Who would have guessed 10 years ago that a video game system produced by Microsoft would come to be a leading contender in the console wars? The Xbox, now celebrating its 10-year anniversary, was either going to be a hit or miss with its debut, back when the reign that Sony had over the industry with the PlayStation 2 was quite strong. What would come of the Xbox is a tale that is already told, but let’s take a look back through the past 10 years at its flourishing history.

The ’90s were a booming time, but within their culminating moments four Microsoft engineers would disassemble a few Dell laptops to construct a prototype Windows-based console to compete with Sony and the PlayStation 2 – a console that would come out in the wake of the new millennium.

In 2001, the world was in disbelief as the attacks on September 11th shocked everyone. But in the video game industry, the PlayStation 2 had already been released a year previous and going strong; Nintendo had just released the GameBoy Advanced in the Summer, the Sega Dreamcast was discontinued, and two big consoles were about to debut during the holiday season.

Two months after the 9/11 attacks, Nintendo was about to release a new console to the masses. After the waning popularity of the Nintendo 64 (released in 1996), the GameCube was released on November 18, 2001. But Microsoft wasn’t going to let Nintendo get away that easily; the Xbox released three days prior to the GameCube. With the PlayStation 2 still selling like hotcakes, to everyone’s surprise, Microsoft held their own.

It wasn’t until 2002 that the world would come to believe in how much of a game-changer the Xbox would become when Halo: Combat Evolved and Xbox Live would shake the masses out of their gaming slumber. Microsoft had revolutionized the vision of online gaming, connecting millions through online play. Unfortunately, there were few titles that held their own on the Xbox aside from Halo. The PS2 would prove to outsell the Xbox with 10,828 titles and 153.19 million consoles worldwide, while Microsoft would only go on to sell a little more then 24 million units as of 2006. But Microsoft wasn’t done yet.

E3 in 2005 showcased a monumental convention with Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft unveiling their PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 consoles, respectively. The console wars waged on and two-years later the Xbox 360 would win the foot-race to become the first current generation console to reach 10 million units sold. Three-years after the release of the Xbox 360, the Xbox Live network would reach its twenty-millionth user to become the largest global entertainment network — Xbox Live to date currently has 35 million users.

Presently, the Xbox 360 continues to break boundaries and improve how we approach our gaming. They developed controller free gaming with Kinect: CONTROLLER FREE GAMING! We have to pay tribute to Microsoft after 10 long hard-earned years of pushing the boundaries of the video game industry. Not only have they found more ways to entertain us with the countless hours spent in front of our television sets, but they have helped pave the way for video game development. What will become of the Xbox’s future when they possibly reveal the Xbox 720 at January’s CES? We’ll have to wait and see.

Game Rant tips its hat to Microsoft and hope for another 10 more years and beyond of success!

Check out the incredible infographic below of Microsoft’s climb to the top of the entertainment world.

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Xbox 10 Year Anniversary Infographic

Game Rant wants to know: how has Xbox and Microsoft impacted your life over the past 10 years?

Follow me on Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus

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