The Nintendo difference
After the dismal performance of Dreamcast, Sega had already announced that it was dropping out of the console race and 2001 was the first E3 that it hadn't attended in the capacity of hardware maker. However, it did show up with some new multiformat games, among them Super Monkey Ball (GameCube), Jet Set Radio Future (Xbox) and, still keen to feed its loyal fans, Sonic Adventure 2 (Dreamcast).
More than ready to try and fill the void left by Sega was Microsoft and its hulking great Xbox. After announcing console launch details at a special pre-show event it descended on E3 in force, showing off more than 80 games. It also strengthened its list of Xbox exclusives by announcing that movie tie-in A.I., Dead or Alive 3 and Dino Crisis 3 would be joining Halo and Munch's Oddysee on the roster.
Nintendo was also busy hyping its new console - now called GameCube - and delighting gamers by revealing that it would cost $199 - a full $100 cheaper than Xbox. Head of product development Satoru Iwata told the audience at its pre-show conference that the success of GameCube would be down to the "Nintendo difference". This, he described, was four disciplines that made Nintendo special: innovation, quality, characters and heritage.