Ok, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke, we honestly don’t think it is. Cause apparently, the original Xbox from Microsoft wasn’t meant to be a hardcore gaming console. No, it wasn’t. In fact, it was apparently supposed to cater to the casual gaming market. Microsoft didn’t reveal this though, a developer did:
“At the time, Xbox thought that the core market was going to be casual. They were going to be the casual gamers’ machine,” Oddworld Inhabitants’ Lorne Lanning told GamesIndustry.
Originally, Oddworld was going to be on PlayStation, but Xbox eventually wooed them over to their side. Not because they paid more or anything, but they felt that Oddworld could be a big competitor to Mario.
“Now, that’s why they approached us because they said ‘we think you’ve got something that competes in that Mario space and we think Mario’s the thing to kill… We see that space. We want that audience. We love Oddworld so why don’t you get on this bandwagon?”
But wait, there’s more! Apparently, Microsoft was also considered just giving the Xbox away to gamers. Which actually sealed the deal for the Oddworld crew.
“So now you’re like, ‘look, if you’re going to give the box away, you’re going to win. If you’re going to win, we want to be on board’,” he added.
This tale is incredibly ironic. As Xbox would basically do a 180 and become a focused hardcore platform. One that brought first-person shooters to new life via Halo, among other titles. Also, as we would find out later. The casual game market was eventually catered to by consoles. Most successfully of course by Nintendo, who’s Wii console sold over 100 million units, and numerous best selling games, and definitely won the console war for that generation.