The Xbox is a home video game console and the first installment in the Xbox series of consoles manufactured by Microsoft. It was released on November 15, 2001, in North America, followed by Australia and Europe in 2002.〔http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2001/nov01/11-14midnightmadnesspr.aspx〕 It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console market. The sixth-generation console competed with Sony's PlayStation 2, Sega's Dreamcast, and the Nintendo GameCube. It was the first console produced by an American company since the Atari Jaguar ceased production in 1996.
In November 2002, Microsoft launched Xbox Live, a fee-based online gaming service that enabled subscribers to download new content and connect with other players through a broadband connection. Unlike other online services from Sega and Sony, Xbox Live had support in the original console design through an integrated Ethernet port. The service gave Microsoft an early foothold in online gaming and would help the Xbox become a relevant competitor to other sixth-generation consoles.
Xbox's successor, the Xbox 360, was launched in November 2005. The Xbox was soon discontinued beginning with Microsoft's worst-performing market, Japan, in 2005. Other countries would follow suit in 2006. The last Xbox game in Europe was ''Xiaolin Showdown'' released in June 2007, and the last game in North America was ''Madden NFL 09'' released in August 2008. Support for out-of-warranty Xbox consoles was discontinued on March 2, 2009. Support for Xbox Live on the console ended on April 15, 2010.
In 1998, four engineers from Microsoft's DirectX team, Kevin Bachus, Seamus Blackley, Ted Hase and DirectX team leader Otto Berkes, disassembled some Dell laptop computers to construct a prototype Microsoft Windows-based video game console. The team hoped to create a console to compete with Sony's upcoming PlayStation 2, which was luring game developers away from the Windows platform. The team approached Ed Fries, the leader of Microsoft's game publishing business at the time, and pitched their "DirectX Box" console based on the DirectX graphics technology developed by Berkes' team. Fries decided to support the team's idea of creating a Windows DirectX based console.
During development, the original DirectXbox name was shortened to Xbox. Microsoft's marketing department did not like the Xbox name, and suggested many alternatives. During focus testing, the Xbox name was left on the list of possible names to demonstrate how unpopular the Xbox name would be with consumers. However, consumer testing revealed that Xbox was preferred by far over the other suggested names and "Xbox" became the official name of the product.
It was Microsoft's first video game console after collaborating with Sega to port Windows CE to the Dreamcast console. Microsoft repeatedly delayed the console, which was first mentioned publicly in late 1999 during interviews with Microsoft's then-CEO Bill Gates. Gates stated that “we want Xbox to be the platform of choice for the best and most creative game developers in the world.”
The Xbox was officially announced at the Game Developers Conference on March 10, 2000. Audiences were impressed by the console's technology. At the time of Gates' announcement, Sega's Dreamcast sales were diminishing and Sony's PlayStation 2 was just going on sale in Japan. Gates was in talks with Sega's late chairman Isao Okawa about the possibility of Xbox compatibility with Dreamcast games, but negotiations fell apart over whether or not the Dreamcast's SegaNet online service should be implemented.〔http://kotaku.com/5447897/how-xbox-could-have-helped-the-dreamcast-survive〕
The Xbox was officially unveiled to the public by Gates and guest professional wrestler The Rock at CES 2001 in Las Vegas on January 3, 2001. Microsoft announced Xbox's release dates and prices at E3 2001 in May. Most Xbox launch titles were unveiled at E3, most notably ''Halo: Combat Evolved'' and ''Dead or Alive 3''.
Due to the immense popularity of gaming consoles in Japan, Microsoft delayed the release of the Xbox in Europe to focus on the Japanese video game market. Although delayed, the European release proved to be more successful than the launch of the Xbox in Japan.
Some of Microsoft's plans proved effective. In preparation for its launch, Microsoft acquired Bungie and used ''Halo: Combat Evolved'' as its launch title. At the time, ''GoldenEye 007'' for the Nintendo 64 had been one of the few hit FPS games to appear on a console, as well as titles such as ''Perfect Dark'' and ''Medal of Honor''. ''Halo: Combat Evolved'' proved a good application to drive the Xbox's sales.〔 In 2002, Microsoft made the second place slot in consoles sold in North America. The Xbox Live service gave Microsoft an early foothold in online gaming and would help the Xbox become a relevant competitor to other sixth-generation consoles.
Popular launch games for the console included ''Dead or Alive 3'', ''Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding'', ''Halo: Combat Evolved'', ''Fuzion Frenzy'', ''Project Gotham Racing'', and ''Jet Set Radio Future''.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』