How the Xbox Was Born at 35,000 Feet

IGN All Joseph Knoop

A lot of history’s greatest ideas come at inopportune moments, and Seamus Blackley’s proposal for the Xbox is no exception. A meeting with Bill Gates, an unintended callout from Sony, and Blackley’s own girlfriend all led to a seemingly (at the time) ludicrous idea for Microsoft to jump into the console arena.

Blackley met Gates during a tech demo for Trespasser, the Jurassic Park tie-in game that would go on to become an industry and early internet pariah due to Dreamworks forcing it to be shipped before much of its gameplay tech had even been finalized. Impressed by Blackley and his work, Gates helped Blackley earn a job at Microsoft as “Program Manager for Entertainment Graphics.”

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