Original Xbox History - A look back at Microsoft's first gaming console

Bill Gates CES 2001 reveals Microsoft original Xbox
Bill Gates unveiling the Xbox at CES (2001)

The following is a history of the original Xbox and important moments along the way. 



Original Xbox History

A look back at Microsoft's first gaming console


2001: The begging of Microsoft's new gaming console


January 3, 2001 - The original Xbox in unveiled to the public at CES 2001 with Bill Gates and special guest wrestler The Rock (Dwayne Johnson). (see image above)

March 31, 2001 - The Sega Dreamcast is discontinued. This is mentioned because it was the first video game console released for the 6th gaming generation. 

May 2001 - The original Xbox's price ($299) and release date are revealed to the public by Microsoft at E3 2001. 

November 15, 2001 - The original Xbox is launched in retail stores in North America for $299 USD with the following launch titles:
  • 4x4 EVO 2
  • AirForce Delta Storm
  • Arctic Thunder
  • Cel Damage
  • Dark Summit
  • Dead or Alive 3
  • Fuzion Frenzy
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Mad Dash Racing
  • Madden NFL 2002
  • NASCAR Heat 2002
  • NASCAR Thunder 2002
  • NFL Fever 2002
  • NHL Hitz 20-02
  • Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee
  • Project Gotham Racing
  • Shrek
  • Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X
  • TransWorld Surf


2002: The Xbox is available worldwide


original xbox controller s duke
Xbox Duke controller (left) replaced by controller S (right)
January 2002 - The original Xbox controller S replaces the Xbox Duke controller. (image right)

February 22, 2002 - The original Xbox is launched in retail stores in Japan with the following launch titles: 
  • AirForce Delta Storm
  • Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding
  • Dead or Alive 3
  • ESPN International Winter Sports 2002
  • ESPN Winter X-Games Snowboarding 2002
  • Genma Onimusha
  • Jet Set Radio Future
  • Nobunaga no Yabou: Ranseiki
  • Project Gotham Racing
  • Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams
  • Sneakers
  • Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions
JSRF: Jet Set Radio Future - Japan Cover

March 14, 2002 - The original Xbox is launched in retail stores in Europe and Australia with the following launch titles:
  • Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding
  • Batman: Vengeance
  • Blood Wake
  • Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2
  • Dead or Alive 3
  • Fuzion Frenzy
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Jet Set Radio Future
  • Mad Dash Racing
  • Max Payne
  • NBA Live 2002
  • NHL 2002
  • NHL Hitz 20-02
  • Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee
  • Project Gotham Racing
  • Rallisport Challenge
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
  • TransWorld Surf
  • Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions
May 2002 - The original Xbox takes a price cut from $299 to $199 (-$100) in North America. 

May 2002 - Michael Steil initiates the Xbox Linux Project on to the original Xbox. 
Shenmue II 2 original xbox cover
Shenmue II - North American Cover


August 2002 - Xbox Live beta testers get to test the original Xbox Live service for the first time. The Xbox Live starter kit included 2 to 3 months of free Xbox Live service added to the 12 month subscription. The Xbox Live Beta testers also received a black and orange carrying bag including a lanyard key chain, headset and an orange Xbox memory unit.

October 28, 2002 - Shenmue II is released exclusively to the original Xbox in North America. This original Xbox is the only version of Shenmue II available in North America. 

November 15, 2002 - The original Xbox's Xbox Live online service is launched. 



2003: Hacking the Xbox


Original Microsoft Xbox Hardware taken apart
Original Xbox taken apart
2003 - Andrew “bunnie” Huang releases his book, Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering. He is believed to be the first to hack the original Xbox therefore releasing the book on the subject. Andrew "bunnie" Huang penetrated the initial layer of security on the original Xbox BIOS within several months of its release.

2003 - EA decides to remove its video games from being accessible to Xbox Live for original Xbox. 

March 21, 2003 - Shenmue II is released to the original Xbox in Europe. 

May 2003 - The original Xbox takes a price cut from $199 to $179 (-$20) in North America.







2004: Xbox Live is a success


Original Xbox Live Logo microsoft
Original Xbox Live Logo
2004 - EA and Microsoft come to an agreement and EA returns makes their original Xbox games accessible to the Xbox Live service. 

March 2, 2004 - Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden is released on the original Xbox game. The Ninja Gaiden series was reintroduced and had not released a game since 1991 and was an original Xbox exclusive.  

March 2004 - The original Xbox takes a price cut from $179 to $149 (-$30) in North America.

May 2004 - The original Xbox is announced by Microsoft to have 1 million subscribers to their Xbox Live service. 

June 29, 2004 - The first stable release of XBMC (Xbox Media Center) is released.

November 9, 2004 - Halo 2, the best selling original Xbox game is launched as well as the Xbox Live update dashboard 5960. Halo 2's release caused 2.5 million Xbox units to sell within the first 24 hours that the game was available. 




2005: The Xbox 360 takes the lime light


original xbox 360 first generation gen
Microsoft Xbox 360
August 2005 - Nvidia stopped producing the original Xbox' processing GPU chip. 

November 11, 2005 - 279 original Xbox games are revealed to be backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. 

November 22, 2005 - The original Xbox successor, Xbox 360 is launched to retail stores in North America. 



2006: The fall of the Xbox in Japan


May 10, 2006 - The original Xbox has sold 24 + million units. 

June 4, 2006 - The original Xbox is discontinued in Japan. 




2007: The fall of the original Xbox


March 11, 2007 - The original Xbox is discontinued in Europe.

May 27, 2007 - XBMC4Xbox is branched out from the (XBMC) Xbox Media Center project into its own media player software release. 

July 2007 - The original Xbox has 3 million subscribers to their Xbox Live service. 

November 27, 2007 - The last update to the Xbox 360 backwards compatibility of original Xbox games is announced, raising to the total number of backward compatible games to 461 in North America and 476 in Europe. 

November 28, 2007 - The last update to the Xbox 360 backwards compatibility to original Xbox games is announced in Japan, raising to the total number of backward compatible games to 122. 


May 18, 2008 - The original Xbox is discontinued in North America. 

August 12, 2008 - The last original Xbox game is released, Madden NFL 09

February 9, 2009 - The original Xbox is no longer accepted as a trade in at Gamestop which included trades of original Xbox accessories, games and systems. 

March 2, 2009 - The original Xbox support for out-of-warranty consoles is discontinued. 

April 15, 2010 - The original Xbox's Xbox Live online service is discontinued. 

June 22, 2015 - GameStop begins to take in retro game trade ins (online only). This includes the original Xbox and its games. 

source: linuxjournal.com, wikipedia.org, ign.com, cdn.geekwire, wikimedia, pctechmag, 



Original Xbox Softmod Kit