Microsoft

Xbox

Xbox

Officially released in North America on November 15, 2001, the Xbox, a sixth generation console, was released just three days before the Nintendo GameCube. Interestingly, the Xbox is perhaps most closely related to Sega's Dreamcast, despite sharing a spiritual connection with the Nintendo 64.

Microsoft cut its teeth in the console market, developing Windows CE for the Dreamcast. As Sega's sales floundered, they turned to Microsoft for help. Unfortunately, Microsoft had its eyes set on Nintendo. Shortly after Sega ceased Dreamcast production, Microsoft released the Xbox, built on many of the same principles as the Dreamcast. Online play would be a major factor in motivating sales of the Xbox. The Xbox would also be the first console to feature mature rated games and use a built-in hard drive.

Purchased new in 2007 as a Forza bundle, Our Xbox was sold as part of a Forza bundle. Revisions to the console were mostly internal attempts to prevent modding and increase reliability, though several special editions were released. The most notable change came in the form of the smaller "S" controller, which replaced the original "Duke" controller.

Games:

  • Forza Motorsports
    Full Spectrum Warrior
    Full Spectrum Warrior 2: Ten Hammers
    Halflife 2
    Halo
    Halo 2
    Yourself!Fitness

Xbox 360

Xbox 360

Officially released in North America on November 22, 2005, Microsoft's offering beat the competition. Borrowing Sony's tactic of releasing early to ensure a large user base prior to the competition's release, Microsoft's sixth generation console offered buyers two choices ($299 Core/$399 Premium). As a result, more game developers produced games for the system, which in turn drew in more customers. The early release also provided Microsoft with a chance to terminate the original Xbox a year earlier than normal. Microsoft's Game Division had worked for four years and was never able to make the Xbox profitable, a new system would provide them with a new opportunity.

To cut costs, the Xbox 360 was sold in several different configurations, allowing users to upgrade the system to suit their needs. Typically, game systems are sold at a loss, with the manufacturer relying on game and peripheral sales to make up the difference. By removing items like hard drives, wireless adapters, and wireless controllers, Microsoft started the Xbox 360 on the right business footing. To accommodate consumer concerns, regulations were passed ensuring no games required a hard drive. Additionally, downloadable games were capped in size to fit on an official Microsoft Xbox 360 memory card. Eventually though, these regulations would become suggestions that were not always followed. Despite Microsoft's attempts to control the game console market, Nintendo sidestepped the historic console king-of-the-hill fight by producing a low-power, inexpensive console with an innovative controller. It would take Microsoft five years before they could launch a competitive accessory for the Xbox 360: the Microsoft Kinect.

There have been several revisions and models of the Xbox 360. Hard drive size (or lack of hard drive) has been the biggest distinguishing factor, though revisions to manage heat issues have often driven sales among enthusiasts. We have both a Premium unit (20 GB) with the first instance of HDMI as well as a newer 120 GB Slim unit (Valhalla). The older unit has experienced the Red Ring of death, but maintains the Zephyr motherboard after Microsoft warranty repair. It was purchased new in the spring of 2008. The later unit was purchased new in the Fall of 2012 as a holiday bundle (Forza and Skyrim) in conjunction with a Kinect (Kinect Adventures).

Games:

  • Assassin’s Creed
    Bioshock
    Bioshock 2
    Dishonored
    Forza Motorsports 4: Essentials Edition
    Gears of War
    Gears of War 2
    Gears of War 3
    Halo 3
    Halo 3: ODST
    Halo: Reach
    Just Dance 4
    Kinect Adventures
    Resident Evil 5
    Shadow Complex
    The Orange Box

Technical Specifications

Specifications
Console CPU Resolution Colors RAM ROM Type ROM Capacity Output Backwards Compatibility
Source: Wikipedia
Xbox Custom Intel Pentium III-based @ 733MHz 720p 24-bit 64MB DVD 6.6GB + 8GB HDD Composite/S-vid/Component N/A
Xbox 360 PowerPC-based Tri-Core Xenon @ 3.2 GHz 1080p 24-bit 512MB DVD 8.5GB + 20GB HDD Composite/S-vid/Component/HDMI Software Emulation