Microsoft XBox

Microsoft XBox

6th Generation Competitors
Gamecube Playstation 2 Dreamcast
Region Release Date Discontinued Lifetime Sales
Japan 22nd Feb 2002 2006  24M (total)
North America 15th Nov 2001 2009
Europe 14th Mar 2002 2007

Microsoft had dabbled in the console world when they helped Sega with some of the technical aspect of their ill fated Dreamcast console, primarily licensing the rights to use Windows CE for easy porting of games.

So some engineers in the DirectX labs, the people responsible for the graphical libraries that Windows games were commonly built on, put together a prototype using old laptop parts to show the executives.

This prototype succeeded and resulted in the XBox.  Whilst the XBox wasn’t the first console with broadband (many consoles had addon’s and the Dreamcast could be purchased with the option built-in) it was certainly the first to make it standard.

The XBox also came with a built-in Hard Drive.  This allowed developers to use it to offset the (relatively) slow access speed of the DVD Drive.  It also opened up the opportunity to patch and update games, and even have DLC.

The option was so useful that it surprised pretty much everyone when the follow-up, the XBox 360, was released with an option to not have a hard drive, limiting it’s ability to be used to it’s full extent.

In the end the XBox was certainly the most powerful console of it’s generation, but due to Microsoft‘s lack of experience in the market and the general distrust for American manufacturers in Japan, it did not perform incredibly well but did manage to take second place, easily beaten by the PS2 and narrowly beating the Gamecube and the Dreamcast which had been killed early in the generation.

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