A Final Bell Tolls for the Original Xbox

By  |  Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 11:16 am

xboxMicrosoft discontinued out-of-warranty repairs for the original Xbox this week, giving a sense of closure to the company’s first stab at video game consoles. If you don’t have a warranty and need something fixed, you’re on your own; perhaps it’s time to upgrade.

Maybe I’m reading too much into this — after all, Microsoft stopped producing the console three years ago, and software is mostly relegated to bargain bins at Gamestop — but it’s a sad day when a company decides that keeping old hardware up and running is no longer worth the trouble.

Thing is, I never found the Xbox to be a particularly endearing console, especially compared to its competition. The Playstation 2 is still a workhorse, putting out new games and transitioning from hardcore platform to family gaming device. Trading mine away just to get a taste of Halo feels like a soulless maneuver in retrospect, a cold means to an admittedly addictive end. The Gamecube, to me, was the unsung hero, hosting some incredible first-party games — Metroid Prime, Super Smash Bros. Melee, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, to name a few — but getting a bad rap for being technically weak.

Ultimately, the best original Xbox games became compatible with the Xbox 360, rendering the first console worthless if you owned both. The same could be said about the Gamecube and Wii, but here’s the difference: The Xbox is downright ugly, and a space hog to boot. There was little to lament when I cleared it out of my entertainment center years ago.

And yet, it’s still getting a fair amount of play in the U.S. In 2008, the first-gen Xbox was actually more popular than the Playstation 3 in terms of playing time, though I’m sure this year will be different.

I want to finish this requiem with something profound, but there’s not much else to say. Unlike the many other consoles I’ve owned through the years, the Xbox just isn’t one to get nostalgic over.



5 Comments For This Post

  1. David Worthington Says:

    Didn’t Nintendo support the original NES until recently?

  2. Jared Newman Says:

    The reports were misconstrued somewhat, but yes, in 2007 Nintendo dropped support for Famicom (the Japanese NES equivalent). Now there’s a nostalgia system..

  3. sell everquest platinum Says:

    I’ve also had negative experience on Xbox and I agree that it isn’t the one to get nostalgic over

  4. Tim W Says:

    Don’t forget Xbox Media Centre. I haven’t played a game on my Xbox in months, but I boot it up every day – it streams music and video from my server perfectly. Given that you can pick up an Xbox second hand dirt cheap and softmod it easily, it’s a great way to get a fully specified media player – XBMC is an awesome piece of software.

  5. andry Says:

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