By landing on Microsoft’s first game console, Halo exposes itself to criticism. “Halo had the burden of being excellent”Reveals Joe Staten, former Bungie now at 343 Industries. Finally, the title featuring Master Chief becomes this killer-app that nobody believed in anymore. Sony’s Jack Tretton recognizes it, “with Halo, Microsoft had the iconic title of the platform. You had to buy an Xbox if you wanted to play it. It’s something that I have always envied and admired”. With Halo, players run tournaments locally, but Microsoft wants to make those LANs global. It was a basic promise: the Xbox was to make it possible to play on the Internet against players all over the world.. First called Xbox Online, then XZone, this service will become “Xbox live”. Microsoft organizes various meetings with players in order to find out what they are really looking for with online gambling. What emerges is that users want to be able to speak with a microphone. The goal of Xbox Live is to create a kind of virtual couch where players can easily meet and chat with each other.
During its development, Xbox Live encountered some political difficulties internally. In reality, the business model poses a problem. Several people on the Xbox team aren’t sure that subscription is a good thing. Paying to play online is risky. Xbox Live launched one year after Xbox’s release on November 15, 2002. Ghost Recon and MechAssault are the launch games in the United States. The success is overwhelming and exceeds the estimates of the American giant. “Microsoft has proven to the world that online gaming is going to be the key to the future”Recognizes Jack Tretton. Halo 2 was released on November 9, 2004 and caused a tidal wave. 7,000 stores open at midnight to celebrate the event. The title generates more revenue in 24 hours than the first days of selling any game in history with its 2.4 million copies sold. Driven by the success of Xbox Live and Halo 2, Xbox even passes Nintendo in terms of console sales. Online console gaming is becoming a staple across the industry.
Power On: The Story of the Xbox is available in full via here.