Ten years ago, gamers from all around the world got their first taste of the Microsoft developed console. November 15 was a day to remember, as the original matte black console with that stylish X emblazoned on the top shot into the public consciousness.
Of course, us local players only got to experience the device a few years later, through imports and specialty stores, but for those of us who had it, there were some fond memories attached to it.
Who could forget those massive, bulky controllers, that left the button initials imprinted for all time on thumbs, or getting a taste of actual, online gameplay for the very first time, in a stable environment that also allowed for voice chat?
Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa VP Chris Lewis recently spoke to Edge, about the success of the console brand over the last decade. "We were agile – we were first with many things we were proud of," Lewis said. "So I was confident we had the appetite for it. Could I have seen us here in ten years time? No”.
"Did I think we would have 57 million Xbox 360s out there and growing? No, I probably wouldn’t have guessed we’d have that much momentum. But we were in for the long term and that it was a marathon, not a sprint."
The Xbox however, would not have established itself as one of the big three however, were it not for the online gaming services that it provided, which were far more stable and better implemented than what any of its rivals could offer at that point in time.
"I’ve already said we’re incredibly proud of Live. I know we have a rich array of entertainment partners coming and TV coming. That whole service orientation is right at the centre of what we do and the scope, as broadband penetration gets deeper and speeds get faster, is only going to grow. The future’s brighter for us than it is for anybody”.
The current focus on the Kinect, the hands-free peripheral gaming device which was marketed to bring in more casual gamers, has alienated some long-term fans already, with Lewis explaining that Microsoft is aiming at making the device more relevant for them.
"We were very deliberate when we brought Kinect to market that the need was to appeal to the broader family consumer in that first foray of our marketing and games”.
"The second phase is to start to appeal to the core gamer, but the key is to make sure we don’t alienate either. This is another example of the challenge to make sure we can appeal and resonate with the core gamer with both controller and Kinect-based games, and at the same time bring family and broad entertainment to market”.
"A lot of that media work is kicking in now in Europe. We’re on track and in line with the plan we originally set out."
Microsoft has several events in motion to celebrate their anniversary of the Xbox, with the original Halo, one of the games that made the Xbox a success, re-releasing this week. Those of you on live, can also download some free items for you avatar that ties into the celebrations.
Last Updated: November 16, 2011