The E3 Media & Business Summit (also E3, previously the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E³) is an annual trade summit held in Los Angeles where developers show off their latest upcoming games for all platforms to other developers and the press. It is often where the most important announcements in the gaming world are made.
E3 started off as a large show where most anyone with a connection to gaming could attend, be they developers, publishers, or even gaming journalists. In 2007, however, it was announced that the format would change to a much smaller and more personal invite-only event. This was to allow more time with the games and press.
While the show typically starts on a certain day, a day or so before the three major console companies (Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony) hold their Pre-E3 press conferences, in which most of the large announcements are made. The remaining days serve to show off the announced products on the show floor, in either demonstration format or playable demos.
Zelda at E3
Being such a popular series, The Legend of Zelda has often been the subject of major announcements at E3, either revealing new games or discussing the games currently in production.
2004 was an important year for The Legend of Zelda, as it was the year in which Twilight Princess was announced at E3, although with the tentative title of simply "The Legend of Zelda". This announcement was widely praised, given the demand for a "more realistic" Zelda title. After the trailer had finished playing, Shigeru Miyamoto ran onto the stage carrying a replica Master Sword and Hylian Shield.
2005 saw the announcement of "The Legend of Zelda"'s final title, that of "Twilight Princess". Along with this announcement came a new trailer, which featured much more of the Twilight Realm and demonstrated Link's wolf transformation. Eiji Aonuma also came on stage after the trailer and announced to everyone attending the conference that they would each be receiving a press packet containing the newly-released trailer on a Nintendo DS card.
In 2006 the announcement was made of another slight delay in Twilight Princess' release, but also that it would be released on both the Nintendo GameCube and the Wii, whereas the release had previously been only for the GameCube. More details were released in this year, and two playable demos were featured on the show floor. Participants were given 15 minutes to play each demo, and the lines got so long that waiting times would reach five or more hours. Super Smash Bros. Brawl was also announced.
Not much happened at E3 in 2007, given that Phantom Hourglass had been announced previously at the Tokyo Game Show. However, more discussion on the game and its features was had during the press conference.
The 2008 E3 Summit was held on July 14-17. No new Zelda titles were announced; however, Satoru Iwata stated during Nintendo's press conference that the Zelda Wii and DS teams were working on another game. The Mario team is also back at work .
MSNBC conducted an interview with Shigeru Miyamoto on July 17, 2008, explaining that E3 will begin to appeal more to the "casual gamer", meaning that the likelihood of more Zelda titles being announced during E3 is likely much lower.
At E3 in 2009 Nintendo, much to the dismay of many, did not offer any details on the upcoming Legend of Zelda title for the Wii. However, afterwards, one piece of official art was shown behind closed doors and was later leaked to the public.
E3 2010 proved to be a big one, as the greatly anticipated Skyward Sword was finally announced. Shigeru Miyamoto was shown playing the game, showing off the Wii Motion Plus enhancements for controlling Link's sword. A new item, the Beetle, and the Whip, first seen in Spirit Tracks, were shown using the Wii Motion Plus. The mysterious girl in the original artwork, however, was never mentioned.
Ocarina of Time 3D was also announced.
At E3 in 2011, a lot of information was disclosed about Skyward Sword. It was revealed that Link has the ability to fly around the Sky in a style very similar to The Wind Waker, using a yet-unnamed bird-like creature. The names of Ghirahim and Fi were also revealed, as well as various plot points in the story from the beginning of the game until the end of the Skyview Temple. Attendees at E3 2011 got to play various game demos, including a race at the Wing Ceremony, a run through the Skyview Temple and a fight with Ghirahim.
E3 2012 did not present any major Zelda announcements. The only Zelda-related information that year was from the Wii U game Nintendo Land, which was revealed to contain several mini-games including one featuring the universe of The Legend of Zelda, known as Battle Quest.
Having been announced 2 months prior to E3, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 2 was officially titled The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Nintendo also provided a release month of November 2013 for this new installment.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD was shown for first time.
At E3 2016, Nintendo released new information as well as gameplay for Breath of the Wild.
- Satoru Iwata: "Today, I want to let you know that our internal team which creates Mario games and the one that make [sic] Zelda games are both hard at work."
YouTube - E3 2008 Satoru Iwata Retrieved on July 21, 2008
- Shigeru Miyamoto: "So while attending an E3 event like this, they might be given the impression that Nintendo is no longer focusing on the games that appeal to the core gamer, in fact we’re still working on many of those titles, but it’s just not the type of event where we’ll be showcasing that anymore."
Meet the man behind the Wii - On the Level - msnbc.com Retrieved on July 26, 2008
- "Nintendo has revealed that the title of the first original Zelda game for 3DS is A Link Between Worlds" — Andrew Goldfarb, E3 2013: Zelda: Link To The Past 2 is A Link Between Worlds, www.ign.com, published June 11, 2013, retrieved January 10, 2014.
- "Previously indicated to be a 'Winter' arrival, A Link Between Worlds is now due out in November 2013." — Richard George, E3 2013: Release Month for Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Announced, www.ign.com, published June 12, 2013, retrieved January 10, 2014.