20 Years Ago Today, The Xbox Was Announced at GDC

The past couple of decades have seen many advancements in gaming, including vastly improved graphics, motion controls, a foray into VR, and plenty more. Yet, it’s never a bad thing to induce nostalgia, which is what The Game Awards and Gamescom producer Geoff Keighley did with a sentimental Twitter post on Tuesday.

The original Xbox console released on November 15, 2001. However, the announcement for Microsoft’s first major video game console occurred earlier. In particular, the console’s announcement was made on March 10, 2000 at GDC 2000 by Bill Gates and Seamus Blackley.

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A tweet with some related images from Geoff Keighley can be seen below.

The images above show some stills from GDC 2000 in which Microsoft’s first console was announced. The images are actually somewhat comical at this point. Given that there have been almost three additional Microsoft consoles since the original Xbox’s release and Bill Gates’ decreased involvement with Microsoft’s Xbox sector, the images do date themselves.

Further, the image of Sam Houser, co-founder of Rockstar Games, is also very antiquated. With the dated GTA logo background and a younger-looking Sam Houser, GDC 2000 was obviously one of the most important gaming events of the early 2000s. After all, it debuted Microsoft’s first console and had Rockstar Games, then a smaller studio, on full display.

Keighley’s timing with this tweet is somewhat convenient given the upcoming release of the Xbox Series X. Given that all goes right and nothing regarding the Xbox Series X’s production is severely impacted by the coronavirus that has delayed event after event, it is set to release 19 years after the original Xbox. Since the original console’s 2001 release, Microsoft has vastly improved its consoles’ visual capacities, developed with motion control with Kinect, and has established some of the most well-known video game franchises around.

The original Xbox may not have necessarily been the winner of its generation (that honor likely belongs to the PS2). However, it established Microsoft as a leader in the gaming industry and showed its ability past its prowess as a computer manufacturer. We have yet to see if the Xbox Series X can make the same strides previously made by the original Xbox.

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