When the Xbox 360 was announced, I was just as surprised as anyone else. The original Xbox was only four years old and Xbox LIVE was just starting to hit its stride. At that time, I was working in the Microsoft Security Response Center handling communications on vulnerabilities and attacks. But being a gamer all my life, of course my office was outfitted with a TV and Xbox console.
(We had to work some long hours in security response and sometimes you need some Halo. For testing. You know.)
Sure I had a PS2 and a Gamecube as well, but I really thought we’d put out a good gaming machine with the Xbox and was surprised we would “kill” it so quickly in favor of a new one. But as more and more information came out about it, the more excited I got over it. We tend to forget that compared to what was launched with the Xbox 360, the gaming experiences on other platforms was fairly primitive. Fun to be sure, but the leap to HD gaming interconnected through LIVE was a pretty watershed moment.
I remember when my Core model showed up at my door bright and early on launch day (everyone was sold out of Pro models). I’d already bought a hard drive separately to put on it, and I connected it to my then state of the art 720p DLP rear projection TV and wireless network. I migrated my “Stepto” account over from Xbox 1 to Xbox 360 LIVE Gold. I began to earn achievements. I voice chatted with my friends. I played Halo2 upscaled to 720p and looking better than it ever had. My original Xbox looked at me from the entertainment center. It knew its days were numbered. It couldn’t compete with the new hotness.
And now here we are, five years later. I’ve been working in the Xbox group now for over three years, more than half the life so far of this little platform. Thanks to the Xbox 360 I’ve met so many of my friends and kept in touch with old ones. I get to work on cool stuff and help create experiences that entertain people.
So Happy birthday Xbox 360, and thanks. Here’s to the years to come!