How Disney’s Lion King is related to the Xbox
May 28, 2006 2 Comments
Few products get accused of killing Christmas for thousands of kids, but that fate befell Disney’s first CD-ROM for Windows, "Disney The Lion King CD-ROM (1994)". The problem: The game relied on Microsoft’s new WinG graphics engine, and video card drivers had to be hand-tuned to work with it, says Alex St. John. He’s currently CEO of game publisher WildTangent, but in the early 1990s he was Microsoft’s first "game evangelist."
In late 1994, Compaq released a Presario whose video drivers hadn’t been tested with WinG. When parents loaded the Lion King disc into their new Presarios on Christmas morning, many children got their first glimpse of the Blue Screen of Death. But this sad story has a happy ending. The WinG debacle led Microsoft to develop a more stable and powerful graphics engine called DirectX. And the team behind DirectX went on to build the Xbox – restoring holiday joy for a new generation of kids.