I think it’s safe to say that the Xbox has officially passed away. It had a decent run, and gave Sony’s PlayStation 2 a run for it’s money. However, instead of letting it fade away into obscurity, lets look back at the good times.
When Microsoft first released the Xbox in November of 2001, Xbox Live wasn’t even implemented at the time . Halo: Combat Evolved, Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding, Dead or Alive 3, Project Gotham Racing, and Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee were all offline and helped the Xbox stay afloat during its launch. But this isn’t to say the Xbox didn’t receive any negative remarks at first. Many complained about the size and weight of the original “Duke” controller(not to mention the console itself). Two years later Microsoft took care of this issue by releasing the smaller and lighter “Controller S”:
‘Duke’ and ‘S’ Controllers
Xbox Live finally hit stores on November 15th, 2002. The game they used to advertise its launch was “Unreal Championship”, an online frag-fest that supported a maximum of 16 players. While many Unreal Tournament players looked down at it, I personally enjoyed the game. I still play it every once in a while and think it’s a fun game. Sure it has it’s drawbacks(no vehicles?), but I still find enjoyment from it. After Live became available is when the Xbox really started to pick up momentum. Sony had online games as well, but it couldn’t compete with Microsoft’s simple interface. With a small fee of $50/year it was the main source for online gaming next to the PC. Not only did Live let gamers play against other games across the world, it also allowed them to download additional content for games.
2003 brought a handful good games. “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, “Burnout 2: Point of Impact”, “Colin McRae Rally 3”, “Midnight Club II”, “Medal of Honor: Rising Sun” and “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3” just to name a few. But there was one game that had everyone’s attention: “Halo 2”. This one game created more hype than any other Xbox game.
It was finally released on November 9th of 2004, selling 2.38 million copies in just 24 hours. With each standard edtion game costing $50, and the Limited Edition costing $55, Microsoft made $125,000,000+ in just one day. This isn’t even including preorder sales(which was roughly 2 million). This marked the climax of the Xbox’s lifespan. For a good 6 months Halo 2 kept Xbox in the console war. But even with games like “Forza Motorsports”, the Xbox was slowly dying.
2006 was it’s last year to really put up a fight. It didn’t go down quietly, though. The games of 2006 included “BLACK”, “Bully”, “Blazing Angels: Squadrons of WWII”, “Dreamfall: The Longest Journey”, “Fight Night Round 3”, “Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers”, “Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter”, “Godfather: The Game”, “Hitman: Blood Money”, “Painkiller: Hell Wars”, “Scarface: The World is Yours”, and “Splinter Cell: Double Agent”. Noticeably absent is “Starcraft: Ghost”. The game was pushed back so many times, and encountered so many problems that it was put on “indefinite hold” and finally canceled.
When the Xbox 360 hit stores many were asking about the future of the original Xbox. Microsoft responded by saying they’d continue making games for it into 2007. Well, it’s currently 2007 and I haven’t seen anything.
All of those classic Xbox games may come back some day if Microsoft releases an “Xbox portable” of sorts. So instead of just forgetting about the Xbox and the ground it created, look back and embrace the memories. Think about the great LAN parties you experienced while playing “Halo: Combat Evolved”, or the 12 year-olds on “Halo 2” who think they’re hot stuff by constantly throwing out the N-word. Never forget those good times. I know I never will.