The Xbox 360 Is Already 18 Years Old But It’s Still Great

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Story Highlights
  • The Xbox 360 was Microsoft’s second gaming console. It came out in November 2005 and is already 18 years old.
  • This console allowed Microsoft to become a major player in the gaming industry through Xbox Live and first-party titles like Gears of War.

The year 2005 was an exciting time for the industry. With the promise of HD gaming, Microsoft debuted its Xbox 360, which was meant to compete with the upcoming PlayStation 3 from Sony.

We still remember this legendary console like it was yesterday. However, time has flown by incredibly fast, and the console is already 18 years old this month.

Why it matters: The introduction of the console gave Microsoft a significant advantage over its competitor, Sony. While the PS2 was head and shoulders above its rivals, the Xbox 360 successfully bridged the gap through strategic advantages.

Xbox 360

With a head start over the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360 offered a new age of gaming for fans around the world in 2005.

This console marked a new age of third-party support for Microsoft. While IPs like Final Fantasy had not been on the original Xbox, which launched four years earlier, games like Final Fantasy 13 were released for the console.

This was a massive moment for the Xbox brand. Sony was also quick to let its lead slip with the initial launch of the PlayStation 3, which came with notoriously difficult architecture to program for and a much higher price.

Microsoft capitalized on these weaknesses, pushing the Xbox 360 as the mainstream console to buy. It was also ahead of the PlayStation 3 in terms of online features, with Xbox Live often being associated with the earliest days of online gaming on consoles.

In terms of exclusives, Microsoft’s first-party games were at their best this generation. The revered Halo 3 launched just two years into the generation.

Xbox 360

While it lost momentum in the later years, the Xbox 360 sold over 84 million units. As of today, it is still Microsoft’s best-selling console.

However, it came with a few downsides. The original models were infamous for hardware failure, and the company’s focus clearly shifted away from gaming during the later part of its lifecycle.

As add-ons like Kinect became more popular, Microsoft lost its desire to compete with PlayStation, which was the main factor behind its success in 2005.

I was still playing the PS2 when this console launched. However, it was breathtaking to see games like Halo 3 and Gears of War with lifelike visuals at the time.

If you want to take a trip down memory lane on the console’s 18th birthday, the system is still worth revisiting today. While Microsoft is shutting down the Xbox 360 store next year, there is plenty of time to return to it.

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