Tag Archives: Xbox360

Happy 10th Birthday Xbox!

When Sony announced the PS 2 In March, 1999, Microsoft had no presence in consoles, and only a small piece in the game business with niche titles for PCs like Microsoft Flight Simulator. The long standing vision of Bill Gates: a PC on every desk’ was near, but Microsoft had no presence in the living rooms. Sony had 47 percent of the game console market with PlayStation and had left erstwhile leaders, Sega and Nintendo, behind.

Launch

This was to change as announced on September 20, 2000. J. Allard, then general manager of Xbox, and John O’Rourke, director of Xbox marketing, unveiled the logo for the upcoming game console at a news conference in San Francisco.

November 14, 2001 was a special night. Bill Gates and his men were at the New York’s Times Square waiting for the midnight for the official launch. The excitement was mixed with fear. It wasn’t a software program this time. Shortly after midnight, Bill Gates handed over the first Xbox video game system ever to Edward Glucksman at the Toys “R” Us store.

Bill Gates with Xbox NYC 2001

Microsoft sold 1.5 million Xbox units in the US between the launch and the end of calendar year 2001, making Xbox the best-selling video game console launch. On March 14, 2002, several midnight events throughout Europe marked the launch of Xbox in 16 European countries and Australia. Microsoft’s second console, the Xbox 360, and the associated game business rake in more than $1 billion in profits every year now.

Xbox LIVE

Xbox Live Poster 2002

Microsoft introduced Xbox LIVE in November 2002 and sold 150,000 Xbox LIVE Starter Kits in the service’s first week. Xbox LIVE currently has 35 million members worldwide who spend 2.1 billion hours a month on the service. It is one of the earliest successes in the social market, and also made online console gaming a reality.

Kinect

June 14, 2010 marked the Microsoft’s next bet in the gaming and entertainment business. However, this time it wasn’t a business diversification, but a technological progression. Microsoft demonstrated a controller-free experience that allows players to jump, dodge and kick their way through exciting adventures, at E3 2010 in Los Angeles. It was called Project Natal.

Times Square

The night of November 3, 2010 was different than the one 9 years ago. Bill Gates wasn’t there at the Times Square. The square, however, was draped in purple and Microsoft hosted a dance party with thousands to celebrate the launch of Project Natal, now branded as Kinect for Xbox 360. The crowd lined up to be among the first to buy Kinect at midnight at the Toys “R” Us store in Times Square. Kinect for Xbox 360 set a Guinness World Record as the fastest-selling consumer electronic device, selling 8 million units in 60 days.

Xbox Live Arcade to Serve a Game Feast

Can’t justify the $10 hike per year for the Xbox Live service? How about a quick-ish release of Super Meat Boy, platformer fans?

Gaming blog Joystiq unveiled a big poster from Microsoft, with October 20th as being the date when the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) will feature (among other great small games) Super Meat Boy !

supermeatboy

With Super Meat Boy munching through this burger than usual gaming fete, we can only wait until details are revealed (read: leaked) for the event. Until then, keep those watering mouths dry, somehow.

Xbox Live Sees a Price Hike

Console gaming just hit a high! Price-wise, at least. Pardon the paltry pun, but after about eight years of service, the Xbox Live service is increasing its prices from $50 a year to $59.99 a year in North America.

150px-Xbox-live-logo

According to Major Nelson,

Starting on November 1, a year Gold subscription to Xbox Live will run $59.99, versus the current price of $49.99. One month subscriptions will jump from $7.99 to $9.99, while three month subs will rise from $19.99 to $24.99.

The ~$10 hike will come into effect from the 1st of November, this year so you’d better renew your subscription within September if you wish to save a few bucks!

CryENGINE 3 in Stereoscopic 3D Shown Off by Crytek

Crysis broke damn near every computer that was thrown at it when it was released. For good reason too it was the most realistic looking game ever developed and it spawned thousands of Real vs. Crysisphotographs and the Yes… but can it play Crysis?internet meme. The European developers of Crysis, Crytek GmbH (Crytek), have found phenomenal success with the release of their games with jaw-dropping graphics and fluid gameplay that keeps you begging for more.

In this year’s Game Developer Conference (GDC), Crytek showed off its new engine, the CryENGINE 3, coupled with stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) screens. The result was pure awesomeness. Being the fastest and the most robust renderer, CryENGINE 3 serves the PC, the PS3 and the XBox360 with the most photorealistic indoor rendering, extraordinary real-time effects and the impact of being in the game rather than playing it. Using S-3D technology, this involvement with the game became that much more real.

crysis_2

Carl Jones, Director of Global Business Development at Crytek, said

Over the past few years, S-3D technology has emerged as one of the key trends both in movies and games. With CryENGINE 3, developers will have the ability to create their content in 3D on all platforms. There are basically no longer any limits to a designer’s creativity. CryENGINE 3 features many innovations to accelerate development, cut production costs and ensure teams are able to maximize their own creativity without delays

The cutting-edge technology of Crytek just got sharper.