Microsoft Bill Gates first announces the Xbox at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California. The Xbox project all started with four Microsoft employees; Seamus Blackely, Kevin Bachus, Otto Berkes, Ted Hase, and Robbie Bach in 1999. They wanted to develop a powerful gaming console.

June 19, 2000 Microsoft acquires Bungie Software, gains exclusive rights to publish, and distribute Bungie developed titles for Xbox, and PC games. Microsoft paid $25 million for Bungie’s deal.

On Jan, 2001 Bill Gates, and former Wwe wrestler The Rock unveils the official design of the Xbox at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Nov 15, 2001 Xbox launches in North America and sells a lot of consoles.  Feb 22, 2002 the Xbox releases in Japan at 34,800 yen. the Xbox did not do well in Japan, and only 250,000 consoles were sold. Europe gets their hands on the Xbox in March 14, 2002 at 470 euro’s.  A month later Halo became a multimillion hit seller.  Microsoft was concerned because the PS2 was price drop from $299.99 to $199.99, so Microsoft and Nintendo responds to Sony’s price drop. Microsoft slashed the Xbox price to $199.99 in May 15, 2002. Also Microsoft invested in Xbox business development at 2 billion dollars. The first Xbox live service was released on Nov, 15, 2002 in North America.  In order to play live, it required a high speed internet service, Ethernet cable in order to connect the Xbox console, and a subscription to Xbox live. Headset was optional but anyone can talk with other people playing it.   Jan 20, 2003 former head of Sega, Peter Moore joins the Xbox team as vice president of retail sales, and marketing.  Four months later Xbox went down to $179.99. June 30, 2003 Microsoft sells 9.4 million units and Xbox live had already 500,000 subscribers. Nov, 2003, the five exclusive games that reach the million marks were Dead or Alive 3, NFL Fever, Project Gotham Racing, Splinter Cell, and Halo. Two months later San Jose Mercury, Dean Takahashi publishes the specs for the next Xbox console

    I’m also doing a topic on the Xbox 360. I bought my first 360 in January 2006. I remember it launch Nov 2005 but, I couldn’t buy it anywhere because it was sold out everywhere in Tucson. So I waited, and I finally got my hand on it two months later. I bought it at Best Buy, used my Christmas gift card, and I got the 20 GB ($399.99) model.  When I got home I connected the 360 and got it on Xbox live to transfer my old Xbox live account to the 360 live. I had no games yet but I download Condemned demo. It was creepy, and fun.  The next day my Dad bought me my first two 360 games, it was Call of Duty 2, and Dead or Alive 4. It was really fun and I enjoyed the power capabilities of the 360. The design of the 360 console, I thought it was cool, slim, and the cool 360 light logo blew me away. The 360 controller to me was comfortable, cool design, and it fit nicely in my hands.  The best features I love about the Xbox 360 is all games are in HD, 5.1 surround Sound, live marketplace, online community, 20 GB, and being able to customize the dashboard and profile.  The best 360 launch titles were Call of Duty 2, Perfect Dark Zero, and Need for Speed Most Wanted.

   The Xbox 360 was unveiled in MTV on May 12, 2005. The Xbox team traveled around the world to talk to designers to create the 360 hardware design. The first Xbox hardware design did not appeal to foreign countries like Japan, and Europe because it was too big. The hardware CPU is 3.2 GHz PowerPC IBM, 3 CPU’s, and has a 500 MHz ATi xenos graphics card.

Microsoft launches the 360 on Nov, 22, 2005. There were two models; one was the 20 GB pro price at $399.99, and core system price at 299.99. The pro model had 20 GB hard disk, and core model did not have a hard disk, only a 256MB. I think 256MB is good for saving game saves, profiles, updates, and little bit of songs.  The pro included one wireless controller, headset, Ethernet cable, and component/composite AV cable. The core included a wired controller, and standard composite cable. The Xbox 360 had eighteen titles available at launch. The 360 had a removable faceplate that people could take it off, buy different faceplates designs, and stick it to the console.  April, 2007, Microsoft releases the Xbox elite model for $479.99. The elite were black color, 120 GB hard drive, and include a HDMI cable.  October 23, 2007, the core got discontinued and got replace by an arcade model.

On August, 2008, the 20 GB model was discontinued and a 60 GB was release.  The biggest software update on 360 was on Nov, 2008. The features is a new redesigned GUI, support for 14400x900, 1680x1050, customizable Avatars, watching Netflix on watch instantly feature, and game installs into the hard drive, but required the disk. As of June 2010, the 360 has sold 41.7 million worldwide.  E3 2009 Microsoft’s Kinect was announce. The kinect is 640x480 pixels, 30FPS; it uses a sensor to track your movement, face recognition, and voice.  The kinect is a free motion controller for entertainment and will work certain games compatible with Kinect. The kinect would be compatible with all 360 models and will retail at 149.99 this November launch.

   In conclusion, Microsoft gaming console has a pretty good success, I believe it would remain strong in the future, and I enjoyed doing this topic as well.