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. They also said little about the upcoming Gameboy Advance.

2001
Nintendo featured their newest console, the Nintendo GameCube. They also showed off games, such as Luigi’s MansionPikminWave Race: Blue StormSuper Smash Bros. MeleeCel DamageEternal Darkness: Sanity’s RequiemSuper Monkey Ball, and Star Fox Adventures. A large focus was placed on the Gameboy Advance and games like Super Mario AdvanceAdvance Wars, and Golden Sun.

2002
Nintendo GameCube games Super Mario SunshineThe Legend of Zelda: The Wind WakerMetroid PrimeStar Fox AdventuresTimesplitters 2Resident Evil ZeroWario WorldPhantasy Star Online, and 1080° Avalanche were all shown along with the Wavebird wireless GameCube controller. Gameboy Advance games The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the PastKirby: Nightmare in DreamlandDoom II, and Super Monkey Ball Jr. were also shown. Nintendo also demonstrated the Gameboy Advance connection cable for GameCube.

2003
Nintendo put a focus on expanding the Mario franchise on GameCube with Mario Tennis, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, and Mario Kart Double Dash. Also shown were F-Zero and Pikmin 2.

2004
Nintendo features the Nintendo DS as the third tier, even though it went on to eventually replace the Gameboy Advance. The first trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was also shown. Other GameCube games like Advance Wars: Under Fire, Paper Mario 2, and Donkey Konga (with the bongo peripheral) were displayed.

2005
Nintendo unveils its newest home console, codenamed Revolution (later to become Wii), but they did not reveal the motion controller. The Gameboy Micro was also shown, which turned out to be the final design of the Gameboy franchise.

2006
Nintendo stole the show, according to many new outlets, with their display of the Wii. Along with their display of many Wii games, they chose not to unveil the final price. They also announced a release date for the Nintendo DS lite.

2007
Nintendo demoed three new peripherals; the Wii Balance Board (with the game Wii Fit), Wii Zapper, and Wii Wheel (with the game Mario Kart Wii). Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl were both given release dates.

2008
Nintendo announced Wii MotionPlus and Wii Speak peripherals. Wii Music, Shaun White Snowboarding, Animal Crossing: City Folk, and Wii Sports Resort were also announced for Wii. GTA: Chinatown was also highlighted for Nintendo DS.

2009
Nintendo unveiled the Wii Vitality Sensor, which to this day, has not been seen again. New Super Mario Bros. WiiGolden Sun DSWarioWare D.I.Y.Wii Fit PlusSuper Mario Galaxy 2, and Metroid: Other M were also shown.

2010
Nintendo unveils their newest handheld console, the Nintendo 3DS, and surprised attendees by allowing them some hands-on time with the console. One of the biggest announcements was a Kid Icarus game for 3DS. They also demoed The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Mario Sports Mix, Wii Party, Goldeneye 007, NBA Jam, Epic Mickey, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Metroid: Other M, and Donkey Kong Returns for Wii. Nintendo DS games Dragon Quest IX and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn were also highlighted.

About the author:

Steve has been a Nintendo fan since the NES. He currently owns a NES, SNES, N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, GameBoy, DS, DSi, 3DS, and 3DS XL. His favorite types of games are action platformers and multiplayer “party” games. Overall, he loves a game that is pure fun and pulls him in for hours, and if that can be shared with friends, it is even better.

Steve has been blogging for NintendoFuse since April 2008. He started off as an avid reader, and eventually was asked to jump on the team. Currently, he enjoys writing game reviews and sharing breaking news with the fans and readers. You will also find him on the forums as an admin.

Steve – who has written posts on NintendoFuse.