The Xbox was released in North America on November 15, 2001, and worldwide by early 2002. While not able to challenge the PS2 in terms of sales, the Xbox successfully catered to the teenage crowd thanks to excellent FPS games like Halo, and Xbox ultimately surpassed the GameCube by selling about 24 million units.
The Xbox (2001). Online play finally became mainstream
Interestingly, one of the main characteristics that made Microsoft’s first venture into the hardware video game sector a success was the same one that wasn’t able to save the Dreamcast: online play. In just a few years, Internet penetration and usage increased tremendously and, while the Dreamcast had only a slow dial-up modem,the Xbox was broadband-ready. The Xbox Live service was launched in 2002 and showed that many players really loved to challenge and to cooperate with each other online, pushing Sony and Nintendo to take steps in that direction.
This generation of consoles, besides the even higher quality and scope of games,also fostered new growth across the whole industry. Producing games became an even more serious affair—teams expanded and budgets grew accordingly, with the average title employing at least 20 people with budgets of a few million dollars while top titles could reach up to $20 million.
The difference from a PC is that an Xbox can only originally run Xbox programs from Microsoft proprietary media on DVD, which can only be read by the Xbox DVD player.
The console, whose main competitors are Sony’s PlayStation 2, Nintendo’s Gamecube and Sega’s Dreamcast, is part of the sixth generation.
The console has a catalog of over 825 games, with series like Halo, Star Wars and Fable. The last Xbox game, released only in the United States in 2008, is Madden NFL 09.
The main processor is an Intel Pentium III Coppermine, clocked at 733 MHz and with 128 KB of cache. The processor is soldered to the motherboard; this helped optimize the console API for this processor and speed up performance.
The console has 64 MB of unified RAM (shared by the various components) using DDR technology. Unified memory allows developers to choose for themselves the amount of memory they want to allocate to different parts of their application (program, sound, image, video, etc.). Generally consoles have three types of memory, each specializing in one area.
The graphics processor is manufactured by Nvidia. Its name is NV2a. This GPU is a modified GeForce 3. This graphics card allows Pixel Shading, Vertex Shading, it can apply Anti-aliasing, it manages Bump-mapping and Multi-texturing. The sound system is also manufactured by Nvidia. It is capable of generating digital spatial sound (in “three dimensions”) using Dolby Digital 5.1 (AC3) technologies.
Xbox calculates between 115 million and 125 million polygons per second. In real time, the game console can display between 8 and 15 million polygons per second, making it the most powerful sixth generation console3.
DVD is the primary medium for Xbox games. It can play DVDs if it is equipped with the remote control and the infrared adapter (which plugs into a controller port). There are four brands of readers according to the years of production: Thomson, Samsung, Philips, LG-Hitachi, with two different versions for the Samsung and Philips.
Peripheral devices :
The Xbox has 4 controller ports. These controller ports are modified USB ports where accessories such as steering wheels, remote controls, and USB keys and keyboards can be connected
- Controllers, to control the console and play games
- Memory cards, inserted in the controller, to carry the backups
- DVD remote control + infrared receiver
- The headset
- Ethernet cables
- Ruffles for racing games
- Arcade sticks
Xbox Live :
Xbox is the 1st console compatible with Xbox Live. Also called Live or XBL, this online game service created by Microsoft allows you to connect the console to the Internet. It was released in late 2002 in the United States and then in March 2003 in Europe. It allows players from all over the world to compete on compatible games. Xbox Live can also be used to download content (free or paid) or demos, and to purchase full games.
Halo was, is, and will be the most memorable gaming experience to me for a long time