February 3rd, 2008, 03:17 Posted By: wraggster
Continuing our network wide feature for just about every console thats emulated and that we own, in time it can be used as a reference point for people to look at what games are the very best on each system
Firstly heres a look at each system and a description to remind you of the history of the console.
Rumors concerning Microsoft and a console project began surfacing as early as 1999. Although they have been involved in PC gaming for years, Microsoft initially became involved in the console hardware market with their operating system that ran Sega Dreamcast. There is a strong possibility that this motivated Microsoft to enter the console market.
In March of 2000, the world's worst kept secret becomes public knowledge. After the opening of the Game Developers Expo, CEO Bill Gates delivered the keynote address and officially announces their new Xbox console to the world. Equipped with an Intel 733MHz Pentium III CPU, an Nvidia NV2a 250MHz graphics processor, 64MB of unified RAM, an 8GB hard drive, and out-of-the-box broadband Internet support, the Xbox was intended to be a major player in the console race. Although it shares numerous similarities, Gates stressed that the Xbox will not be a PC in a console's clothing. Whether it is or not is still debatable. The system uses a Windows 2000 kernel, a pared down system that has been streamlined specifically for games Microsoft discouraged developers from including support for PC peripherals like the keyboard and mouse just to help console users feel at home.
Ever since Nintendo released the NES, the console market has been dominated by Japanese developers. Companies such as Atari and 3DO have tried to break the trend, but inevitably failed. Microsoft would see to it that the Xbox would succeed. With over 500 million dollars geared toward the Xbox marketing campaign, they used their deep pockets to not only market the console, but to also garner the software developer support that the console needed to appeal to gamers worldwide. On a funny note, Microsoft had to also file for an injunction on a lawsuit filed by Florida based company Xbox Technologies for rights to use the Xbox brand name.
The Xbox unveiled in full at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2001. With all the built in accessories, there would be no doubt that the Xbox can be noted as the largest home console in current history. Games would be in a DVD format which meant the console could also be used to watch DVD movies with the purchase of a separate remote. The remote was sold separately for $30 so that Microsoft could avoid pricey DVD licensing fees. The large bulky controllers seemed to be remodeled versions of their SideWinder PC game pads. Games could be saved either on the consoles 8GB hard drive, or via portable memory cards. The console would also be broadband ready (not 56k dial up) right out of the box. The console is reported to be developer friendly, and with the ability to port PC games with ease. However early demonstrations of what was shown failed to illustrate that the Xbox was three times more powerful than its competition, as Microsoft had stated in their earlier March press conference. On November 15th 2001, Microsoft officially launched it?s Xbox console at an event in New York Times Square's Toys "R" Us. Over 18 games were launched with the console, but the main game to drive sales was a game called Halo. Microsoft reported over 1.5 million units sold from time of launch till the end of 2001. They also reported an average of 3 games sold with each unit.
With success garnered in the US, Microsoft set their eyes abroad. After numerous delays the console was finally launched in Japan on February 22, 2002. Understanding there would be skeptics among Japanese gamers, they saw to launching the system with 12 titles that catered to a more eastern flavor. Also complaints of the large bulky controller forced Microsoft to redesign it to a smaller scaled down version. To commemorate the launch, Microsoft also released 50,000 special edition Xbox units only for Japan. Unfortunately even with the major buzz Microsoft generated with the launch, the debut was marred by complaints from users that the console was scratching game discs and DVD?s causing some stores to halt sales temporarily. The problem was corrected to the satisfaction of retailers, which then continued to sell the Xbox. Throughout the next few months, Microsoft struggled to sell out their initial shipment of Xbox units. Analysts believed that the scratch incident and the lack of interesting software for the Japanese market may have been the problem.
A month after the Japan launch, the Xbox made it?s debut in Europe. Microsoft?s hope to achieve the level of success as it had done in the US came close, but not close enough. Six weeks after the Xbox's European launch, they slashed the price of their Xbox console by nearly 40 percent. European gamers who already bought an Xbox got a free "thank-you package" from Microsoft, including two free games and an extra controller. Further worldwide price cuts triggered an early price war that was good for gamers.
The Xbox console had a rocky start, but since then has brought aboard many talented 3rd Party software developers including old hardware guru Sega. Microsoft also introduced their online strategy called Xbox Live. No matter how you look at it, the Xbox is truly an amazing machine. A machine that broke the pattern of American made console failures. Impressive to say the least.
FACT: The Xbox Special Edition console and controller are wrapped in a plastic black translucent textured skeleton. The jewel portion will be black with silver lettering. Xbox Special Edition was designed specifically for Japanese gamers to commemorate the Xbox Japan launch. In addition to the standard AV Cable, an otherwise optional Xbox Component AV pack was also included in the package. Gamers could enjoy games designed for HDTV and Dolby Digital 5.1 with this Component AV Pack. Lastly, a silver-plated key chain was also included as a special accessory. The key chain featured an engraved number and signature from Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
More DCEmu Console History Can Be Found Here
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