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Xbox game console and "Xbox Controller S"
Manufacturer Microsoft
Type stationary game console
generation 6th generation of consoles
JapanJapan February 22, 2002
United StatesUnited States November 15, 2001
EuropeEurope March 14, 2002
Main processor Intel (Coppermine core) 733 MHz
Graphics processor Nvidia MCPX X3 - core 233 MHz
Storage media DVD-ROM , CD-ROM , HDD , memory card
Controller Xbox controller, remote control
Online service Xbox Live
Units sold 25 million
(as of March 18, 2014)
Most successful game Halo 2
successor Xbox 360

The Xbox is a game console developed by Microsoft that is largely based on slightly modified PC components. The success of the game console ensured the establishment of the Xbox brand of the same name . The Xbox was first released on November 15, 2001 in the US, then on February 22, 2002 in Japan, and on March 14, 2002 in Europe. The starting titles were u. a. Halo: Battle for the Future , Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding, Dead or Alive 3 , Project Gotham Racing, and Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee.

Known for its size and weight familiar from PCs, the Xbox was the first console with a built-in hard drive. Its successor was the Xbox 360 at the end of 2005 .


The successes of Sony , Nintendo and Sega encouraged Microsoft in the late 1990s to bring a game console onto the market. The Xbox belongs to the same generation of consoles as the PlayStation 2 , the Nintendo GameCube or the Dreamcast .

At Dreamcast, the company was able to gain initial experience with Microsoft Windows CE provided by Microsoft, and Microsoft was able to contribute further experience with the Windows game interface DirectX . So it was only a small step to develop a console based on PC components with its own operating system based on the Windows NT architecture.

The name “Xbox” was composed of the name of the interface “DirectX” and the internal working title “Box”. The name was actually only intended as an internal name, but then became the official name.

In Germany, the Xbox was on sale in March 2002 for € 479, not even six weeks later the price was reduced to € 299, and a little later to € 249. In August 2004, the Xbox finally cost € 149, which was the price of the PlayStation 2 from competitor Sony. At the end of production and delivery in November 2006, the Xbox was sold in many stores in Germany for € 99. At the same time, many game manufacturers stopped producing games for the Xbox and only developed games for the successor console, the Xbox 360.

Around 21.9 million Xbox devices had been sold worldwide by the end of 2005, but only around 1.8 million of them were in the entire Asia-Pacific region. How high the sales of the Xbox were after the release of the successor Xbox 360 was never disclosed by Microsoft for marketing reasons.

On March 2, 2009, Microsoft discontinued support for the Xbox (warranty claims).

The last game released in Europe was Xiaolin Showdown and in the US Madden NFL 09 .


The variants of the original controller in comparison

The structure of the Xbox hardly differs from that of an ordinary PC.

The hardware data in detail:

  • Total system performance: 13.0 gigaflops
  • CPU : Intel (Coppermine core) with 733 MHz and 133 MHz front side bus . Performance rating from Microsoft: 1.466 gigaflops.
  • Graphics: Geforce 3 GPU "NV2A" from Nvidia with 233 MHz and a maximum resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels, two render and four texture units as well as one pixel and two vertex shaders, integrated into the chipset
  • Main memory: 64 MB DDR RAM with 200 MHz.
  • Cache bandwidth of 6.4 GB per second. Uses the Twinbank memory architecture from Nvidia.
  • Southbridge clocked at 200 MHz .
  • DVD : Modified drives from Samsung, Hitachi / LG, Phillips and Thomson
  • Audio: Audio chip integrated in the chipset with Dolby Digital 5.1 encoder, 256 voices, maximum 64 3D voices
  • Interfaces: AV output, Ethernet 10/100 Mbit / s port, four controller connections
  • 3.5-inch hard drive from Western Digital (8 GB) or Seagate (10 GB)

At 26 cm × 32 cm × 10 cm, the Xbox is comparatively large and heavy for a game console (3.4 kg) because the power supply unit is built into the console.

The controller that came with the device when it was launched in Europe and America was very large and therefore not particularly suitable for smaller hands. Because of this, Microsoft added the smaller controller, the "Xbox Controller S", developed for Japan and available from publication, to its range outside of Japan. Finally, this was also included as the official controller in the scope of delivery of the Xbox for other countries.

The games Enter the Matrix or Atari Anthology for the Xbox were developed with HDTV support, i.e. with a resolution of 1080i and 5.1 sound. Overall, there are only a few games that support higher resolutions (720p or 1080i). In Germany, the HDTV output - as in all countries with the TV standard PAL - is not supported. The HDTV output is therefore limited to NTSC consoles. The sound is encoded in real time by the audio chip in Dolby Digital.

Additional hardware

To enable playback of DVDs, Microsoft brought out a set consisting of a remote control, for more convenient control, and an IR receiver, which is plugged directly into the controller port of the Xbox.

Xbox controllers also have two expansion bays on top of the controller. There you can insert memory cards and other extensions such as headsets or USB adapters.

Third party hardware

Manufacturers such as Bigben Interactive or MadCatz developed their own variations of accessories shortly after the Xbox was released. This includes controllers, steering wheels or extensions for the controller.

Housing variants of the Xbox

Limited Crystal Edition with associated controller

The first generation of the XBOX appeared regularly in black. There were also special editions, including the very common green one, as well as many other variations. For these, the controllers were also produced in the respective colors of the special editions.

Xbox Linux

With specially adapted Linux distributions (e.g. Gentoox or Xebian), modified game consoles can be turned into a nearly full-fledged computer that can be operated like a computer with a keyboard and mouse and is internet-enabled thanks to the network card. Since the four controller connection sockets use the USB protocol for communication, normal USB devices such as mouse and keyboard can be operated on these ports via an adapter cable.


Since the appearance of the Xbox, an extremely large community has emerged, which deals with the modification of the Xbox, both in function and in appearance. In this way, the functionality of the device can be expanded significantly. This is done either through the use of a modchip or through the use of a softmod, both variants allow unsigned program code to be loaded and executed. The user can use a wide range of applications, such as emulators , media players , file managers , web browsers , unofficial ports of well-known games and alternative interfaces. Adapted Linux distributions can also be started on a modified Xbox. Almost all applications are implemented with the Xbox Development Kit (XDK).


A modified Xbox can run unlicensed programs and thus be used as a multimedia device via the Xbox Media Center . The Media Center enables the Xbox to play a variety of file formats, including DivX , Xvid , Windows Media Video , QuickTime , H.264 and MPEG . Additional capabilities, such as playing YouTube videos or other streaming offers, are possible via the network connection .

Furthermore, DVDs and music files can be played in this way and images can be displayed on the television. These options can be used either via the local hard drive, via the local network or via stream from the Internet .

Case modding

The case modding popular with PC users (changing the housing with light sources, painting, etc.) also found supporters very quickly among Xbox owners. Instructions are circulating on the net on how to modify your Xbox in different ways, starting with port lighting, where small LEDs are inserted into the controller ports and soldered, to complex housing work.

Some modchips also allow the connection of an external display for temperatures, playback processes or other information. In this way, the external appearance of the Xbox can be matched to that of standard CD / DVD players.

Game situation

With the appearance of the Xbox 360 , many manufacturers stopped developing ports and games for the Xbox, so that only a few new titles have appeared for the Xbox since 2006. Microsoft itself had concentrated on this with the preparation of the release of the Xbox 360 and left releases for the XBOX to third parties.

Electronic Arts was one of the last companies to produce games for the XBOX. Individual sports games (FIFA, NHL, NBA) were also implemented and published for the older Xbox. One of the last games for Xbox was Madden NFL 09, released in August 2008.

End of online support

On April 15, 2010 Microsoft stopped supporting the Xbox. With the end of the Xbox Live service, games and hardware of the first generation of devices will no longer be supported. This also applies to the games that can be started via the Xbox 360.

In return, buyers of the Halo 2 game received a three-month gold membership on Xbox Live , the opportunity to participate in the Halo: Reach beta test and 400 MS points.

There are a number of attempts to make the Xbox multi-player again. A well-known option is to forward the LAN capability via XLink Kai .

Web links

Commons : Xbox  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Best Wishes to Marc Whitten as He Departs Xbox. In: March 17, 2014, accessed August 20, 2015 .
  2. ^ Xbox Arrives in New York Tonight at Toys "R" Us Times Square. November 14, 2001, accessed August 20, 2015 .
  3. Charles Herold: GAME THEORY; Console Shootout: The Sequel . ( [accessed June 19, 2018]).
  4. Charles Herold: GAME THEORY; Console Shootout: The Sequel . ( [accessed June 19, 2018]).
  5. Mitch Dyer: The Life and Death of the Original Xbox. In: IGN. November 23, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2018 (American English).
  6. Microsoft ends original Xbox support on March 2. Microsoft, January 29, 2009, archived from the original on March 2, 2009 ; accessed on January 14, 2013 .
  7. ^ The Life and Death of the Original Xbox. In: IGN. November 23, 2011. Retrieved May 8, 2018 (American English).
  8. Peter Steinlechner: Xbox: No more support in Xbox Live. , February 5, 2010, accessed on August 20, 2015 .
  9. Sebastian Jäger: Xbox Live: First Xbox offline from tomorrow, Halo 2 owners receive gifts. In: April 14, 2010, accessed August 20, 2015 .