This article is about the Xbox console. For the brand, see Xbox (brand). For other uses, see Xbox (disambiguation).

It's good to play together.

The Xbox, (now more commonly known as the Original Xbox), was Microsoft's first video game console. It was released on November 15, 2001 in North America; February 22, 2002 in Japan; and in March 14, 2002 in Europe and Australia.

It was Microsoft's first foray in the gaming console market, competing against the Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation 2 and the Nintendo GameCube. It was also the first console produced by an American company since the Atari Jaguar which was discontinued in 1996.

After the Sega Dreamcast ended production in 2001, many of the Dreamcast's games were ported to the Xbox.

Development[edit | edit source]

In 1998 four engineers from Microsoft’s DirectX team, Kevin Bachus, Seamus Blackley, Ted Hase and DirectX team leader Otto Berkes, disassembled some Dell laptop computers to construct a prototype Microsoft Windows based video game console. The team hoped to create a console to compete with the then Sony's upcoming PlayStation 2, which was luring game developers away from the Windows platform. The team approached Ed Fries, the leader of Microsoft’s game publishing business at the time, and pitched their “DirectX Box” console based on the DirectX graphics technology developed by Berkes’ team. Fries decided to support the team’s idea of creating a Windows DirectX based console.[5][6]

During development, the original DirectX box name was shortened to Xbox. Microsoft’s marketing department did not like the Xbox name, and suggested many alternatives. During focus testing, the Xbox name was left on the list of possible names to demonstrate how unpopular the Xbox name would be with consumers. However, consumer testing revealed that Xbox was preferred by far over the other suggested names and “Xbox” became the official name of the product.[7]

The Xbox was Microsoft's first video game console after collaborating with Sega to port Windows CE to the Sega Dreamcast. Microsoft repeatedly delayed the console, which was first mentioned publicly in late 1999 during interviews with then-Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. Gates stated that a gaming/multimedia device was essential for multimedia convergence in the new times.[8]

Bill Gates unveiling the Xbox at GDC 2000.

When Bill Gates unveiled the Xbox at the Game Developers Conference in 2000, audiences were impressed by the console's technology. At the time of Gates' announcement, Sega's Dreamcast sales were diminishing and Sony's PlayStation 2 was just going on sale in Japan. [9]

Concentrating on making a big splash in Japan, Microsoft delayed its European launch, though Europe later proved to be the more receptive market.[9]

Some of Microsoft's plans proved effective. In preparation for its launch, Microsoft acquired Bungie and used Halo: Combat Evolved as a launch title. At the time, GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64 had been one of the few hit FPS games to appear on a console, some of other ones being Perfect Dark and Medal of Honor. Halo: Combat Evolved proved a good application to drive the Xbox's sales.[9] In 2002, Microsoft made the second place slot in consoles sold in North America.

Xbox Live[edit | edit source]

It lives now... only in my memory.


Xbox LIVE, a fee-based online gaming service was introduced to the Xbox in November 2002. It enabled its subscribers to download new content and connect with other players through a broadband connection.

On April 17, 2010 Microsoft ended Xbox LIVE support for the original Xbox making it impossible to play Xbox LIVE games on the console.

However, a company known as XLink Kai created a way to continue to play Xbox games online even after Xbox LIVE support ended in 2010.

Discontinuation[edit | edit source]

On June 4, 2006, the Xbox was discontinued in Japan, followed by Europe on March 11, 2007 and North America on March 2, 2009.

On November 22, 2005 a successor to the Xbox was released, the Xbox 360.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

The appearance of the Xbox is a lot like what the name suggests. The console itself is a black 320 × 100 × 260 mm (12.5 × 4 × 10.5 in) box with a X shape going across it with a green circle in the middle with the logo inside of it. On the front of the console there are 4 controller ports in total, 2 being on each side of the power button. In the middle of the controller ports is the On/Off and eject disc button.

Controllers[edit | edit source]

During development Xbox Co-Creator Seamus Blackley drew some prototype controllers that looked similar to the Dreamcast controller. They were then shared to Xbox fans and the rest of the world. Blackley also stated that Microsoft never decided which controller would be the final decision for the Xbox. The development team eventually decided to go with a large chunky design, now better known as The Duke.

SideWinders[edit | edit source]

Main article: Microsoft SideWinder
Before the Xbox, Microsoft worked with Sega to create the Dreamcast in the 1990s until its release in 1998. But during the Sega Dreamcast's development Microsoft worked on controllers known as SideWinder's. The SideWinders began production in 1996 and were only compatible with PC. The SideWinders were mass produced from 1996 to 2003. But in the early 2010's due to rising popularity, the controllers returned but was eventually shut back down in 2014.

Games[edit | edit source]

Main article: Xbox games
One of the first games released for the Xbox was Halo: Combat Evolved. Halo: Combat Evolved was the first game in the Halo series. Launching in November 2001, Halo: CE went on to become the one of the original Xbox's best selling games and creating many more sequels for future Xbox platforms.

Over the course of the original Xbox's life, there were around 1000 game released for it, with the last being Xiaolin Showdown in Europe which was released in June of 2007 and Madden NFL 09 in North America which was released in August 2008.

Halo 2[edit | edit source]

Main article: Halo 2

Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack

Halo 2 was launched in 2004, because of its campaign and online feature's the Xbox was winning the online gaming wars. Halo 2 became so popular it became the best selling Xbox game of all time.

Halo 2 was one of the first Xbox games to have DLC. The "Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack" was released on July 5, 2005, for $19.99, which included new maps and weapons for players.

During the still on going console wars (PlayStation vs Nintendo vs Xbox), Halo 2 on its own was beating the PlayStation 2's online library all the way up until 2010. Once the Xbox 360 was launched, Halo 2 was soon made available on the Xbox 360 via Backwards Compatibility.

On April 17, 2010 Halo 2 and all of its servers shut down for good as well as the Xbox 360 severs. The PC version was also shut down in early 2014 due to a lack of players. But by using XLink Kai it is still possible to play Halo 2 Online on the original Xbox.

Controllers and accessories[edit | edit source]

The Dakota Pad prototype.

Main article: The Duke

The Dakota Pad was the prototype controller, It had the green Xbox logo from top of the Xbox console in the middle of it. But was eventually replaced by The Duke controller. However when the Xbox launched the Xbox with The Duke a lot of people struggled with The Duke. The Duke was eventually replaced by Controller S. The Controller S prototype was the same but, just like the Dakota Pad it had the green Xbox logo in the middle of it.

Microsoft also released the Special Edition Launch Team Xbox. This Xbox was made in 2001. There were roughly 1000 of these special editions made. This Special Edition Xbox was green and instead of the Xbox logo being in the center of the console there is a black circle with writing inside it saying " Great Work! " which was then followed by Bill Gates Signature. The controller for this console was a green Duke which was only available with the Special Edition Launch Team Xbox.

When Gamestop would sell you these Xbox's Gamestop had they're own controllers for the original Xbox!. There was the Controller S version (which had a small Gamestop logo instead of the original Xbox logo in the middle. It also had 2 small black buttons in between the thumpers and next to the D-Pad. A Back button and Start button. The D-Pad for this controller was really bad looking. Not many of these sold when they 1st came out.

Limited Editions[edit | edit source]

Over the Xbox's life there were many limited edition variations made of the consoles both by Microsoft and other companies. These limited edition models all varied in the way they look compared to the regular Xbox. Mountain Dew and Microsoft teamed up to make the Limited Edition Mountain Dew Xbox. A crystal colored Xbox was also released to mark the consoles 2 year anniversary.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

Consoles and other devices
Development kits Xbox Alpha Tower IXbox Alpha Tower IIXbox Development KitXbox 360 Development KitXbox One Development Kit
Sixth generation XboxBundles
Seventh generation Xbox 360Xbox 360 SXbox 360 EBundles
Eighth generation Xbox OneXbox One SXbox One XXbox One S All-Digital EditionBundles
Ninth generation Xbox Series XXbox Series S
Limited Edition List of Limited Edition Xbox consolesXbox Launch Team editionConker Reloaded Xbox Limited EditionLimited Edition Halo: Combat Evolved XboxLimited Edition Mountain Dew XboxLimited Edition Grand Theft Auto IV Xbox 360
Cancelled Xbox PrototypeUnreleased Limited Edition Halo XboxXbox Watch
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