Five years ago Microsoft's venerable Xbox 360 console entered the market at an exclusive unveiling in the Southern California desert. The company's second shot at the home console segment proved to be a tremendous success, selling in excess of 42 million units to date, and now celebrating half a decade as one of the top players in the gaming world.
Reaching five years old and still being relevant is a big deal for any piece of technology, but it wasn't all a fairytale of high sales and exclusive content, the console also underwent its share of troubles along the way. One of the most telling and damaging to Microsoft is the infamous RRoD or 'Red Ring of Death', a widespread problem caused by overheating on the console, especially on earlier versions.
The Red Ring of Death became such a common problem that Microsoft was forced to spend over $1 billion to extend the warranty of the consoles to three years after the production dates, allowing disgruntled gamers to trade in their faulty boxes.
These problems were eclipsed by the phenomenal success of the console though, outliving the original Xbox which only had a life cycle between 2001 and 2005. The Xbox 360 seems to be here for quite a while still though, with the new slimline version
of the console fixing a lot of old complaints while giving the ageing console a bit of a makeover.
Microsoft also launched its revolutionary new motion control peripheral, Kinect
, earlier this month, which should see the 360's lifetime extended by another couple of years.
Taking a look back at the original titles that launched with the console we see names such as Call of Duty 2, Madden NFL 06 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, games which are still some of the most popular on the console to this day.
The 360 also sported a range of blockbuster exclusives which really helped it to stake out a claim for itself in the Sony and Nintendo dominated market. These include Halo 3, Gears of War
, Halo: Reach
and the recently released Fable III
. Titles such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops also set sales records
on the platform, signalling a bight future for Microsoft's gaming ambitions.
The official birthday ended a few hours ago, but due to South African timezones we barely missed it. Either way, happy (slightly belated) birthday to one of the greatest gaming platforms of the decade.