When I got it, I realized something. It was, for the time, the ultimate in gaming excess.
I mean look at this sexy beast monstrosity.
It... was... glorious...
and the specs
Nothing could touch it at the time, and the price was insane for that level of power. The specs and the price meant that to me, especially since I was still bitter at Sony at the time for killing my beloved Sega, it was the best choice that generation. I mean, that system just says it gives no fucks about anything other than being a power gaming behemoth. Ok, yeah I keep saying it was big, Because it was.
Originally Posted by wikipedia
Central processing unit
CPU: 32-bit 733 MHz, custom Intel Pentium III Coppermine-based processor in a Micro-PGA2 package (though soldered to the mainboard using BGA). 180 nm process.
SSE floating point SIMD. Four single-precision floating point numbers per clock cycle.
MMX integer SIMD
133 MHz 64-bit GTL+ front-side bus to GPU
64KB L1 cache. 128 KB on-die L2 cache
Shared graphics memory sub-system
64 MB DDR SDRAM at 200 MHz; in dual-channel 128-bit configuration giving 6400 MB/s
Supplied by Hynix or Samsung depending on manufacture date and location
Graphics processing unit
GPU and system chipset:
233 MHz "NV2A" ASIC. Co-developed by Microsoft and Nvidia.
Geometry engine: 115 million vertices/second, 125 million particles/second (peak)
4 pixel pipelines with 2 texture units each
932 megapixels/second (233 MHz × 4 pipelines), 1,864 megatexels/second (932 MP × 2 texture units) (peak)
Peak triangle performance (32pixel divided from fillrate): 29,125,000 32-pixel triangles/s raw or with 2 textures and lighting
485,416 triangles per frame at 60 frame/s
970,833 triangles per frame at 30 frame/s
8 textures per pass, texture compression, full scene anti-aliasing (NV Quincunx, supersampling, multisampling)
Bilinear, trilinear, and anisotropic texture filtering
Similar in performance to the GeForce 4 Ti4200 PC GPU
2×–5× (2.6 MB/s–6.6 MB/s) CAV DVD-ROM
8 or 10 GB, 3.5 in, 5,400 RPM hard disk formatted to 8 GB with FATX file system
Optional 32 MB memory card for saved game file transfer
Audio processor: NVIDIA "MCPX" (a.k.a. SoundStorm "NVAPU")
64 3D sound channels (up to 256 stereo voices)
HRTF Sensaura 3D enhancement
MIDI DLS2 Support
Monaural, Stereo, Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital Live 5.1, and DTS Surround (DVD movies only) audio output options
Integrated 10/100BASE-TX wired Ethernet
DVD movie playback (add-on required)
A/V outputs: composite video, S-Video, component video, SCART, Digital Optical TOSLINK, and stereo RCA analog audio
Resolutions: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i
Controller ports: 4 proprietary USB 1.1 ports
Weight: 3.86 kg (8.5 lb)
Dimensions: 320 × 100 × 260 mm (12.5 × 4 × 10.5 in)
But beyond that, it also actually took what MS learned when it worked with Sega on the Dreamcast and evolved it to the next level. High speed internet only, no modems allowed. Voice chat as the primary means of communication online. A console that was essentially a PC, hard-drive and all. It was powerful, easy to program for, and had great games.
Halo defined the shooter on consoles. Bungie was PC royalty, and them being bought out by MS in order to launch the Xbox changed the face of gaming. Yeah, Goldeneye was popular, but Halo controlled with a level of fluidity that earlier FPSes could only dream of. That and, repetition and all, its Single-player campaign was pure magic, mix that in with couch coop, up to 16 player lan style multiplayer, and mind blowing graphics for the time, and console gaming would never be the same.
Crimson Skies: The High Road to Revenge
I love this game. I love this game in ways that aren't healthy. This game was so damned different than pretty much any flight game on consoles before or since. It mixed flying with adventure, and it's online muliplayer was just amazing. And come one, it had SKY PIRATES! Take that, Ace Combat. Back then you didn't need to be an FPS to have a great time in multi, and I can't say enough about this title.
MechWarrior never worked on consoles. It wasn't a matter of power, but even the best control pad simply couldn't pull off the complex controls that would be required for a hardcore mech sim. So, FASA decided to make a more action based mech shooter. And it was one of the best games on the system. Add in Online via the nascent Xbox-live (it was a pack in), and you were in for a lot of Loki killing. You can never get enough of that.
Jet Set Radio Future
Game of the gen. Take Jet Grind Radio, take out the horrible time limit, make the controls a wee bit more forgiving, and expand the world, and you get pure perfection. Not only was this game drop dead gorgeous, it was a hell of a lot of fun to play. The different districts were art, pure and simple, and exploring them while grinding, tricking, and tagging is some of the most fun you will ever have. Add on to that a huge cast of characters to unlock, and an unforgettable soundtrack, and you reach gaming nirvana.
Game of the forever. Yeah, it came out on dreamcast, and yeah, that one was subtitled. But if you were in the US, this was what you needed to play. It was Shenmue one, with a lot more scope, and a little less detail. This was the game that turned the Shenmue Defense Force into the rabid lunatics that we continue to be today. Shenmue was the appetizer, this was when we realized the sheer depths of insanity that Yu Suzuki was willing to dive into to give us his magnum opus. No other game would touch the ambition of this title again.
Panzer Dragoon Orta
This game came out nearly 11 years ago. It still looks fantastic. How they pulled these graphics off two gens ago I will never know. Smilebit was at the top of its game during the Xbox, and it showed. Take Zwei, crank it up to 11, and you get this. One of the best rail shooters of all time. It should have sold better. People suck.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Yeah, it came out on PC too, but in many ways this game defined what made the Xbox different than the other systems at the time. No other system could come close to giving console players a game of this scope. Morrowind was massive. And unlike Daggerfall the world was interesting to explore, the music was amazing. Jeremy Soule's main theme is still used to this day, but many consider his first rendition, Nerevar Rising to be the best of the bunch. Listen to it and don't get goosebumps, I dare you. With Morrowind the CRPG came crashing on to consoles, and it forced people to take notice. Other Elder Scrolls games might have been more polished, but none were as interesting.
Knights of the Old Republic I and II
Bioware was making an RPG for consoles. A Star Wars RPG for consoles. It was simply unbelievable. A lot of people view the first game as the beginning of Biowares descent into mediocrity. They are wrong. KoTOR was a great game. True it started a lot of the Bioware formula, but that didn't make it any less revolutionary at the time. It was a Bioware game, fully voiced, mixed with Star Wars that didn't suck, which in 2003 was rather important as Episode 2 was still fresh in everyone's minds. KOTOR2 was in many ways a better game, and in many ways a worse one, but it is my favorite of the two. Kreia alone is the most interesting thing ever done in Star Wars, and being able to affect your party, and the amazing story being told far outweigh the fact that the release date actually got PUSHED UP and the game was rushed out the door unfinished.
You know what I said about Mech sims and consoles. Disregard it. God I need to finally get this game. The controller is just too cool for words. Capcom you were so great back then.
Dead or Alive 3
This game looked amazing, and was an early reason to get an Xbox. Yeah Virtua Fighter is a better series, but DoA always did have it beat in pick up and play fun. I love this series, and DoA3 is what cemented that love. Plus, she kicks high.
Ninja Gaiden Black
This game. Oh lord this game. Character action at its finest. Tons of weapons, amazing gameplay, and graphics that STILL looked great years into the next generation. Ninja Gaiden is the best game of its type ever made. Tight gameplay, bloody fun combat, hard as hell difficulty. It has yet to be topped. Itagaki may be MIA, but he will always be remembered for this beauty. This is the best version of the game too. if you haven't played Ninja Gaiden Black, you haven't played the true version of this game.
and these games really are just scratching the surface. The Xbox was a breath of fresh air in the console space, and it really did so much to really bring more and more top western devs into the scene. This system had a great library.
The best way to play this bad boy is to hunt one down for yourself. Yeah the Xbox 360 has "backwards compatibility" but it generally sucks. Even games that are compatible often suffer from painfully bad slowdown (JSRF is unplayable in some areas.) and even more of them simply don't run at all.
And despite the fact that after it was hacked the Xbox had a metric crapton of emulators created for it, we still don't have an emulator for this thing. That blows my mind. Yeah yeah, I know emulation is hard, but come on, we have a pretty amazing Wii and PS2 emulation scene, yet the Xbox sits unloved in a corner. It's shameful.
So yeah, this thread is about loving all things Xbox, so share your memories, lost gems that you remember, and memories about hacking the thing. Anything at all really. Let's bask in the memories of a time when MS really cared about gaming.