What People Used To Say About The First Xbox

We don't know every last thing about the new Xbox. Some leaked details, for the most part, sprinkled with a liberal helping of rumours. While we wait for new bits and pieces to be revealed, why not reminisce a bit? Let's have a look at how the very first Xbox, turning 12 years old this year, was received.

  • "'The Microsoft Xbox game console is built around an Intel Pentium III processor running at 733 MHz,' says Julia Elvidge, vice president, marketing and sales [of Ottawa-based Chipworks Inc.]. 'The whole console is in fact a stripped down medium-end PC with high-end graphics. (...) Despite the hype and considering its late arrival in the marketplace, one would have expected more enhancements of the Xbox.'"
    Cybernalia - X-ray exposes xbox; The Ottawa Citizen, November 26, 2001.

The least they could've done is throw in a cupholder.

  • "Now gamers, as well as their gift-giving parents, are left with a difficult decision this holiday season. (...) Perhaps they should buy the Xbox. After all, it is the most technologically advanced of [the Xbox, GameCube, and PS2]. And, with Microsoft putting its enormous weight behind the unit, how could it fail?"
    David Carter: Xbox and GameCube: Start your CPU engines: These consoles can play; The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 20, 2001.

They might also want to buy it to play this fab new game called Halo.

  • "[The Xbox] has the most powerful graphics engine on the market. The first question many gamers ask: "Who has the best graphics?" With games such as "Dead or Alive 3" and "Halo" (think "GoldenEye" on steroids), the answer is simple: Xbox."
    Wes Phillips: Game Wars; Tampa Tribune, November 19, 2001.

Huh. I don't recall any aliens in GoldenEye.

  • "One would think with the millions of dollars Microsoft spent developing this system, they'd have the most ergonomic controller in history. Instead, they copied the basic design of Sega Dreamcast's controller, but bulked it up so it's almost impossible to hold comfortably. The skill buttons are difficult to reach and pressing down the triggers (used mostly in shooting and driving games) is a herculean feat."
    David Thomas: Xbox Vivid To See, Awkward To Play; Palm Beach Post, November 17, 2001.

It's like the Fat Lady of controllers. Except it doesn't sing as well and has shiny colourful buttons.

  • "DOA3, which has a "teen" rating and a "mature sexual themes" advisory, is basically for hard-core, testosterone-addled gamers. That's an important constituency for the Xbox's inventor, Microsoft, to ensnare. It just doesn't reflect much of a vision for sophisticated video-game entertainment."
    Mike Antonucci: Let The Xbox Games Begin: First Releases Come Out Swinging For Microsoft's New Consoles; San Jose Mercury News, November 17, 2001.

I object to that. DOA's jiggle physics are quite sophisticated, thank you very much.

  • [Jason Vermeer, supervisor at Gamers] said he preferred the PlayStation 2 over the Xbox and the Gamecube. 'They have a huge selection of games, and it's a lot of fun to use,' Vermeer said. Vermeer said the Xbox was a good investment for sophisticated games geared toward adults. Two other advantages of the Xbox were its processing power and its Internet-access capability."
    Sean McCarthy: Holiday shoppers fight on front line of console wars; University Wire, November 26, 2001.

See? Sophisticated. I'll let that PS2 comment slide... for now.

So, Kotaku. When did you get hold of your own Xbox? Have you played much of GoldenEye on Steroids — with a fat controller, no less? Tell us below.


    Australian launch. DoA3, Halo and Jet Set Radio Future - easily the strongest launch lineup of any console I've bought. Loved that system and basically played it to death, eventually the DVD drive gave out on me. It always felt like it was effectively the successor to or continuation of the Dreamcast.

    KOTOR was the only reason I got an original xbox. Damn that game was so damn brilliant.

    Yep, i was an Aussie Launch as well. I think i grabbed Halo and PGR on the day, and picked up one or two more when they had that price drop furor happen.

    In a way i guess i agree with NegativeZero that there was a bit of Dreamcast about it.. PGR was definitely an updated version of Metropolis Street Racer (my favourite dreamcast game).

    Dad grabbed one around launch time for the family. Up till that point the families console had been a SNES, so I was pretty happy we were finally upgrading. Took my sister and I ages to figure out that JSRF was on the same disk that racing game was on.

      Sega GT 2002 is that racing game :)

    Never owned an original Xbox, but loved the controller, it fit nicely in my hands (and I don't have large hands)

    "Instead, they copied the basic design of Sega Dreamcast’s controller, but bulked it up so it’s almost impossible to hold comfortably. The skill buttons are difficult to reach and pressing down the triggers (used mostly in shooting and driving games) is a herculean feat."

    Arg I never got this eh, the original xbox controllers were excellently design, and just like Lortarg I don't exactly have huge hands. Seriously I'm actually kind of a small dude. They were some of the most comfortable controllers I've ever held. Geez after they stopped producing the original controllers I can remember my GF at the time searching out a second-hand one for me for a present cause the S controllers just plain sucked.

    Got one for free with my mobile phone contract, best contract incentive ever. Some great gaming memories from that behemoth of a console. Then when the games started drying up it still go lots of use after installing XBMC.

    Went from PS1, to Dreamcast, to Xbox. Such an excellent machine and Microsoft really proved that they could move into Hardware. An excellent game selection with a lot of hidden gems;

    Shenmue 2
    Elder Scrolls: Morrowind
    Max Payne/Max Payne 2
    Thief: Deadly Shadows
    Doom 3
    Half-Life 2
    Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee
    Chronicles of Riddick
    Knights of the Old Republic 1 & 2
    Conker Live & Reloaded
    Deus Ex: Invisible War
    Ninja Gaiden
    Halo 2
    Jade Empire
    Jet Set Radio Future
    Marvel Vs Capcom 2
    Street Fighter Anniversary
    Mech Assault 2
    Otogi/Otogi 2
    Outrun 2
    Panzer Dragoon Orta
    Splinter Cell/Pandora Tomorrow/Chaos Theory
    Pirates of the Carribean (Besthesda/Akela)
    Megaman Collection

    ...and so on :D

    I remember getting the original Xbox for Christmas near launch when I was 12 or something. I was the only person in my school who had one, everyone else had PS2s and mocked me for not having the master race PS2 giving many 12 year old reasons why. I ended up getting many people to admit the Xbox was pretty cool after they tried mine though haha Great memories with Halo and JSRF.

    Saved up from my first regular job in high school, bought it for $750 on the first day it was out, got Halo, DOA, and Progect Gotham Racing, and an extra controller. Then 2 weeks later the price dropped to $600.... but I got in on the rebate deal and scored 2 games and 2 controllers more.

    I loved the original Xbox, so much more than the 360, and even more so when I modded it and installed XBMC with dual boot loaders, heaven!

    I loved the bigger controllers, which was fine as most others didn't so they used the S controllers.

    Gladius by lucasarts i played the hell outa it finished it 3 times and was on my 4th run when i bought a 360

    ohh remember the GameCube... I'm soo glad my parents didn't let me get one!

    I got the original xbox solely for one reason: Halo. it was the first game i got for it. and thats what 'converted' me. say what you will about microsoft, they hit it on the head with creating the xbox, and improved on it with the 360.

    Xbox turned me from hardcore PC gamer to 50/50 PC/Xbox. And It showed me the great world of gaming sitting in front TV. First game: Halo, second: TES3:Morowind. Got me so much into consoles that now I own Xbox, X360, Gamecube, Dreamcast, GBA and SNES rip-off Dandy.
    Still glad I bought that black box.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now