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What do you think of the first Xbox (2001) now looking back?

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I remember back in 2001 many game forums, including here at Atari Age, were not very positive about the Xbox 1. PC in console shell lazy, don't have the games to compete with Sony, Nintendo, and Sega, wouldn't sell, negativity toward Microsoft themself clouded peoples opinions. Why would you buy Xbox when there is Gamecube?

Now we are 19 years later and we have had two more Xbox consoles and a third on they way.

Looking back what is your opinion NOW for the original Xbox, and if you remember your opinion back in the early days of Atariage, or other sites, how does your opinion differ now than back then?

Honestly for me I never brought into the negativity, I though that it would potentially bridge the gap to PC games and bring them home so I would have an excuse not to buy PC and have new experiences and I turned out to be mostly right, but I didn't expect it to be as strong as it was or how games like Splinter Cell and sequels would look like different games on the PS2. Xbox Live was also a big plus.

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I never bought the negativity either. I bought mine day one and was hyped as hell about it, despite not knowing much about it (outside of, it's Microsoft, and was closest to "pc in a console box" since 5200)

 

I bought it, still have it (though the optical drive died long ago) it was easily the most played console that generation. GameCube capability wise was similar, but where the games? Ps2 was largely riding a hype train, yes it has lots of great games, but my God were the majority ugly as hell.

 

I loved the console, and finally, a controller aimed at adults, but as with all consoles, it's about the games, and this console seemed to have an "anything goes" mentality (which sadly, went away on the 360 and further consoles) I have over 100 games for the system, and most, I not only bought full priced ($50-$60) I actually PLAYED the vast majority of them to completion, and quite a few I replayed a lot as well. One of my friends pointed out I have nearly as many games for 360, eh, yeah, but most were bought in the $20 range (and even used), and a good half of them, I've put little or no time into. To say nothing of the fact the Xbox games were purchased in the 01-07 area, while the 360 was from 07-18, nearly twice the timeframe.

 

Anyhow, yes, I love the original Xbox, if still play it a ton if it still worked, I could reliably get a replacement, or there was good emulation (I've got the games) it was graphically amazing, and didn't look like sewage like most ps2 games, and it wasn't aimed at kids like cube. Yes that may not be over all fair to those other consoles, but imo, the box still holds up well even today, especially later games, though some early stuff was awesome too (wasn't munches oddysee a day one title? And that just recently released on switch, nearly exact to Xbox original)

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Although I don’t use it anymore (just no time to play everything), its still a great console and the majority of the games still look great.  I think it still has some great games including an awesome version of Outrun 2006 Coast 2 Coast.  Loved Crimson Skies on that system, don’t understand how that didn’t develop into a series on future xbox consoles.  I can only imagine their stats showed it wasn’t played much via backwards compatibility and that’s too bad, the online was super fun too.

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Here in the UK, I still remember people raving about games like Morrowind and Fable being on a console, even though it was traditional PC territory, and I think that's the sort of reputation it grew on. There is actually a surprisingly good list of games for the system if you are looking at it from the time it was out, though now it might just be easier to get the PS2 versions in some cases.

 

I remember the original controllers being too big to actually press the buttons but my hands have grown since then. My next door neighbour had one, and yes we did play halo on it. I personally think the Halo series is overrated, but it was still fairly fun to play. Personally it was out of my price range anyway, and as a now retro collector of it, its not one I seek games out for specifically. Its a rare day when it leaves its X box box.

 

I do appreciate what it did though, I think the X box did "serve a purpose". 360 and the one though, I feel didn't really have a good reason to exist and I don't think either innovated anything other than the Kinnect (which ironically is non-existent for one use, but the 360 version sparked a massive software drive and its applications outside of gaming is massive). 360 games seem to be more common and cheaper than their sony alternatives, but this just seems to be because X box people tend to happily upgrade and sell old stuff on, giving a higher market supply.

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The Xbox was the first console (aside from the Lynx, if you can call it a "console", and the XEGS, which...same thing) that I bought. I sort of liked it until my unit died before its third year in my house. And before I bought a Dreamcast, and realized that I had already missed Peak Gaming from 1999-2005. I was equally meh on the 360, for what that's worth.

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It was the last console from the big three I got from that generation, but I probably put more hours on it after I modded it compared to anything else I have besides PC. I didn't have access to a gaming PC at the time either, so I really appreciated those aspects of it. Mini LAN parties were great and XBMC was mind blowing back then. I have three consoles that all work, the most for any console I have. I was more of a PlayStation guy, so you can see just how much I loved it back then. 

 

Edit

 

I watched this a few weeks ago that I thought was pretty cool:

There's a ton of great episodes from back then on that channel and even in the 90's. I watched one with John Carmack talking about Quake 2 that was really cool, then again I'm a sucker for anything from that era. 

Edited by xenomorpher

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It's still an awesome system-well ahead of its time, especially when Microsoft ditched "The Duke" and went with the Type S controller as the standard.  The only issue I had with it was the dang optical drive-I had so many problems with the drive not opening anymore.  At the time, all my research pointed to "replacing the drive", which I did a couple times.  I got skittish playing it because the thought of "what if the drive doesn't open" popped into my head.  So I sold it off with a decent collection of games.  I acquired another system a couple years later for cheap but there too, drive would not open.  Suddenly my research came across that the dang belt was to blame and all it took was a squirt of belt dressing to fix it.  Groan....

 

Many of the games stradled that line of "video game" and the soon to be future of "interactive entertainment" (focusing more on the experience than being just "a game") and did that very well. Like others said, it was a Wild West of titles but oh what a great selection for everyone.  For multi-platform titles, the Xbox usually seemingly had the best version (but not always-I liked Prince of Persia: Sands of Time better on Gamecube).  

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Many of the games stradled that line of "video game" and the soon to be future of "interactive entertainment"



Huh? What Xbox games are these???

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I always like the original Xbox. I got mine on launch day and waited in line and everything. Halo was an epic experience. I even liked the Duke, though the S was ultimately better. It was my favorite of the three current consoles at the time, though I still enjoyed PS2 and GameCube quite a bit of course.

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On 9/18/2020 at 3:48 PM, Gamemoose said:

It's still an awesome system-well ahead of its time, especially when Microsoft ditched "The Duke" and went with the Type S controller as the standard.  The only issue I had with it was the dang optical drive-I had so many problems with the drive not opening anymore.  At the time, all my research pointed to "replacing the drive", which I did a couple times.  I got skittish playing it because the thought of "what if the drive doesn't open" popped into my head.  So I sold it off with a decent collection of games.  I acquired another system a couple years later for cheap but there too, drive would not open.  Suddenly my research came across that the dang belt was to blame and all it took was a squirt of belt dressing to fix it.  Groan....

It stretches or becomes harder as it gets older also. It's not difficult to change the belt and the replacements cost buttons. It's a very common problem.

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If the game store still exists when I go to town next month, I may see about picking another one up.

 

Forgot lan parties, people are spoiled by online, but that weekly track to friends houses to play games (especially when we could get 8-16 systems set up) was amazing. There's still a huge difference between a lan party and online. Man, the years of fun we had, actually, thinking back, it's amazing that console held up as well as it did (I did get a solid 6 years out of it after all) despite never leaving the house, and being played less, I replaced the ps2 twice in that same time frame.

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Absolutely loved the platform at the time. 

 

 

It was everything the Playstation II should of been and i say that as a massive fan of the original Playstation. 

 

 

The Dolby 5.1 sound, ability to run custom soundtracks in games, titles like Ninja Gaiden, O.T.O.G.I, Splinter Cell, Halo in the early days, Far Cry, Half Life II, Doom 3 in it's closing one's. 

 

No need for memory cards... 

 

 

I never embraced Xbox Live, never felt the need. 

 

 

I can still remember M. S reassuring us that the Patch for Far Cry was not the start of console games going the way of PC games and patches becoming the norm... 

 

 

Now day one patches etc on console are the norm 😊

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2 hours ago, Lost Dragon said:

Now day one patches etc on console are the norm 😊

Vaguely on topic but I agree. Fired up my 360 as I bought Sega Rally Revo, 340kb update or something like that, never had more than a few MB for games on it, bit different to the 40+ GB day one patches! Test first?!

 

On topic, bought an Xbox back in the day, sold long time ago but then I picked up a soft modded 2TB one end of last year to add to my collection. Played through Rallisport Challenge 2 to completion again last I did back in the day :)  Shame that series stopped there.

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Well, the OG was a bit loud in terms of its fan, but I LOVED it.  My group of peeps were mostly N64 gamers, so the Xbox lent itself well to us.  We could play a rarity of multiplayer games.  Xbox Live was, I would say, about as annoying and displeasing as PC online gaming, so I can't really call it a negative.  I also loved the S-Controller.  I had friends who had gotten the PS2, and inevitably they were around all the time to play Halo, PGR, etc.  My only slight on the system was that they ended support way too soon, forcing people into the 360, which for several years had an abysmal failure rate.

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OG Xbox was a great platform with some fun quirky exclusives... Kung Fu Chaos, Jet Set Radio Future, Grabbed by the Goulies, the Burger King games, etc. 

 

This console generation was the height of couch co-op, and is the last gen I look fondly back on.

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On 9/12/2020 at 5:23 PM, ColecoKing said:

Looking back what is your opinion NOW for the original Xbox, and if you remember your opinion back in the early days of Atariage, or other sites, how does your opinion differ now than back then?

I clearly remember the XBOX being a critical and necessary console back then. It definitively helped get the modern console scene going.

 

On 9/12/2020 at 5:23 PM, ColecoKing said:

Honestly for me I never brought into the negativity, I though that it would potentially bridge the gap to PC games and bring them home so I would have an excuse not to buy PC and have new experiences and I turned out to be mostly right, but I didn't expect it to be as strong as it was or how games like Splinter Cell and sequels would look like different games on the PS2. Xbox Live was also a big plus.

I don't believe it could ever replace a modern gaming PC. Complement it? Yes. Offer some games not yet available on PC? Sure. Replace it? No.

 

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Shortly after it came out I admit I was really intrigued by Microsoft's XBOX. This was at a time that I was struggling to get by and living in Toronto Canada in a shared accommodation so no chance I was going to own one but of course that did not stop my natural curiosity, reading news about it, reading magazines in downtown coffee shops etc. I was all for Microsoft entering a market dominated by Sony and Nintendo. I liked the idea that it was very much PC architecture and a built in Hard Drive as standard? WOW! Luckily a roommate ended buying one, a cool laid back fellow who allowed me to borrow it while he was at work OR away for any period of time. Funny thing he had the game everyone seemed to be going crazy over, HALO, it was interesting but not being a huge FPS gamer I was much more interested in the other title personally, SILENT HILL 21 Being a HUGE Survival Horror fan as well as having loved the original game on Playstation I was amazed how this sequel looked. So that was my early exposure to the XBOX and I wanted one. Funny enough I got my first one about 10 years ago and at some point I got a 2nd one, a modded one with upgraded hard drive full of emulators and the ability to boot backups. I really enjoyed games on it, even several I originally played on Playstation 2 as they had some graphical upgrades in many cases so it was a great way to re-experience those titles. Even today it is a great little emulation machine as well a great way to experience many classic titles. As things improved for me over time I rarely was on the cutting edge of console tech, I would say mostly after Playstation and Dreamcast I would always be at least a generation behind obtaining consoles and games which was fine as it was all new to me and I have a PC for the odd modern title I need or want to play. 

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8 hours ago, RevEng said:

OG Xbox was a great platform with some fun quirky exclusives... Kung Fu Chaos, Jet Set Radio Future, Grabbed by the Goulies, the Burger King games, etc. 

 

This console generation was the height of couch co-op, and is the last gen I look fondly back on.

Right, there were a few "Dreamcast" SEGA sequels on Xbox that I had as well.  Gamecube had some, but they tended to be re-releases not new games.  The Medal of Honor games were absolutely enthralling for me, I loved WWII games. 

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On 10/23/2020 at 6:11 PM, Keatah said:

I clearly remember the XBOX being a critical and necessary console back then. It definitively helped get the modern console scene going.

 

I don't believe it could ever replace a modern gaming PC. Complement it? Yes. Offer some games not yet available on PC? Sure. Replace it? No.

 

TBH, I never cared for the Xbox when it first came out as a PC Gamer.  MS convinced game devs to make their DirectX games for the Xbox instead of PC's and when they did made PC games, they were janky console ports which ended the Golden Age of PC Gaming. (And I hated the tank-like controls in Halo using the Duke)

 

But...later on I was intriged by it's ability to play emulators in addition to console games so I wanted to get one when I finally got a Christmas Bonus.  but Circuit City were sold out of Xboxes so I had to make due with a Gamecube with had the same level of graphics anyway.

 

The Xbox 360 I got later was more of a complementary to my gaming PC much like my Dreamcast was since it was just easier to play 7th gen games on it instead of shoddy versions off Steam (though there were still better versions of some games on PC).  And the way my current Xbox One can stream games to my Windows 10 PC is amazing...

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Up until the R-Pi came out, the XBOX and XBOX 360 were number one emulation solutions. Coin-Ops was a leading turnkey framework and ROM package. I don't know precisely if there was anything inherent in those designs that made them ideal for emulation. Only thing I can guess is their Pentium, Nvidia, and PC/Windows heritage. Billions of emulators were made for x86 DOS & Windows. Easy to port and stuff.

 

It goes without saying that we had to have a first XBOX that could evolve to today's XBOX. So by default the original XBOX was extremely important.

Edited by Keatah

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I remember back in the day just about everyone I knew had PS2s. I think I had one friend with an XBOX. Everyone was more enamored to play the PS2 exclusives instead the XBOX ones.

 

I think the Xbox has only gotten better with age. It's the definitive console of that generation for playing multiplats. The Sega exclusives are absolute classics. You can still play games like Halo 2 online and 4 player splitscreen is still a party favorite. The emulation and multimedia homebrews, while dated by modern standards, are still fantastic to this day. Not to mention that XBOX games are still cheap as hell unlike Gamecube games. While my XBOX library is pretty small compared to my PS2 library the XBOX still ends up getting played more often.

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I remember there being more negativity for the GameCube than the xbox.  The GC was regarded as the weaker system. To quote the xbox sales ad: "one is the most powerful gaming system on the planet.  The other is purple and has a handle."

 

Personally,  I think the xbox has held up extremely well. It's still a fun system,  with a great library. 

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I really liked the original Xbox... had exclusives like Halo and Knights of the Old Republic (exclusive to consoles anyways). Can't forget about Panzer Dragoon Orta. For third party titles, I usually got the Xbox version, saving the PS2 for rpgs, other niche games, and the Gamecube for Nintendo exclusives.

 

Once jail breaking it became easy, I used it for most of my media needs, and used to to play any region 2 DVDs.

 

However, I did not get one at launch. As with most consoles, I waited for about a 1 to 1.5 years. These days, that seems to be a wise course of action. Let someone else pay full price and beta test.....

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When the original Xbox launched, I didn't think much of it. I didn't think it would be successful; what was Microsoft doing making a game console? I thought it would be either vaporware or a massive failure, like the Apple Pippin was in Japan that never came here. I had already purchased a PS2, and I proceeded to get a GameCube and a Dreamcast, and still didn't think much of the Xbox after it had been out for a while. There weren't games on there that I was interested in playing, except maybe Halo, which I thought was just ok at the time.

Then, I won one.

The auto parts store I worked at won some sales contest that had a choice of a bunch of power tools or a Xbox prize pack that included a console, Xbox Live w/Crimson Skies, and two more games: Rallisport Challenge 2 and Project Gotham Racing 2. Obviously, I chose the Xbox! This was around 2004. Once I actually sat down and spent time with it, I was shocked at how much I loved it. I came around big time, bought most of the big hit games I missed out on, and played it a ton.

Looking back today, I love the Xbox. A lot of the games on it still hold up well today, and I play that one I won 16 years ago regularly. I still find random games I've never heard of to try for it.

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I didn't have an Xbox back in the day- the games I saw advertised for it never appealed to me. I did play Halo at my now fiancé's place on his system, but that was my experience with it.

 

A few years ago, I watched a hidden gems video on it, & discovered just under the heavily-advertised surface layer of FPS games was a wealth of fantastic up-my-alley stuff (mostly from Sega). I went hunting around for a system, but most of what I found was modded & I wanted a 'pure' experience. So I asked my fiance what became of his old Xbox. Turns out it was handed down through his siblings & his sister currently had it- and wasn't set on keeping it. I quickly claimed it for my own & replaced the long lost hookups & controllers.

 

All was well... until the thing started turning itself on. The internet told me that meant the clock capacitor was damaging the motherboard. I immediately started looking for a way to get it repaired- I can't solder & time was of the essence. Found a place a couple hours away that would let me mail the system in as long as I made the day trip to pick it up. I found a box, recruited a travel buddy, & sent it off.

 

I'm pretty sure it would have been cheaper to just get a replacement, but as I told the repair guys, this isn't an Xbox- it's THE Xbox. The only OG that myself & my entire circle ever really used. I'd rather have it running than any other unit. (I was also slightly vindicated by their comment that it was one of the cleanest systems they'd seen).

 

These days I think rather highly of the original Xbox- both for the discovery of just how good the library really is, & for the journey my console's been on!

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