Five years later: the biggest news from E3 2006

PS3 controller also has motion control, but no rumble

A year earlier, Sony revealed the PS3 for the first time. The console on display in 2005 would more or less become the final version that launched in 2006; the controller, on the other hand, was a disgusting boomerang mess that looked more like a third-party knock-off than standard Sony controller. This design was so thoroughly bashed it disappeared from view in ’06, replaced by the SIXAXIS controller, which, surprisingly, included motion control.

Above: But at least THIS thing was gone

Sony must have crammed motion support into this thing at the last minute, seemingly in response to Nintendo’s Wii announcement just weeks earlier. Stranger still was the removal of rumble, a feature that was standard across all consoles since 1997, yet here Sony was calling it a “last gen” feature the PS3 didn’t need. Fast forward to today, when no one uses SIXAXIS, Sony added rumble back in with DualShock 3 and PlayStation Move blatantly copies Wii four years after the fact. Good move, guys!

Sony%26rsquo;s press conference was a meme machine

Sony’s two hour speech and major hardware announcement should have been a stunning show of force for the games industry. After all, it had been the market leader for the past two console generations (PS1 and PS2), so surely its revelatory press conference would be a high point of the show. Instead, Sony’s entire production was reduced to a few sound bites that would flood the internet and plague the company for years.

Giant enemy crabs, massive damage, Riiiidge Racer… any one would have been amusing. But together, in one conference? Insanity. The memes were alll in good fun though… well, except for the price. The stigma of a $600 console overshadowed any and all positive news.

BioShock, Mass Effect, FFXIII make official debuts

With two major hardware announcements, GTA IV news and the revelation that Smash Bros now open to third-party crossovers, it was easy to overlook new games and ideas on display. Today, the world knows BioShock and Mass Effect as mega-successful franchises that influenced countless other games, but at E3 2006, they were brand new, untested IPs, albeit from established developers.

Similarly, Final Fantasy XIII had its first real showcase this year. Like Mass Effect and BioShock, we knew FFXIII was coming, but up until May ’06 all three were nebulous projects with a handful of minor details – now we knew a great deal and fully understood why they were going to be huge. Oh and a playable Super Mario Galaxy popped up too, a full 18 months before it launched.

Those are the stories that stuck with us – anything we missed, or were there any smaller stories you’ve held onto for the past five years? Let us know below!

Jun 2, 2011

By next week, these rumors had better be reality

Twilight Princess, Game Boy Micro and the debut of the Xbox 360

Resident Evil 4, plus the arrival of the PSP and Nintendo DS