Console Talk – Xbox (Original)

Original Logo. The trademark “X” has become one of the most recognized logos in the world.

Fittingly enough to have talked about the PlayStation in my last console post, it just makes sense to talk about Microsoft’s own answer to the console market and reestablish America has a contender in the gaming industry. I haven’t played that much Xbox in my lifetime, but I will try my best to provide the best possible information and view about this console. Without further adieu, let’s step back nearly two decades and see how a computer company released this major home console.

Screenshot taken from Halo 2. This series has become the poster child for the Xbox brand, and it’s easy to see why.

After having seen success with video games for PC, Microsoft wanted to push the envelop further. Bill Gates had taken notice of the recently announced PlayStation 2 in 1999, which Gates saw as a threat to the PC gaming market and he needed a solution. From there, developers of DirectX, a collection of APIs used for game programming and video on Microsoft computers, put their initial talks of creating a home console in motion and Microsoft’s Xbox was released in 2001 for North America and 2002 for Europe, Japan, and Australia. The Xbox itself was extremely powerful in terms of it’s graphical capabilities, featured an on-board hard drive, and featured the use of DirectX technology, which made develop for these systems more compatible with PC development tool sets. Considering the hardware on the inside of the console was impressive, the game line didn’t fail to meet or even exceed those expectations. The Halo series was born on this console and has become of the best and most recognized franchises in gaming history. Other notable titles that released on this console were Panzer Dragoon Orta, Fable, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The Xbox immediately got the attention of gamers, as it sold over 1.5 million units on launch day, and later 24 million units worldwide. This boosted Microsoft into becoming quite the formidable company in the market for years to come.

The design of the original Xbox, both inside and out, is impressive. The choice of the green on the console was to make it appear to have some kind of “nuclear” energy, which gave the system its power.

As I stated previously, I haven’t played lots of Xbox compared to other consoles, but I have been able to play many titles hands on and seen these series grow since their introduction. I must say that the Xbox series really has shown to be a powerful console that shows the depths of how far video games have evolved. Not only that, but it really did bring more attention to American made consoles, as it was the first game console to come from the U.S. since the Atari Jaguar back in 1996. However, the Jaguar didn’t live up to the expectations that the Xbox broke since it’s release. The design of the console inside and out was incredible for it’s time and the games released on the console were truly incredible through their visuals, gameplay, story, and sound design. The fact that a company devoted to computer technology could develop a console of it’s caliber is not surprising to me, but it definitely proves that Bill Gates knows how to market what his company is capable of and the talent that his employees have to offer. At the end of the day, many things have changed since 2001, but it is apart that the Xbox consoles to come will continue to grip the interests of the gaming community and push the ceiling for where video games are headed.

Screenshot of Fable. Though this image doesn’t do the game justice, the game world, characters, and abilities looked amazing for its generation alongside the story, mechanics, and sound design.

After researching more about the console, I might think about getting an Xbox, Xbox 360, or Xbox One (maybe all three) to add to my games collection. Like I always say, there is always room for more video games!

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