10 years ago today, on November 22, 2005, Microsoft officially launched the Xbox 360 console. It has been by far the most successful console launch in the company's career, despite a few challenges along the way, and is still being sold and supported by Microsoft and third-party game developers.
There were plenty of online leaks about the Xbox 360 before Microsoft officially announced the console a few days before E3 in 2005. The game launch lineup for the console was a bit mediocre, but that didn't stop the Xbox 360 from being a huge sales success, with its more powerful hardware and Xbox Live support that was in the console out of the box this time.
Microsoft published some memorable games for the console, including the Gears of War series, more games in the Halo franchise, and others. It was the first console to have Minecraft as well, and it helped give the Xbox 360 a new sales boost later in its life. It also added non-gaming apps for the first time via software updates. Netflix launched its first non-PC app on the Xbox 360 and helped make it a massive success and changed the way we watch TV forever.
Even though the Xbox 360 sold 84 million consoles by 2014, it had a ton of competition from both Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii consoles. It didn't help that just after the Xbox 360's launch, there were more than the usual hardware failures in the units that were shipped to consumers. The "Red Ring of Death" was a common occurrence in those early days and Microsoft had to incur a $1 billion charge to deal with those problems.
Eight years to the day after the launch of the Xbox 360, Microsoft released the Xbox One on November 22, 2013. We have been covering the Xbox One since its launch so we won't go over its history here. However. Microsoft seems to be more supportive of the console than it has ever been and its recent New Xbox One Experience update shows that it will be a major part of bringing Windows 10 to as many devices as possible.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.