Illustration for article titled What People Used To Say About The First Xbox

We don't know every last thing about the new Xbox. Some leaked details, for the most part, sprinkled with a liberal helping of rumors. While we wait for new bits and pieces to be revealed, why not reminisce a bit? Let's have a look at how the very first Xbox, turning 12 years old this year, was received.


  • "'The Microsoft Xbox game console is built around an Intel Pentium III processor running at 733 MHz,' says Julia Elvidge, vice president, marketing and sales [of Ottawa-based Chipworks Inc.]. 'The whole console is in fact a stripped down medium-end PC with high-end graphics. (...) Despite the hype and considering its late arrival in the marketplace, one would have expected more enhancements of the Xbox.'"
  • Cybernalia - X-ray exposes xbox; The Ottawa Citizen, November 26, 2001.

The least they could've done is throw in a cupholder.

  • "Now gamers, as well as their gift-giving parents, are left with a difficult decision this holiday season. (...) Perhaps they should buy the Xbox. After all, it is the most technologically advanced of [the Xbox, GameCube, and PS2]. And, with Microsoft putting its enormous weight behind the unit, how could it fail?"
  • David Carter: Xbox and GameCube: Start your CPU engines: These consoles can play; The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 20, 2001.

They might also want to buy it to play this fab new game called Halo.

  • "[The Xbox] has the most powerful graphics engine on the market. The first question many gamers ask: "Who has the best graphics?" With games such as "Dead or Alive 3" and "Halo" (think "GoldenEye" on steroids), the answer is simple: Xbox."
  • Wes Phillips: Game Wars; Tampa Tribune, November 19, 2001.

Huh. I don't recall any aliens in GoldenEye.

  • "One would think with the millions of dollars Microsoft spent developing this system, they'd have the most ergonomic controller in history. Instead, they copied the basic design of Sega Dreamcast's controller, but bulked it up so it's almost impossible to hold comfortably. The skill buttons are difficult to reach and pressing down the triggers (used mostly in shooting and driving games) is a herculean feat."
  • David Thomas: Xbox Vivid To See, Awkward To Play; Palm Beach Post, November 17, 2001.

It's like the Fat Lady of controllers. Except it doesn't sing as well and has shiny colorful buttons.

  • "DOA3, which has a "teen" rating and a "mature sexual themes" advisory, is basically for hard-core, testosterone-addled gamers. That's an important constituency for the Xbox's inventor, Microsoft, to ensnare. It just doesn't reflect much of a vision for sophisticated video-game entertainment."
  • Mike Antonucci: Let The Xbox Games Begin: First Releases Come Out Swinging For Microsoft's New Consoles; San Jose Mercury News, November 17, 2001.

I object to that. DOA's jiggle physics are quite sophisticated, thank you very much.

  • [Jason Vermeer, supervisor at Gamers] said he preferred the PlayStation 2 over the Xbox and the Gamecube. 'They have a huge selection of games, and it's a lot of fun to use,' Vermeer said. Vermeer said the Xbox was a good investment for sophisticated games geared toward adults. Two other advantages of the Xbox were its processing power and its Internet-access capability."
  • Sean McCarthy: Holiday shoppers fight on front line of console wars; University Wire, November 26, 2001.

See? Sophisticated. I'll let that PS2 comment slide... for now.

So, Kotaku. When did you get hold of your own Xbox? Have you played much of GoldenEye on Steroids—with a fat controller, no less? Tell us below.

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Woah! All of the controller hate. Sure the original controller was large, but it was definitely comfortable to hold. The only issue was the reach to the black and white buttons. I was 13 when the xbox came out, and it was most definitely not too big, or too hard to pull the triggers. David Thomas is just a big wimp.