Celebrating 20 Years of Xbox with XboxEra

As per today’s Xbox Wire Post, it’s the 20 year anniversary of Xbox being around in the console industry.

It’s been one hell of a journey, and it’s certainly had it’ ups and downs, but Xbox fans and the community around the console and its games (especially here!) is very special, and worth celebrating.

While the XboxEra crew are going to do various things throughout the year, we’re ALWAYS looking for ways to involve you.

Share your Stories!

We’d like to invite everyone here to share the special memories they have, the friends they’ve made, the worlds they’ve saved - in this thread - and as well as reading all the cool stories, we’d love to hear from you directly.

We would love it, if you’re willing to video record your stories, maybe show off you controller collection or your gaming space, so we can create a special video for the XboxEra channel featuring as many of you as possible in one big community montage.

Footage should be recorded in 16:9 and you can email your clips to contact@xboxera.com with your Gamertag as the subject line.

This is not required of course, but the more of you that are willing to brave putting a face on camera, the cooler we can make the end product!

Maybe @XboxP3 could pop in and share one of his favourite memories?

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Do I see a repurposed Xbox 20/20 here

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Dont think Ill record anything but I do want to bring up how I got my first 360.

Was in middle school and the school was having a raffle to get funds where every student in the school had to sell $50 worth of entries. So aproximately like 500 students x 50 entries each to whoever they sold it to. Third prize was a bycicle, second price was a 360 and the first prize was an xbox and an ipod or something like that. I wanted a 360 that christmas season but didnt get one so I was kinda bummed out cause it was starting to be the rave over the Wii (which I had) and I wanted to online game with friends. I was feeling confident that week and I told my friends my name was gonna come up as the second prize and I was gonna win that xbox. Day of the raffle comes up, all of the school is in the gym to witness the draws and lowbehold when they draw the second prize my name comes up. I got a nice xbox 360 arcade to kickstart my xbox love back. Very fond memory and very lucky I was lol.

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I’ve been part of the Xbox family for only 3 out of the 20 years. After four generations with PlayStation I bought an One X in 2018 a year after my PS4 died, lured by backwards compatibility and Game Pass.

The first game I played on the console was Forza Horizon 2, which was part of Games with Gold that month. My first memory is driving through the fields of Italy on that big open world, amazed by the vibration on the triggers. Seriously, using the DualShock 4 after experiencing those triggers felt really, really dull.

I would later on buy Forza Horizon 3 since it was enhanced for the One X, and a few months later Forza Horizon 4 would drop day one on Game Pass. And it was only the beginning of big dames coming day one to the service…

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“Happy Birthday, Xbox.” udhJfFiG_400x400

The first Xbox game I remember getting hooked to was Halo 3 back on 360, and it felt so different from so many other FPS games. After playing it at my bros house is when I decided to jump into the then-current generation and got myself one. I remember turning on my non-updated 360 and seeing the blades UI.

After I got it connected to the internet a month or 2 later I needed to update to the NXE dashboard, with this video playing before I got to the actual dashboard.

I have so much nostalgia for the 360 from games like Halo 3 and CoD4 to things like Soulcalibur 4 and Phantasy Star Universe. Avatar games like 1 vs. 100 and Doritos Crash Course were super solid too.

I don’t have as much nostalgic-like memories for the Xbox One gen but the moves they’re making along with Game Pass reminding me of Sega Channel makes me more excited for the brand than I ever have been! :grin:

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I missed out on the original Xbox. Wasn’t much into gaming at that point, though I did convince my parents that a PS2 was a sound investment, as it was also a DVD player :smiley:

When I saw The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, I was caught. As a huge Tolkien geek, it looked right up my alley. A fantasy world with swords, magic, elves, dark lords… Yeah I was hooked. Couldn’t believe they actually made games like that, so I had to have it & that meant buying a 360. By this time I was looking after myself & so I saved up & bought my favourite console of all time, the OG bad boy tower of power 360, complete with no wireless capabilities & about a 12GB hard drive. These things weren’t any kind of problem because I bought the game physical & didn’t even have an internet connection until years later :laughing:

The game was (is) amazing. Loved the console. Loved the controller from day one. That was me an Xbox fan. Games like Bioshock, Crackdown, Dragon Age, Fable, Fallout, Gears of War, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Halo, Kameo, Mass Effect, Rainbow Six Vegas, Read Dead Redemption, Remember Me, Skyrim, Star Wars The Force Unleashed, etc… They all just blew me away. It was a great console & I had so much fun.

We skipped the original Xbox One after that disastrous reveal, which I still remember being excited to watch & then just sitting there with a deflated feeling as it played out. Jumped back in with the One S, upgrade to our awesome One X when we could finally afford an OLED. Currently sitting here just waiting for the Series X to finally get back in stock… We now have a large digital library of excellent games from all 3 Xbox generations waiting to be transferred over to the hot new hardware. Just waiting…

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I’ll never forget playing Halo for the first time.

Then getting to have a proper OS on a console, Xbox Live.

Man, been a great ecosystem over the journey.

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My experience is very similar to Bruno, except even shorter. I’ve only had an Xbox since November 2019, so not even 2 years ago yet. I purchased a One S Digital for 115 euros, which was a damn fine deal. It came included with Minecraft and Fortnite, but I didn’t care for those games, I just loaded up 2 years and a half of Game Pass using the Gold conversion promotion and I’ve enjoying the subscription ever since.

The first game I played was Gears 5. Until 2020 I didn’t play as much, and the Xbox would divide much of my time with the PS4 that I used for exclusives and Apex Legends with my best friend, and the Switch as well. I enjoyed the hell of Game Pass during this time, but found the One S experience not optimal.

Things obviously changed last year as I brought home a Series X day one and have almost played it every day since then. I gave my PS4 away to a friend so she could enjoy the exclusives, and am not really allured enough to get a PS5 at the moment. To this day I am still amazed by the magic they call “Quick Resume”. The fluidity and performance of this machine is amazing, and the Game Pass subscription just keeps getting better by the day. I am an Xbox believer now, and am very excited for the future of this platform. This year will be amazing, and all years to follow will be, too. Here’s to more 20!

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I remember we had an “early finish” after a show at work.

With the promise of a day off the next day a friend and I decided on a whim to try out this new console, apparently Halo was rather good. It was before Panto had started (Typically the second week in december) so if it wasn’t launch night it was not long after.

We drove for ages, trying various shops but they were either shut or had none in stock. Eventually we ended up in Reading town centre and by chance looked in the Blockbuster there. There was one last console. I grabbed it, paid the ludicrous amount Blockbuster would charge versus anywhere else and we headed off back to our house.

We played Halo til long after the birds started singing. Grabbed a couple of hours sleep, then went right back to to playing. When we went back to work we took it with us, and the Xbox remained a staple of the crew room from that point.

That was 20 years ago? Good god I am old! :smiley:

also @Sikamikanico I am sorry I have nothign exciting to show in video form and am no way brave enough to commit my hideous visage or voice to video :smiley:

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For most of the first decade of Xbox’s life, I was sitting by the side. I was mainly gaming on PC and didn’t have a stellar budget for that either, so buying a console seemed like a no-no from the start. One of the main activities I did at the time at friends’ house, however, was playing Xbox. With one friend, we’d spend hours playing Halo 1 on OG Xbox on Blood Gulch, usually coming up with wacky game modes like rocket launchers only or a fun minigame where we’d crash into each other with the warthogs and whoever gets thrown off loses the round. We spent dozens of hours on that single map alone, so when Halo 1 eventually came to PC, I had a blast playing it online. We also tried other Xbox games, but it was really all about Halo for me.

Fast forward a couple years, different friends who already got an Xbox 360 - once again, I was not in the market for one. While we’d also play other things and different systems, the main activity was Halo 2 through backwards compatibility, epic split-screen or multi-system deathmatches and 1v1s that we even recorded to VCR at the time. Took me some time to get used to the lowered FOV, but the dual wields and new map complexity really elevated the competitive experience to a new level. By this point, I spent dozens of hours on Xbox, practically more than any other system aside from the PS1 and GBA (only consoles I ever owned at that point), and like 99% of the time was on Halo in particular.

Fast forward again, 2009 this time. I spent a vacation abroad at a friend’s house, who, again, had an Xbox 360. We’d usually spend the day visiting places and doing outside activities, then go in the basement after dinner and play on the Xbox 360, chat, listen to music and so on until 3, 4, 5am. Rinse and repeat. Our main activity? Project Gotham Racing 3, longest version of the Nordschleife, the slowest car, 5 laps. A one hour marathon where we’d duke it out every corner, though making sure that if one goes too far ahead he does slow down a bit. We spent several hours on that, and I’ve found myself a nice racing game that I never played before.

At the same time, my love story with PC gaming was fading. It was a time when tons of excellent third parties straight-up skipped PC, and many of them came with delayed and unoptimized ports, clearly studied for controllers different than mine or my KB+M combo. It was also a time when I kept having driver errors, hardware failures, and with me having a limited budget, it was hard to have to keep changing elements in my PC every couple months. I also had an old laptop, which eventually became my de facto playing place, but I could not realistically play anything on it besides indies or triple-A games up until 2002-2003. I did recover a PS2 shortly after PS3 came out, but it was not enough. It was time to do something drastic.

My GF at the time (2009 still) was aware of me really wanting to get back into the mainstream games, so she decided to buy me an Xbox 360, as we figured we could also use it to play together and there’s definitely things she is interested it in herself. On top of the console, what to buy was painfully obvious: that pack-in that included a second controller alongside Halo 3 (my long-lost love) and Fable 2, a game she was interested in. Needless to say, we both got what we wanted: I got myself the on-going Halo to play with buddies and strangers, she got an excellent RPG in Fable 2, and we had various fun minigames we could play together too here and there.

I started getting into so many things I just simply missed out on. I was in day one on Forza Motorsport 3. I got Alan Wake when that came out. I recovered Batman Arkham Asylum on sale shortly after launch. I started getting in the Call of Duty and Battlefield loops. I lost myself in janky yet awesome third person action games like WET. My limited budget also made me appreciate the XBLA initiative so much, with games like Worms 2 Armageddon (I’ve been a huge fan of the franchise on PC already), Monday Night Combat, Trials or LIMBO stealing tons of hours of my time. Before I knew it, I basically buried PC gaming and started considering Xbox 360 as my de facto gaming home.

By the end of the Xbox 360’s life cycle, I got myself hundreds of games between deals, discounts, XBLAs and whatnot. I was hooked, most of my free time was spent gaming on it (never been much of a social person). This negatively peaked around 2012: was unemployed, which contributed to a really devastating break-up for me, which made me lose myself in gaming more and more. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 came out that year, and I must have spent 500+ hours on it in the first months alone. Spent most of 2013 cleaning out backlog and 200G-ing, 400G-ing and 1000G-ing games. I didn’t have much better to do anyway, nor the motivation for it.

I did not get an Xbox One at launch, but I managed to snag one a year later, the white console bundle with Sunset Overdrive. By then, I already used deals, free codes, GWG and giveaways to build myself a library of 20-30 games, so I was set already when I jumped in. I once again started playing tons of indies mainly, recovering triple-As later when my budget allowed it, and my passion for those games eventually led me to write for an Italian Xbox-centric website. I already wrote for sites in the past, but much smaller and tendentially on PC. It was still just a hobby, not a paid job, but it was giving me satisfaction.

I managed to get my shit together eventually, finding myself a stable job, a stable relationship, moving out on my own terms, and in gaming terms, having finally the budget to do whatever the hell I wanted, within reason anyway. Indeed, I got myself a nice 4KTV in 2017 alongside the One X, bought tons of titles day one, started following new releases a lot more, which eventually led me to stick to ResetEra’s then-awesome Xbox OT with folks like Klobrille, Theorry and the others. My presence there eventually brought me in the XboxEra circles, where I’ve been part of the staff since late 2019, seeing a passionate little group of Xbox fans become a brilliant website for anything Xbox, including a fantastic forum. My Game Pass is set for years, I write a lot of articles about Xbox games, I bought both Series X and S, and I’m very excited about Microsoft’s gaming future.

So, that’s about it! What initially was years of me playing Halo and the likes at friends’ house, eventually turned into me choosing an Xbox 360 over other options and never really looking back. I played various other consoles since, and out of the current rotation I also happily own a Switch and a great gaming PC. But most of my gaming time and interest is still on Xbox, and I don’t think this will change anytime soon. So look forward to my 30 years of Xbox write-up as well :smiley:

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My first experience with the original Xbox was in high school, maybe a year after it came out. We were seniors, and the freshmen and juniors had to take tests during a long homeroom period. The school was being remodeled and there was a wing that was no longer in use, so we made plans that I would borrow my sister’s portable lcd projector and another guy would bring his Xbox, and we would sneak off and play for an hour or so.

We found an empty classroom up on the second floor, and took turns playing slayer on battle creek. I hadn’t grown up with any consoles, just computers, so I was horrible at it, but I had a blast, and eventually bought myself Halo CE for my PC. I played with friends in college, trying to do stunts with warthog and rockets and custom variants. My friends got Xbox 360s when those came out, and I bought a controller to leave in their dorm room (I was a commuter but just stopped by whenever I had time).

It wasn’t until toward the end of the 360 generation and after I was married that I was able to get a 360, as I wanted to play Forza 4 and Forza Horizon. Loved both of those, then got Halo 4 to play with coworkers, then kinda just went from there. The rest is history…

I remember working e3 during the early days and running into a PR person that I was friends with. She was in a frenzy because there was a rumor going around e3 at the time that MS was getting into console space. Remember at that time MS was the Windows company and was doing PC gaming only. It’s funny because the press didn’t catch on to the rumor. The rumor only spread in the the dev community. A bunch of us discussed that MS could only go with either 3dfx, powervr or nvidia. A bunch of us ended up buying nvidia stock because of that rumor.

I still remember it quite well. I was still getting over SEGA’s pull out of the console market and I wasn’t quite sure what system to go for as my main non SEGA system (my brother had a PS2 mind) would it be the Cube or the XBox?

Then I saw a 10% complete JSRF running on the Xbox at E2001 and my mind was already made up but with worries over the internet and what not I thought I would wait for the Pal launch of the Xbox rather than importing day 1 (like I did for SEGA) but once my import shop had the USA XBox on its launch and people in the shop started to rave about Halo I picked it.

Still remember being jaw dropped at the graphics in DOA3 and then being utterly amazed at Halo once you got on the Silent Cartographer level

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