With everyone out there talking about the upcoming 20th anniversary of the original Xbox launching here in the US, I thought I would share a fun story about almost getting one of those consoles before the launch.
Many years ago, there was a huge trade show that corporate IT guys would go to called COMDEX. It was the business equivalent of CES, as it was focused more on business to business dealings. It also meant that there was little to do with gaming at the event. But in 2001, things would be a little different. COMDEX that year fell right before the US Launch of the Xbox console. So Microsoft spared no expense in putting a kiosk on the floor that had about a dozen Xbox consoles with an assortment of games. It was the first time I got to play Halo and realize that the Duke controller was really big.
But hey, you want to know how I almost got that Xbox, right? Well, for many years before I started going to COMDEX, Bill Gates was normally the keynote speaker to open COMDEX. It was normally a fun affair with Bill talking about the upcoming future, some fun skits and other assorted items. But this year, Bill Gates talked about the Xbox and said he was going to give away several of the consoles to audience by seat number. And then it happened. Bill Gates called my section…then my row…and then….a seat 15 spots away from me.
While I had not set out to get an Xbox at launch (I was still spouting out about the PC Master Race), it did start to make me look at console gaming again. Something I had stepped away from about a decade earlier. At with those seeds that were planted at COMDEX 2001, I started my road towards being an Xbox home. Now I have provided a home to two original Xbox’s, three Xbox 360’s, a Kinect for 360, a launch Xbox One with Kinect, two Xbox One S’, one Xbox One X and one Xbox Series X. And I am sure there is room for more to come.