Xbox creator, Seamus Blackley, often lovingly called the Father of Xbox, took to Twitter yesterday and offered his apology to AMD and its engineers as it has been 20 years since the original Xbox was released back in 2001. That's because AMD was ditched by Microsoft in favor of Intel despite the former playing a key part during the console's development phase.
The launch version of the Xbox ran on a 733MHz Intel Pentium III processor alongside Nvidia GeForce 3-based graphics. Bizarrely though, the prototype Xbox hardware was actually running AMD chips. In fact, even the demo on stage for the Intel-inside Xbox launch variant was actually running on AMD hardware according to Blackley.
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.
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.
When a Twitter user quizzed him about the reason for the switch, Blackley hints that it may have had to do with the "Relationship" between Intel and Microsoft, and "Pure politics".
This isn't the first time though that Seamus Blackley has apologized to AMD regarding this matter as back in 2015, on IGN's Podcast Unlocked platform, the Xbox creator probably revealed this last-moment switchover incident publicly for the first time.
It is rumored that AMD was offering a K7 (Athlon) variant of the chip for the Xbox which at the time was a very competitive architecture. Its successor, the K8, in fact, easily bested the Pentium 4 in terms of performance-per-watt.
Source: Seamus Blackley (Twitter)