E3: The good stuff

Big, green and mean

The first show in the new millennium saw a new console contender put in its first E3 appearance. Yup, Microsoft gave the masses its first look at Xbox, although all it had to show were behind-closed-doors demos and nothing in the way of games. Needless to say, it didn't manage to steal many gazes away from the show's regular players.

Without doubt, this E3 belonged to Sega. Dreamcast may already have been dead in Japan and on life support in the UK, but the US was still hot for the box with the swirl and Sega's machine boasted some of the most impressive games. Being shown alongside Sega's new online service, SegaNet, were such titles as Jet Grind Radio, Samba de Amigo, Space Channel 5, Half-Life, Skies of Arcadia, Quake III Arena (Metropolis Street Racer and Shenmue were also still kicking about), all of which delighted the crowds and offered some hope that it wasn't game over for the console just yet.

As ever, Nintendo also enjoyed a decent show, putting out several top titles for scrutiny: Dinosaur Planet (which would become Star Fox Adventures), Conker's Bad Fur Day (previously attending as Conker's Quest and Twelve Tales: Conker 64), Banjo-Tooie, Mario Tennis and Pokemon Gold and Silver. Detracting from this potent line-up, however, was the disappointing no-show of Dolphin.

Above: Dreamcast ruled the show floor in 2000 with an excellent line-up of games

Sony had a lackluster show and, after the impressive PS2 demos of the previous year, there were disquiet grumbles at the quality of games for the new console. Luckily for Sony, Solid Snake rode to the rescue with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. It was - again - considered game of the show, despite the fact that it did - again - only appear in movie form. It looked so good that Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima had to guarantee that he was showing "100% in-game footage".

It was depressingly apparent that the original PlayStation was going to be in dire shortage of new, decent titles and only Dino Crisis 2 and Final Fantasy IX gave cause to be excited about future gaming on the console that had not so long ago been overwhelmed with new and exciting games.

While PC gamers were well served, it was easy to pick Black & White and Return to Castle Wolfenstein - which was being hailed as the best looking first-person shooter on the planet - as the highlights.

E3 2000 was also the year that Bungie showed off behind closed doors a previously obscure first-person shooter called Halo.


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