So with the bombshell of the 360 elite price slash officially dropped it’s time to look back at how this all started. Hard believe that it was only 8 years ago that the world was introduced what was then called the green machine. The first Xbox was dropped November 15, 2001 and to the delight of gamers everywhere we got to meet the one and only Master Chief. With Bungie’s system seller Halo being part of the launch, Microsoft had created a machine that was primed to enter the fray full force against Nintendo’s Gamecube (released the same time) the the behemoth that was then (and to some degree still now ) the Play Station 2.
Thankfully for us Microsoft opted to go with this name rather than one of the many other names developers had come up with including Direct X. Would this be the machine to beat the unbeatable PS2 which already had a full year and some monster numbers of success? That depends on who you ask. For Microsoft this was a new area of competition that would get them into the realm of videogames and on a path they have been driving full speed on ever since. It’s interesting to note that in the second generation of systems Microsoft, still stinging from being behind the 8-ball on their first attempt, released the 360 a full 2 years ahead of it’s competitors.
Before RROD s
So what did Microsoft’s first Xbox have to offer other than Halo? Well first and foremost it didn’t have hardware failures like it’s future offspring. This was a hardy machine. As far as gaming though that first year was kind of sketchy.In addition fighting the fight against the covenant early offerings included, Dead or Alive 3, Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding, Fuzion Frenzy and Project Gotham Racing.
As the green machine (named for the background dashboard screen and not the color of the console) matured some more significant titles became available and near the end of its run some exceptional titles made this a machine to be reckoned with including of course Halo 2, Ninja Gaiden and Fable. Eventually the system beat out the Gamecube and took the number 2 spot out of the three consoles. Maxing out at around 24 million units sold, the console was discontinued in 2006 after the 360 took it’s place in 2005. During it’s 4 year run it had some standout performances in terms of titles despite it’s considerably smaller library than Sony or Nintendo.
What really took root though was that it was during a four-year run that Microsoft honed it’s online gaming platform, eventually giving Xbox Live a major edge when they launched the 360. Short-lived -on many accounts and discontinued too soon considering the glitches that first year of 360, the original Xbox paved a path of success for Microsoft in gaming that continues to grow. With all of the things they’ve done in the last two years with the 360, we can definitely expect to see more than just a new gaming console in the next few years. Potentially what we may be in store for is a digital delivery system and the early beginnings of a device that doesn’t just offer gaming, but social media, online gaming and game development applications as well.