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One of the creators of the Xbox thought it was curtains for the console when the Xbox One was revealed and released in 2013, citing the severe criticism of the product's image as an all-in-one home entertainment device rather than a brave new step in gaming.
Of course, we might smile and smarm today, cuddling our Xbox Series X close to our chest and a superior sense of 20/20 vision. However, head honcho Phil Spencer expressed that even the team that brought the console into being was not happy with the way that fateful moment of E3 2013 played out. "The feedback we got from the employees, maybe said and unsaid, was, 'We've been working really hard for two years to ship this product. You stand on stage at this event and blow up all the good work that we've done by talking about the product in a way that's not really matching what the soul of an Xbox console is about and what our customers are looking for from us,'" he recalled in 2019.
Here's a snippet of thrilling gameplay from Forza Horizon 5 - one of our favourite games of last year - running on the Xbox Series X!
The issue was that the console was framed as something to watch telly and films on, with directors Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams applauding the technology inside the Xbox One, and half an hour of the presentation had elapsed before the public saw a video game running on this video game console. Fans have gotten glimpses into how Microsoft reacted to the criticism in a documentary titled "Power On: The Story of Xbox" which released on YouTube last month, and Xbox co-creator and designer Seamus Blackley reiterated how stressful that situation was.
You and us both, Dad.— Xbox (@Xbox) January 8, 2022
"There was a moment, at the Xbox One launch, when I feared it was over. Honestly," said Blackley in a Tweet. The official Xbox account acknowledged this point in its history with a light-hearted reply: "You and us both, Dad." I wonder if anyone in those offices could have conceived of the success that the Xbox would secure in the years to come, with the praise for Xbox Game Pass, the Adaptive Controller, and the acquisitions of heavy hitters like Bethesda Softworks.
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