Xbox Embarked on Its Gaming Journey 22 Years Ago

Original Xbox Launched In 2001!

Story Highlights
  • Microsoft launched Xbox on 15 November 2001.
  • It was a direct competitor to the PS2, which was already dominating the gaming market since 2000.
  • Xbox has come a long way since its venture into the industry.

Xbox is one of the consoles competing for leadership in the gaming market, and the latest Xbox Series S/X models are performing well. This brand faced many challenges on this journey, eventually producing the world’s most powerful console and innovative subscriptions like Game Pass.

The first step toward this journey began 22 years ago. In November 2001, Microsoft launched the original Xbox, changing the gaming landscape forever.

Why it matters: This was an important first step that set the stage for future consoles, games, and innovations in the industry.  

As a new introduction to the market, Xbox immediately faced the threat of the incredibly popular PS2, which had launched one year earlier. Due to its library and utility as a DVD player, Microsoft was never a threat to Sony.

However, Xbox quickly established itself through more capable hardware and first-party shooters like Halo. This franchise changed first-person shooters on consoles as a launch title, introducing audiences to Master Chief, an icon of Xbox.

Other exclusives like Ninja Gaiden Black, Jet Set Radio, and The Elder Scrolls 4: Morrowind also demonstrated the technical capabilities that give it an edge over the PS2.

One year after the console’s release, Microsoft debuted Xbox Live. This platform would eventually become crucial to Xbox as a brand, being associated with online gaming during the massive online console gaming boom of the 7th generation.

While this system is still Microsoft’s worst-selling console, it set the company up for a much brighter future with 24 million sales.

As its successor, the Xbox 360 established the company as a household gaming brand, which would not have been possible without a strong start.

Today, Xbox has grown into a much bigger entity. As the owner of Activision Blizzard and over 13 franchises worth $1 billion, the company is aiming to expand further through its role as a publisher.

Services like Xbox Live have evolved through Game Pass, and Master Chief is still Microsoft’s gaming mascot, despite Halo’s current position in the market.

Therefore, there is little doubt that the first console was crucial to the future of Xbox, and it would not have been the same without such an incredible first hardware release from Microsoft.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

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