When you take a step back and think about the things the Xbox brand has brought to the gaming industry over the past decade and a half, it’s pretty incredible. During 2001, Microsoft introduced an unknown and unproven platform in the Xbox, and the gaming industry has become a better one because of it.
We have received three iterations in the Xbox console and the most recent edition, Xbox One, launched back in November 2013. So much has evolved in gaming as a result of the Xbox platform, and the company’s head of marketing recently reflected on the history of the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and of course, the original Xbox.
“For the original Xbox, what we did in such a short period of time and a lot of the bets we made, we were a small group of people kind of just doing whatever we wanted. It was mostly off the shelf parts that put that thing together and it was a pretty expensive box to make happen and the game content was a little all over the place. We had some incredible titles that came out of that and so there was a lot of magic in that,” Aaron Greenberg told IGN.
The original Xbox laid a magnificent foundation for what came next in 2005, but when you look at the life-cycle of the Xbox 360 compared to the original Xbox, it’s clear the first was to prove Microsoft could create a legitimate gaming platform. The next one, the Xbox 360, was to prove Microsoft could be a dominant player in the console market.
“With Xbox 360, it just felt like we got everything right. Building Xbox Live in, and a lot of people gave us a hard time about entertainment with Xbox One, but we did a lot of pioneering with entertainment with apps, digital movies, we had the 1080p streaming movies, we had Netflix, we did a lot of work with TV providers.
“[All of that] was in additional to an incredible lineup of games from the Gears franchise, Mass Effect and there were just so many, many great games. Call of Duty kind of took off on 360, Project Gotham Racing, Forza and there was a lot of greatness there,” Greenberg said.
So much time has gone by since Call of Duty‘s emergence on the Xbox 360 platform, and it is easy to forget how that brand began to hit its stride with an assist going to Xbox Live and the 360. The Xbox 360 lived a very healthy and successful life, but then 2013 came along and Microsoft decided eight years was long enough to wait until they brought out the next-generation of Xbox, the Xbox One.
“I think with Xbox One, where we are right now as I said, I think we’re really proud of what we achieved over the last couple of years in particular. I think the team has made an incredible product. I think we have an industry-leading games lineup and as we look to the into  we’re going to have more AAA games, we’re planning on selling more games [in 2016] than we did in 2015.
“I think we delivered for people this [past] year. There is a lot of innovation happening and I think it’ll be exciting to get to share more about that throughout the year. It’s going to be a big year for gamers and if you’re an Xbox One owner, I think you’re going to be happy,” Greenberg said.
While it’s absolutely fair to say that Microsoft had a bit too much ambition with some of the non-gaming desires they had with the Xbox One, you can’t fault them for trying to push the envelope of what a gaming console can be. They did that with the Xbox 360 and it proved to be one of the greatest things that has happened to gaming, and it helped us innovate and helped us grow.
The Xbox brand is synonymous with the gaming industry and hopefully it will never leave this business. If you were to ask Microsoft in 2001 if they thought what they were doing would be as big as it is in 2016, they probably would not have described what the Xbox brand has become, and what it is today.