Microsoft Xbox

Microsoft Xbox
The Microsoft Xbox is a sixth generation era video game console first released on November 15, 2001 in North America and Puerto Rico , then released on February 22, 2002 in Japan, and on March 14, 2002 in Europe. The Xbox was Microsoft’s first independent venture into the video game console arena, after having developed the operating system and development tools for the MSX, and having collaborated with Sega in porting Windows CE to the Sega Dreamcast console. Notable launch titles for the console include Halo: Combat Evolved, Amped, Dead or Alive 3 and Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee.

The Xbox was initially developed within Microsoft by a small team which included Seamus Blackley, a game developer and high energy physicist. The rumors of a video game console being developed by Microsoft first emerged at the end of 1999 following interviews of Bill Gates. Gates said that a gaming/multimedia device was essential for multimedia convergence in the new times of digital entertainment. On March 10, 2000 the “X-box Project” was officially confirmed by Microsoft with a Press Release.

Some see the Xbox as a way to capitalize on the growing video game market, noting that the PC market growth was stagnating after the dot-com bust. According to the book Smartbomb, by Heather Chaplin and Aaron Ruby, the remarkable success of the upstart Sony PlayStation worried Microsoft in late 1990s. The growing video game market seemed to threaten the PC market which Microsoft had dominated and relied upon for most of its revenues. As well, a venture into the gaming console market would also diversify Microsoft’s product line, which up to that time had been heavily concentrated into software.

Xbox presented a standardized alternative to the near-endless variety of end-user configurations on the PC. The Xbox even brought high-end gaming technology to the mainstream, sporting a top of the line GeForce 3 equivalent graphics processor, a built-in Ethernet adapter, and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound in hardware.

However, the Xbox is not without it’s downsides. For one, the device is large and bulky, which creates tripping hazards. Some people also do not like the cost of using the online service, Xbox Live. They argue that other companies offer similar programs that are cheaper or for free.