20 Years Later, Xbox Creator Apologizes To AMD CEO For Last-Minute Switch To Intel - "Pure Politics"
It was "pure politics," Seamus Blackley says.
The original Xbox was released 20 years ago next month, and to mark the upcoming anniversary, the console's designer has apologized to AMD's engineers and its CEO for Microsoft's last-minute decision to drop AMD for rival Intel.
Seamus Blackley apologized on Twitter to the AMD engineers who worked with Microsoft to create the prototype Xbox consoles that the company used in the lead-up to the OG Xbox's release in November 2001. To AMD CEO Lisa Su, Blackley said, "I beg mercy."
"I was standing there on the stage for the announcement, with [Bill Gates], and there they were right there, front row, looking so sad," he said of AMD engineers in the room. "I'll never forget it. They had helped so much with the prototypes. Prototypes that were literally running the launch announcement demos ON AMD HARDWARE."
"I felt like such an ass," Blackley said.
As we approach @Xbox 20th, I feel a need, once again, to apologize for the literal last second, @AMD engineers-who-helped-us-make-the-prototype-boxes-sitting-in-the-front-row-for-the-announcement switch to an Intel CPU. It was Andy calling Bill. Not me. @LisaSu I beg mercy.— Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) October 12, 2021
I was standing there on the stage for the announcement, with BillG, and there they were right there, front row, looking so sad. I’ll never forget it. They had helped so much with the prototypes. Prototypes that were literally running the launch announcement demos ON AMD HARDWARE.— Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) October 12, 2021
Microsoft dropped AMD in favor of Intel due to "pure politics," Blackley said in another tweet.
AMD might have lost out on providing the chips for the original Xbox, but AMD chips are used for both the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 these days. There is a chip shortage facing the electronics world right now due to the pandemic, and gaming consoles are among the many products that have been affected.
Despite the shortages that are expected to run into 2022, AMD made a profit of $710 million for the latest quarter, which was up 352% year-over-year.
2021 is the 20th anniversary of Xbox and Halo, and Microsoft is celebrating with special edition Xbox controller and headphones that contains various nods to the original Xbox. Halo Infinite, meanwhile, launches on December 8, which is just a few weeks after the 20th anniversary of Xbox and Halo.