Hello gang, today we bring a piece of history to life. Xbox’s birth story, Elder Ring doing magical things and Nintendo literally sitting on esports pros’ faces. Let’s dive.
Made by Franco
🕹️ The Power of Small Teams
Some time ago I told you about the Xbox Documentary Power On: The Story of Xbox, and said that it was good. I lied to you, didn’t watch it back then. In the process of coming clean with y’all, I watched it… and it’s fucking dope. Here you have the first episode's fun facts:
When Microsoft announced they were getting involved with gaming, everyone laughed at them because "people in damn khakis couldn’t create something fun". Little did they know, a small group of nerds changed the face of gaming and a corporate giant at the same time.
Sony had different electronic devices in everyone’s living room, including the PS1 released in 1994. If you combined all those devices you could get a computer, so that’s where Microsoft was like “ah… ok, we see you”. Then, the PS2 is announced as a PC replacement, meaning, if you give people the option to buy a PS2 or a PC… that’s where Microsoft thought “these mother fuckers”.
So, if Sony was locking down our living rooms? What was Microsoft going to do?
4 people from Microsoft, the so-called The Renegades, got together to work on DirectX, a set of software tools for PC game development. The bad news? Most Microsoft employees didn’t give a fuck about the renegades or a game system. The good news, a couple did, and those had a few important contacts in their network to push this idea forward.
First task: they needed a code name. Their idea: Xbox.
The transition of people from Office, or other sectors to work at DirectX was seen as career suicide. It was a small group of people who loved video games. They were seen as Microsoft's hobby, until they released Age of Empires, a huge success that made other people be like “ight, they know what they are doing”.
The Renegades wanted to have a console where it would be easier to code games since coding for Nintendo or Sony consoles was like trying to make a cake without arms. I’m sorry, that’s fucked up, it’s been a long week.
Anyways, they needed a meeting with Bill Gates.
Everyone wanted a meeting with the man. However, a combination of the PS2 release + a Microsoft Idea Retreat where Bill saw the question “what if Sony joined forces with cable and internet to box PCs out?”, made that meeting happen real quick.
After the retreat, management asked the entire company if somebody had a clue about what to do with gaming and consoles? The renegades were like “yo… we not only know about it, we have a whole plan ready to go”.
During the company meeting, another section called Microsoft CE, which already had experience in hardware, said they were interested in doing it as well. So if you put well-known hardware people and the young renegades in a balance, who do you think Bill picked to do hardware?
Well, don’t forget Bill Gates is smarter than all of us. Instead of making them work together, he made them compete to see who could come with the best project. This psychopath started the tech hunger games back in 1999 lmao.
The DirectX team said that they wanted to have a hard drive for memory and ethernet for high speed internet. Never done before. Meanwhile, the CE guys were talking shit about DirectX to Bill saying that that project was not feasible.
For the next meeting, the renegades didn’t sleep for a week and built a PC that was able to be booted in 3 seconds. At that time, the PC booting standard was around 3-5 minutes. When Bill saw that, he pissed himself. The renegades also had a PlayStation simulator in there so they put a disk and Bill was able to play Tom Rider. All this, while the CE guys were sitting in the corner with a humble pdf presentation on how to copy a competitor. Yikes.
Now that Bill was in the pocket, they needed to convince CEO Steve Ballmer and others to give them $500M for development. Steve said “Guys, you want me to make one of the biggest investments we had to create a product that will trash Windows, no way”.
But the second the renegades told Steve and Bill about how the brightest gaming minds were moving towards 3D gaming and online gaming, the room changed.
The young DirectX team got the green light. Their first thought?
“Wait.. now what do we do tho?”.
💣 New Games & Trailers
GHOSTWIRE: TOKYO — Visual Novel Trailer
YOUNG SOULS — Spotlight
FAR: CHANGING TIDES — Behind the Scenes
POKEMON SCARLET AND VIOLET — Announcement
📹 Video of the Week
s1mple’s speech about Ukraine vs Russia.
⚔️ Elder Ring Hub
I’m sure everything that you saw on social media during the weekend had some sort of connection with Elder Ring, everyone is playing it, except me, since my PC setup got entirely fucked because of a storm. If a company reading the newsletter wanna send me some love in the form of a PC, I would not be mad about it lol. Anyways:
📖 Read of the Week
Roblox’s female creators are building virtual empires, by Kate Irwin.
📈 Stats of the Week
Sifu has sold one million copies in its first three weeks of release.
🟥 What is going on with Nintendo?
If I had to stop for a second to think of a company that trashes and hates its own fanbase but still explodes in financial success, the only right answer has to be Nintendo.
Everytime the Super Smash Bros. community pushed for esports growth, Nintendo said “fuck no”. Simple and concise. EVO was the only event left for Smash Bros. pros to build a career and grow the passion for the game. Well, EVO announced that Nintendo won’t let Smash Bros. be part of the event anymore.
Is it because Nintendo truly enjoys shitting on people’s dreams? Is it maybe because they partnered with Panda? Or there’s something negative about esports that they can see and we don’t?
🔦 Spotlight of the Week
Twitter account: NoOneWatching. A bot that shows Twitch streams with 0 viewers. It's dope to be someone's first viewer.
🏆 Esports Highlights
🙌 Cultural Moments
Black music and Anime influencing each other is exactly what I’m here for. I remember years ago listening to some rappers dropping anime names, or being vocal about watching anime and I was like “this could be bigger than we think”. I hope this relationship goes for the long term, because to be honest, you can only think of greatness out of it.
Thanks for reading!
👇 Reach out for feedback, questions or quick intro!
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