THROWBACK: When an Xbox Designer Saved Bill Gates and Microsoft From Embarrassment at the Game Developers’ Conference

Published 12/29/2021, 1:42 PM EST


Xbox is celebrating its 2o-year anniversary by offering lots of lucrative offers to its fans at the moment. However, the beloved console almost had a downfall even before its grand launch two decades ago. Yes, it nearly happened during the Game Developers Conference, but one Xbox designer saved Bill Gates and also Microsoft from a big embarrassment.

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The recently revealed Power On documentary, which shows the history of the console, revealed this unknown fact. Its second chapter, titled The Valentine’s Day Massacre, revealed how Xbox found an escape plan at the very last moment and rescued itself. And the savior was none other than Seamus Blackley, the original designer of the first Xbox. He fixed the console right before the presentation, in front of a huge crowd in 2001.

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When Seamus Blackley saved the day for Xbox

The Power On documentary from Microsoft has lots of exciting episodes but none is as interesting as the second one. At the end of the chapter, there’s a discussion about how the very first Xbox almost became a failure right before the debut. Had there been no Seamus Blackley, Microsoft would have encountered huge embarrassment and criticism. But no such thing happened as the video game designer saved the company and also the console.

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In the clip, there are several behind-the-scenes sequences depicting how nervous everyone was during the maiden Xbox launch. It was also due to the fact that the box wasn’t working at all before the mega reveal at the Game Developers Conference. No one was able to figure out the solution, and it was all over for Xbox even before it started.

Luckily, Seamus resolved the issue, and the rest is history.

To the surprise of the entire team, the audience present at the GDC appreciated the console and the team’s ambitions. Moreover, the console got lots of praise for its graphic handling capabilities that were unimaginable two decades ago. Surely, Microsoft was also confident about its product as it began a long-lasting journey that is still going strong.

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Did you know about this untold story of the Xbox, revealed in the Power On documentary? How do you feel about the console now after learning about this new fact? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Mintu Tomar

160 articles

Mintu Tomar is an eSports author at EssentiallySports. After completing his bachelor's in Philosophy, he has followed his passion for covering news as a budding journalist. He lives and breathes video games and is a die-hard Call of Duty fan.

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