I noticed today is the tenth anniversary of the original Xbox. It's hard to believe, but I also remember it well. The horror of 9/11 was fresh on our minds, I had just been laid-off for the first time, and frankly there haven't been many times in my life where I was more seriously in need of a distraction.
Stephanie and I ran out to the CompUSA where she worked and decided that the best way to pass the time was to buy video games. We bought, all at once, a Nintendo Gamecube and an Xbox, extra controllers and I think three games for each. We did this all on credit, of course, but it did seem like a good idea at the time.
I remember skipping buying a PS2, because there weren't any games that I wanted for it. But the Xbox in particular was intriguing, because it was essentially a PC in a big, ugly console box. The launch titles that we bought, including the original Halo, Munch's Oddysee and Project Gotham Racing, were the most fun we had since the release of the Nintendo 64.
Halo in particular was awesome, because the story was so engaging. It was the first game that really sucked me as something epic and more than just a game. In fact, it sucked me in for all of the sequels too.
The Xbox 360 launched four years later, and it was a bitch to find one leading up to Christmas. By sheer coincidence, I happened to be in a Target in January just as they happened to put three or four of them out, right off the truck, and I bought one. I was immediately impressed with its technical ability, but even more in its implementation of Xbox Live.
When I started working at Microsoft in 2009, it was like the Xbox became something else to me, being arms length from the people who built it. I got to beta test changes, Halo and the Kinect. It came to be one of the parts of the company that I admired most because of the speed at which it operated.
I'm really interested to see how things go when the IP TV offerings hit the US soon. They've been doing it for awhile in the UK. I like the idea of getting certain cable TV offerings via the Xbox.