Xbox, Show History
It is that time of year again; CES, the Consumer Electronics Show is here, and with it the face of 2014’s electronic world will be on fire. Consumers will see where 10% of their pay cheque is going to go for the next several months, and others will dream of what they'll be picking up in 2015 once prices become realistic -- I am looking at you, Mr OLED.
I, however, wish to go back in-time. So please follow me into my blue box and lets journey back to 2001, to the moment that we got to see the original Xbox in all its black sardonyx glory!
Bill Gates started the new millennium by officially announcing to the world, in a roundabout way, “Sony, we’re coming for you, bro.” And he meant it. With buzz phrases such as: built-in HDD, broadband ready, online multiplayer, custom soundtracks in games, real-time Dolby-Digital support, four controller support, and Halo, Microsoft started turning heads of the gaming populous--but could break into world dominated by Hedgehogs, Bandicoots and Plumbers?
One other major play by Microsoft; they teamed with Nvidia for the graphics and audio components, bringing another powerhouse to the console market. Nvidia would go on to partner with Sony for the PlayStation 3, but Microsoft opened the door.
Jabroni, the western world can make a console!
2001: A Company’s Odyssey
It had been over half a year since Bill Gates had teased our gaming palate with the guts of the Xbox, it was time for something more, something electrifying. What better way to do that than take the hottest commodity within professional wrestling, The Rock, and get him sell the Xbox to the same level that he would sell a stone cold stunner?
After CES came E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which focuses almost exclusively on video games; it's good at it... the best even. So, we got to taste guts, see the design, and then it was time for us to set out eyes on the price and release date. North America came first, November 15th 2001, and at a respectable $299. Next came Japan, followed by Europe, in February and March 2002 respectively.
November 14th came, people started to queue outside retail outlets throughout North America. Who would be the first person to lay their hand's on Microsoft's Xbox? If you were thinking, 'Surely it will be someone who was in-line in New York, a place surround by the media, a place where Bill Gates would be so he can handover the machine and smile for the competition!' You would be correct! Here is the lucky fellow.
Oh look, a camera. Cheese!
Within the first three months of launch, the Xbox sold over 1.5 million units in North America; that feat stood the test of time. It took two gaming generations to be broken. In fact, it took until November 2013 for the record to be smashed -- Both by the Xbox One, and the direct competition, PlayStation 4.
2001 is long gone, but the road to rule is a bumpy one for Microsoft. In future articles I will continue the history of Xbox. In the mean time -- Were you an early adopter of the Xbox? Or did you avoid it like the plague? Either way, let me know in the comments below.