Xbox History

Can you believe it has been 15 years since Xbox was first announced?  Wow.  Microsoft first announced it November 15, 2001!

I decided to start my blog off with a bit of Xbox history. I’ll continue other interesting things like my blog post asking questions like “Is gaming anti-social?”. Don’t hate if history isn’t your thing.

So here we go…

In early 1999  Sony talks about releasing PlayStation 2 with modem support, 3D visuals, animation and DVD playback.  It was nothing like anything we had seen before. Late 1999 Bill Gates started talking about a console to play games.  He called it Xbox (originally DirectX Box).

In early 2000, Sega Dreamcast sales were halting, PS2 was flying off the shelves in Japan and Bill Gates officially announced the Xbox console at the Game Developers Conference.  In June of 2000, Microsoft bought Bungie Studios, the developers of Halo. Did you know the Steve Jobs demo’d it at Macworld? The game actually ran on Mac OS and Windows at the time.  Wonder if that inspired Gates to purchase the company? Supposedly, there was no love lost between those two. Jobs always felt like Gates ripped his ideas off.  I digress…

November 15, 2001 Xbox were in the stores (kick off on November 14, 2001 Toys R Us in NY) in all of North America. The game Halo helped Microsoft sell this gaming system. PlayStation 2 was still, however, leading the pack.

Early 2002, Microsoft released Xbox in Europe and in Japan.  Still it was not as popular as PlayStation2 because it lacked online gaming.  Finally in late 2002, Microsoft came out with a starter kit that allowed multiplayer games.  Thousands signed up in the first couple of weeks.

After the release of Halo 2 (which by the way sold 2.5 million copies in 24 hours – all-time best selling Xbox game to this day), the original Xbox was discontinued in 2009 in North America.

Next up was was Xbox 360.  It sold out almost immediately in late 2005.  But there were lots of problems – Microsoft had to extend the warranty on all 360s because of it.

In late 2013 Xbox One was launched and supposedly sold out in like 24 hours. There were new games like:

  • Dead Rising 3
  • Forza Motorsport 5
  • Killer Instinct
  • Ryse: Son of Rome

May 2015  Xbox One Update for more info go to Xbox News:

  • Voice Messages 
  • Power On/Off from Xbox One SmartGlass 
  • User Selectable Power Mode
  • Dedicated Servers for Party Chat 

Hope you enjoyed your history lesson!