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'Father of the Xbox' Seamus Blackley issues Twitter apology to AMD over last-minute switch to Intel CPUs
AMD had the last laugh – their kit is in both PlayStation and Xbox these days
One of the developers of the original Xbox has apologised for jilting AMD at the altar ahead of the games console's launch 20 years ago.
Seamus Blackley took to Twitter where he alleged that a phone call from then-Intel CEO Andy Grove to Bill Gates ushered a change in CPU choice.
His thread revealed that the decision was made so late that the prototype Xboxes used at the launch ran AMD silicon and AMD engineers sat in the front row.
"I felt like such an ass," Blakely said of the very public moment AMD staff found out their product was not going to be in the original Xbox, and blamed the switcheroo on "pure politics."
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
AMD has since gone on to be a stalwart of Xbox CPUs. The switch from Intel to AMD happened with the Xbox One in 2013 and continued for the Xbox Series X and Series S.
The chipmaker also provided the CPUs for Sony's PlayStation 4, released in 2013, and the PlayStation 5, released in 2020.
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Anyone interested in seeing Bill Gates announce the presence of a Pentium III inside at around the 18:35 mark in this video of the launch. Gates described the 600MHz CPU as "reasonably beefy", and added that Nvidia delivered on "special requirements" in the console's graphics chip. ®
Editor's note: This story was updated at 23:15 UTC October 14th to include a link to the correct video.