Xbox 360 launch a "watershed moment"

Microsoft's console celebrates fifth birthday.

The Xbox 360 is five years old.

Microsoft's high definition console released in the US and Canada on 22nd November 2005. It didn't launch in Europe until 2nd December (I got mine for Oblivion - why did you get yours?).

Then, just under 15 games were available, including Rare's Kameo: Elements of Power and Perfect Dark Zero, Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 2 and Bizarre Creation's Project Gotham Racing 3. Oh, and let's not forget Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie.

The launch of the Xbox 360 was considered to be an attempt to get in ahead of Sony and Nintendo, both of which would release the PlayStation 3 and Wii almost a year later.

Xbox Live head honcho Stephen Toulouse, aka StepTo, reminisced over the launch on his blog, calling it a "watershed moment".

"When the Xbox 360 was announced, I was just as surprised as anyone else," he wrote. "The original Xbox was only four years old and Xbox Live was just starting to hit its stride.

"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 favour 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 experience on other platforms was fairly primitive. Fun to be sure, but the leap to HD gaming interconnected through Live was a pretty watershed moment."

The Xbox 360 introduced Achievements and, perhaps most importantly of all, high definition gaming. Microsoft's sold 44.6 million units worldwide to date.

So, when will we see the next Xbox?

It may be some time before Microsoft enters the next generation. The US giant has touted motion-sensing add-on Kinect as a device that'll extend the life of the Xbox 360 by five years.

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