Did you know that on this day, November 15th, and ten years ago, the original Xbox from Microsoft was released in North America, with Bungie’s Halo: Combat Evolved for company?
The Xbox would go on to popularise the idea of an online console and set an embryonic standard for how we play multiplayer games, all while lighting the path forward for the evolution of Xbox LIVE into the form we know it today.
The original Xbox also cemented Microsoft’s place as a significant player in the world of videogames, and while the console didn’t sell quite as many units as its competitor, the PlayStation 2, and wasn’t quite as popular around the world as the GameCube, it was an important first step for the software giant and necessary to deliver the Xbox 360 only four years later.
As for Halo?
This action title from Bungie unquestionably popularised the idea of first-person shooters on a console and etched the template for how this genre of game should be handled in the future. It also wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that because of the advent of Halo (and the FPS games that followed), the popularity and focus of first-person shooters, traditionally a stronghold of the PC platform, dramatically shifted to console.
While not the first FPS on console to include multiplayer, Halo could once again be named as the game that popularised the idea of playing these kinds of games against friends, blazing a path for Halo 2 and the explosion of online gaming on console.
It’s difficult to chart the precise benefits and repercussions of the release of the original Xbox and Halo: Combat Evolved ten years ago, but one thing’s for sure: Combined, they forever changed the face of videogaming and helped build the foundations of the current gaming landscape, for which we’re very grateful.
Happy birthday Xbox and happy birthday Halo: Combat Evolved!