Sony’s Memeworthy 2006 E3 Press Conference Is Now In HD

Sony's Memeworthy 2006 E3 Press Conference Is Now In HD

Sony’s big press conference at E3 2006 quickly became a legend. Awkward, disconcerting, hilarious and stilted all at once, the presser – which touted the PSP and revealed the price of the PlayStation 3 – was easily one of the company’s most memorable, albeit unwittingly early, viral youtube video memeing its most absurd moments, as well as other widespread mockery. And now, thanks to the preservation work of documentarian Danny O’Dwyer, you can watch the broadcast in stunning 4K.

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Through his crowdfunded documentary channel Noclip, O’Dwyer slowly dug up and published decades of video game history. From gameplay from never-before-seen titles to a dropped interview with 10-year-old Hideo Kojima to never-before-seen trailers, he has everything. And on July 21, he uploaded Sony’s two-hour E3 2006 presentation in the highest possible quality: 2160p at 60 fps. Y’all, it’s a time capsule worth watching for the first time if you’ve never seen it, or reliving in HD if you have. Believe me, you are going to have a great time. So buckle up, and let’s briefly reminisce about that silly lecture.

Noclip Games History Archive

Presentation had some cool games

There were some pretty cool games shown during the presentation. Siphon Filter: Dark Mirror, the fifth entry in the now dormant third-person stealth shooter series, was introduced, along with PS3 launch title Genji: Days of the Blade. Best God of War clone Heavenly Sword has been revealed with cinematic gameplay. And we got our first look at what would become Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, a game that would feature one of Naughty Dog’s most iconic IPs. On the gaming front, Sony’s E3 2006 press conference was on point, period.

The awkward moments were memorable

But between those gameplay demos and trailers, there were some really stilted moments. Then-President and CEO Kaz Hirai tries to rock the crowd by shouting, “It’s Riiiidge Racer!” The Genji: Days of the Blade announcer touts the game’s historical roots before battling a giant enemy crab with a weak spot you could hit for massive damage. Some random guy on the street talks about how it’s gonna hurt when he beats you in PS3 games because “I don’t know”. It was a crazy presentation as legendary as it was hilarious.


The price of the PlayStation 3 was a “yuck”

As the presentation opened with a high of Hirai talking about the fantastic success of the PS2, best-selling console of all time, the ending was a serious miss. After all that bragging about the previous generation and showcasing some dope games for the next, Hirai revealed the price of the PS3: $500 for a 20GB console and $600 for a 60GB console. The announcement went like a ton of bricks, perhaps in part because the Xbox 360, already in the market for months, was considerably cheaper. It was a disconcerting price that left me speechless, but the PS3 still sold slightly more units than the Xbox 360 throughout its lifetime.

Save images that could have been lost forever

In an email to Kotaku, O’Dwyer detailed the work required to upload this memorable press conference. Recorded on two HDCAM tapes by a video game website and destined for landfill before O’Dwyer saved them, he said he “did virtually nothing” to the footage, he simply ripped it from the tapes and converted it to HD.

“The process is quite simple, we use a professional HDCAM tape deck to extract the signal from [Series Digital Interface (SDI)]”, O’Dwyer said. “I used a converter box to take that to HDMI and I used a high-quality capture device to record it. Once I have it on a PC I export a 4k version for YouTube (to access the higher bitrates available) and a 1080p version for the archive as that is its native resolution and we can download the file for archiving without it being re-rendered.

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When asked why he thought Sony’s presentation at E3 2006 had become so notorious, O’Dwyer speculated that because memes were much rarer back then, it was easy for phrases as simple as “Riiiidge Racer” and “giant enemy crab” to live rent-free in our heads. Regardless of the forces behind it, lectures like these are some of the coolest bits of video game history he’s come across since embarking on the preservation of the “couple thousand tapes” that were nearly lost forever.

Speaking of other favourites, O’Dwyer said: “The Nintendo Spaceworld Demo is another because it’s such a beloved sequence that no one had a clean copy of it,” O’Dwyer said. “My favorite is perhaps the Knights of the Old Republic E3 Demo which had never been seen before. Especially considering where this franchise is.[[[[A remake announced in September 2021 been indefinitely delayed.]”I know the fandom loved dissecting this video. A few days ago I found a cache of E3 2004 press kits full of screenshots and videos. So every day we come across some exciting new stuff.

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What O’Dwyer does is incredibly important work. Given that 87% of classic games are lost in time, mainly because old hardware is hard to find and difficult to maintain, it’s reassuring to know that there are people working to preserve the history of video games. Because if we don’t remember where we went, we can never know where we are going.


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