History of video games/Platforms/Xbox

History edit

Microsoft Building 17 in 2005, part of the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington.

Development edit

Xbox logotype.

Internal Affairs edit

Development of the original Xbox was started in February 1998 as the DirectX box by a four person team at Microsoft.[1][2][3] The announcement that the PlayStation 2 would attempt to double as a personal computer which could run an optional Linux based operating system was a potentially galvanizing factor for Microsoft to pursue game console development.[4] Though this stance would soften over the following decade, at the time Microsoft leadership considered Linux based operating systems a serious and significant threat to Microsoft's place in the market.[5][6] Though ultimately relatively few users of the PlayStation 2 would attempt to do this, it would be a crucial factor that lead Microsoft to enter the market.

Development teams for the console were very competitive with one another, and some working on the console called the project the "Coffin Box" as they assumed it would fail.[4] There was significant friction between other divisions of Microsoft and the Xbox team at the time, and the Xbox team would work outside the primary Microsoft Campus.[7][4] Though internal politics nearly sunk the console, Steve Ballmer, the newly appointed CEO of Microsoft, would save the project from being shuttered.[4][7] This would prove to be something of a trend, as Ballmer would spend significant political capital as CEO to save the next two following Xbox consoles from being shuttered or otherwise ruined by internal decisions.[8][9]

Because other colors designers markers were commonly borrowed, the logo was sketched with a green marker, leading to the green color identity of the console.[10][11][12]

Promotion and Partnerships edit

Launching a major new console successfully required significant investments and partnerships, which the software giant Microsoft was able to muster. A budget of $500 million dollars was set up to promote the Xbox.[13] Microsoft acquired Bungie in 2000 for $30 million dollars, including projects in development such as Oni and future system seller Halo.[14][1] Isao Okawa, the chairman of Sega, petitioned Bill Gates to add Dreamcast compatibility to the Xbox as Sega prepared to leave the hardware business, though this functionality was ultimately not added.[15] Still, Sega and Microsoft became strong partners, with Sega agreeing to produce several games as Xbox exclusives.[16] Microsoft also attempted to partner with Nintendo, who's American offices were also based in the Seattle metropolitan area, but these talks did not go far.[17] Additional partnerships attempted included Midway and Square.[4] An interesting partnership was attempted to acquire the Bleem! Emulator, which would have given the Xbox the ability to play PlayStation 1 games through software emulation, though this deal fell through.[18]

Early publications speculated that AMD would likely supply the Xbox CPU, before Intel was announced as the supplier.[19][20]

Prototype Development edit

The prototype Xbox hardware was vastly different from the production console, and is notable for its bold futuristic design which was unlike any console seen before it. The prototype demonstrated at GDC 2000 was actually shaped like an X with a silver colored metallic milled aluminum.[21][22] Mainly due to the expense of the case, each of these functioning prototypes cost $18,000 USD to manufacture.[21] Prototype Xbox controllers included a screen, similar to the Sega Dreamcast but distinct in its own way.[23]

Not all the futuristic touches of the prototype Xbox units were discarded on production. The unique dashboard of the original Xbox used public domain sounds from the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon as background noise.[24][25]

Launch edit

The Duke controller, an infamously large controller for an infamously large console.

The Microsoft Xbox was released on November 15th, 2001 at a cost of $299.[26][27] Over a million Xbox consoles sold in the first three weeks on the market in North America, though the system struggled in Japan and Europe.[1] The Xbox Live online gaming service was launched nearly a year later in November of 2002.[28]

By 2003 the Xbox was struggling so much in the Japanese market that it was being outsold by the previous generation PlayStation 1.[29]

Legacy edit

The Xbox was followed by the Xbox 360, which was first released in late 2005. At launch the Xbox 360 supported limited backwards compatibility with original Xbox games via software emulation.[30]

The Xbox was discontinued in 2009, having sold 24 million consoles.[2] Shortly afterwards, on April 15, 2010 support for Xbox Live on the original Xbox ended.[31] The last multiplayer game of Halo 2 on the original Xbox Live service actually ended some time later, as a group of players known as the Noble 14 continued to game on as one by one their connections were slowly severed.[32] Nearly a month later, on May 10th, 2010 just before 11PM in the Pacific Time Zone, the final member of Noble 14 was removed from the game.[33]

The Kodi Media Player was originally created as the unofficial Xbox Media Center (XBMC) for the Xbox in 2004.[34][35] By the late 2010's Kodi was a significant media player in its own right, and its popularity attracted significant media attention.[36][37][38] In 2018, Kodi would see an official release on the newer Xbox One console.[39][40]

Technology edit

When looking at specifications alone the original Xbox is deceptively similar to a standard PC of the time. Yet in practice the Xbox has notable architectural differences from a standard PC, especially in regards to software.[41][42]

A Pentium-III CPU from an original Xbox.

The original Xbox uses a modified Intel Pentium III CPU clocked at 733 megahertz.[42][43] An Xbox NVIDIA GeForce 3 derived GPU clocked at 250 megahertz is integrated into the northbridge.[42][43] The Xbox has 64 mebibytes of shared RAM.[42][43] As a result of it's compute resources, the original Xbox was quite powerful for its time and was capable of 20 gigaflops of performance.[44]

The internal IDE hard drive of the original Xbox held 8 gigabytes of data.[45][42] No major console before the Xbox had such a massive included storage drive, and following consoles would often follow by including large internal storage as standard. The Xbox also had an IDE interface DVD drive.[42]

Xbox Controllers connect over USB 1.1 with a unique physical connector.[42] The Xbox has a built in 100 megabit ethernet port for high speed networking.[42] This was not a standard feature this generation, and gave the Xbox an edge when rolling out online services.

Notable Games edit

2001 edit

The 2001 Launch Team Edition Console, signed by Bill Gate

Shrek edit

Shrek for the original Xbox is notable for it's use of deferred lighting,[46] being among the first games to do so.

Read more about the video game Shrek on Wikipedia.

2002 edit

Whacked! edit

Party game.

Read more about Whacked! on Wikipedia.

ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth edit

Read more about ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth on Wikipedia.

Gunvalkyrie edit

A game that had initially been planned to launch on the Dreamcast.

Read more about Gunvalkyrie on Wikipedia.

2003 edit

2004 edit

Xbox display at Minho Campus Party 2004.

2005 edit

2006 edit

Gallery edit

Consoles edit

Controllers and Accessories edit

Console Internals edit

External Resources edit

References edit

  1. a b c Gurwin, Gabe. "The history of the Xbox". www.digitaltrends.com. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  2. a b "The Story Behind the Xbox". PCMAG. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  3. "GameSpy.com - Article". web.archive.org. 21 June 2006. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  4. a b c d e "Xbox: The Oral History of an American Video Game Empire" (in en). Bloomberg.com. 6 January 2021. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-01-06/xbox-the-oral-history-of-an-american-video-game-empire. 
  5. Lea, Graham. "MS' Ballmer: Linux is communism" (in en). www.theregister.com. https://www.theregister.com/2000/07/31/ms_ballmer_linux_is_communism/. 
  6. Tung, Liam. "Ballmer: I may have called Linux a cancer but now I love it" (in en). ZDNet. https://www.zdnet.com/article/ballmer-i-may-have-called-linux-a-cancer-but-now-i-love-it/. 
  7. a b Foley, Mary Jo. "Microsoft's Xbox: What's Ballmer got to do with it?" (in en). ZDNet. https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-xbox-whats-ballmer-got-to-do-with-it/. 
  8. Gralla, Preston (19 November 2013). "Steve Balmer's farewell message to Microsoft shareholders: Save Bing and Xbox" (in en). Computerworld. https://www.computerworld.com/article/2475507/steve-balmer-s-farewell-message-to-microsoft-shareholders--save-bing-and-xbox.html. 
  9. "Former Microsoft Executive Says Steve Ballmer Saved Xbox Brand During Xbox 360 RRoD Saga - MSPoweruser". https://mspoweruser.com/former-microsoft-executive-says-steve-ballmer-saved-xbox-brand-during-xbox-360-rrod-saga/. 
  10. "The origin story of the Xbox's green branding" (in en-CA). Destructoid. 7 July 2015. https://www.destructoid.com/the-origin-story-of-the-xboxs-green-branding/. 
  11. "Xbox Creator Reveals Origin of Why Xbox Branding is Green - Podcast Unlocked - IGN" (in en). https://www.ign.com/videos/2015/07/07/xbox-creator-reveals-origin-of-why-xbox-branding-is-green-podcast-unlocked. 
  12. "Why was the Xbox logo green? Coworkers took every other color marker the artist had". TechnoBuffalo. 9 July 2015. https://www.technobuffalo.com/why-was-the-xbox-logo-green-coworkers-took-every-other-color-marker-the-artist-had. 
  13. "The Future of Console Gaming". www.gamezero.com. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  14. Ho, Jennifer. "Microsoft acquires Bungie" (in en). ZDNet. https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-acquires-bungie/. Retrieved 25 October 2020. 
  15. "Xbox Almost Played Dreamcast Games The Escapist". v1.escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  16. "Sega And Microsoft Announce New Partnership" (in en). www.gamasutra.com. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/91801/Sega_And_Microsoft_Announce_New_Partnership.php. 
  17. Farokhmanesh, Megan (6 January 2021). "Nintendo once laughed Xbox execs out of the room over a Microsoft acquisition offer" (in en). The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/6/22217027/nintendo-xbox-microsoft-acquisition. 
  18. Hosie, Ewen (11 December 2017). "The history of bleem!" (in en). Eurogamer. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-12-11-the-history-of-bleem. 
  19. "Microsoft va défier Sony sur les consoles de jeu" (in fr). Le Monde.fr. 11 March 2000. https://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article/2000/03/11/microsoft-va-d-eacute-fier-sony-sur-les-consoles-de-jeu_46036_1819218.html. 
  20. "Microsoft introduces console gaming system - Mar. 10, 2000". money.cnn.com. https://money.cnn.com/2000/03/10/technology/xbox/. 
  21. a b Yin-Poole, Wesley (1 July 2018). "The original Xbox prototype is alive and kicking" (in en). Eurogamer. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-07-01-the-original-xbox-prototype-is-alive-and-kicking. 
  22. Good, Owen S. (1 July 2018). "Whatever happened to the Xbox’s original prototype?" (in en). Polygon. https://www.polygon.com/2018/7/1/17523100/original-xbox-prototype-aluminum-x-gdc-2000. 
  23. "Original Xbox Controller Prototypes Look Like Dreamcast Tears" (in en-us). Kotaku. https://kotaku.com/original-xbox-controller-prototypes-look-like-dreamcast-1782784916. Retrieved 27 October 2020. 
  24. "Fun Fact". Twitter. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  25. "Fun Fact". Twitter. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  26. "Microsoft launches Xbox - Nov. 15, 2001". money.cnn.com. https://money.cnn.com/2001/11/15/technology/xbox/. Retrieved 28 October 2020. 
  27. "Video game:Microsoft Xbox Beyond Good and Evil - Microsoft". Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  28. "Video game:Xbox Shrek - Microsoft". Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  29. "Japan Charts: GameCube outsells PS2 as key RPG title rolls out" (in en). GamesIndustry.biz. https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/japan-charts-gamecube-outsells-ps2-as-key-rpg-title-rolls-out. 
  30. "212 Xbox titles to work on Xbox 360 at launch" (in en). Eurogamer. 14 November 2005. https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/news141105xboxback. 
  31. "Microsoft to kill Xbox Live support for original Xbox games on April 15". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  32. "The Last Man to Play Halo 2 on Xbox Live" (in en-us). Kotaku. https://kotaku.com/the-last-man-to-play-halo-2-on-xbox-live-5535672. 
  33. Terdiman, Daniel. "Last Halo 2 player finally leaves Xbox Live". CNET. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  34. "A short history of Kodi". Ting.com. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  35. "How the Original XBOX started a Media Player revolution - The Story of KODI". Retrieved 14 November 2020. {{cite web}}: Text "MVG" ignored (help)
  36. "What Is Kodi?" (in en). PCMAG. https://www.pcmag.com/news/what-is-kodi. 
  37. Kamen, Matt (3 May 2017). "What is Kodi and is it legal? A beginner's guide to the home media server". Wired UK. https://www.wired.co.uk/article/kodi-how-to-beginners-guide. 
  38. "How to manage your media with Kodi" (in en). Opensource.com. https://opensource.com/article/19/1/manage-your-media-kodi. 
  39. "How to get started with Kodi on Xbox One". Windows Central. 30 January 2018. https://www.windowscentral.com/how-use-kodi-xbox-one. 
  40. "How to install and set up Kodi on Xbox One" (in en). TechRadar. https://www.techradar.com/how-to/how-to-install-kodi-on-xbox-one. 
  41. "The Current State of Original Xbox Emulation on the PC MVG - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  42. a b c d e f g h "Xbox Architecture A Practical Analysis". Rodrigo's Stuff. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  43. a b c "Xbox System Info". www.vgmuseum.com. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  44. "Console GPU Power Compared: Ranking Systems By FLOPS". GameSpot. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  45. "A Brief and Abbreviated History of Gaming Storage – Techbytes". Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  46. "Indie Game Jam 2 / Ebi Flip (PC) 2004". web.archive.org. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2021.