When the original Xbox was released in 2001 it wasn’t exactly the most popular game system on the market. The PlayStation 2 was what most would consider the dominate console with the Game Cube not too far behind. However looking back on things it is very clear that Microsoft started changing the gaming market even before the Xbox 360 was released.
The biggest thing that Microsoft did with the original Xbox was have one of the best online gaming services to ever grace the console gaming market. Many will argue that the Dreamcast had online gaming first, which it did, however Xbox Live was successful while the Dreamcast was an epic failure. One of the biggest reasons why Xbox Live was so successful was because it utilized high speed internet connections which allowed for lag free gaming. Not only did it support high speed internet it was also ready to go online right out of the box providing you had an extra Ethernet cable laying around. With the PlayStation 2 which was also able to go online, you had to shell out an extra $30 or $40 to buy the adapter to go online, until the newer slim PS2 was released anyway. Of course today every new game console can go online in some form or another.
Hard Drive Included
While Sony has a much better idea with their PS3 and letting its users use any hard drive they like. However the Xbox was the first console to use a hard drive which let its owners save game files without the need for a memory card. This was the first time console gamers could do this, and it was beyond convenient not having to plug in a memory card to the console, or having to worry about buying an extra memory card just so you could save your games progress. Today the Xbox 360 and PS3 both utilize hard drives.
While Microsoft didn’t rock the gaming community with their Xbox 360 they did add one very nice feature to all of their games, achievements. Before gamers could get achievements for playing their games they didn’t have much of a way to show off to their friends and often times wouldn’t go out and do the extra things that developers added to their games. With the addition of achievements, gamers can now show off how many points they have as well as the difficult things they had to do to get them. With the not so recent update Sony gave our PS3′s for Trophy support it just goes to show how important Achievements are.
With the upcoming release of the Kinect this November I am sure that Microsoft will once again change the video game industry. Have an opinion? Let me (and my readers) know about in the comments section below.