Remembering the Xbox 360

April 27, 2016

Microsoft has officially ended their production of the Xbox 360 after 10 years. Chief of Xbox, Phil Spencer has announced Microsoft will no longer be making Xbox 360 consoles but, Xbox Live will remain on 360.


He states, "Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft, and while we’ve had an amazing run, the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us. Which is why we have made the decision to stop manufacturing new Xbox 360 consoles. We will continue to sell existing inventory of Xbox 360 consoles, with availability varying by country."


It’s amazing how time flies. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights of this fun console.


HIGHLIGHTS

 

-Xbox 360 was released on November 22, 2005

 

-Over 78 Million units sold since reported in 2013.

 

-The Kinect camera is introduced and extends the life of the 360. It ends up setting the record for the fastest selling electronic device in history.

 

-Multimedia allowed us to playback our own music while playing games. That was beyond epic. I remember making a zombie playlist, as I’d bring over my iPod to my best friend’s house and we’d play COD World at War Zombies while jamming. If we were done gaming we could rent or buy movies, TV shows, and music or stream video via different streaming services. It became more than a gaming console.

 

-Xbox 360 brought us amazing games such as Gears of War, Halo Reach, Fable 2, and Forza Horizon, and has seen a myriad of exclusive titles.

 

-The Xbox 360 controller is still highly regarded as the best controller ever made. PC gamers even adopted the controller and play many of their games.


LOWLIGHTS

-The Hardware. Most of us have experienced the Red Ring of Death (RROD), and those lucky enough to avoid it can remember their gaming peers’ frustrations well.  One out of every three consoles sold had suffered from the RROD, caused by faulty wiring or overheating due to poor ventilation, and the numbers eventually grew.
Early in the 360 development, Microsoft focused most of their time on the sleek new look of the console and how it would give living rooms something nice to look at next to a home theater. Despite tests in cold and hot conditions, 360 returns came in huge numbers and they had to give everyone an extended three year warranty.  Microsoft lost an additional $1.15 billion in shipping, time, and labor.  

The average consumer, myself included, had to resend in their original 360 a few times. The frustration led to a lot of gamers switching to PlayStation 3, which at the time had cost $200-300 more, but it was the price they were willing to pay for a stable gaming console.  


The Former Xbox and current EA executive, Peter Moore shared his story regarding what happened at that direct time…


“I am trembling sat in front of Steve [Balmer], who I love to death, but he can be an intimidating human being. Steve said, ‘okay, talk me through this.’ I said, ‘if we don’t do this, this brand is dead. Steve looked at me and said, ‘what have we got to do?’ I said, ‘we’ve got to take them all back, and we’ve got to do this in a first class way,’ because when you take a console away from a gamer, and you’re going to spend three weeks fixing it… so we’ve got to FedEx this all the way. We’ve got to FedEx this all the way. We’ve got to overnight it back in two.”

He said, ‘what’s it going to cost?’ I remember taking a deep breath, looking at Robbie, and saying, ‘we think it’s $1.15 billion, Steve.’ He said, ‘do it.’ There was no hesitation. I’m thinking, I’m about to crater Microsoft’s stock. Actually, nothing moved.”

It also didn’t help that Xbox 360’s were rushed from the get go in trying to beat Sony in sales when all indications showed serious flaws.

Xbox was forced to make a hardware upgrade of the 360 introducing the Xbox 360 Elite and that solved the problem.  After 7 years, my Elite still works.

HIGH DEFINITION WAR OF HDD VS BLU-RAY.

Microsoft wanted to be different from the PlayStation 3 and this was one of their bone headed decisions but at the time both HDD and Blu-Ray discs were sold everywhere. It’s obvious now that that was a poor decision on their part. Who would have thought the porn industry would dictate what high definition disc player would win out?  I guess that does make a lot of sense since Porn is a major sect of the entertainment industry, but porn wasn’t the only determining factor. Warner Brothers at the time of 2008 was the highest selling DVD distributor and they had announced at the consumer electric show an end to HDD. Ouch.

 

Shortly after that, movie companies followed and that ended up being the trend which trickled all the way down to all stores worldwide.  This caused many people to buy a PS3, after all a good Blu-ray player at the time would cost almost as much as the PS3 and the PS3 had a damn good Blu-ray player installed.  And so PlayStation continued their ad slogan of “It only does everything.”  I ended up doing just the same because there was nothing cooler than owning Blu-ray player at the time.

So what were you fondest moments of the Xbox 360?  Please share!




 

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