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Xbox 360 10th Anniversary: The Innovations, Challenges and Games That Changed An Industry


It might not seem possible but Xbox 360 is 10 years old.

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Microsoft’s second home console ushered in the longest generation in gaming history with a series of unique features that have become standard in modern consoles. No longer are gamers tethered to their consoles as wireless controllers have become a standard feature. The hard drive expanded in size from the original Xbox, allowing gamers to download entire games, updates and DLC to extend the experience beyond the initial release.

Xbox 360 changed the gaming landscape in other ways, too, with its heavy focus on online interaction. While Xbox Live started on the original Xbox and became quite popular with games like Halo 2, the service really hit its stride on Xbox 360 with voice chat, matchmaking, and eventually branching out into other content areas including television services and movie rentals. Millions of gamers still use an Xbox 360 or PS3 for Netflix streaming.

While the PC has always had an indie scene, Xbox Live Marketplace opened the door to countless indie titles on Microsoft’s home console. More than 3,300 indie titles were published through the Xbox Live Indie Games initiative.

Of course Xbox 360 also had its share of setbacks. The red ring of death system failures plagued early production. A report from warranty provider SquareTrade estimated that the failure rate was one in six consoles. Other estimates put the number closer to one in three.

But ultimately, it will be the games that players remember the most. Console exclusives like the first BioShock, Gears of War, and Halo 3, as well as multi-platform franchises that first appeared during the Xbox 360 and PS3 years like the Mass Effect trilogy, Assassin’s Creed, and Rock Band.

So happy birthday, Xbox 360. You’ve had a long, successful run. What are some of your favorite Xbox 360 games? Let us know in the comments section below. Also be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more gaming news, reviews and other original content.