Xbox’s bulky prototype from 2000 has found a new home

Before the Xbox launched in November 2001, Microsoft rolled out a rather bulky-looking prototype unit at press events that literally resembled a massive X. 

The prototype caught a lot of media attention at the time, mainly because it just looked so impractical and daft as a console. 

Turns out that not only did this Xbox device actually work, but it’s still knocking around to this day, where it’s set up home at Microsoft’s Redmond-based Visitor Center, sitting snugly in a glass case.

The device was first unveiled during GDC 2000, where former Microsoft head honcho Bill Gates showcased the hardware to the press. Of course, the final version of Bill’s box would differ greatly from what the prototype model looked like, but it still did its job of giving developers an idea of what to expect from the machine.

Fun fact: Dean Takahashi’s publication ‘Opening the Box’ reveals that each Xbox prototype unit was milled out of a solid block of aluminium, resulting in each unit costing a jaw-dropping $18,000 to produce. Blimey. 

You can check out the Xbox prototype in its new home below.

 



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