Xbox Turns 10!

It’s hard to believe, but on November 15th, 2001 Microsoft launched the original Xbox.  Man, ten years already, that’s nuts!  I’ll always remember the Xbox for a few reasons, first off was this…

 

Remember how big the system was?

I’ll never forget the sheer size of the Xbox.  The thing was massive, even by today’s standards.  It had a really nice built quality to it though, it felt like it could survive being run over by a tank.  I also loved that it came with four controller ports, just like the GameCube.  The only problem was…

 

Wow, nuff said.

 

The original controller was gargantuan.  Even King Kong had little trouble wrapping his mitts around this bad boy.  The odd placement of the black and white buttons made them virtually useless.  Thankfully Microsoft would release a vastly superior controller a year or two after the system’s launch.  I still have my original controllers and they make even the largest legacy controller look tiny in comparison.

The Xbox also launched with what would become the defacto Xbox game…

You know it, you love it.  Who didn’t?  Halo and Halo 2 defined the Xbox.  The original for fun factor and the sequel for online multiplayer.  This was the series to get into if you owned an Xbox.  90% of the people who bought the system did so for this one game.  It was that popular, and remains so to this very day.  Other popular series on the platform include anything from BioWare, games like Knight of the Old Republic and Jade Empire were simply sensational.  Forza also made its debut on the original Xbox.  These were personal highlights, but I’m sure you guys can name off others.

The other huge impact the Xbox platform had on the industry came in the way of online multiplayer via Xbox Live. While somewhat primitive compared to what’s offered today, Microsoft took what Sega was trying to do on the Dreamcast and ran with it.  They combined their network knowledge on the PC with several high-profile developers to create a fantastic service that remains the pinnacle of online multiplayer to this very day.

So what Xbox stories do you have?  Leave a comment and let’s get this conversation started.

One thought on “Xbox Turns 10!”

  1. I’ve always been in a gamer family. We had our origins as Nintendo and Atari kids, but as we grew up, we each went our own ways and carved out our own niches–we found what we liked and didn’t liked. When 2001 rolled around, I could tell we each took a different side. At that time, I sided with Nintendo and the GameCube–and I don’t regret it, not in the least. It was an excellent system with a lot of classic games, and I still love my library of Cube titles. The PlayStation 2 and Xbox also came to my home, but they were brought in by siblings. We each supported games we liked, so between all of us, there were quite a few games coming in and out of the house.

    I remember seeing the Xbox at launch. We picked up the machine along with copies of Halo and Dead or Alive 3. Though Dead or Alive 3 was great fun, it was Halo that spent all the time in the machine. I was not a fan of the game at first though. In fact, I was highly resistant to it. I stuck my nose up at the game and wanted nothing to do with it. After all, I had Super Smash Bros. Melee to play–and that sucked up all my time….for awhile. It took some time, but eventually, I broke down and started to play Halo. After countless “Halo nights” and LAN parties, I got into the game–and it was great. I’ve played it far more than any other shooter to this day and devoted a ridiculous amount of time to it. I feel like I earned my degree in Shooters.

    As the console aged, I grew apart from it. To me, it just couldn’t compare to the PlayStation 2 and GameCube. It wasn’t even a question. Even this generation, I prefer the sleekness of the PlayStation 3 and familiarity of the Nintendo Wii over the Xbox 360–it’s my least favorite of the three consoles out there. But to not recognize what Microsoft brought to the table is just foolish and insulting. They helped establish and pioneer console gaming even further and really brought us into the “next-generation.” Without the Xbox, I don’t think we’d have the level of connectivity and community that we have today. While it’s true that game companies like Nintendo and SEGA have experimented with download services in the past with the highly ambitious Satellaview and SEGA Channel, they weren’t as comprehensive and all encompassing as Xbox Live. While I tend to think of myself as more of a retro gamer and Japanophile, I have to respect what Microsoft has done for the industry and for the consumer.

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