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15 years ago at GDC 2000, Bill Gates announced Xbox

R

Rösti

Unconfirmed Member
Well, almost 15 years anyway. I decided to bring this up a bit earlier as we will likely be occupied with more contemporary things come GDC 2015 next month (March 2-6), and thus would probably see a thread like this drown. Anyhow, onto the Xbox announcement then.

On Friday, March 10, 2000, between 10:30-11:30 A.M. PST, in the San Jose Civic Auditorium, Bill Gates gave the Opening Address at GDC 2000, where he discussed Microsoft's ongoing commitment to the entertainment market and announced Xbox.

The keynote can be viewed at GDC Vault: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1014852/GDC-2000-Opening-Keynote-Bill

Some segments (game demos mainly) are unfortunately missing. But everything else regarding specs and vision is intact.

Favourite quote from this:

Bill Gates said:
This graphics processor can do one trillion operations a second, that's not a billion, that's not ten billion, that's not a hundred billion, that's one trillion operations a second, and that's where you can get photo realism.
I took the liberty of taking some screengrabs of this:



Bill took the stage with a very straight approach, immediately told he would announce a new platform.



Talked a bit about the history of how this platform emerged.



Notice that it's spelled X-Box and not Xbox here. This created confusion later on among the press as some might remember.



See the earlier quote about this. Ambitious, but perhaps not up to photo realism level.









Bill and good ole Seamus Blackley (what's he doing nowadays, I believe he left CAA in 2011?).



Prototype/display console with prototype controller.









A few devs spoke about the console, Sam Houser was one.



Jen-Hsun Huang was another.



Bill in that iconic leather jacket.



Unprecedented partnerships.



Original press release: http://news.microsoft.com/2000/03/10/xbox-brings-future-generation-games-to-life/

A bit corny at times but still a nice announcement of a new console I think. I wonder if GDC nowadays could be a viable stage to announce a new console. Microsoft and Sony had their own events for Xbox One respectively PS4, while Nintendo chose to unveil Wii U at E3 2011. Perhaps have GDC towards the developers and focus on the capabilities of the system there while having E3 for games only. But let's not digress further.

What do you think of this keynote, did it a set a good tone for how Xbox was eventually realized, maybe you were actually there in person and could share a story? Whatever your stance towards this, share your thoughts.
 

Neo Dark

Member
Jul 28, 2014
1,761
0
0
Hmm time sure flies. Interesting to see best buy on the partners list. I never did do much research about xbox so this was some great info. Didn't even know bill Gates was the one that revealed the system himself.
 

Havel

Member
Sep 27, 2013
1,341
0
345
Very interesting. Can't believe it's been that long.

Would be interesting to see where Xbox would be right now if MS didn't buy Bungie/Halo.
 
May 16, 2014
5,461
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Hmm time sure flies. Interesting to see best buy on the partners list. I never did do much research about xbox so this was some great info. Didn't even know bill Gates was the one that revealed the system himself.
Bill was obsessive about it. Wanted to be present in living rooms across America.
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Dec 9, 2012
12,001
17
685
Bought one on launch day and it still runs fine. On the other hand I went through 3 xbox 360s before I tapped out and just bought a PC instead.

Wonder why Nvidia never got back into consoles?
 

Neo Dark

Member
Jul 28, 2014
1,761
0
0
Bill was obsessive about it. Wanted to be present in living rooms across America.
Wow. That bad after being turned down by Nintendo huh? I read quotes where he said that if Yamauchi called, he would drop everything for him because he wanted to buy Nintendo that badly.
 
May 16, 2014
5,461
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Wow. That bad after being turned down by Nintendo huh? I read quotes where he said that if Yamauchi called, he would drop everything for him because he wanted to buy Nintendo that badly.
Nintendo has a nice history of spurning powerful corporations and turning them into competition.
 

anexanhume

Member
Apr 2, 2013
4,934
0
0
I lined up to buy the console day 1 on its promise of power. I picked a game called Halo because it sounded like it would be fun (also got PGR and DOA). That was high school.
 

Skel1ingt0n

I can't *believe* these lazy developers keep making file sizes so damn large. Btw, how does technology work?
Apr 25, 2011
6,860
2
0
Easily the coolest prototype console ever.

It's funny, I'm a huge Nintendo fan at heart, and I like both the PlayStation 3 and PS4 better than their direct competition. I'm an OSX guy. I have an iPhone.

But the more and more I think about it, I really do think the original Xbox may just be my favorite console of all time.

Built-in highspeed internet
Built-in hard drive
720p and 1080i games in 2001/2002
Amazing controller

Halo
Halo 2
KOTOR & KOTOR 2
PGR and PGR2
The Dreamcast sequels
2K
Otogi
Panzer Dragoon
Riddick
Ninja Gaiden
Jade Empire
Splinter Cell Chaos Theory

... just so many amazing memories. And LAN play was a blast.
 

neogaffer1

Banned
Feb 24, 2014
6,377
0
0
Bought one on launch day and it still runs fine. On the other hand I went through 3 xbox 360s before I tapped out and just bought a PC instead.

Wonder why Nvidia never got back into consoles?
Because they made a shitty contract with MS for this console that's burning them even with every 360 (licensing costs associated with software emulators for OG Xbox on every 360 HDD). They burned the MS bridge and I doubt Sony bothered after seeing what happened with MS. Ninty probably didn't care enough about power to go with them.
 

ironcreed

Banned
Jun 4, 2011
30,337
2
0
Some serious memories. I remember my PS2 started to collect dust after I got mine. I just could not get enough of games like Halo, Ninja Gaiden, Riddick, Otogi, KotOR, Advent Rising, Jade Empire, etc. It was an amazing system.
 

_Ryo_

Member
May 6, 2013
6,566
2
0
VA
It was actually shaped like an X at one point? Was that just an empty shell with a PC underneath or was it an actual working unit?
 

Speevy

Banned
Jun 26, 2004
62,864
0
0
DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS

All those developers have since closed.
 

Tain

Member
Jun 13, 2004
24,280
3
1,555
horizonvanguard.com
Dope console, good memories. And despite what some dudes will say every time the subject of emulating it comes up, it still has a great pool of exclusive/best-version games that make it worth owning and/or preserving. It even has a surprising number of great Japanese-developed exclusives.
 

entremet

Banned
Dec 6, 2008
85,467
129
1,205
Great console that I discovered later in that generation.

Ninja Gaiden Black alone was worth buying it for me later on.
 

Thacker

Member
Jun 22, 2013
1,266
0
0
The original xbox after the controller revision became one of my most favorite consoles ever. I loved the Prince of Persia's that released on it, and of course Halo 1 and 2 coop with my friends.

Even NFL Fever was a good near launch game competitor to the madden series on PS2.
 
Nov 27, 2013
1,932
0
0
This was the console that made me switch from playstation to xbox, And gave me fond memories of titles like half life 2, Morrowind, KOTOR, Halo......also playing online multiplayer for the first time!

Iv'e now switched back to ps4 tho, But thanks for the last 11 years i had with the xbox brand.
 
Apr 7, 2011
9,548
151
720
Easily the coolest prototype console ever.

It's funny, I'm a huge Nintendo fan at heart, and I like both the PlayStation 3 and PS4 better than their direct competition. I'm an OSX guy. I have an iPhone.

But the more and more I think about it, I really do think the original Xbox may just be my favorite console of all time.

Built-in highspeed internet
Built-in hard drive
720p and 1080i games in 2001/2002
Amazing controller

Halo
Halo 2
KOTOR & KOTOR 2
PGR and PGR2
The Dreamcast sequels
2K
Otogi
Panzer Dragoon
Riddick
Ninja Gaiden
Jade Empire
Splinter Cell Chaos Theory

... just so many amazing memories. And LAN play was a blast.
Yeah the Xbox was something special. Don't forget Crimson Skies... that on live was amazing.
 

bananafactory

Banned
Nov 6, 2013
26,336
1
0
Easily the coolest prototype console ever.

It's funny, I'm a huge Nintendo fan at heart, and I like both the PlayStation 3 and PS4 better than their direct competition. I'm an OSX guy. I have an iPhone.

But the more and more I think about it, I really do think the original Xbox may just be my favorite console of all time.

Built-in highspeed internet
Built-in hard drive
720p and 1080i games in 2001/2002
Amazing controller

Halo
Halo 2
KOTOR & KOTOR 2
PGR and PGR2
The Dreamcast sequels
2K
Otogi
Panzer Dragoon
Riddick
Ninja Gaiden
Jade Empire
Splinter Cell Chaos Theory

... just so many amazing memories. And LAN play was a blast.
You're missing Crimson Skies, Mechassault, and Unreal Championship!
 

Pankratous

Member
Nov 12, 2013
7,222
11
450
Easily the coolest prototype console ever.

It's funny, I'm a huge Nintendo fan at heart, and I like both the PlayStation 3 and PS4 better than their direct competition. I'm an OSX guy. I have an iPhone.

But the more and more I think about it, I really do think the original Xbox may just be my favorite console of all time.

Built-in highspeed internet
Built-in hard drive
720p and 1080i games in 2001/2002
Amazing controller

Halo
Halo 2
KOTOR & KOTOR 2
PGR and PGR2
The Dreamcast sequels
2K
Otogi
Panzer Dragoon
Riddick
Ninja Gaiden
Jade Empire
Splinter Cell Chaos Theory

... just so many amazing memories. And LAN play was a blast.
Absolutely none of those games appeal to me.

Xbox consoles have always been packed with great OS features but never have any of the three consoles released a game that has made me actually want one.

Maybe Quantum Break will change that.
 

anexanhume

Member
Apr 2, 2013
4,934
0
0
The original xbox after the controller revision became one of my most favorite consoles ever. I loved the Prince of Persia's that released on it, and of course Halo 1 and 2 coop with my friends.

Even NFL Fever was a good near launch game competitor to the madden series on PS2.
Duke was the shit. Never got an S controller.
 
Feb 9, 2007
3,514
0
995
Being a huge SEGA fan at the time, this was the console I gravitated first. I eventually got a PS2 and a GC but it's probably still the one I had most fun with from that generation (right after the Dreamcast).
The output from SEGA right after the Dreamcast was great on the Xbox.
 

cakely

Member
Oct 3, 2013
7,422
0
0
Chicago
Halo, Ninja Gaiden and PGR2 made the console completely worth the purchase.

It's kind of insane that it only had 3 1/2 years of first-party support, though.
 

Darknight

Member
Mar 20, 2007
5,477
0
0
OG Xbox was were FPS games were king.

Only real console to meet the demands for proper FPS gaming. N64 was ok back then but MS blew it out of the water with this console.

I must say MS should be proud to have gone head to head with the PS2 back then. It was no easy task but it did have some cool games and lead the way for 360.
 

SkylineRKR

Member
Jun 22, 2011
9,024
0
0
Holland
You could say that all current consoles are based on Xbox. They started with built in HDD and made broadband internet mainstream, also built in. And HD visuals. Dreamcast had some early stuff of this, but not as widely supported as Xbox.

Xbox was way ahead of Sony and Nintendo at the time. The hardware was actually more powerful than my PC. Games like PGR, Ninja Gaiden, JSR:F, DoA3,Orta and Chaos Theory looked good well into the previous generation. Some of those games were launch stuff.

Duke controller felt great in my hands, its just the button placement that sucked.
 

MrxDemix

Banned
Dec 20, 2014
353
0
0
Who says you can't have three manufacturers in the industry?

Microsoft took a big gamble and it worked. Good stuff.