Its was 15 years ago today on Nov 15th, 2001 that Microsoft launched the first installment of the Xbox series in North America. Microsoft decided to join the console race late in the 6th generation to compete against Sony’s PS2, and Nintendo’s Gamecube. It was also the first console produced by an American company since the Atari Jaguar in 1996.
The original Xbox was equal to its competitors featuring a standard PC 733 MHz Intel Pentium III processor. In comparison to the PS2 and GameCube the Xbox was huge, but was first console to feature a built-in hard disk.
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In November 2002 Microsoft launched Xbox Live, which is still going strong to this day. Unlike other competitors online services, Xbox Live had support in the original console designed through an integrated Ethernet port. This online service gave the Xbox a leg to stand on against the other 6th generation competitors, and could be said that it is the reason Xbox made it in such a competitive market.
Besides Xbox’s online Xbox Live service, Halo 2 played a big factor in the consoles level of popularity. Though it had Xbox Live, and one of the most popular games of the time, the Xbox sales were always lagging way behind Sony’s. The Xbox did however out do the GameCube by far, even though Nintendo had a head start on both rival companies.
The original Xbox’s successor Xbox 360 was launched in November 2005. Japans Xbox market did significantly worse then other regions, and stopped production shortly after the 360 released. Other countries followed in 2006. The last game produced was Xiaolin Showdown in Europe 2007.
Though the original Xbox wasn’t considered the best console of the 6th generation of consoles, it definitely left its mark on gaming. 15 years after launch and Microsoft is killing it with the Xbox One. 15 years later and Xbox is still in a fierce rivalry with PlayStation.