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The Rock, Bill Gates and the original Xbox at CES 2000 − the greatest tech launch ever?

Despite their insistence on throwing several launch events every year, most technology companies don’t really have any sort of knack for it. They’re awkward, shamelessly vainglorious and almost always follow the same format. It’s part of the reason we get so overjoyed when things go wrong.

It’s also why so many companies hire celebrities to inject some life into proceedings, though anyone who remembers Henry Cavill’s cameo at the launch of the Huawei P9 will know that such collaborations sometimes prove to be highly embarrassing for all parties involved.

With this context, you may understand my utter shock after watching the guaranteed-to-go-viral video that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted online overnight.

At CES 19 years ago this week, a miracle took place. A pre-The Mummy Returns Johnson and Bill Gates teamed up for the launch of the original Xbox, and it worked a treat. Easily the best two and a half minutes of tech conference I’ve ever seen.

It’s The Rock and Bill Gates, and they’re bouncing off each other beautifully. See for yourself:

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On this day back in 2001 Bill asked me to help him launch the WORLDS FIRST XBOX. Bill’s ambition was to change the world of video games forever – and he did just that. Happy to say that years later, my relationship with @microsoft is still going strong as we continue to partner up to bring XBox’s and joy to Make-A-Wish kids and kids in need around the world. What’s special about Bill and worth incredible praise is that he’s as generous as he is brilliant. With all of his admirable self-made success, he’s also dedicated his life to philanthropy in education, health and poverty. A true genius and business mogul of our generation who inspires me to continue to build with two hands, make impact and give back every step of the way. Good times, my friends. In my shades ????‍♂️ #OGXBox

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The Xbox, of course, was a huge hit for Microsoft, going on to become one of the best-selling games consoles of all time, and spawning a long line of successors. Bill Gates and The Rock, meanwhile, were never seen again.

To any of you who have seen this clip before − perhaps you were even there in person − and are no doubt rolling your eyes at the screen right now, I can only apologies for my heightened state of excitement.

But in my defence, I simply didn’t know that tech conferences could be so good. Well, not without the help of a malfunctioning filmmaker or a robot that refuses to follow instructions.

What’s the most memorable launch event you’ve been to, and why? Let us know on Twitter by mentioning @TrustedReviews.

And for a breakdown of all the biggest announcements that have come out of this year’s CES conference, follow this link.

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