The decade's most memorable moments in gaming

Playing PSP for the first time | March 2005

What's this? Sony *underplaying* the power of one of its hardware launches? Yep, back in 2003 when Sony first announced it was developing a handheld we were told to expect 'PSone plus a bit more'.

In actuality, the widescreen backlit screen pumped out visuals more akin to the contemporary PS2, only more diddy and vibrant. When we first got hold of Ridge Racer and set about it on an import PSP we couldn't believe what we were seeing - it was like videogame alchemy.

Above: This looked pretty amazing at the time

In retrospect, this was before the democratisation of the HDTV and when Plasma screens were still only for millionaires, so seeing decent graphics on a bright LCD screen was a bit of a novelty. Now, of course, we have 1080p, 100 inch TV sets and PSP seems a bit, umm, last decade. It's worth remembering there was once a time when PSP was seriously hot property. As they say: every dog has its day.

Hot Coffee | June 2005

Mercilessly mow down an OAP with a quad bike and no one blinks an eye. Bludgeon a man to death with a double-ended sex toy and people say ‘huh, what?’ But accidentally show a loving couple engaged in an act of love-making (the girl putting out after a game of pool and a Cluckin’ Bell totally counts as love, right?) and people want Rockstar employees burnt at the stake for crimes against humanity.

Above: Er, sexy time?

When a Dutch hacker called Patrick Wildenborg found the mini-game hidden under mountains of obscure code and then released a patch for the PC version, it led to widespread scandal, with California assemblyman Leland Yee launching a stinging tirade against the ESRB over mature games. It also saw San Andreas slapped with an Adults Only rating. It means Carl Johnson’s state-hopping criminal caper is the only AO rated game ever to receive mass release.

Nintendo unveiling its revolution | September 2005

Try for a moment to forget that we now talk about the Wii in hushed tones of shame and embarrassment, like the crazy inbred cousin that gaming keeps locked in the attic. In 2005, Nintendo’s machine was going to be the best thing to ever happen to video games. We’d been teased. We’d been told to expect something completely new. We’d been told a revolution was coming. Many a long-suffering Nintendo fanboy felt the sweet breeze of vindication on his face. Truly, this was finally their time.

And sweet baby Jeesee, for a while, it really was. When the Revolution/Wii’s controller was revealed, the following internet hype-wave drenched gaming with a kind of excitement we’ve rarely ever seen. There were a few dissenting voices (mostly Sony and Microsoft fanboys), but by and large, gamers of every persuasion were as enthralled by Nintendo’s incandescent gaming future as they had been when they first picked up a NES controller as a kid. It’s impossible to ignore how badly things went wrong, but at the time, the Wii really typified why this generation was going to be so damn exciting. If only. If only…

Big plastic peripherals | November 2005 to present

Clickety clackety clack. That's one of *the* sounds of the Noughties. The sound of cheap plastic on cheap plastic fervently hammered out by pseudo-musos stood in front of a hypnotic railroad of coloured blobs.

In a decade when the big technological development was controller-free gameplay, game publisher's (one in particular) didn't do half bad selling us expensive new controllers we didn't know we needed. Guitars, drums, microphones, record decks, even skateboards...

Whether you subscribe to holding a fake plastic thing and pretending to play the fake plastic thing like it's a real thing - or you think it makes you look like a toss bag, it's impossible to ignore the influence of big plastic peripherals on the World Of Games.

Like the Wii, they made gaming even more socially acceptable in the public space - something you'd be happy to bust out at a party. Plus, for some, it made you feel like a ROCK GOD. Even if - technically - you were just playing a musical version of Simon Says.

Above: Congrats! You really are good at the fake drums

More seriously - and more commendably - games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero gave musicians a new revenue stream in the face of declining physical music sales and popularised a bunch of old crooners (like the Beatles) with audiences who otherwise may have never come into contact with their music.

The rise and rise of the Red Ring of Death | November 2005 to present

Microsoft's Xbox 360 is just too hot. And not in a good way. Due to a design fault (allegedly due to extra hardware being added after the case design was final), the console shipped with a flaw. The motherboard warps when it overheats, causing the CPU to become detached when it cools. The result? The most infamous error message ever seen. Yes, even more than 'SYNTAX ERROR'. The infamous three red lights – AKA the Red Ring of Death.

It must be over-use, we thought. Surely all these hardware failures must just be people playing for 10 hours straight every day. But then it happened to us too. An odd crash. A few screen freezes. Then the artifacts. Then the sadness. Painfully, the machine's death is often protracted, kind-of-working for a week before the inevitable. And then we were sad.

Of course the wonderful internet is there to help. The towel trick, the penny trick, the ice bath trick (stay away from that one – it was a hoax)… fixing said machine for about… 30 minutes. Great.

In an unprecedented move, Microsoft offset $3 billion to cover the cost of returns, which is pretty much an admission that the whole thing was borked. Here's hoping it doesn't happen next time…

Sony's E3 2006 Press Conference | May 2006

After revealing the PlayStation 3 at its 2005 E3 press conference, all eyes were on Sony to make good on the early promise of all that delicious looking and highly controversial 'target footage' (ie Killzone 2) that bedazzled gamers 12 months before. But it failed. Miserably. From start to finish, the whole presentation was a shambles, gifting cynics with more than enough ammunition to launch an all-out assault on Sony's next generation console.

Kaz Hirai bumbled his way through the debacle, trying his hardest to justify PS3's hefty price tag, but never sounded convincing. Similarly, the repeated promise of innovative games seemed to amount to little more than corporate horse shit, as several decidedly unremarkable titles were demoed and received with yawns, bewilderment and internet mockery. And, in what seemed to be a blatant jump on the Wii's waggle waving bandwagon, Sixaxis was revealed. Everyone thought it was a stupid idea.

We're sure this is one E3 conference that Sony would rather forget. But, thanks to YouTube, that's just never going to happen...

Good God, it *still* makes us cringe.


  • Spybreak8 - January 5, 2011 1:16 a.m.

  • YoungZer0 - January 4, 2011 11:17 p.m.

    Excuse me, but can the person who wrote the part about the Gerstmann Gate Affair please step forward and apologize? So let me get this straight. "Although it’s never been proven, it was widely suggested" So you don't have proof but you just keep on bashing this ridiculous conspiracy theory? Since when has a publisher the power to decide which Game "Journalist" (I wouldn't call someone like Gerstmann a Journalist) can or can not keep his job? By your logic it must have worked this way: K&L gets positive previews from Gamespot. Eidos pays Gamespot for Advertisement on their website. K&L gets released. Gerstmann releases a poorly written troll-like review. Eidos is pissed, does not want to pay Gamespot for the ads any more. Ads are taken down. Gerstmann gets fired. It's all Eidos fault. How in the world has Eidos so much power to tell CNET to fire someone? What's to gain? Nothing, nothing at all. The review is out. The Advertisement Deal is off. Nothing to gain. If there really is someone to blame it's CNET. Or Gamespot. But Eidos? You blame Eidos for being pissed? What's more interesting is the review itself; which only focuses on the first three level of the game. Video footage in the background of the video review, doesn't even show the fourth level. Gerstmann's 360 Account shows that he never finished the fourth level. My Conclusion: He didn't do his job. You can get fired for that. He got fired. Still, Eidos fault, i guess. Articles like that show that Game Journalism is still a joke.
  • DJxDAxNAME615 - April 7, 2010 5:24 p.m.

    im so glad i grew up during this era. unforgetable
  • CH3BURASHKA - January 4, 2010 1:06 a.m.

    Wait a minute... I thought ISLAM was the light...
  • noobeater - January 4, 2010 1:03 a.m.

    honestly next decade will see nintendo finally collapse and although i hate the wii nintendo have always been great. and thus i depart as my laptop has like 2 mins of juice left bring on the 10's
  • matt588 - January 2, 2010 5:23 a.m.

    still find the sexbox clip funny/infuriating, but seriously, I am worried about the next 10 years, can we have a meeting before we get the virtual reality chips embedded in our heads?
  • Samael - January 2, 2010 4:56 a.m.

    Wow, this was just an incredibly fun article to read. I'd forgotten about most of these (The 2006 Sony press conference is always hilarious) and I'd never heard of some of them (Holy shitcakes, there's no way that Nu-Allard is the same as the old one. They had to have replaced him). You'll have to do another in 2020...if you're still around.
  • Marvelfan13 - January 2, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    I got a subscription to EGM for my birthday RIGHT BEFORE IT SHUT DOWN! I was really mad.
  • ZombieAmmy - January 1, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    Ridge racer, giant enemy crab and hit its weak point for massive damage are why better then Bam! There it is could ever be
  • boondocks50 - January 1, 2010 9:14 p.m.

    the ps3 conference video slayed me, "the stages of the game will be based on actual battles that took place in japan... so heres this giant enemy crab" hahahaha
  • Silvermech - January 1, 2010 8:49 p.m.

    BAM! Shakalakashakalakashakalaka.
  • Conman93 - January 1, 2010 3:55 p.m.

    Pretty great decade. I wonder is there any other style nintendo could have for Zelda. They have done 2d, cartoony, realistic, whats left. Hopefully it will be revealed in the next decade Oh and happy 2010 to everyone!!
  • Heyexclamationpoint - January 1, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    I thought Duke Nukem Forever being put out of its misery warranted a mention.
  • Logan2911 - January 1, 2010 2:46 p.m.

    U missed one thing (pandemic studios) shut down:(
  • Logan2911 - January 1, 2010 2:44 p.m.

    Fox news got me all excited to see that sex scene in mass effect. and I was very disappointed when I saw that scene it showed nothing. Thanks a lot fox
  • Dill - January 1, 2010 10:55 a.m.

    And I thought it was Nintendo's conference where they did the "Ridge Racer! ... Riiidddge, RACER! .. Remember that?" not Sony
  • Dill - January 1, 2010 10:53 a.m.

    I remember you guys talking about the Mass Effect controversy on Talk Radar a long time ago, but that chick in the blue shirt at the end really got me riled up. It got me raged up. I commented the boobs off that Youtube video. How did I not see that until now? Great article, makes me feel bad for missing so much shit
  • Cwf2008 - January 1, 2010 10:20 a.m.

    RIP old EGM. And Fox "news", i hope your "reporters" have a special place in hell. Preferably next to jack thompson
  • cigero - January 1, 2010 9:03 a.m.

    I was impressed how you guys decided not to publish that Jade Raymond video on the web. I assure you that most people would make that video go viral... its ironic considering that gamers have always been known as the ice cold would-be seriel killer stereotypes the media has made us out to be! Good job GR!
  • cigero - January 1, 2010 8:45 a.m.

    I remember when the xbox came out... it was just as suprising as apple making a console (which, now looking back at history, would not be suprising, the only difference bieng apple would EPIC FAIL).

Showing 1-20 of 44 comments

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