E3 08: The Most Excruciating Moments

E3 may be getting smaller and smaller, holding fewer and fewer surprises, but you can still count on the show for one thing - horrible, horrible press conferences. When a bunch of corporate suits and publicity flaks try to relate to gamers, while still hitting all their boardroom selling points, the results are never pretty.

2008 is certainly no different. After only three days, we've already suffered through an agonizing gauntlet of stupid stunts, embarrassing flubs, unbelievable mistakes, humiliating condescension and, worst of all, middle-aged adults singing and dancing.

Laugh. Cringe. Just be grateful you weren't actually there...


Nintendo may be raking in the dough by appealing to babies, grandmas and soccer moms, but they sure look ridiculous doing so. Is this a gaming conference or a kindergarten play date? You'll be hard pressed to tell the difference with these five excruciating examples.

Smile, damn you! Smile!

Forget turning a profit, producing superior technology or gaining market share. Nintendo doesn't care about the bottom line - they just want to make you smile! How do we know this? Because in addition to showing a slideshow of people paid to smile, the Nintendo suits painfully drilled their corporate catchphrase into our brains by repeating the word "smile" over and over, in increasingly forced and obnoxious ways. See what we mean below.

Happy Mothers Day, from Nintendo

The saccharine sweet card below was supposedly given to Nintendo's head of sales and marketing by her son. If you can look at all those strategically placed misspellings, exclamation marks and cartoon clip art, and still believe that this was the work of a little boy and not a corporate strategy session, you are far more generous and far less cynical than we.

Or maybe you're just compassionate enough to actually enjoy discussing the innocent interplay between a young child and his big-business soccer mom instead of video games (the point of the conference, remember?). You probably liked the story about Cammie's snowboarding trip too, didn't you? In fact, screw E3 - let's go rent "Terms of Endearment" and have a good cry...


Hey everybody, it's Shaun White... of Shaun White Snowboarding!

Watching the "Flying Tomato" win gold at the Olympics was thrilling. Watching him stand stiffly on an immobile chunk of plastic - hooting and hollering in bare feet and wild mane - was decidedly less so.


WiiMotion Plus was designed for THIS?

If this new, extra receptive dangle for our Wii remotes is so damn accurate, why wasn't it included with the original console two years ago? Furthermore, why do we need extra accuracy to throw a friggin' frisbee to a friggin' dog? Does driving a jet ski really require more grace and finesse than tennis and boxing?

In all honesty, though, these guys could have played Wii Lightsaber and made it look horrible. We don't want to see them pretend to have fun ever again.

Wii Music stabs our ears and eyes

After Nintendo took an hour to demonstrate why hardcore gamers wouldn’t buy any of their products this fall, the lights dimmed for one last very special announcement. Kid Icarus? A new Zelda? Nope - just a lonely man, air-drumming without rhythm to music that only existed in his own porcupine-spiked head.

Next, head Nintendo honcho and creator of some of the finest games ever - Shigeru Miyamoto - took the stage and mimicked what sounded like a saxophone raping a cat to the worst MIDI recording we’ve ever heard. We didn’t think that great man could ever make himself look like a tool, but many assumptions were destroyed yesterday.

Finally, three executives joined Miyamoto for a wretchedly awful cover of the Mario Bros. theme, complete with awkward dancing and ear-piercing squawks that would embarrass a 6th grade marching band. By far, this was THE WORST moment of E3 so far.

Next up - Microsoft! 

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  • Lycanthrokeith - April 24, 2010 8:26 p.m.

    What exactly was this "Game that makes you feel like you're right in the middle of a butt"? No jokes, I really want to know what he was referring to.
  • Cwf2008 - November 8, 2009 8:19 a.m.

    Amazing. Nintendo was the first company to flip off gamers, then they brought down Microsoft...and Sony just has their head in their ass
  • NinjaWithNoseHair - August 1, 2009 1:03 a.m.

    Jack Tretton FTW!!!!!!!!1!!11!!!!!!!!1!!!!
  • QMRFILMS - June 6, 2009 4:46 a.m.

    wow, the WII music video was so bad, i actually felt like killing myself. couldn't even finish it. thanks alot, nintendo.
  • oryandymackie - June 1, 2009 11:49 a.m.

    Wii: Miyamoto is thinking "I'm a highly paid Nintendo genius! I shouldn't be miming to an imaginary, damn, I don't even know what this instrement's supposed to be!" Microsoft: "Dancin' Gal is thinking "How long do I have to freestyle and whoop for? The audience aren't in such a party mood" Sony: Jack Tretton: "I knew I shouldn't have left tea lying near my lines, Oh God why did I spill tea over my lines?"
  • ironman5 - May 28, 2009 11:52 p.m.

    All of that was scary. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo = fail. Especially Nintendo
  • SirBonkers - May 28, 2009 5:15 p.m.

    Wii is just sooo lame!!!!!
  • Turkeykilla7 - June 1, 2009 8:21 p.m.

    The Wii really did suck. It was fun for like a month or so and then it just got lame. The game controls were the worst >< Spining in circles on FPS was gay sauce. Even Zelda wasnt as peasurable because we had to use the nunchuk. Next system let us use a regular game pad, and give us more virtual console games. Id love to play some of the SNES games like Super Double Dragon or Zombies ate my Neighbor. GIVE US MORE!!!!!!!!!
  • Hellwilder - May 30, 2009 5:45 p.m.

    lol at Wii Music. They look sooooo STUPID ... I think I should've bought a PS3...
  • QuickDEMOL1SHER - May 26, 2009 10:28 p.m.

    Right in the middle of the Butt. LOL
  • Dr.Salvador - May 26, 2009 4:56 p.m.

    nintendo have changed gaming forever... theyve fucked it up.
  • mastersword369 - May 26, 2009 1:06 p.m.

    At least Nintendo will do better at E3 2009... right?
  • StupidTownColonStupidStateColon - May 25, 2009 9:57 p.m.

    The only way I saw this article is through a link. Wii music is cringe-inducing.
  • AnonymouZ - May 25, 2009 7:39 p.m.

    damn... i wonder if they let normal people in those things, would they have survived the BOOS*. xD *not the nintendo ones
  • skarysly - December 12, 2008 8:56 a.m.


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