LOS ANGELES—If you couldn't or didn't make it to E3 2019, you're not the only one. Anecdotal evidence suggests this was the most poorly attended E3 in some time (though its organizers at the ESA insist that
this E3 had only 3,000 fewer attendees than 2018's jam-packed affair), owing perhaps to Sony's no-show or the abundance of live-streamed options for enjoying the event at your own home.
Luigi and Gooigi attracted hordes of attendees excited to pose for photos. Sam Machkovech
Inside the Luigi's Mansion 3 booth, fans could pose with a guy in a Luigi costume. Nintendo went all-out building a haunted house for these kiosks, but my photos of it turned out terribly.
It was easier to get photos of the toy dioramas built around the Link's Awakening gameplay kiosks. Nintendo built four of them in all.
A closer zoom on the plastic minis Nintendo built just for this occasion.
Link delves into a dungeon.
"YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"
"Wrong series, dude."
I'll admit, I kinda lost my mind seeing this adorable Link and Marin meet-cute diorama.
Marin in Smash Bros. Ultimate? A guy can dream, right?
The EA Play event at the Hollywood Palladium included this impressive cast of paid Apex Legends cosplayers. Yes, the person cosplaying as Octane is a bilateral amputee.
You couldn't buy these impressive 10" Apex Legends statues at EA Play.
But you could buy a ton of shirts and hoodies. As an Apex Legends fan, Ars's Sam Machkovech nearly bought the "bamboozled" one.
For some reason, EA Play hosted an Anthem gameplay session… and for some reason, attendees actually waited for it.
FIFA '20 hosted an arena-soccer match.
The McLaren Senna features in the new LEGO Speed expansion pack for Forza Horizon 4, so naturally, Microsoft had someone make a life-sized McLaren Serra model out of LEGO bricks.
They went to pretty insane trouble to include significant elements from the real deal.
Real wheels, real LEGO blocks.
This refreshed version of the Xbox Elite Controller (dubbed "version 2") will launch in November for $180 and features such perks as a rechargeable battery, a controller-charging case, increased hair-trigger responsiveness, and more.
We couldn't test the new XEC with any games, but its newly texturized grip and significant heft felt good to hold on its own.
C'mon, Xbox, you think we're gonna steal this thing? How dare you.
Say hello to one of Gears 5's newest, most disgusting monsters.
It's not a Gears of War character if it doesn't have chest-high cover nearby.
The best thing about Gears 5's new "Escape" mode is that it supports three-player split-screen co-op. More of this kinda thing, please, Xbox Game Studios.
The newest LEGO Star Wars release this coming holiday season revolves around the "Skywalker Saga," so naturally, it's time to trot out the old LEGO Han in LEGO carbonite statue again.
Coach's Pac-Man line of bags and accessories. For the discerning, fancypants gamer.
More Pac-Man and classic-Namco swag.
Pretty solid 10" Tekken statues.
The entire Bandai Namco fancy-collectible wall was pretty great, honestly.
I couldn't take photos of the Final Fantasy VII Remake gameplay kiosks, but I could take photos of the series' Shinra Corporation stuff all around it. For example, this recreation of an iconic FFVII backdrop.
Square Enix put up a few Shinra advertisements around the kiosks. See? They have Midgar's best interests at heart!
I really hope there's a full cartoon series hidden inside of FFVII Remake starring this cartoon dog.
Someone please translate this for us.
A small detail of the amazing theater room for Psychonauts 2. TEETH!
Arcade1UP had a significant E3 presence with its home-friendly versions of classic arcade machines. The manufacturer used E3 to reveal its newest product: a Star Wars Atari arcade trilogy collection, coming "late 2019."
Another look at its handsome side cabinet art.
I had to stand on a stool to get a better look at the screen and controller. Because this cabinet was set up on a precarious platform, it was not playable at E3.
An Arcade1UP representative said it collaborated with Disney and Lucasfilm in the making of this cabinet, then studied original classic arcade hardware to recreate the controller.
Rather than answer my technical questions about how the controller was constructed in this modern version, the Arcade1UP rep insisted that it sought input from arcade cabinet collectors to confirm that its version nailed the original cabinets' feel and mechanical action.
Another new Arcade1UP cabinet: the TMNT collection, which includes both of Konami's four-player brawlers in one cabinet. (Most of their cabs include at least two games, if not a few more.)
It seems to comfortably support four players, but I liked this group's tweak: letting the middle player simultaneously control two turtles.
Then there was this absolutely ridiculous thing that Arcade1UP built for the heckuvit. That's intrepid Ars Technica editor Sam Machkovech up there pretending to play the game.
I hope the hand on the joystick makes clear how stupidly massive this whole rig was. But it worked… and Sam won his match.
Really, Sam? Be professional.
Sega's booth had its own oversized-controller gimmick to celebrate the impending launch of the Sega Genesis Mini this September.
It's not really E3 until Ubisoft has a stage full of professional dancers and average fans getting down to Just Dance as one awkward collective.
A peek at the poster-covered walls inside of Cyberpunk 2077's behind-closed-doors booth.
Capcom had a relatively meager showing at E3, with this new Monster Hunter World expansion taking up most of the company's booth.
But, hey, at least they had some nice 10" dragons under glass.
Hold me closer, tiny draaaagonnnnns.
Sorry, Street Fighter fans. Capcom didn't come to E3 2019 with any news about either SFV or any new fighting games. Just 10" figurines.
Chun-Li and Cammy, kicking ass beneath glass.
Larger than life. Just like Borderlands should be. Kyle Orland
This was by far the best part of the Destroy All Humans revival attempt. Kyle Orland
Pixl Cube was one of the more inventive games at the Indiecade booth, a tilt-sensitive box with LED dots that moved through a maze as if pulled by gravity. Kyle Orland
In the entryway for Youtube Gaming's creator space, blocks from the show floor, a Google Stadia controller sits behind glass with a mock-up of a retro game store. Kyle Orland
The YouTube Gaming space also featured some streamers on old-school CRT TVs, which was a weird look. Kyle Orland
Cute. Kyle Orland
The YouTube Gaming logo sits on a fake cartridge alongside… Hyper Chroma Ultra? Kyle Orland
Nothing says "E3" like a guy in a Yoshi/Mario costume livestreaming himself as he balks loudly at the show floor's $6 pretzels. Kyle Orland
New Wave Toys is expanding its Replicade line of authentic miniature cabinets with the likes of these two Capcom classics. Kyle Orland
MyArcade is expanding from miniature cabinets to massive portable systems capable of playing actual NES and SNES cartridges. Kyle Orland
MyArcade's upcoming Contra cabinet even includes link cable support for two player action.
Don't you DARE touch this actual Contra cabinet in the MyArcade booth, though. Kyle Orland
That being said,
we attended, and Ars Technica came back from Los Angeles with plenty to show for it. In addition to a few more hands-on previews coming (which will build upon the best-of E3 2019 list we already filed), we took our cameras out at both the official E3 halls and nearby events (Xbox Fan Fest, EA Play).
I gotta say, in this modern political climate, I have been calling every year "the year of doom."
A very nice pencil sketch taken from the original PC game's box art.
I'd never seen these minis before, but now I want to play DOOM-opoly.
A better zoom on these metal beasts.
Collect me plenty.
Now for some impressive 3D molds of famed DOOM demons.
See? It's like a museum.
Funnily enough, this is my "I don't know what to do with my hands" pose when I stand for photos.
The secret for awkward photo poses: turn your arms into massive rocket launchers. Way less awkward!
As one of DOOM 64's longtime fans, I stood at this specific panel for a while.
This might be the least-blurry these N64 sprites have ever looked. (The N64 famously smothered its sprites in a disgusting, smeary blur.)
More figurines on display.
More figurines on display.
More swag on display.
More swag on display.
The result is a whopping three image galleries here. The first is a catch-all for most of the basic, expected fare, while the second and third focus on retro elements: a
-specific mini-museum, and a curated collection of very rare gaming hardware and collectibles courtesy of the DOOM National Videogame Museum in Frisco, Tex. (If you've never been to that physical location before, we strongly encourage you to book a trip.)
You know the retro portion of E3 is serious when they put this thing behind a rope.
Truly one of a kind. Click the image to get a better look at the information placard.
Yep, those are traditional Saturn controller ports.
We'd never seen these Vectrex prototypes and variants before.
The innards of a prototype color Vectrex system that never saw production. Kyle Orland
Anybody think they can repair this thing?
Yes, the only scoring cart that remains from this Super Nintendo championship event. Also, a killer Vectrex jacket.
How the heck does the NVM keep finding and showing off such incredible game-history rarities?
Some cool mementos from the original Mortal Kombat.
The placard explains how rare this system is…
… based on this specific message signed by none other than Bill Gates.
I don't care how
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