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Xbox 360 Celebrates Fifth Birthday

David Gilbert


Xbox 360 Celebrates Fifth Birthday

It seems strange to think that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is five years old this week having launched in the US and Canada on November 22, 2005. The 360 came to market only four years after the original Xbox marked Microsoft’s first foray into the console market.

At the time the console market was the preserve of Sony and Nintendo but by the time the Xbox 360 came around, Microsoft had got the jump on its rivals who wouldn’t release the PlayStation 3 and Wii respectively for a further 12months or more. We here in the UK had to wait until December 2 to get our hands on the 360.

Speaking in his blog this week, Xbox Live boss Stephen Toulouse revealed the release of the updated Xbox-model was a surprise to him. “When the Xbox 360 was announced, I was just as surprised as anyone else. The original Xbox was only four years old and Xbox LIVE was just starting to hit its stride.”

He added: “Sure I had a PS2 and a Gamecube as well, but I really thought we’d put out a good gaming machine with the Xbox and was surprised we would “kill” it so quickly in favor of a new one. But as more and more information came out about it, the more excited I got over it.”

The 360 launched with 13 titles here in Europe including Call of Duty 2, which sold over a million copies in 2005. Some of the more successful launch titles were Project Gotham Racing 3 and the mighty Oblivion. There are now almost 800 titles available for the Xbox 360, though a lot of these are only available in the US or Asia and not in Europe. One of the most innovative aspects of the Xbox 360 was the introduction of wireless controllers, an idea which was subsequently copied by the PlayStation 3 and the Wii.

At launch the Xbox 360 was available in the Core and Pro packages and since then has seen a number of different configurations including Arcade, Elite, Super Elite and the current slimmed-down Xbox 360 250GB. There have also been a number of special editions of the Xbox 360 including two Halo editions, a Simpsons edition and a Resident Evil edition.

With the launch of the Kinect earlier this month it seems as if the Xbox will be here for a number of years to come, with devices like the Kinect giving it a new lease of life. So Happy Birthday Xbox 360 and here's to the next five years.


November 23, 2010, 10:07 pm

I'm not sure why you're claiming the wireless controller was innovative when you yourselves were reviewing wireless gamepads well before it's release: http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

Also, the graphics are looking a bit ropey these days. It always surprises me when they show footage of that quality in TV adverts for games, you'd have thought they'd want to go for the impressive look (and I'm not even watching it in HD).


November 23, 2010, 10:24 pm

I wonder if anyone still has and uses a launch X360? One that is actually 5 years old, since most people I know with Xboxs have had at least one red ring of death (myself included)

Saying that, the 360 really gave sony a whooping this generation by snatching a lot of marketshare they had built with the PS2, so its done a good job and im very happy with mine!


November 24, 2010, 1:43 am

Can't believe that this gen is already 5 years old and there's no sign at all of new consoles. Personally I love my 360 and think MS got the overall package spot on. Even the RROD hasn't put me off.

Although it didn't come bundled with the Gamecube Nintendo were selling the wavebird wireless controller during the last gen. MS did well to make it a standard peripheral but with the advance of technology it was hardly a shocking move.


November 24, 2010, 2:38 am

I don't have a xbox, but one thing I love MS for is their gaming pad. It's the most comfortable one out of all the consoles, and unified pc controller gaming. No more joystick calibration or button setting. Racing games have never had it so good.


November 24, 2010, 3:18 am

I have my original launch 360. Only froze a few times, left 4 dead was the worst.

I don't use it much any more but no problems when I do. Must an endangered species now.


November 24, 2010, 1:04 pm

I've got the original 360, first time it RRODed on me I replaced the fans with some new ones that were both quieter and had 20% more airflow, not had any problems since.


November 24, 2010, 1:41 pm

While no controller holds up to the N64s for innovation I'd like to echo darkspark88's comment regarding the pad. It is easily better than the Playstation pad (which I also own). I know many will disagree but I never feel like Im able to point in just the right direction with the PS3 analogue sticks - very noticeable when trying passes in Fifa! I feel the 360 pad is very accurate in terms of where Im wanting to point to if that makes sense.

As for 5 years old - I actually think that graphically it still holds up pretty well. Sure there have been a few PC titles that have really pushed the boat out but in general the graphical one upmanship that was generally going on between the early 80s and mid 00's has slowed down a great deal.

Im still mildly surprised that neither Sony or Microsoft have really hinted at the next gen of consoles. I know Sony said they doubted a new machine will appear in shops until (I think) 2015! And I have a feeling some Microsoft source was suggesting something similar (like 2013/140. They'll never wait that long but I think the message was clear - Sony and Microsoft have simply spent far too much churning these machines out and are both needing to slow the pace a bit to let the machines have a better life cycle.


November 24, 2010, 3:47 pm

@Xiphias - Have you seen COD Black Ops on 360 or PS3 - it looks fantastic, with ultra smooth frame-rates.

I think the 360 has stood the test of time well and has, in particular, ushered in a more sociable age of gaming.

My launch 360 is still going strong and is pretty quiet too. Best entertainment investment ever.


November 24, 2010, 4:40 pm

@ Stelph

My launch console finally died about 2 weeks before the redesigned 360 was released.

I'd always had two 360's, one 360 was under the TV, the other was in my bedroom so I'd just unclip the harddrive and play in either room. My non-launch 360 didn't last as long, in fact that clapped out about 3 times in total.


November 24, 2010, 6:55 pm

@ Xiphias

With older consoles you had to buy 3rd party pads if you wanted wireless ones (with a dongle).

The 360 was the first console to have *integrated* support for wireless pads - so in that sense it was innovative...

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