Nintendo dominates with N64
After further delays, Nintendo's SNES successor still hadn't been released and E3's hordes were hungry to sample what N64 would have to offer. Hour-long queues had to be endured by anyone who wanted to try out the systemformerly known as Ultra 64. Despite many show-goers struggling with the radical analog controller, games like Super Mario 64, GoldenEye and Pilotwings 64ensured that N64 was a genuine show-stopper.
Nintendo also revealed Game Boy Pocket, which was the first significant redesign of its all-powerful Game Boy since the handheld was released seven years earlier. And, in an effort to boost interest in its struggling Virtual Boy, Nintendo slashed the price of the console to $100. But even Nintendo couldn't save the doomed monochromatic curiosity and production ceased later in the year.
After the release of PlayStation, Sony was fast emerging as a real force to be reckoned with and it played a strong hand at the show by cutting the price of its console to $200. Sega followed its competitor's lead and announced that gamers would be able to pick up a Saturn for the same amount, which was effectively half price compared to when the console launched the previous year.
Above: Mario 64, GoldenEye and Pilotwings 64were some of the first playable N64 games
Despite a good line-up of titles (including Virtua Fighter 2, Virtua Cop 2 and the still-held-in-high-regard NiGHTS), and the unveiling of its NetLink modem which would allow gamers to play Saturn online (for $200), the general murmur around the convention centre was that Sega was beginning to wobble.
So, with Sega faltering and Nintendo's new console not even at the starting line, life in Sony-land was already looking rosy. New Ridge Racer, Tekken and Wipeout games were gratefully received, while totally fresh titles Soul Blade and Crash Bandicoot were grabbing considerable attention. After a brief appearance by the really-not-very-good Polygon Man at the previous E3, Sony also adopted Crash as its official PlayStation mascot.