Xbox this year celebrates its twentieth anniversary. A rather positive result with four consoles which each brought their share of revolution in the video game industry. From the first Xbox in 2001, through the Xbox 360 in 2005 which will have stood up to the PS3. Not to mention the Xbox One and of course the latest Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft has much to be proud of for its first twenty years in the video game industry.
However, we came close to never knowing these game consoles. Indeed, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft hated the project and did not believe in it at all. Finally, the man will give the green light thanks to Sony and his PlayStation. Here’s why !
Bill Gates didn’t like the Xbox project …
We owe this great anecdote to Ed Fries during a panel with IGN. Pieces of videos that were picked up by Steven Sinofsky, a former Microsoft executive who shared this story on Twitter.
In the late 1990s, Ed Fries attended a meeting alongside J. Allard and Robbie Bacha to convince Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer that the Xbox console could be a very good strategy for Microsoft. It’s Valentine’s Day, and unfortunately it’s not love at first sight between Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and the Xbox Project.
The two men do not understand the interest in the machine and they are convinced that they were going to lose money and it was going to be expensive. After several minutes of presenting the project, Gates and Ballmer were totally closed and could not find an interest in it. As the discussion slowly began to close, an analyst who attended the meeting as an observer raised his hand and said: “And Sony? Sony gradually invades the living room. Processor on one side, memory on the other, hard drive on the other. If you put it all together, it could be a threat to Microsoft. “
Following this intervention, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer pause, before looking each other in the eyes. Finally, the founder of Microsoft turned to the team and said: “Guys, I’ll give you whatever you want. I will approve the plan, I will let you do what you want, I will give you all the necessary resources, you will be separated from the rest of the company so that no one gets involved ”.
Five minutes later, Ed Fries declares that the meeting was over. The following ? We all know her!