E3 has sadly been cancelled this year, meaning that we won't get more iconic conference moments.
While we tune in to E3 for the game announcements, the weirdness and razzmatazz are also a major factor as to why we love E3 so much.
The likes of the PlayStation State Of Play and Nintendo Direct are much more expedient for gaming journalists and fans as it cuts the wheat from the chaff and simply tells us about the games, but the weird charm of E3 is the bizarre press conferences.
In the spirit of the season, we're running down our favourite, weirdest E3 moments of all time.
Buckle in - it's about to get wacky.
Konami's erratic circus (2010)
In hindsight, we should have been the decline of Konami coming.
The Japanese developer, best known for giving the world the 'Metal Gear Solid', 'Silent Hill' and 'Pro Evolution Soccer' series is now a shell of its former self, and E3 2010 is when the wheels began to come off the wagon.
The actual games on display at the presentation were actually pretty decent - 'Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance', 'Castlevania: Lords of Shadow', 'Silent Hill Downpour' and the Nintendo 3DS version of 'Snake Eater' were shown off - but the conference itself was an unmitigated disaster that would give PR reps nightmares.
We would like to break down every second of the conference like the Zapruder Film, but this YouTube video is a great summary of the sheer chaos of the conference.
Everything that could have gone wrong at the conference did go wrong, from technical issues, clearly unprepared hosts, bad jokes, weird comedy bits, and a general sense that this was an E3 conference directed by David Lynch.
The folks at PushSquare did a minute-by-minute breakdown over at their website, and even reading it is a great reminder of how utterly demented the conference was.
Gaming journalists refer to it as the worst E3 press conference of all time, and who are we to disagree?
In the context of Konami's troubles, it makes perfect sense that this was the same studio that told Hideo Kojima that 'Metal Gear Solid' wasn't profitable enough and pivoted to pachinko machines.
The gaming industry favouring pre-recorded online conferences instead of the big, glitzy E3 conference is more expedient for fans and media alike, but it's a crying shame we will never get a debacle of this scale again.
Sony nearly destroys the PlayStation 3 before it even launches (2006)
In 2006, Sony were the undisputed champions of the gaming industry.
Since the PlayStation launched in 1994, they had dethroned Nintendo as the preeminent video game company and seemingly nothing could stop them.
Then their E3 2006 conference undid most of the goodwill it had built up in an instant.
The PlayStation 2 is still the most successful video game console in history and it is very unlikely the sales of the console will ever be topped.
And thanks to Sony's E3 showing in 2006, any new console revealed by the company will always have an air of skepticism attached to it.
It is very hard to understate just how damaging this conference was for the brand - in the short term, gamers flocked to Xbox for its cheaper price point, and the casual audience who liked PlayStation's no-frills simplicity opted for the Wii.
We've discussed at length just how badly Sony messed up the launch of the PS3 in other articles, but the brief version is Sony took its built-in audience for granted.
The revelation that the console would cost €629 for European audiences was the moment Sony shot itself in the foot.
The Xbox 360 solidified its hold on the more hardcore gaming audience with the likes of 'Gears of War' and 'Halo 3', while the casual audience flocked to the Wii.
The 2006 conference also gave the world the historically accurate "giant enemy crab".
While showing off forgettable launch title 'Genji: Days Of The Blade' the presenters made a big deal of pointing out how the game was a historically accurate action game.
Mere seconds later the demoist points out a "giant enemy crab" that players "can attack its weak point for massive damage."
For the hat-trick, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai getting annoyed at the audience for not knowing the 'Ridge Racer' theme became an instant meme.
If you saw this on 'Succession' you would say it was too on-the-nose.
Keanu Reeves shows up to promote 'Cyberpunk 2077' (2019)
No movie star has quite rehabilitated their image like Keanu Reeves, and by the time the 'John Wick' and 'Matrix' star took to the stage at Microsoft's conference at E3 2019, he was treated like a rockstar.
The action hero icon was at E3 to plug his appearance in 'Cyberpunk 2077', although knowing what we know now about the game, the game had barely begun production when Keanu set foot on stage.
Hype for the game was high before Mr. Reeves' appearance, but attaching perhaps the world's most beloved actor to the game sent it stratospheric.
Every E3 has a viral moment, and Reeves grabbed the headlines by telling the audience they were breathtaking.
In hindsight, making Keanu Reeves the de-facto face of marketing for the game was the worst thing that could have happened to it.
Hype for the game reached unreasonable levels, and the involvement of Reeves meant that the game was going to become the biggest hit of whatever year it was going to be released.
When the game was released in December 2020 to an overwhelmingly negative reception thanks to a famously botched launch, the game was already a hit regardless because it had the Keanu Reeves stamp of approval.
CD Projekt Red executives released the game in a broken and unfinished state despite protests and warnings from the developer that game wasn't ready for prime time.
That didn't matter to the executives - they had perhaps the most iconic moment in E3 history under their belts and knew they had a hit on their hands.
Microsoft self-destructs (2013)
The reveal of the Xbox One in May 2013 was a bigger debacle than even Sony's own PlayStation 3 reveal at E3 2006.
Microsoft blabbered on about television, motion sensor technology that absolutely no one wanted, and an always-on console, so what did Microsoft do at E3 a few weeks later?
Double down on it.
To this day, the Xbox brand still hasn't recovered.
Microsoft didn't learn the lessons that Sony and Nintendo taught it; don't take the audience for granted.
Microsoft's presentation at E3 2013 was an Andy Kaufman piece of performance art.
Instead of doing the sensible thing of walking back on the wildly unpopular DRM policy and the console's incessant focus on television capabilities, Microsoft doubled down on it.
The actual games shown off for the console were also equally uninspiring, with extended looks at launch titles 'Ryse: Son Of Rome' and 'Dead Rising 3' coming too late to stem the bleeding.
Doubling down on something unpopular is a bad idea, when you do it mere hours before your biggest rivals take to the stage is just asking for trouble.
Putting Microsoft's conference on before Sony, especially in 2013, was a recipe for disaster, and when Sony took to the stage for their conference later in the evening it was a victory lap.
CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America Jack Tretton put in a performance for the ages when he took to the stage for Sony, and it can be argued that Tretton alone buried the Xbox One.
Tretton was like prime Muhammad Ali, landing blow after blow on their rival, before landing the final body blow.
The PlayStation 4 would not require players to always be online, would allow games to be sold or exchanged between friends, and most crucially, it was cheaper than the Xbox One.
To call Sony's E3 2013 press conference the greatest press conference of all time would be underselling it.
7 years on from their disastrous E3 conference where they nearly torpedoed the PS3, they won the console generation without saying a word.
This is not mere hyperbole; the PlayStation 4 sold around 120 million units, and the Xbox One scraped its way to 50 million.
E3 can make or break a game, and in this instance, it also helped make or break an entire console generation.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr promote a game they have no idea about (2009)
Speaking of rock star entrances, two of rock's biggest icons were wheeled out by Microsoft at their 2009 conference to promote 'The Beatles Rock Band'.
The novelty of history's most famous music group being replicated in digital form - with all of their songs to boot - was a big deal, but Microsoft securing the services of McCartney and Starr for their conference added A-list shine to proceedings.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are undoubtedly two musical geniuses who have created work will stand the test of time, but avid gamers they are not.
Sending two of the most beloved musicians out on stage without a script can only be described as a 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' episode levels of awkwardness.
Flying these two stars out to Los Angeles so they can awkwardly mill around on stage for 60 seconds like children who haven't learned their lines for the Christmas panto is E3 gold.
Yes, it's nice when we get some exciting reveals like the 2015 hat-trick of 'The Last Guardian,' the remake of 'Final Fantasy 7' and 'Shenmue 3', but the best E3 moments are exercises in unintentional comedy gold.
Sending people out on stage who know as much about video games as neurosurgery is a major part of what makes E3 so special.
Which brings us nicely onto...
Mr. Caffeine turns E3 into a bad open-mic performance (2011)
Ubisoft have been accused of doing many things wrong, but you can't deny they always put on a hell of a show at E3.
Their 2012 presentation of Watch Dogs, despite having as much to do with the final game as an episode of 'Keeping Up Appearances, was one of the great E3 moments, and their debut of 'The Division' in 2013 managed to get the internet excited over someone closing a car door in the heat of a gun battle.
The most memorable E3 conference from team Ubisoft however was their excited hypeman Aaron Priceman, better known as "Mr. Caffeine".
And that he was.
After hiring Jeff Winger from 'Community' to insult the audience in 2009 and 2010, Ubisoft plucked for Priceman's eccentric game show host energy in 2011, to priceless results.
If Ubisoft wanted to wake up the audience, they certainly did it with "Mr. Caffeine," with his antics in 2011 already firmly cemented in gaming culture.
Ubisoft had some decent games on show that year such as the excellent 'Driver: San Francisco', but all that gamers could think about after the conference was the host doing the 'Wayne's World' scene transition with his hands.
A 2015 Vice article aptly described most E3 press conferences as "shark-eyed execs regurgitating by-committee blather that sounds about as natural as the dialogue in 'Made in Chelsea', but Mr. Caffeine at least tried something.
Mr. Caffeine took a shot from 30 yards out, and while it didn't hit the target (to continue the football metaphor, the shot ended up going over the bar and into the car park) it was at least something different.
Granted, some of the "jokes" are enough to take 10 years off your life such as a crack at Charlie Sheen (people were really into making jokes about tiger blood, 2011 was a simpler time, folks) but the demented, 'Uncut Gems' style energy and delivery of Mr. Caffeine leaves us hoping that when E3 returns to in-person next year, Ubisoft bring the main man back for one last dance.
Hideo Kojima confuses everyone (2016)
If you asked Hideo Kojima to define what "subtlety" and "nuance" are, he would tell you they are a city in France.
The Japanese gaming icon never played by the rules, and when he showed off 'Death Stranding' for the first time at E3 2016 the game was greeted with widespread bafflement.
Kojima showing up at the PlayStation conference in 2016 was significant; the auteur's widely-publicised spat and falling-out with Konami in 2015 granted him universal adoration, and Sony were keen to claim the auteur as their own.
Kojima had a long-standing relationship with PlayStation dating back to the days of 'Metal Gear Solid' for the PS1, and his infamous horror game 'Silent Hills' being canned by Konami only added to the public wave of sympathy for the director.
So of course, Kojima proceeds to show off perhaps the most Hideo Kojima project yet.
To this day, no one could tell you what 'Death Stranding' is about - perhaps not even Kojima himself.
Considering Kojima is an avowed film fan and is a fan of the works of David Lynch, and Kojima showing off 'Death Stranding' at the biggest event in gaming is the same as Lynch showing off 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me' at Cannes in 1992.
A singular creative mind showing off an esoteric and borderline experimental project at the biggest stage is what keeps gaming exciting and fresh.
After 2015 was Sony doing a mid console generation victory lap, they decided to hand over 2016 to the debut of 'Death Stranding' and the image of a naked Norman Reedus holding a baby on a beach became a meme almost immediately.
Todd Howard's house of tricks (2011, 2015, 2018)
If you notice a trend in this piece, we are fascinated with figures at E3 who are the face of a company and promise the moon.
There is no better figure in the industry than Todd Howard that fills this archetype, and we'd go so far as to name him "Mr. E3".
It's a crying shame we won't have an E3 conference this year, because what the world needs right now is for gamers to rally and unite behind Todd Howard, the man who could convince you to buy a game sight unseen.
A big part of gaming is marketing, and Todd Howard is a one-man marketing mastermind.
'Starfield' has been pushed until 2023, which has deprived us of more Todd Howard one-liners or lofty promises that don't pay off.
Howard's assertation that 'Skyrim' had unlimited questlines and that the game was graphically stunning would bury a lesser force of personality, but the Bethesda chief is teflon.
The game director could sell audiences on an empty shoebox and it would still become the biggest-selling game of the year.
After 'Skyrim' launched with more bugs than the bin in a student flat the day before an inspection, YouTube was quick to compile Todd Howard's lofty ambitions and compare them to the finished game.
And somehow, this only added to the legend of Todd Howard.
'Skyrim' is one of the most influential games of all time, so by the time Todd Howard made his big E3 comeback in 2015 to show off 'Fallout 4', he was treated like a rockstar.
All 30-odd minutes of the presentation are on YouTube, and it is worth watching if you want a masterclass in how to keep a crowd in the palm of your hand.
Even all these years later, 'Fallout' fans are split between 'New Vegas' or '4' being the better game, but there is no denying Todd Howard's Beastie Boys-style swagger did a large part to sell the game.
The game would have been a hit regardless, but using the iconography and hype around E3 helped supercharge the success of the game.
Lightning didn't strike again however, with Howard's enthusiastic showman selling of 'Fallout 76' not enough to save that debacle of a game.
There is a distinct sense with the 'Fallout 76' presentation that Bethesda knew they were sitting on a dud, so they sent out the effervescent Howard to drum up some hype.
With that said, it is a testament to Howard's star power that he was sent out to pre-empt any (justifiable) concerns we had about the game, and that is in the spirit of E3.
There are so many E3 personalities who are corporate people with nice suits and reading off a teleprompter, but people like Todd Howard are bona-fide stars, and add star quality and gravitas to proceedings.