Initial Announcement And Content Acquisitions
Gates first publicly mentioned the Xbox in an interview in late 1999, stating that he wanted the system “to be the platform of choice for the best and most creative game developers in the world”. It was later announced officially by Gates in a keynote presentation at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose on March 10, 2000, showing off an early prototype build of the system and a series of demos showcasing its hardware. The presentation and the new system were well-received, impressing developers with both the hard drive and the Ethernet port and appealing to them with the notion of easy-to-use development tools.
Microsoft began looking at a series of acquisitions and partnerships to secure content for the console at this time. In early 2000, Sega’s Dreamcast sales were diminishing, in part due to Electronic Arts‘ decision to bypass the console, and Sony’s PlayStation 2 was just going on sale in Japan. Gates was in talks with Sega’s late chairman Isao Okawa about the possibility of Xbox compatibility with Dreamcast games, but negotiations fell apart over whether the Dreamcast’s SegaNet online service should be implemented. Microsoft also looked to acquire Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Square Enix, and Midway without success. The company did achieve success in convincing developers at Bethesda Game Studios and Tecmo about the power of the Xbox over the PS2, lining up The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and Dead or Alive 3 as Xbox console-exclusives.
Pc Perks In The Living Room
While Microsoft makes you pay to unlock some features, it does include some PC-like ones that can’t be found in competing systems. First, there’s a built-in Ethernet adapter for broadband multiplayer gaming, regardless of whether you’re using a cable modem, DSL or an office LAN. For an extra $50, you can buy Microsoft’s Xbox Live Starter Kit, which allows you to play games online free for a year. Several, but not all, titles are Xbox Live-enabled.
Back then, not everyone had broadband. You might have had to go to your office to use broadband. So it was one of those things where Microsoft was really thinking of the future. Yes, there were online game services before, Compuserve or nonsense like that, and the Dreamcast had a 56k modem. At first Xbox Live was free — it was like Microsoft was saying, “Your first taste is free. Just try it out and see what you think.” And then it started adding features and eventually said, if you want to play multiplayer, this is what you need. And by that point, the company justified it by making it a more robust experience. It realized the future is in owning the network that supports everything.
Some Weird Contingency Plans
When we watch something like E3 we often dont think about all the things that could go wrong during a showcase. Most of the time, products are still in their developmental stages when they are presented. This means that companies are well aware that anything could go wrong with the system they are presenting at any moment.
At E3, Microsoft had a backup player underneath the stage during the presentation.
In those days and even now, its not uncommon to have a employee follow along with the gameplay in order to ensure a seamless switch if something go wrong. The particular position of the employee during the companys Xbox launch was due to the fact that they didnt have any place backstage where the employee could watch the gameplay. Even with this in place, the company also employed the use of pre-recorded demos as a second backup option.
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Sony Playstation Targets Living Rooms
Sony entered the video game market with a different strategy than Nintendo and Sega: It wanted to take over the living room.
Ironically, Sony had sought a deal with Nintendo to create a new Super Nintendo with a CD drive that would play games and music discs. When Nintendo spurned Sony, the electronics company opted to go it alone.
Ken Kutaragi, known as the father of the PlayStation, wanted to take video games from “a flat 2D environment” into “360-degree ‘space’,” he told USA TODAY in 2015. That goal to “develop and adopt state-of-the-art technology that is forward-looking for a gaming console” was meant to change the image of video games from that of toys to high-end entertainment.
The first PlayStation would play CDs, the PS2 played DVDs and the PlayStation 3, launched in 2006, played all of those discs and new high resolution movies on Blu-ray discs, a format developed by Sony along with other electronics companies, including Panasonic, Pioneer, LG and Samsung.
“Sony, given its background in consumer electronics and physical media distribution, was able to position the console as a DVD player early on, and a Blu-Ray player as well,” said P. J. McNealy, an analyst and consultant at Digital World Research.
The Metal Gear games and the Grand Theft Auto series, which gained a following on PlayStation, continued “to redefine the boundaries of the art form,” Bellamy said.
A New Toy And A New Look
In both 2009 and 2010, June proved to be an important month for the 360. First, the motion- and voice-control peripheral that would eventually become Kinect was announced in June 2009 at that years E3 convention. Originally labeled Project Natal , the device was expected to revolutionize the way 360 owners interacted with both their console and the media connected with it. The Kinect arrived on shelves in November of that year.
One year after the Kinect was announced, Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 would be getting a major redesign, with a thinner body, upgraded internal specs, additional USB ports, and built-in Wi-Fi. The Xbox 360 S hit shelves a few days later on June 18, 2010.
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When Did The Original Xbox Come Out
We want you to know that Microsoft was well known for its games even before getting into the console market. Some of the more memorable ones include Solitaire, which we have all played on PC at some point in our lifetime. But when Microsoft planned to come into the video game console business, many doubted Microsofts chances to compete in that market. And thats where we get our answer on When Did The Original Xbox Come Out which is November 15, 2001.
Microsoft Lost Billions Of Dollars
The first generation Xbox cost Microsoft a whopping $4 to $6 billion dollars before it was discontinued in North America in 2009. Microsoft halted its sales in Japan even before that. Because the consoles game catalog was not suitable for Japanese audiences. While Microsoft planned to ship at least 5 million consoles to Japan, the console could only sell 472,992 units in the country.
Microsoft announced Xbox 360 on May 12, 2005, and released the next-generation video game consoles a couple of months later. While Xbox 360 made its debut in November 2005, the production of the original Xbox console went on for years. The software colossus had discontinued shipping to Japan in 2006 and the EU in 2007 before finally stopping it altogether in 2009.
The retail price of the console was $300 but it cost Microsoft $425 to manufacture a single unit. So the original Xbox actually caused a massive financial loss for Microsoft. That being said, with the power of Xbox Live, the video game console became a solid competitor in the market. Even though Microsoft lost billions of dollars because of it, the original Xbox did bring a legend into life. It also provided a foundation for its successor to rise.
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For The Fans: Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition
Microsoft first discussed the Xbox One X at E3 2016, under its codename, “Project Scorpio.” Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition pays homage to this journey, with a limited edition console design sporting the branding. The most outstanding trait of the console is its two-tone gray and black gradient, with sharp green text above the disc tray. A unique Xbox One controller design and an official vertical stand also ship with this bundle.
The First Xbox Controllers
The original Xbox came with two different controllers. Due to its hefty size, the first controller design was called The Duke.
While Microsoft wanted to go with a more subtle design, they could not get an agreement with the company that worked on DualShock. The company did release a smaller controller for Japanese auditions and called it Controller S.
After the popular demand focusing on Controller S, Microsoft replaced the initial design and started offering the console with the new design. Though the production of the Duke was not halted completely and the controller remained on the market for some time.
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Xbox Series X And Series S Controller
The fourth generation Xbox Controller doesn’t change much from the Xbox One controller, but the new wireless Xbox Controller does add a capture and share button, a hybrid d-pad, and better gripping on the bumpers and triggers. The controller is also promised to be cross compatible with certain PC’s and mobile devices.
Your Turn: A Brief History Of Microsoft And The Xbox
Microsoft was started in April of 1975 by William Henry “Bill” Gates III and Paul Allen. The company, which is still the largest software producer in the world, started its domination of the PC operating system market with MS DOS in the early 1980s. However, Microsoft actually started out developing BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800.
Before Microsoft got into the console market, they were well known for games. Some of the more memorable ones include Solitaire, which we have all played on PC at some point, and was originally included to teach people how to use a mouse . Microsoft Flight Simulator was, and still is, a very popular program with aviation aficionados. Bill Gates himself even programmed a game for early PC DOS called ‘Donkey’. It was a vertical driving game where you avoided donkeys. It . . . wasn’t very good.
The console that started it all for Microsoft, the original Xbox.
It wasn’t until the 21st Century that Microsoft wanted to develop its very own console.
The Xbox was launched it the US on November 15th 2001, then Japan, Europe and Australia in early 2002. Originally titled the ‘DirectX Box’, it was the first American-made console since the Atari Jaguar in the mid-90s. It was also the first console to have a built-in hard drive. It was primarily designed to compete with the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, and GameCube.
The last game released for the original Xbox was Madden NFL ’09 and the best-selling game was, of course, Halo 2.
What are yours?
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Video Games Continue Online Migration
Sony and Microsoft offered games you could buy and download without needing to go to a retailer. “Each created the concept of a ‘store’ and because each had to develop capacity for digital downloads, they created an opportunity for independent developers to be discovered,” Pachter said.
Beyond that, “the PlayStation Store demystified digital distribution for a generation of game players,” Bellamy said.
Sony began offering its PlayStation Plus subscription in 2010, with discounts on new games, free trials and access to online gaming.
Since then, Sony and Microsoft have launched cloud gaming subscriptions akin to a Netflix for video games that let you play from a library of games. PlayStation Now, launched in 2014, has more than 2.2 million. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass has gained more than 15 million subscribers in its three years.
“Microsoft was the first to show the value proposition of an online service in Xbox Live, and now they’re ahead of the pack doing it again with its subscription service with Xbox GamePass,” McNealy said. “While there will be plenty of focus on number of console units sold, the battle is shifted to online usage and commerce numbers, and subscriptions will be a big part of it over this console cycle.”
“Subscriptions will enable new offerings for consumers who might find spending $300-$500 on a console challenging given the economic environment,” McNealy said.
Block By Block: Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition
Drawing massive inspiration from Microsoft’s blocky adventure game, the Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition console provides a look plucked straight out of the game’s world. Designed with a pixelated pattern resembling the game’s grass block, you’ll find few consoles as easily identifiable as this. On the rear, a transparent plate reveals a pattern of redstone workings, alongside an accompanying “Creeper” controller and custom sounds for hardware buttons.
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Where It Started: Xbox One
It’s big, bulky, and gets the job done. The original Xbox One may not be pretty, but it laid the foundation for the console generation. With a black glossy finish, the original Xbox One was designed to fit straight in your home entertainment center, after a strong push for its media capabilities. The console was also sold exclusively with the Kinect sensor at launch, priced in a $499 bundled package.
Tools Of War: Xbox One S Battlefield 1 Military Green Special Edition
Tying into the launch of Battlefield 1, Electronic Arts’ brutal First World War shooter, Microsoft released a limited edition “military green” variant of the 1TB Xbox One S. Released in bundles alongside a digital copy of the game, this console and controller duo fit right into battles across Europe.
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Second Generation: Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 was released as the successor of the original Xbox in November 2005, competing with Sony‘s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo‘s Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. As of June 2014, 84 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide. The Xbox 360 was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information divulged later that month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo . The console sold out completely upon release in all regions except in Japan. Several retail configurations of the core Xbox 360 model were offered over its lifetime, varying the amount of RAM and internal storage offered.
The Xbox 360 showed an expanded Xbox Live service , the ability to stream multimedia content from PCs, while later updates added the ability to purchase and stream music, television programs, and films through the Xbox Music and Xbox Video services, along with access to third-party content services through third-party media streaming applications. Microsoft also released Kinect, a motion control system for the Xbox 360 which uses an advanced sensor system.
The second major revision of the Xbox 360 was the Xbox 360 E, released in 2013. It featured a case style similar to the upcoming Xbox One, and eliminated one USB port and the S/PDIF, YPbPr component and S-video connections, but otherwise shared the same specifications as the Xbox 360 S.
A Merger Of Two Giants
There is no question that Bill Gates is a smart businessman. He has built an empire that continues to play a major part in computer hardware and software development and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Hed always loved gaming and so when it came time to make his own console he went to a company with knowledge for help.
Bill Gates wanted to make a console that truly bridged the gap between PC and console gaming.
Though Microsoft had a ton of experience with computers, they didnt know much about the game console market and so Bill Gates thought that partnering with a giant like Sony was the best option. Though he thought that he had a good business model to entice Sony with, the console giant turned down his proposal. From that point on he set out to crush the company, even nicknaming the console project Midway.
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Explore The City: Xbox One X Cyberpunk 2077 Limited Edition
Microsoft puts a limited-edition spin on its flagship Xbox One, featuring the same cutting-edge 4K visuals, limited to just 45,000 units worldwide. The Cyberpunk 2077 serves as an ideal accompaniment to the RPG, featuring custom laser-etched detailing, glow-in-the-dark graffiti, and LED lighting.
Spartan Of Steel: Xbox One Halo : Guardians Limited Edition
Accompanying the biggest entry to the Halo franchise on Xbox One, the Halo 5: Guardians limited edition console offers a sleek and modern finish inspired by its universe. Plated with a chrome-style design and blue highlights, the console takes direct inspiration from “Spartan Locke” and “Forerunner” architecture. The console also features custom sounds, alongside an accompanying Spartan Locke-themed controller.
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Microsoft Xbox And Its ‘halo’
In the 90s, Microsoft had a strong PC gaming studio with hits such as “Age of Empires” and “Flight Simulator.” But the company’s hardware division wanted to make it easier for consumers to play PC-quality games and connect with each other. With co-founder Bill Gates’ approval, work on what would become the Xbox began in 1998.
“I think Microsoft had a fear of missing out,” said Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat and author of two books, “Opening the Xbox” and “The Xbox 360 Uncloaked.”
“It worried that Sony and the PlayStation 2 were going to take over entertainment in the home, and that would present a threat to Microsoft’s stronghold with the PC,” Takahashi said. “So it counterattacked with the Xbox. And eventually it became less about playing defense and more about doing the right things for game developers and gamers. I think the latter approach put it on the right road to all kinds of market and financial success.”
A key to the success of Xbox, Microsoft’s acquisition of the studio Bungie, which was developing what would become the first-person shooting game “Halo: Combat Evolved,” a launch title for the original Xbox in November 2001.
The game, which starred a hero known as “Master Chief,” would grow into a franchise for subsequent Xbox consoles.
Microsoft also “discovered and unlocked the untapped talent of Western game developers, who were successful with PC and Mac games but had been left out of the console market,” Takahashi said.