Xbox 10th anniversary in Europe today

The Gates-way of gaming.

Update: The official Xbox website has been updated with a timeline to celebrate today's anniversary.

The timeline stretches back to 2000, when Bill Gates unveiled the Xbox at GDC 2000. "I'm announcing the Xbox, which we're modestly titling The Future of Console Gaming," said Gates at the time.

Gates unveiled the console a year later at CES 2001. He was joined on stage by wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. "They wanted a guy like The Rock," said The Rock at the time, "powerful, exhilarating, cutting edge - that's everything that the Xbox is."

Original story: 10 years ago on this day - 14th March - Microsoft launched Xbox in Europe.

Eurogamer wrote an article about it at the time. We used words like "mind-numbingly powerful hardware" to describe the big black box. And here's the original Xbox launch line-up.

But Xbox was more than a console - it was the beginning of Microsoft's entire console gaming campaign. Bill Gates' company spent bucket-loads of money wedging a foot in a door near slammed shut by PlayStation.

xbox

The original Xbox.

Today, a decade later, more Xbox 360 consoles (65.8 million as of end of December 2011) have been sold worldwide than PlayStation 3 (62 million as of end of December 2011). Microsoft has led the way with online console gaming, and made steps towards a controller-free experience with Kinect.

Microsoft even yesterday hired former Sony man Phil Harrison, whose keynote speeches were synonymous with PlayStation 3 and the games it could offer.

Microsoft will enter the eighth and next generation as Sony's equal - perhaps more.

To celebrate 10 years of Xbox in Europe, Microsoft launched a 10th anniversary Xbox 360 bundle, which contains a 250GB Slim console, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo: Reach, Fable 3, Gears of War 3 and three months of Xbox Live Gold membership. This costs €280 from Amazon France. I can't find it on the UK Amazon website. Please let us know below if you can locate it.

The Xbox turned 10 years old in North America on 15th November 2011.

Patrick Garratt, editor of VG247, has written a detailed account of The Xbox Story for Kindle ebooks. He interviewed the original Xbox team, and charted the birth of Xbox 360 from email to shop shelf. Garratt's ebook costs 1.94.

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