If You Invested $1,000 In Microsoft When The Rock Unveiled The Xbox, You'd Have This Much Now

Zinger Key Points
  • The Xbox video game console was unveiled by Bill Gates and The Rock in 2001.
  • A look at how an investment in Microsoft would have fared since the announcement.

In 2021, video gamers and investors learned what Microsoft Corporation MSFT had been cooking with the unveiling of a new video game console by a leading wrestler and actor.

Here’s a look at how Microsoft shares have performed since the unveiling of the Xbox console.

What Happened: On Jan. 6, 2021, wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates unveiled the Xbox video game console to the public at CES 2001 in Las Vegas.

See Also: Was Buying Activision Stock A 'Call Of Arbitrage Duty' For A Congressman?

The console, which was almost blocked by Gates from being released, went on to be one of the key products in company history.

“The Xbox is everything The Rock is: cutting edge, powerful, exhilarating, and like The Rock it will be the most electrifying thing coming out this year,” Johnson said at the time. “It is truly the future of video games and I’m very excited to simply be a part of it. Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?”

The Rock said the Xbox would be a breakthrough for the video game industry.

In May 2001, Microsoft announced release dates and pricing for the Xbox console at the E3 video game conference.

The Xbox was released in North America on Nov. 15, 2001.

While Gates almost called off the launch, discussion of rival Sony Group Corp SONY led the company to push forward on the launch and as they say the rest is history.

The original Xbox sold over 24 million copies and was considered a modest hit for the company. The Xbox 360 released in 2005 fared better with 80 million units sold.

Over the years, Microsoft has invested in acquisitions in the gaming space and launched the Xbox Live service to increase its presence and revenue in the video game sector.

Investors who believed in the potential of the video game franchise for Microsoft have also been pleasantly rewarded.

Related Link: Microsoft To Raise Prices Of New Xbox Games From 2023: Here's How Much You'll Have To Shell Out 

Investing $1,000 in Microsoft Stock: Microsoft's unveiling of the Xbox happened on a Saturday, which means investors had to wait two days to pickup shares if they were excited about the video game console launch coming.

On Monday, Jan. 8, 2001, Microsoft shares opened for trading at $24.47. An investor could have purchased 20.43 shares with $1,000.

In February 2003, Microsoft had a two-for-one stock split, which would have turned the hypothetical investment into 40.86 shares.

The 40.86 Microsoft shares would be worth $9,117.91 today, based on a price of $223.15 for MSFT at the time of writing.

This represents a hypothetical return of 811.8% over the last 22 years. This translates to an average annual return of 36.9%.

To put in comparison, the SPDR S&P 500 Global ETF SPY, was up 196.9% over the same time period. This would have given investors an average annual gain of 9.0% over the last 22 years.

If investors smelled what The Rock and Microsoft were cooking, their investment portfolio is likely sitting pretty today.

Read Next: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Bill Gates 



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