Xbox 360 turns five, sales hit 45 million

[UPDATE] Over two weeks after the Kinect launch, Microsoft's second console celebrates half-decade on the market.

Five years ago today, the first Xbox 360s were handed out at Microsoft's Zero Hour event in the Southern California desert. A half-decade later, the console celebrated its fifth birthday with a worldwide sales tally of now more than 45 million units sold and a track record of both highs and lows.

That was then.

One of those lows came right after the console's launch, when both the hard-drive-less $300 Xbox 360 Core and the 20GB $400 Xbox 360 Pro were in short supply for months. Once stocks of the console were reestablished, it came under criticism for its loud fan and an increasingly common problem called the "Red Ring of Death" resulting from overheating. Eventually, Microsoft would pay over $1 billion to extend the warranty of consoles to three years from their production dates.

On the software side, the Xbox 360 launched with 18 titles, including Call of Duty 2, Condemned: Criminal Origins, Madden NFL 06, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. It would go on to offer a wide selection of both third-party favorites, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Fallout 3, and hit first-party exclusives, such as Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and, most recently, Fable III.

This is now.

While the original Xbox's life cycle lasted from 2001 to 2005, the Xbox 360 will likely be around well beyond five years. In June, Microsoft released the new slimline version of the console, which sported a quieter cooling system and a new 40nm chipset with a 250GB hard drive for just $300. (A $200 4GB version of the smaller console was introduced in August.) Last month, Microsoft introduced the Kinect, the heavily hyped motion-sensing system that's intended to extend the console's life cycle for several more years.

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551 comments
Fred5107
Fred5107

Why does everyone like the Kinect if it makes you lick the floor?

wolvklaw
wolvklaw

Still quite happy with the 360. Glad I passed on the Wii and finally joined in with kinect. Glad I invested in one system instead of being spread out. With a collection of over a 100 games, collectors editions, the new slimline console....media center with Netflix and of course adding movies and now just streaming them to the 360...as well as streaming 120 gigs of tunes from the 360 to the stereo...seriously...I have no reason to buy any other console right now nor am I even interested. Hell my old original 360 bought on launch is up in my sons room, still working fine. From my perspective as a consumer, a gamer and an adult who invested in one system alone, I am a happy consumer still investing in it today. Hell I have games I haven't even had time to open and play yet like Mass Effect 1 & 2..both collectors editions lol. Just because I don't have alot of time and when I do I am still working on Fallout 3 (amazon survival edition)...Black Ops, Dragon Age, New Vegas....As a gamer...a true gamer who stood in lines at xmas to score games like Zelda II, the original FInal Fantasy...Secret of Mana...I haven't been happier as a gamer than I am today. Only THIS time...I didn't just trade off games (like FF 7 etc)...this time..I created an inheritance lol.

ChromeGrill212
ChromeGrill212

@jrgoalie33 i dont want them to release a new console because of some personal reasons. It's because I dont have a job right now, so i don't want to save too much money from my allowance just so i could buy a new console. Every generation the consoles get more expensive no doubt. Once I finally get a new job then I would want them to release a new console.

mikemaj82
mikemaj82

@wellbigd: Xbox is not made in america lol

Fred5107
Fred5107

@7rooper Please do not call me a "poor boy." Kinect still has a camera that is used for a motion sensor just like Eyetoy, they make you lick the floor, and there is not much of a difference anyway, Microsoft are phonies. Sony had it first and a lot of people don't know about it. I am sure that they just want what Sony had a long time ago! They are so pathetic that they had to use Kinect to make their sales go up. That's all there is to it.

7rooper
7rooper

@Fred5107 I'm beginning to see that you haven't got much idea... Poor boy. Kinect has a depth sensor!!. It means that eyetoy can't tell when your hand gets closer to the camera as the Kinect can.

7rooper
7rooper

'Some people think much faster computers are required for Arti- ficial Intelligence, as well as new ideas. My own opinion is that the computers of 30 years ago were fast enough if only we knew how to program them' -John McCarthy, computer scientist, 2004 As long as better graphics engines are coded the current hardware would suffice our eye-candy demands. That's it. Hardware will always be ahead of software

digi-demon
digi-demon

@gohtingqi1997 Get a life :D get an Xbox XD Oh and BTW for god sake people - if in doubt - use the spell checker!

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Fred5107 True, Sony did not copy IN ANY WAY the Wii Remote. Nor with the move, nor adding a movement sensitive control to the six-axis.

ronnieo54
ronnieo54

@Warlord_Irochi yep, they replace the FIRST one for free. after that its payout time.

Fred5107
Fred5107

Microsoft Xbox 360's Kinect is copying off of Playstation 2's Eyetoy Camera. Which came out in about 2003. They should never make a new console because they copy! Eyetoy had the same motion sensor! Kinect makes you lick the floor/carpet when you play Kinectimals, you also have to roll around! The health department almost completely didn't approve of that!

Haasdude
Haasdude

They just released Kinect...are you expecting a new console from Microsoft anytime soon?

Hrel
Hrel

I really hope they release a new console Xmas of 2011, the graphics are SOOO out dated, and the fact that it's DX9 has been holding back PC gaming for so long now, it's getting pretty redicilous.

CurryMcFlurry
CurryMcFlurry

Ahahaha Xbox you brought it out too soon back in 05' resulting in uncountable amount of RROD's. No this shouldn't be forgotten because it's actually a good lesson. Take your time this time round. Also what we will see is the PS3 will have a much much longer life span because of it's hardware capabilities yet to be utilised while 360 approaches it's limits. I know what I'm talking about so don't argue these facts peace out.

jdog8888888
jdog8888888

Congrats Xbox 360. I am still mad you broke on me 6 months out of warranty. :/ my orignal Xbox lasted 7 years! Still having fun tho. Arcade was a great idea. Can't wait for a good Kinect game!

detectivepbert
detectivepbert

Both 360 and PS3 are awesome, its like having a Mac and a PC, just nice to be able to play around with both. I haven't played a PS3 game in about 3 months but I'm going to get AC:Brotherhood for it instead of 360 since I don't need the shooter controls for that game and it has PS3 exclusive DLC. That being said I'l be playing Halo:Reach multiplayer for at least another 6 months.

Takeno456
Takeno456

I do enjoy the 360. Happy B day.

ChoadS
ChoadS

Still using my launch day 360. I do have a second one in the basement. I have a PS3 and Wii and use the 360 90% of the time. Xbox live is where it is at!

barbabop
barbabop

With so many more great games coming along soon, I have no fear that the Xbox will be replaced anytime soon. Happy Birthday, Xbox 360, and I hope to see you going strong for a couple more years.

gohtingqi1997
gohtingqi1997

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

digi-demon
digi-demon

Hmmm... wellbigd posted : @mikemaj82 "Who cares about US-only sales?" People in America, Xbox 360 is created in the Us this creates jobs while Ps3 is japanese and doesn't, not to mention the japanese won't buy an American product so xbox will never sale well in japan Erm... Wellbigd : I get what you are saying, but its more to do with the 'Badge' ie being an american brand that stops japan adopting the Xbox rather than anything else. Silly really as most consoles and accessories (or at least their internals) are actually manufactured or 'outsourced' to 'foreign' / another country. Although it is understandable as profits from sales will go to the parent company and Sonys/Nintendo's profits will eventually return to Japans economy and Microsofts will return to the USA economy etc. As a British gamer I cannot easily support our economy with gaming purchases as very little in the Video gaming industry is actually made in the UK these days....

digi-demon
digi-demon

@KrazzyDJ Would prefer a REAL evolution of current-gen gameplay rather than just an evolution of graphics for the next gen :D

wills_b
wills_b

I have to say, the new xbox 360 slim is still not as quiet as I would like. The console is a lot quieter, but the disc drive is still incredibly loud. I still install all the games to the HDD for sound reasons alone.

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

The next evolution in video game graphics is only going to arrive with the next generation of consoles !!!

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Im more than happy to wait a couple more years before moving on from my 360, as you only need to look at games like Crysis2 to realise that devs are still pushing the current hardware.

mikemaj82
mikemaj82

@wellbigd you better check your facts. both consoles are made in Taiwan.

Flint247
Flint247

People can't get over the RRoD. Yes, it is a flaw for 360; we get it, already.

Themetalmike
Themetalmike

I think it is great they came out with the new slim 360, I really enjoy plying on my 360 for extended lengths of time without fear of it "blowing up" on me. I really do hope that these consoles are around for a bit longer!

GSTom11
GSTom11

Congrats for xbox. Even though I prefer ps3, it's great to play xbox for left4dead and gears. Oh, and about the motion control thing. yes, the Move copied off the Wii, and Microsoft copied off the EyeToy. This isn't a bad thing. They're all fun so just pick one and start enjoying. Hopefully ps3 and xbox will be around for a few more years cause I really don't feel like buying new consoles yet.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Ready for the Next Gen? No way. IMO the real current gen (X360/PS3) have at least another 3 to 4 years left in them - minimum. :D Developers need to create a new game or preferably a new genre of game that truly cannot be realised with current hardware before we need the real next gen and not just prettier, smoother or 3DTV editions of old genres and titles. Agreed the Wii needs a backwards compatible Wii'HD' model soon though ;). Look, why does anyone keep updating their PC every 12mths or 2 years just to play the hand-full of hand-me-down new releases available? If they do,then IMO these people are just elitists - but not gamers.

IceJester45
IceJester45

@MorbisDraconis, I've noticed a limited number of exclusives this generation. Period. The PS3 had almost nothing to play as far as exclusives went until late-2008 or so. Most of the good exclusives were on the Xbox 360, and, even then, there weren't that many of them (when compared to consoles in previous generations).

MorbisDraconis
MorbisDraconis

The biggest thing I noticed sine it's released are the limited exclusives this console gets. Even with the ones it has now, a lot of them got ported over to the Playstation 3 with vast improvements and exclusive content. Not to forget, the online just got jacked up in price.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

Why all the flame bait about the RROD?Get over it already. I've had it, and a lot of my friends fell victim to it. Guess what, got it fixed , and no problems since. Same thing for my friends. Glad to see they are going 5 years strong with this system and hopefully they will be in it for the long haul, unlike the original Xbox. Xbox Live user for 7 years and plan on a lot more to come!

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@TTDog I take it we both got a warning there? Hahaha :p No you didn't touch a nerve, it was a joke.. Nevermind. It's often hard to portray emphasis of speech in txt form. No offence intended anyway. I'm sorry oh great Gamespot with your reeeediculous rules.

Drakkengoth
Drakkengoth

i'd have more appreciation for this console if it didnt get 3-red-rings every 365 days

IceJester45
IceJester45

@mightEone, I totally agree with you. I think we need new consoles by 2012 or so (at the latest). Unfortunately, that's probably not going to happen, even though recent console releases really shine a light on the systems' limitations. I miss the days when companies would deliver new hardware in time to allow the old hardware to exit on a high note. The 360 and PS3 are going to be quite crusty by the time Sony and Microsoft replace them. With respect to Kinect, I actually bought one. Microsoft says it should help extend the console's life by another five years. Kinect is fun and all, but I don't see it as a replacement for a stable of technologically impressive core titles.

xbox360555
xbox360555

honestly i really dont care for the kinect and the move (move seems to be a bit of a wii rip off) i like playing the 360 and ps3 the ol fashion way

mightEone
mightEone

Time for new consoles. They are starting to show their age now, Hopefully Microsoft planned for the Kinect to be compatible with Xbox 3, otherwise that would be a big waste of money to even buy Kinect at this point.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Ha Ha Ha Ha :D Xbox360 FTW! :D :D

clqtte
clqtte

Xbox Live should be Free For All now.Microsoft never feel being enough.

IceJester45
IceJester45

@penpusher, Sorry for being snarky earlier. My Internet muscles were affecting my judgment. Anywho... As I said, I don't expect consoles to match what a PC can do. High-end PCs use the latest technology and will almost always crush the consoles. I tolerate some performance differences between the consoles and the PC, which is why I don't feel the need to upgrade my consoles every year. However, when a mid-range PC, like my current one, can run a game like Mass Effect 2 much better than my Xbox can, then I start getting the feeling that we need new consoles soon. The gap between PC and console performance is only going to get wider. We still have five years left before new hardware. I understand the financial issue, especially with the world's developed economies in the state they're in. I was speaking for myself with my initial comment. I can afford to make the jump to new hardware, and I want to make that jump soon....well, sooner than 2015, at least. However, a new console purchase is usually not necessary at first. Console manufacturers often continue to support their older platforms long after the new ones launch.

penpusher
penpusher

@IceJester45 hanging with pcs for a few years is a bit optomistic, the first year they hang on, by the second year the pcs have gone well beyond them. PC's will always be significantly better than a console because within a year they've been upgraded, where as consoles arent. Thats why its completely unfair to compare consoles to pc's and certainly not a good way to judge whether we need an upgrade. If you went off that logic all the time we would have to upgrade consoles yearly. And not to mention that with economics the way they are a new console for the sake of better graphics really doesnt interest me and the same goes for most people who have to be careful with their money. The 3DS for example appeals to me, but nintendo have a hard sell in my case because its a mighty expense at the moment

IceJester45
IceJester45

@penpusher, I am plenty witty. Thanks for the concern, though. The consoles are perfectly capable of 1080p if they're displaying games with low polygon counts and such. Games on the Xbox 360 and PS3 are usually upscaled to 1080p, which results in lower quality visuals. Only a few games like Perfect Dark, Gravity Crash HD, and WipeOut HD are native 1080p. Of course games on the consoles continue to look better, but that doesn't mean that it isn't time for new hardware. PlayStation games in 2000 were looking better and better, but I didn't want to stick with my PlayStation until 2005. Games for the Xbox 360 are looking better and better compared to other games on the Xbox 360. However, as I said earlier, they're really starting to creak compared to games on the PC. Comparisons of console games to their PC counterparts are perfectly apt, by the way. The PC represents, more or less, what the newest technology can do. For the first few years, console games are usually able to (at least) hang with their PC counterparts. During that time, I'm content with minor differences between the console and PC versions of games. However, when it gets to the point at which PC games begin playing significantly better, then it's time for new console hardware. We're fast approaching that point. I believe we'll be there long before 2015. The games you listed are excellent of examples of why we need new hardware.

TTDog
TTDog

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

penpusher
penpusher

@IceJester45 dont try being sarcastic please, it just shows a total lack of wit... And I wouldnt call it lower resolution :S the console is perfectly capable of 1080p resolution and I'm aware of its storage limitations, but they are limitations not glass ceillings. Of course anti-aliasing problems arent present on the pc, pc games are (generally) superior to their console counterparts so its a bit of a daft comparison because a console rarely wins in that instance. I mean just take a look at the new games that have come out, mass effect 2, halo reach, forza 3, gears 3 etc etc they show the console is still capable of pushing out more so I dont know where youre getting any of this from. Perhaps if you dont keep comparing them to pc games?

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

shkar
shkar

happy birthday,,but it's a shame that my first xbox360 died after one year ,,my 2nd one is still working but just like an injured person on mechanical ventilation....I have both consoles and I admit I am a sony fanatic ,,but I have reason to boycott xbox because it has brought shame to the industry with it's crappy console design that overheats like an oven,,,yes xbox 360 has great exclusives(that's why I bought my 2nd console because I can't miss games like mass effect,,too human,,alan wake,,gears of war) but the console desgin is crappy as hell ...Shame on microsoft and it would be shame on sony if they get down as dirty as microsoft is now.....

TTDog
TTDog

It's amazing how all the people who have had 8 or 9 "broken" machines are all PS3 fanboys... some people have no luck at all.

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

why is fable featured as related game on the top left. It should've been halo