It seems like yesterday, but it was twenty years ago that the Redmond juggernaut, Microsoft, started their adventure in the console video game industry. The big M decided to release their console to the public on November 15th, 2001. That’s twenty years from now.
A lot of great and not so great things have happened ever since, and in this article, we will discuss the ups and downs of a console that prove to be worth of our time.
Original Xbox Launch
To succeed, Microsoft needed to surpass their competitors, and that was not an easy task.
Sony had their PlayStation 2 and it was revolutionizing the market. The console had been out for almost a year until Microsoft made their move.
Xbox put out the best hardware they could at the time, and they managed to overcome, technically, the competition. Games looked and ran better and, while the brand was weak in Japan, they were getting bigger in the United States.
The original Xbox generation saw the beginning of franchises that will give an identity to the company throughout their entire life span.
Ninja Gaiden: Black was a very expected sequel to this longtime franchise which received positive reviews and still holds a place in Xbox fan hearts.
Blinx was a bit of a mascot for a while and Conquer: Live and reloaded was a great introduction to their catalog after the partnership with Rare software.
But it was its launch title that will make the console a must buy. We are talking about Halo of course. The game narrates the misadventures of the mysterious Master Chief and sets for many games in the franchise to come. This is also when Xbox live was conceived. A milestone in online gaming.
With the success of the original Xbox, Microsoft started to look into the future of the console and the answer came in the form of Xbox 360. The console was released only four years later, and its life spanned until 2016. It went through two hardware revisions.
It also introduced hard drives as storage methods besides DVDs.
The launch was not without issues. Most of the first batch consoles were doomed with the “red ring of death”. Fortunately, this has been resolved in later revisions and the console enjoyed a healthy lifespan afterwards.
Regarding games, Halo was expanded further, and Gears of War franchise was born.
Xbox One continued what was established by its predecessor. Online and online streaming was starting to get big. You could download apps such as Netflix, one of the biggest streaming platforms nowadays; Spotify, the platform recognized the digital music world; and Twitch, the enormous digital content platform.
While the launch was a bit of a mess, the brand started to get big once Microsoft started to acquire Game Studios. The massive news came when it was announced that Bethesda was part of Xbox now.
Backwards compatibility was also announced during the Xbox One era allowing previous generation games to be played on newer consoles. A lot of things happened during the Xbox One generation that prepared Xbox owners for what was coming.
Xbox Series and Xcloud
Once the Xbox brand was strong again, the Xbox Series was announced. Once again, Xbox was able to brag about having the most powerful console in the market.
Also, Edge was updated to run HTLM5, which expanded the possibility to run emulators and even access to the best free slot sites available. You can now play your favorite online casino games as you would from a PC or a tablet while having access to huge bonuses and jackpots. Even mouse and keyboard are supported. You can also use your preferred payment methods straight from the browser of your console safely.
Xcloud has been introduced as well during the Xbox Series era. It allows you to play more than 100 games in the cloud without the need to install the games and you can play on many other devices too.
What started as a passion project from Microsoft workers that wanted to take DirectX to the living room like a console evolved into one of the biggest profitable areas in the company.
20 years passed by in a snap but the memories from those fantastic titles will stay close to our hearts forever.