That was my second EGM issue!
Probably in 1998 when I was reading my first EGM -- the Dreamcast preview issue with Sonic and an orange DC swirl in the background. It's weird how vividly I remember buying it, actually.
I don't remember that being an E3 issue though - just a Dreamcast-centric issue.
Now I only started watching it recently and is now my favourite holiday of the year. Now I remember my brother was forcing me to watch it with him and that year was....2015, the E3 of dreams.
I can't remember if I knew about E3 super well before that, since I did watch Xplay, but that was the first year I actively searched it out
Same, I remember fiercely debating the art style with my friends over the latest copy of Nintendo Official Magazine. That was the same E3 that had the behind closed doors Half Life 2 demo right? So 2003?
2002 or 2003 (I clearly remember being super hyped for Wind Waker so probably 2002), there was a TV show in France on a kids channel covering the E3. That was pretty sweet.
Oh and on Power Play, the Dutch TV show back in the good old days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV_ZTU7IqYc
The next year or 2 I watched clips from the magazine's DVD inserts and on YouTube.
I finally started watching the conferences live in 2007.
It's surreal thinking back to it and remembering the O.J. Simpson trial that year.
My body and even less, my mind wasn't ready
It wasn't until maybe 2000 that I started going online and eating up all the video content released (which was not a lot, and it took forever to download any footage). And as soon as streaming of the conferences was possible, I started watching each one. It's probably been 10+ years of streaming conferences at this point.
edit - I also had that "rare" E3 Pikachu card in like 1999 hahaha