The original Xbox system has plenty going for it. However, a late launch along with some questionable marketing strategy caused it to be see as a failure.
The first ever Xbox console has many positives going for it. Having four controller ports outside the box allows multiplayer mayhem. Additionally, the Xbox Live online service has revolutionized online gaming for videogame consoles.
Graphics wise, compared to the Playstation 2 and Gamecube, the Xbox offers the best performace. As a result, the Xbox always gets the best version (at least graphics wise) of multi-console games, especially first-person shooters thanks to the trigger buttons.
Some games let you customize the soundtracks with your music as well while the included hard drive lets store save files without the need of memory cards in addition to improving load times.
Even though the Xbox have all that going for it, Microsoft’s first venture into the videogame console business has been seen as an overall failure.
You can say Microsoft’s Xbox was dead on arrival. Sony’s Playstation 2 (launched on October 26, 2000 in North America) was already jam-packed and running on full gear when the Xbox was launched on November 15, 2001 in North America. With more than a year head start, the Playstation 2 was easily the best selling console. Microsoft could only compete for second best against Nintendo’s Gamecube.
The battle for second place was close in the west. In the east, however, the results were lopsided. The Gamecube far and away outsold the Xbox; not because the Gamecube was selling like hotcakes, but because the Xbox never appealed to Japanese gamers.
The reason is that there aren’t any big name Japanese games (almost all of the big Xbox games were western made). Neglecting the Japanese market proved to be poisonous for Microsoft since many of the Japanese top developers neglected developing for the Xbox because of its low user base.
Instead of getting the developers of both the eastern and western world like the Playstation 2 and Gamecube, the Xbox only got the best of the western world. As a result, the Xbox missed out on huge franchises like Resident Evil and Devil May Cry.
Another major fallacy is the size of the console. The Xbox was too heavy and bulky. If you want to bring it over to a friends’ house to play, you will have a hard time carrying it.
While the Xbox does come with the ability to play DVD movies, you must buy an expensive remote control add-on to use it. In other words, if you don’t have the remote then you can’t play DVD movies. This is some questionable marketing strategy for Microsoft since Sony’s Playstation 2 allows you to play DVD movies right out the box.
However, there is a way to play DVD movies on the Xbox without the remote control, but you will need a workaround. Which brings up another major problem: the Xbox is easily hackable. The Xbox can be easily modded to play DVD movies as well as pirate games and movies. Due to piracy, Microsoft lost a bunch of money because of it.
Even one of the Xbox greatest assets, the online gaming service of Xbox Live, is nullified because you have to pay a monthly fee. Paying to play online is usually reserved for MMORPGS (Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) at the time. MMORPGS, such as Final Fantasy XI and World of Warcraft, can be played online only and require a massive amount of time. Xbox Live requires you to pay to play games online even if you don’t play it online often.
The biggest offering of a console is the games; unfortunately, the Xbox is lacking in that department. Some of Xbox best games is ported or are ports from the PC. Halo and Stars Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was ported to the PC while Half-Life 2 and Doom3 were ported from the PC. If you have a powerful computer, there is no reason to get an Xbox.
In addition, although the Xbox usually have the best version of multi-console games, the games are also available on other consoles. Microsoft’s Xbox have too little exclusive games that make the system worth owning over the competition.
Microsoft’s biggest fallacy is that they gave up on the Xbox too early. The launched of the Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005 was just four years after the launch of the Xbox. It seems like Microsoft just gave up on the Xbox so that they can start early for the next-generation of console, leaving many loyal Xbox owners behind in the process.