Xbox: How Microsoft cracked gaming (video)

It was little more than a PC in a box, but the Xbox shot Microsoft to the forefront of the console race. Adventures in Tech examines how Microsoft found its cool.

Cast your mind back to the year 2000, when Microsoft boss Bill Gates revealed the company's plan to build a games console. The move was met with plenty of mirth -- after all, how could the corporation behind PowerPoint possibly take on gaming superstars Sony and Nintendo? Hit play on the video above to find out how Microsoft established a foothold on the mighty mountain of gaming.

Like putting bullet time effects in every movie, the Xbox tale began in the late nineties. Microsoft had dabbled with consoles, creating a version of Windows CE that was originally envisioned as powering the Dreamcast (but in the end was only used by a handful of games), but the company's gaming focus was very much within the realm of the PC.

That changed when four members of Microsoft's DirectX team built a prototype console and pitched it to gaming exec Ed Fries. From there the project -- initially dubbed the "DirectX Box" but later shortened to "Xbox" -- took off. Hit play now to learn how it happened.

What are your Xbox memories? And what do you think of the Xbox One today? Watch the latest episode of Adventures in Tech, then fire your thoughts into the comments, onto our Facebook wall, or drop me a line on Twitter.

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