Written by Erik Kubik, kube00 Tuesday, 25 October 2011 05:00
Love it or hate it, most gamers have at least played the original Xbox. It will be remembered for having a short life span, limited amount of RPGs, large controllers, having poor sales in Japan, and for being quite large for a gaming console. But the Xbox did make it’s mark on gaming history.
Something many of us may have forgotten is that even though the Xbox did support memory cards, it came bundled with a Hard Drive. Even though the PS2 had a hard drive, gamers had to purchase it separately. Not with the Xbox, it came with an 8GB drive to store music, games, and additional content. I remember ripping CDs so I could use my own music in Xbox games.
Who can forget Halo? This game sold over 5 million copies and it looked incredible for a console game. Xbox Live was available yet but gamers could use a system link and hook and up and play 16 man matches. To myself and the critics Halo still remains one of the best FPS games I have ever played and it’ still a reason to own an Xbox. Although now gamers can play it on the 360, of course the legacy of Halo is such games as Halo Reach and Halo 3.
What about some of the other great games? Gamers got games like Forza and Project Gotham Racing. There was Steel Battalion, which required one expensive accessory. Outside of Halo, KOTR I and II are two of the games I remember the fondest. I spent hours creating the perfect character for a game which seemed like the perfect mesh of RPG and action, something fans of the Xbox could get behind. Without the sucess of some of these games, gamers would have never played Mass Effect.
Probably the greatest mark the Xbox left on gaming was Xbox Live. Microsoft knew online gaming was the future and hoped to perfect on what the Sega Dreamcast had failed with. Xbox Live, to some, was a much more polished and gamer friendly experience compared to what Sony was doing with its online services with the PS2. Until Xbox Live came along most online gaming was reserved for PCs, especially FPS gaming. Halo 2 and Xbox Live changed this, bringing something that was known as a PC idea to a console. Xbox Live connected gamers around the world and a whole generation grew up loving this and believing this is how things were when it came to playing multi player games. Outside of Halo, Madden seems to be one of the other games I remember playing a lot of. Playing online vs. playing against someone in the room for a mainstream sports game was rewarding to say the least.
So the Xbox gave us Halo and a host of other good games such as Forza, Splinter Cell, Project Gotham Racing, Steel Battalion, Ninja Gaiden, and it revolutionized the idea of FPS multi player games on consoles. Yet there are a few other things worth mentioning about the original Xbox. The Xbox could also be used for Xbox Media Center. This meant with a few modifications, a gamer could turn Microsoft’s flagship into the ultimate media center for streaming media. I can’t tell you how many years I used mine in my living room to stream all sorts of media from my network.
In the end, this large black box of fun left a lasting impression on the gaming industry. Who knows where we would be without Halo and Xbox Live?