The Xbox One X may currently be the slickest and most powerful console on the market, but the Xbox line’s beginnings were far more bombastic.
When the original Xbox console was first revealed back in the year 2000 at the Games Developers Conference, it was far removed from the powerful box it would become. Bill Gates, who’d recently stepped down as Microsoft CEO, and Xbox project lead Seamus Blackley took to the stage with literally a giant, aluminum X, which powered the demos that would go on to be the first wave of Xbox games.
Milled out of a solid block of aluminum, each unit cost $18,000, and was designed to give developers an idea of what the final, more powerful first Xbox would be capable of.
This was the showcase unit to show partners and press. It worked.[There were actually several, and they travelled the world. I lugged these damn things over every continent literally.]June 30, 2018
By the time the console hit shops it looked rather different of course, although it remained one of the biggest consoles of all time in terms of its dimensions.
So what happened to that prototype? For a long time it appeared to have disappeared off the face of the Earth, but it’s now resurfaced, on display at the new Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond. Xbox social marketing manager Graeme Boyd grabbed a snap of it, proudly displayed in a glass case, showing the story of where it all began for the Xbox:
The original Xbox prototype from Bill Gates’s GDC 2000 keynote is on display at the new Microsoft Visitor Centre.Absolute unit. Love it. pic.twitter.com/KMxOPNmTTJJune 30, 2018
The original Xbox is having a small resurgence of sorts, thanks to the current Xbox One generation. It’s ridiculously chunky Duke controller is back on shelves and reworked for the latest console generation, while many Xbox games are now backwards-compatible with the newest machines.