Digital Media Concepts/Xbox
Xbox is a video gaming branch created and run by Microsoft. The branch includes five video game consoles along with video game applications, a video game development studio known as Xbox game studios, and an online service used to play multiplayer and connect with friends online known as Xbox Live. The Xbox brand was initially introduced in 2001 with the release of the first-generation Xbox.
As sales skyrocketed for the original Xbox with more than 24 million in sales by 2006, Microsoft realized the potential for their gaming brand. 1 In 2005, the Xbox 360 was released and swept the world with its improvement in the latest technology and comprehensive arrangement of new video games from Xbox game studios. Eight years later, the infamous Xbox one was released in November of 2013; with this console, Microsoft sold around 51 million gaming systems. 2 With the most recent console, The Xbox Series X was released in November of 2020. With its major upgrade in technology such as 8K resolution capability in current video games and improved storage with a 1 TB option.3 As the Microsoft brand emerged in the realm of console gaming, they continued to introduce new services and features into the market.
History and Early developmentEdit
Initially, Microsoft catered to expanding the need for personal computers with their operating system known as Windows. As the last American console called the "Atari" stopped production in 1996, Sony, which owned Play Station, released their PlayStation 2 in 1999, which imposed threats to computers in general. The PlayStation 2 was marketed as a showpiece for consumer electronics. It could play audio CDs and video DVDs in addition to video games. With this innovation, the need for PCs would decrease. Microsoft decided they needed to step in for the sake of their company. Engineers came together to create a console for Microsoft to compete with Sony. 4 They eventually created a system that used components of a PC, therefore allowing it to use a version of Windows and with the ability to play video games. This would enable developers to create and implement video games into the console with ease. All that was left was a marketable name, numerous suggestions were in debate, but the name Xbox proved to be the most catchy and consumer-friendly. 5
First generation: XboxEdit
The initial first-generation Xbox was released November 21, 2001, and early 2002 for North America and overseas countries. The console competed with Sony's Play Station Two and Nintendo's GameCube. This was the first of many consoles produced by Microsoft. 6 It came with Xbox live, a purchasable option that allowed users to play multiplayer games with other Xbox owners and let people connect with friends online. The rival company Sony, offered a similar service known as PlayStation plus which was free of charge. 7In hopes to control the market, Xbox offered additional advantages that drew consumers. As the Xbox brand continued to grow, Microsoft announced exclusive partnerships with various titles in order to promote brand awareness. This meant if you wanted play certain games, for example the Halo franchise, you needed to own an Xbox. These games attracted a lot of attention and was the main supremacy of owning an Xbox console.
Second generation: Xbox 360Edit
After the massive success of the original Xbox, Microsoft realized the potential in the video gaming industry. In November of 2005, they released the Xbox 360. The 360 which was the successor of the original Xbox, competed with Sony's Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. It was initially introduced on MTV with an in-depth review and at the Electronic expo known as E3. It instantly sold out with all the hype produced from the original Xbox when it dropped. 8 The Xbox 360 came with significant upgrades, including the ability to stream music and multimedia such as movies and TV.
Several versions of 360 were released, each differing in storage capability. Along with technological developments, Microsoft also introduced the Kinect. This was a camera that allowed users to control their avatars to run and jump virtually along with a wide array of movements in Kinect exclusive games. They also improved Xbox live and implemented tiers. A free option known as the silver tier and a paid version known as the gold tier.
The 360 also featured a revision called the 360 S for slim. The 360 S was released in 2010 and featured a more slim configuration. Xbox added two additional USB ports to create a total of five compared to the three in the initial model. The original 360 was eventually discontinued and replaced by the 360 S for the same listing price. As of June 2014, 84 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide. 9
Third generation: Xbox One and Xbox One SEdit
The Xbox One was released on November 22, 2013, and was the successor to the Xbox 360 and 360s. This console competes with Sony's Play Station Four and Nintendo's Wii U. With the Xbox One, improvements in the console include the ability to record and stream gameplay directly from the console and a TV cable port to stream cable TV without the need for a receiver. It also came with a new and improved Kinect with upgraded visual capabilities to better capture the user. A new concept from Xbox is the ability to digitalize games. This function allows the user to directly purchase and install a video game or app directly from the Xbox Store to the Xbox without the need to go out and physically buy the desired disc. Along with this, Xbox also added the concept of game sharing on the same Xbox. With this, multiple users on the same console would have access to an entire library of games bought from anyone signed into the system. One problem with this was that the Xbox had to be connected to Wifi periodically every ten days to allow a proper sync. 9 After tons of backlash, Xbox later removed this restriction, enabling people to play after one initial connection to download said game or application. 10
On June 13 of 2016, Microsoft announced the Xbox One S at the E3 convention. 11 Like the Xbox 360 s, the One S came in a more compact design. It featured a white colorway, utterly different from the black colorway in which the previous Xbox consoles were released. The following year at E3, Microsoft introduced yet another version of the Xbox One called the Xbox one X. 12 The One X featured a huge improvement in graphics and allowed for 4k resolution in certain games that had 4K capability. This 4K resolution was included in streaming services and games alike. Due to company reasons, Microsoft stated that they would not release information on sales for the Xbox one line. 13 Still, resellers estimated around 51 million sold consoles. 2
Fourth generation: Xbox series X and Xbox series SEdit
With the most recent model from Xbox releasing in November of 2020, Microsoft announced the Xbox Series S and Series X. Similar to previous generations; the Series S is the more compact version while the Series X is the top-of-the-line model. Both consoles were major competitors with the newly released Play Station Five that came out in the same month as the Xbox. Both series S and X allow for 4k capability at 60 frames per second, but the Series X can produce up to 8K with 144 frames per second for select games and streaming outlets with that capability. Both systems came with improved storage and even the option for a 1 TB amount of space. Although the series S has a smaller frame and build compared to the series X, the main difference is that with the series S, Microsoft decided to make it digital-only, meaning only games bought from the Xbox Store would be allowed on the console as it did not feature a CD tray. With the Series X, both digital and physical games were allowed.
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