Game news 20 years of Xbox: The brand almost disappeared x times
If one has to remember one element in Xbox history, as featured in Andrew Stephan’s report entitled “Power On”, it is that the American brand has almost disappeared several times. We come back to these cases in this article.
Power On: The Story of the Xbox
This news is part of a series of articles that have already appeared on the report “Power On: The Story of the Xbox“Direction: Andrew Stephan. During playback, you will find links that lead to the timecodes of the video.
Deleted from Windows CE
Even before the project is officially approved, two teams are waging a terrible war to impose their vision of a future game console from Microsoft. There’s the DirectX team that wanted to develop the Xbox as opposed to the Windows CE team that wanted to do something less ambitious and therefore less financially risky. At the time, Ted Kummert was running Windows CE, an operating system that was developed for laptops and consoles. It is this famous Windows CE that has been the focus of Dreamcast thanks to a partnership signed with Sega. He and his team have their own vision of what Microsoft should do, and that has nothing to do with Xbox. “These guys think they know how to make a game console and they should do it for us. We opened the door and Bill is interested in a console, now they pull us aside and walk through the door.” s’agace Seamus Blackley. “They were funded, they had a name, they had leadership, they had executive support
The stroke of genius comes from a prototype hastily created by the DirectX team that managed to hack a version of Windows that is bundled in a small box with various components. While it took several minutes to boot Windows on the PC, the operating system starts here in just four seconds. When they showed their creation to Bill Gates, he cheered: “Why doesn’t Windows always start like this?”. “It may have been the first time he immediately saw a pc bootThis quickly made prototype has a PlayStation emulator that can run Tomb Raider.The idea arose that the Xbox would be tangible, real, and reachable.” explains Otto Berkes. “I think we underestimated them“Confesses Ted Kummert of Windows CE. Bill Gates is convinced and asks the DirectX team to present the project to Steve Ballmer, the company’s CEO. The latter will also be interested. Indeed, it is the DirectX team’s suggestion that is being kept.
A first project criticized by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer
Later on, the Xbox was almost never endorsed by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. One month before GDC 2020, the Big Bosses invite the thinking minds of the Xbox project and dismantle the whole vision of the project. “The sound got louder so I said ok we don’t“Remembers Robbie Bach, the project manager. The “x“Xbox could have been permanently deleted if Bill Gates hadn’t decided to continue the adventure to prevent Sony from controlling living rooms with its PlayStation 2.
Le Red Ring of Death
After many adventures, the Xbox was released in the US on November 15th, 2001 and enjoyed solid success thanks to Halo. Xbox Live was released the following year and beat sales estimates. Although Microsoft is losing money on the Xbox, the American giant begins developing a new console, the Xbox 360. “Our obsession was to be better than the PS3
In late 2005, the Xbox 360 hit stores around the world. Sales have gotten off to a good start. But in June 2006 a new problem arose. Little by little, the customer service lines are saturated. The players speak, then the press: Xbox 360s experience the Red Ring of Death, a hardware failure that makes consoles unusable. “If they don’t fix it, I’ll go to the enemy” says Snoop Dogg, emblematic fan of the wholesale brand “x“. Dissatisfaction rises, gamers are fed up with their consoles breaking. The press increases the number of articles and inquiries from the Redmond company to understand what is happening. Backstage Microsoft cannot find the cause of the problem
Microsoft then makes a difficult decision: to discontinue production of the Xbox 360. The idea is to stop selling machines until the problem is resolved, even if players then turn to Sony or Nintendo. Finally, the engineers identify the source of the error : The connections break off due to thermal reasons. The fact that the console heats up and cools down constantly puts a strain on it. Microsoft must now repair the consoles of all players affected by this issue. Peter Moore meets Steve Ballmer and asks him for over a billion dollars to try and fix this problem in the best way possible – that is, by bringing a delivery man to every player affected by the problem.. The bill is salty, but Steve Ballmer accepts. All pros agree that without that decision, Xbox wouldn’t be here today.
A grave dug by Don Mattrick
After all, after the Xbox One failed launch, the brand might have disappeared. On July 1, 2013, 18 days after E3 mocked the Xbox One, Don Mattrick left Microsoft. His arbitrary statements and vision for the brand have generated a lot of suspicion among gamers. Xbox teams are confused. The console will hit the market in November and thanks to the support of the fans, it will take off well. But from April sales are dropping and the PlayStation 4 is taking off. The future of the brand is at stake again. To save what can be And to get off to a healthy start again, Phil Spencer, freshly landed at the helm of Xbox, forges a plan with his teams to avoid the collapse. He’s pulling Kinect out of the drawer to bring the console down, he’s shutting down Xbox Entertainment Studios to focus on games, and relying on independent developers to set it up ID @ Xbox. We know the rest. Thanks to the support of Satya Nadella, he is acquiring new studios and making aggressive offers with the Game Pass.
Power On: The Story of the Xbox is available in full via here.
Through Karnbee, Journalist igamesnews.com