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33 Consoles of Christmas
Microsoft Xbox (2001)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 18, 2006   |   Episode 26 (Show Archive)  

   
It's time once again for Defunct Games' 33 Consoles of Christmas, your 33 part guide to the best and worst system designs of all time. Join Cyril Lachel and Chad Reinhardt as they judge 33 different game consoles based on what they think of the look. Forget about actual hardware and software, the only thing these guys care about is talking about their exterior design. Join us every day between November 23 and December 25 for a new console review!


Synopsis: Microsoft is the newest player in the video game market, an 800 lbs gorilla in the computer world that people either love or hate. The Xbox was their first modern console and it did respectable business, despite settling for second place behind the Sony PlayStation 2. In the four short years the Xbox was alive, Microsoft was able to bridge the gap between PC and console gamers. The Xbox is best known for its strong showing of first-person shooters, including Halo and Halo 2, the best selling console first-person shooters of all time. Microsoft was also able to unite the Xbox community under one online service, Xbox Live, something that both Nintendo and Sony are scrambling to get right. With its amazing list of games and great online service, the Xbox was a system that you couldn't ignore.

Best Games: Halo 2, Ninja Gaiden, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Knights of the Old Republic, The Chronicles of Riddick, and many more.




A lot of people complain about the size of the original Xbox, but the system is practically the same size as the Sega Master System, Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Saturn. But there is some validity to the size complaint, the game is long and deep, it's a colossal unit that can stop a moving car in its tracks. That's not the only thing people notice about the original Xbox, you also can't help but fixate about the ginormous green circle at the top of the unit. I guess the system could look cool if you only see it from the top (where it's a big X), but at any other angle it looks like the beast it is. I will give Microsoft a little credit for going balls in and actually designing a system that bucks all video game traditions. I do find it a problem that you will need three friends to help you pick it up, but the system is just different enough to get m to put a plus next to that "C".

I can only imagine it was Microsoft's desire to dominate the console market by creating the most colossal system possible. They nearly hit that mark if you disregard the CD-i the way I do every hour of every day. Nonetheless, this thing is too massive for my taste. The black-on-green is a nice color decision, as black is the new black. Having four controller ports is finally becoming the standard, which makes perfect sense to me, particularly for a console that won mass appeal by sporting games that support four-player insanity. I think the giant "X" embossed on the top of the console looks tacky, or cheesy, or tackeesy, if you like portmanteaus. I guess the "X" marks the spot where the fun starts, or, if you were unlucky enough to have problems with your original Xbox, precisely where the fun stopped when you thought the game was just "still loading". Had they found a way to decrease its size I may have looked upon it with a kinder eye. As it stands, I can't say I'm very fond of it.
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