And just like that, the Xbox 360 is five years old.
Five years ago yesterday I was one of about 2,000 people who spent 30 very cold hours inside a giant hangar in the Southern California desert celebrating the launch of this brand new video game console. The so-called "Zero Hour" event was the start of something that has helped change the industry forever.
It's hard to believe that five years has gone by so fast, but sure enough, the Xbox 360 has officially reached the age at which previous generations of video game consoles would be retired in favor of the next round. But the new Xbox was the first to hit the playing field of what quickly became known as the "next-gen" consoles: the Xbox, Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii, the latter two of which would be released in November 2006.
Amazingly, on that frigid Nov. 21, 2005, Sony's flagship console was still the PlayStation 2, and no one had yet even heard the name "Wii."
Along the way, the Xbox 360 has become a major part of Microsoft's stable of products, and has helped spawn (or enhance) some of the biggest and most important exclusive titles and accessories in video game history: the Halo, Gears of War, and Fable franchises, among many others; the Kinect motion-sensitive controller; and of course, the massively popular Xbox Live service.
But the Xbox has also had issues, most notably the infamous Red Ring of Death failures, and the resulting $1 billion warranty program Microsoft instituted to handle the resulting thousands of dead Xboxes. Many gamers also scoffed at its original behemoth power supply. … Read more