I just got out of a Crimson Skies match. It's fucking criminal that MS either:
1) Won't let that game live on with online play intact via a patch - even if they make us pay for it
2) Won't release a proper sequel.
Anyway, I just finished DLing all the necessary DLC for both my 360 and my OG XBox...planes and modes for Crimson Skies, Yavin Station for KOTOR, characters and maps for Unreal Championship 2, skill updates for Phantom Dust, and of course the Halo 2 content.
I bought the original XBox at midnight when it came out, the only time I've done that for a console - I bought the Dreamcast the morning it was out, but the XBox was the only console I ever waited in line for. Got there about 7 pm and was around 10th in line out of the 25 or so they had in stock. Had withdrawn most of the money to buy it from funds that were supposed to be for school. Heh.
Along with the console, I bought Halo, the component connector pack, and the DVD remote/dongle (remember THAT nonsense?). I remember being a total dick that night, as I wound up randomly next to a guy I kinda/sorta knew in line just by chance. After we got the consoles at midnight (at a Meijer, which is open 24 hours), the two of us drove across the street to the Target parking lot and drove by the people in line (who had to wait until morning) holding them out the window yelling something like "enjoy your night!" Yeah.
"Gamers" didn't like the XBox prior to launch. They jumped at the opportunity to shit on it, with either sarcasm or anger - "Ha! It's just a PC disguised as a console!" "FUCK MICROSOFT GET OUT OF THE CONSOLE BUSINESS," etc. What had convinced me was a huge article in EGM about a year earlier where they interviewed all the devs about their philosophies, laid out a bunch of the specs of the machine, and previewed some of the games. For reasons I still can't grasp, I was sure they would succeed and I was hooked instantly. Thankfully I was right for once...I had wasted Xmas loot on requesting both the Sega CD and Saturn in the past.
I remember hooking it up after I got home and playing most of the first level of Halo...and honestly just sort of thinking "meh." It was a cool game but the graphics weren't the leap I was (probably foolishly) expecting from the PS1/Saturn to the Dreamcast. I later enjoyed it quite a bit more as that first level is hardly representative of the great outdoor environments you get to shortly after. I was never a great multiplayer Halo player - still am not today on the newer games. I'll always buy them right away though.
Bought Project Gotham that weekend when I brought the Box to a friend's and we were getting anxious to play something else. This is where my favorite feature possibly ever comes into play - custom soundtracks. As much as I like the 360, there were some really annoying missteps they made in the transition from the original - non mandatory hard drive being the biggest one, but the change in the way custom soundtracks are integrated - ie, not at all - was terrible. The 360 lets you play your own music over any game, but that's all it is - playing music over the game. The XBox actually integrated your music into the game...the 2k5 sports games had a fantastic tool to play your own music during moments of the game (after a touchdown, dribbling up the court, etc), the GTA games had an integrated tape/CD player in your car...it was fucking great. I've seen a few games try to do something similar now (Saint's Row's "MP3 player," WWE games letting you use your own entrance themes), but using them is really cumbersome compared to how it was done on the XBox.
I did get kind of burned on the price of the console, as they dropped it by 50 bucks within like 4 months of launch, but no big deal. Anyway, I never felt compelled to buy a PS2 or Gamecube at first, and as time went on that didn't change, especially when the GTA Double Pack with the enhanced graphics/extras was announced.
I was on Live for one year around when it first came out - the reason my XBL name has a "The" in front of it was because I was too cheap when the 360 came out and I wanted to use another month trial or whatever. In hindsight I wish I would have stuck with my old, plain "KaneRobot" name and forgotten about getting a free month. No changing back now, all my gamerscore points are tied to my current one. After I was on for a year and had played Halo 2 and Rainbow Six 3 for a while, I didn't feel too compelled to join again since I didn't play online that much. The 360 brought me back for good.
I loved how the XBox was, at least at certain times, trying to be the spiritual successor to the Dreamcast - sometimes literally by carrying on DC franchises like Crazy Taxi, Jet Grind/Set Radio, and Panzer Dragoon. But there were other things at work there as well. The console seemed to be pushing hardware innovation here and there just as the DC did. A lot of the quirky stuff wound up on the XBox too, which was a Dreamcast staple.
I really dug that big black box. I know it was essentially killed off in '06, but today marks the real death of the console. I jumped on Crimson Skies and Halo 2 online for a while today, but I did it OG style, with the real Xbox, the goliath controller, and the Halo 2 headset communicator.
...and holy crap is the XBox quiet compared to the 360.
I hope at least a few of the better online games manage to keep a small online following going via XBConnect.
Collection as it stands today:
What's weird is with the exception of maybe Forza and MGS2 (since I still haven't played it), I loved all of those games and wouldn't get rid of the vast majority. I cycle 360 games in and out of rotation like crazy.
Was thinking about jumping online just before midnight to see if I could be there when they shut it off, but nah. I had a good round of Crimson Skies to finish off my XBox 1 online career, I'll leave it at that.
tl;dr version:RIP O.G. XBOX