Retrospective: E3 1996

E31996_TitleWith E3 2016 being the biggest news this week, we thought we’d rewind the clock twenty years, back to 1996 when  Nintendo, Sega and the newest player on the console block, the Playstation were the headline acts.

E31996_PS1

After wowing the crowds with their hardware the previous year, Playstation ensured that the 1996 E3 event was going to be even bigger and better by announcing a price drop to get the console into more homes, sending shivers down the spines of the old guard, Nintendo and Sega. Not to be outdone in the gaming stakes, Sony Computer Entertainment introduced everyone to Crash Bandicoot, who would go on to become a PlayStation mascot (and get remastered for the the PS4 20 years later!) and Lara Croft, whose appearance in Tomb Raider was the first step towards becoming a cultural icon.

E31996_SegaSaturn

At this second ever Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Sega was showing off the latest and greatest games for their Saturn in the hope of making a dent in the Playstation’s armour. With games like Virtua Fighter 3 (which was ultimately cancelled), Fighting Vipers, Virtua Cop 2, NiGHTS into Dreams, Panzer Dragoon II Zwei and Daytona USA (among others) from their own stable, Sega was ensuring that heads would be turned towards their 32-bit beast.

Third-party Saturn games were also announced by Acclaim (Alien Trilogy, Battle Monsters, The Crow: City of Angels, Dragonheart and Space Jam), Ubisoft (Rayman 2), Capcom (Marvel Super Heroes), Crystal Dyanmics (3D Baseball, Ghost Rider and Legacy Of Kain) and Konami (ISS Deluxe and NBA Hangtime).

E31996_SegaMegaDrive

Sega also wanted to show that there was still (some) life left in their 16-bit Mega Drive (Genesis) by showing off Arcade Classics, Sonic 3D Blast, Vectorman 2, X-Perts and X-Women (which never saw the light of day!). Perhaps Sega should have given up on their 16-bit console (and it’s many add-ons) and concentrate their might on the 32-bit battleground. Ah hindsight, it’s always 20/20.

E31996_N64

And then there was Nintendo. The Kyoto giant chose the 1996 E3 event to showcase their latest hardware, the Nintendo 64. Nintendo chose to up the ante in the ‘bit’ wars by leaping over their two main rivals with their 32-bit systems. Basking in the glory of their 16-bit success with the SNES and full of confidence, Nintendo chose to stick with cartridges rather then the now-accepted CD format. To ensure that the Nintendo 64 was going to pull-in the crowds at E3 that year, Nintendo had a number of launch titles available to experience – Wave Race 64, Pilotwings 64, Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire and Super Mario 64. New hardware needs a ‘killer app’ that captures the public’s imagination and makes consumers snap up a machine – Super Mario 64, just like Super Mario Bros did for the NES, did exactly that! With Mario entering 3D for the first time, Nintendo no doubt were the best in show at E3 1996.

What product will wow us and become best in show at E3 2016?

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sources: [IGN | Sega Retro | Playstation.blog]

 

Sponsored Video: Fire Emblem Fates – Choose your path (Nintendo 3DS)

The next installment in the Fire Emblem tactical role-playing video game franchise has arrived: Fire Emblem Fates on Nintendo 3DS. It’s available as two different versions – Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, which path will you choose?

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Video: Miyamoto On How World 1-1 Was Made

In this adorable and fascinating video from Eurogamer, Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo designer Takashi Tezuka explain (with much enthusiasm) how Super Mario Bros.World 1-1 was made.


Video source: Eurogamer on YouTube

Source: Eurogamer via Laughing Squid

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Editor and Researcher at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas

Xmas_Gifts_HDR“On the First day of Christmas my true love sent to me”, No, no, no! There will be no ‘The Twelve Days Of Christmas’ singing here, thank you. With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we would ease the gift buying burden by giving you ‘The Twelve Gift Ideas For Christmas’ to help you get something special for your really cool geeky / nerdy partner.

Forget about going out to the local shopping centre and battling for a car park only to get frustrated when you can’t find anything suitable. We are here to make this Christmas shopping period a pleasant experience from the comfort of your own home and one where your partner will thank you for the awesome gift (Ed: don’t you mean gifts!)!

Enough chatter, as promised, here are The Twelve Gifts of Christmas!

Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One – Just in time for the Force Awakens!
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If they are Zelda fans, then this 2.5″ 8-Bit Link Action Figure will tickle their fancy
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But if they are a Donkey Kong kinda guy or gal, then they’ll go ape over this!
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Secure their DS / 3DS with a retro NES inspired case
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Sega fans rejoice! Plug and play the Sega Nano on any TV (with composite connectivity)
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There should always be a Masters Of The Universe gift under the Christmas tree
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If clothing is preferred, then nothing says cool like a C64 tee
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Bookworms partners will love this Commodore book!
Xmas_BrianBook

Can’t afford a real Intellivision? Then the Intellivision Flashback is the next best thing!
Xmas_Intell

Or maybe they are a ColecoVision type of gamer…
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Forget forking out thousands for an arcade machine, grab them a My-Arcade mini retro machine!
Xmas_minarcade
And if you really want to spoil him or her, get them the ultimate handheld emulation system, the GPD XD
Xmas_GPD

image source: supplied

Sean Tagg: The PAX Aus King Of Kong

PAX_DK_4There was no doubt that the Classic Gaming area was popular at this year’s PAX Aus event. One of the more popular attractions were the competitions, especially the high score challenge on the original Donkey Kong arcade machine (Ed: a big thanks to Greg Pell for sharing his awesome machine with us all!).

The PAX Aus patrons swarmed to the Donkey Kong machine like moths to a flame. High scores were racked up while players took control of ‘Jumpman’ to hurdle over barrels in the attempt to save Pauline from the evil clutches of the great anthropomorphic gorilla.

With great poise and precision four-way control, Sean Tagg showed the masses how to go about saving Pauline. While Billy Mitchell was declared the King Of Kong all those years ago, it was Sean Tagg’s high score of 103,900 (on Sunday) which saw him crowned as the PAX Aus King Of Kong! Well done Sean!

Sean Tagg barrel jumps and then hammers his way up to the top!
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Sean’s high score was enough to clinch the PAX Aus King of Kong crown
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Like father, like son – Henry gets in on some arcade action!
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The PAX Aus Classic Gaming medal is handed to its rightful owner!
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Retro Gaming Anniversary: Nintendo 64

N64_NA_Launch_titleimage source: IGN AU

On this day [September 29] in 1996, those lucky North Americans got the latest (and last) cartridge based system from Nintendo – the sublime Nintendo 64! I say lucky, because we had to wait till the following year (March 1, 1997) to get our hands on Nintendo’s 64-bit beast. But spare a thought for gamers in Brazil, they had to wait till December 1997 to play Super Mario 64 on the N64!

The Nintendo 64 console seemed to polarize gamers – from the use of cartridges (Ed: CD-ROM was huge at this point in history), to the three-pronged controller. To be honest, we loved the fact that the system was cart based, and we absolutely love (and still do) that controller. It was typical of Nintendo to go against the grain and do their own thing.

There were heaps of stand out games on the system, but the early ones are still seared in my memory, from Super Mario 64, Wave Race 64, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Blast Corps and of courses, Mario Kart 64, to GoldenEye 007 and International Superstar Soccer 64, we had a blast on the grey beast.

Considering we still love playing on the N64, it is a great testament to Nintendo for building such an awesome system for all of us to enjoy. What are your favourite memories of the N64? Hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to let us all know!

 

Mario Myths with Mr. Miyamoto

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To celebrate Mario’s 30th anniversary and the release of Super Mario Maker, Shigeru Miyamoto indulges us with the answers to some important questions about Super Mario Bros. Take it away, Mr. Miyamoto!


Video source: Nintendo UK

Source: Laughing Squid

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Editor and Researcher at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter