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Xbox (console)

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"Life is short. Play more."
Developer: Microsoft
Release Date: NA: November 15, 2001
JP: February 22, 2002
PAL: March 14, 2002
KOR: August 1, 2002
Successor: Xbox 360
Competitors: PlayStation 2
Nintendo GameCube
Generation: Sixth generation
Discontinued: JP: June 4, 2006
EU: March 11, 2007
NA: March 2, 2009
Xbox DVD Movie Playback Kit

The Xbox is Microsoft's first entry in the video gaming console market and was released in 2001. It competed against the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Dreamcast during its lifetime. It was succeeded by the Xbox 360 in 2005. It was discontinued first in Japan on June 4, 2006, in Europe on March 11, 2007, and in North America on March 2, 2009.

The Xbox was the strongest console of its generation, ahead of the GameCube.

Hardware specifications

  • CPU: Custom 733 MHz Intel Pentium III "Coppermine-based" processor
  • Memory: 64 MB of DDR SDRAM @ 200 MHz
  • Storage:
    • Hard drives: 8 or 10 GB
    • Memory cards: 8 MB
  • Display: 480i (RCA), 480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i (High Definition AV Pack / component)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 3-based NV2A GPU @ 233 MHz
  • Media: DVD, CD

Why It Plays More

  1. The Xbox revolutionized online gaming with Xbox Live, a fee-based service released in 2002. It enabled gamers to download new content and unlike the GameCube, Dreamcast, and PlayStation 2. In fact, the Xbox had an integrated Ethernet port. Xbox Live supported the original Xbox until April 15, 2010, though there is a group of developers that are working on a project called Insignia to bring it back.
  2. It is the first console to include a built-in hard drive (8 GB) for save files and music. If you have experience, you can upgrade the console with an SSD.
  3. It introduced the Halo, Fable, and Forza franchises.
  4. It introduced Xbox Live Arcade in 2004, one of the first online marketplaces for digital games on consoles.
  5. It was the most powerful video gaming console of its generation, because of this it has many console-exclusive games while some games, such as the Splinter Cell series, had inferior versions made for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube. Besides that, it was also very easy to program for, as the console shares much in common with an ordinary x86 based PC.
  6. Re-released many PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, and GameCube games (such as the first two Fatal Frame and Grand Theft Auto games) and added extra content that those versions didn't have as well, such as improved graphics.
  7. Most multi-platform games run really well on the Xbox during that generation. Games like Black, which bring the PlayStation 2 to its limits, run effortlessly on Xbox.
  8. Around 1000 games were released for the system.
  9. Just like the PlayStation 2, it can play music on CDs and movies on DVDs, though watching DVDs requires the DVD peripheral to be plugged into a controller port and a remote.
    • You can even rip songs from your CD's and make your own mixtape. Some games even allow using your mixtape as the soundtrack.
  10. Home video distributors could put Xbox game demos on their DVDs. One example is the 2004 Star Wars trilogy DVD set, which included a demo of Star Wars: Battlefront on the bonus disc.
  11. Some commercials of this console were pretty funny such as the banned Life is Short commercial, and the Dark Master skits from the demos menu of some games.
  12. The controller has ports where you insert memory cards or a headphone adapter for voice chat.
  13. Awesome user interface.
  14. Speaking of controllers, the redesigned controller S is surprisingly comfortable and fit into smaller hands too unlike the original Duke controller.
  15. Controller cables utilized breakaway dongles to help reduce damage to the console: in case someone tripped on the controller cable, the cable would easily break off of the console instead of pulling the console and possibly have it fall to the floor.
  16. The startup intro is still amazing 20 years later.
    • The DVD intro used for any other console or DVD player (notably the PS2) is even more hilarious.
  17. It was the first console to have HD and widescreen support, though the HD support was removed in PAL regions.
  18. Due to its power advantage, it can be modded to play almost any console released before it. Besides that, you can turn it into a little home theater PC with XBMC!
  19. The console along with its games are surprisingly dirt cheap nowadays, which is great for collectors or people that just want to play Xbox games, especially in Japan, where you can find one at a Hard Off (recycle store that is home to lots of used electronic devices, particularly video game consoles) for only ¥1000, which is roughly $10.
  20. Games made by Microsoft Game Studios have game demos and trailers packed in them, which is a great gift planner.
  21. Many games have Dolby Digital 5.1 support and some have 16.9 support.

Bad Qualities

  1. The original controller for the system was too large for many gamers hands, which gained the controller nicknames such as "Fatty" and later the "Duke". The controller that replaced it, the "Controller S", was interestingly the standard controller for the Japanese market. The Duke has received a cult following, having a improved controller by Hyperkin that works with Windows 10 and Xbox One. It even plays the original intro when you tap the Xbox button.
  2. The S controller unfortunately moved the start and back buttons to the left side while the Duke has them in the middle where they should be, this made reaching and pushing them very uncomfortable.
  3. Both the Duke and S controllers only have two analog triggers and black and white buttons instead of shoulder buttons. The successor Xbox 360 controller replaced the black and white buttons with two shoulder buttons above the triggers, and made it much easier to control certain games.
    • You can use a PS2/360 to Xbox controller converter to play Xbox games with a PS2/360 controller.
  4. There wasn't a "mascot character" associated with the console. Microsoft had Blinx: The Time Sweeper as an attempt to get a mascot but the franchise didn't last long due to lack of popularity and sales. Over time, however, Master Chief from the Halo series would become the unofficial mascot for the Xbox brand.
  5. You can't use a controller when watching DVDs and have to use an Xbox remote and receiver to watch them and use the menus or else the Xbox will refuse to boot them. The remote quality is low and has no power and eject buttons (unlike the PS2 remote which eventually had a revision that added said buttons, the Xbox remote never got them), and all of the buttons feel loose and wobbly. Luckily these aren't too hard or expensive to find.
  6. Many early Xbox consoles tend to break down easily due to the cheap clock capacitor inside leaking acid which corrodes the motherboard.
  7. As mentioned below, it didn't do well in Japan, as the Japanese only bought it for the Dead or Alive games.
  8. The faceplate can come off easily when dropped from a tall height.
  9. This is the first console to have paid online multiplayer which, unfortunately, had Sony and Nintendo do the same thing two generations later.
  10. The infamous creepy voices that can be heard from Xbox Dashboard
  11. The console has been renamed as Xbox Original in order to avoid confusion with the Xbox One, but this may make it harder for people to find an Original Xbox for sale.


While it lost to the PlayStation 2 by a huge margin, the Xbox sold an acceptable 24 million units and was very popular in North America, enough to get a successor, the Xbox 360. It even outsold the Nintendo GameCube, which had 21.74 million units sold. Despite its popularity in the West, however, it and the entirety of the Xbox brand for that matter, sold very poorly in Japan.

The Xbox is considered the Atari of the 21st century because it was the only American console brand which debuted in the 21st century.


  • To some extent, the Xbox can be considered the successor to the Dreamcast, to the point that the console's hardware design was strongly inspired by the Dreamcast. In fact, Sega initially negotiated with Microsoft to make the Xbox backwards compatible with the Dreamcast. That didn't happen though, instead, the Xbox got many games that were intended to be made for the Dreamcast prior to its discontinuation. The Duke controller also shares some similarities to the Dreamcast controller.
  • Despite the Duke controller's negative reception from critics, it was loved by older gamer's and collectors and it's still a decent controller to start an xbox collection with. It was later remade as a Xbox One and Windows 10 controller by Hyperkin.
  • The name "Xbox" was derived from "DirectX Box" which was a reference to Microsoft's graphics API, DirectX.
  • The creation of the first Xbox (and of the Xbox brand as a whole) has an interesting history behind it: Microsoft's then CEO Bill Gates saw that the upcoming PlayStation 2 would threaten and kill consumer interest in the Windows PC market. So Gates then assigned a team from Microsoft's DirectX division to make a console that would run off of their DirectX technology. The final result was the first Xbox console.
  • While in development, the Xbox was codenamed 'Project Midway', which is a reference to the famous Battle of Midway during WWII, where America strategically beat Imperial Japanese forces.
    • The codename was a representation of how Microsoft wanted to surpass Sony in the home console market (which, ironically, they have yet to do so).
  • The original Xbox actually uses a stripped-down for gameplay version of Windows 2000.
  • An variant of the Xbox was made by Sega for arcade systems called the Chihiro which is the successor to the Naomi, which was the arcade variant of the Dreamcast. There are 3 Chihiro games that the discs can be played on an Xbox if it's modded and the console is modded to have 128 MB RAM. The games are Ghost Squad, Outrun 2 SP, and Virtua Cop 3.



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