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Xbox 360 turns five years old

45 million consoles sold in half a decade

Microsoft's Xbox 360 is half a decade old this week.

While the console has seen a few iterations - most notably the 'slim' S edition this Summer - and several dramatic firmware updates, the console is largely unchanged from the device which launched on November 21, 2005.

As of September, Microsoft had sold 44.6 million Xbox 360s worldwide. It retains the edge over Sony's rival PlayStation 3, although this year saw that gap begin to narrow.

Microsoft has been vocal in its ambition to further extend the console's life cycle with its Kinect motion controller- possibly by as much as five years.

In its early days, the console was dogged by the 'red ring of death' fault, which led to Microsoft introducing a $1 billion extended warranty program.

In recent years, however, the Xbox 360 is perhaps better-known as the home of multiplayer and purchasing platform Live.

"The leap to HD gaming interconnected through LIVE was a pretty watershed moment," enthused Xbox Live boss Stephen Toulouse on his blog yesterday.

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Latest comments (23)

Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College8 years ago
Happy Birthday 360!

Of those 44.6m sold, I alone have bought 3. Had RRoD on 3 separate occasions and even the college Xbox contracted RRoD and got replaced earlier this year.

All in all though...great system! :D
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Happy B-Day 360 !!

still on my first one (Elite), altho I don't play it quite as much (nor do I pay for Gold) as my PS3 ;)

Hope to see it around for years to come.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 8 years ago
Wow time flies huh? Congrats!
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Show all comments (23)
Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D8 years ago
I've had three too. One broke, ended up giving the other two away.

I just could never get over the noise. Glad I kept the PS3, it's a much more versatile console.

I now just need to get around to signing up for Lovefilm on the PS3, give it a try:)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Fran Mulhern on 23rd November 2010 2:34pm

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Soeren Lund Producer, Io Interactive8 years ago
Happy birthday Xbox360. Thanks for pushing online connectivity in the console space. Without you Sony and Nintendo would still be pondering the merits of digital download instead of having to jump into it because you paved the way. Here's for at least another 2-3 years before you retire.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
Soren, although Live did a great deal for online console connectivity, I would argue that it was Sega who really led the way with the ahead-of-its-time Dreamcast.

Anyway, good for MS - the more competition there is, the better it is for the consumers ultimately. I hope to see the current-gen machines remain focal for a good 2-3 years or more yet.
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Paul Smith Dev 8 years ago
I wonder how many of the 5 year old 360's are actually still working..
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Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College8 years ago
@ Paul

I guestimate between 5-9...in the world!

Although I may be wrong!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Kevin Clark-Patterson on 23rd November 2010 3:37pm

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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
I have a five year old 360 still working, so that's at least one. I'm not sure if it's going to last much longer, though!
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Phil Waymouth Business Development Manager, Microsoft Studios8 years ago
I'm still running my launch-day NTSC 360. And through a transformer now I'm back in Blighty.

I do occasionally wonder whether this game session will be the old lady's last...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Phil Waymouth on 23rd November 2010 4:03pm

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David Bachowski VP Business Development, Babaroga8 years ago
My NES from 1989 still works perfectly... something seems not quite right about today's console lifespan.
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Josef Brett Animator 8 years ago
Mine is still going, but sounds sick (I think it's the DVD drive). Everything has to be installed.

Love it to bits though still, so happy birthday and congratulations!
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
"My NES from 1989 still works perfectly... something seems not quite right about today's console lifespan."

I would definitely agree with this - my Game Boy, Mega Drive and SNES all still work from the best part of two decades back. Today's consoles appear to be constructed from yoghurt pots, goodwill and paper-mâché by comparison (and that's not specifically a dig at the 360, as I have had plenty of trouble with my PS2 and PS3 in their time too).
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Carla Rylance Art Manager, Red Redemption8 years ago
After 2 Red Rings of Death episodes and a thick gathering of dust, my 360 is still standing strong! Happy Birthday my lovely 360 :)
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Shawn Williams Store Opening Coordinator, GameStop8 years ago
It's called less technology ! =) Less parts = less problems of course !
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Russell Billingsley Studying Computer Science with Games Development, University of Hull8 years ago
Ive had, lemme think, 2 360's that have died from a MOBO failure, 2 Die from RROD, and at the moment I have the 250GB S console with my 20gb fat one in the cupboard as a backup, many many fun times, perhaps even too many fun times I have had with this console, and the games just keep getting better (apart from GoW xD)
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Russell Kentish Studying Master of Digital Media, Centre for Digital Media8 years ago
I'm still on my original arcade from when it first came out, though by now it's a totally new console because I've sent it off to be fixed twice lol
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Paul Taylor Deputy Editor, OPS, Citrus Media8 years ago
I think I'm echoing people's comments above when I estimate that Microsoft has only sold those 45 million consoles to 22 million unique users. I've bought three alone, and one of those was to replace a 2-year-old Elite.
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Michal Kovanda8 years ago
Congrats! X360 is awesome! :) NWish some more nice years full of fun...
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
Feh. it wasn't a leap in technology at all. It was enforced evolution at HD gunpoint. Wake me when the console (or any product Microsoft makes) can hit TEN years without getting treated like an old OS.

But that's just me (too many RROD's to count and counting).
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Soeren Lund Producer, Io Interactive8 years ago
@Terence: There are other systems who had online functionality before the Xbox and Xbox360 (even the PS2 had some) but none managed to make it a consistent, supported and integrated experience like Microsoft did.
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Pete Thompson Editor 8 years ago
lol at the X360 haters who forget all the YLOD that the PS3 has had, and the error bleeps, or the packed up drives that no longer reads games or films and then cost the owner £89+ to repair, We'll carry on forgetting about those and keep hating the x360 shall we ;-)

Well, I for one like the Xbox 360 and over the past 5 years i've used a 360 almost every day or night and whenever given the option it's still my console of choice, I'm not too tight to pay for Xboxlive as it seems to be the best option for gaming with your mates..

I've still got my December 2005 (in UK) launch day 20gb Premium, i've not used it since the 120gb Elites come out and I brought one of those, and then the 120gb elite was replaced with a 250gb MW2 ltd Edition which inturn has also been replaced with a 250gb Xbox 360 S, Only had the one console returned for RROD 2 times and that was the 120gb Elite but it was used for more than 2 years straight without a fault.. Still have the other 3, sometimes use the MW2 250gb though as along with the slim it has a kinect sensor attached ;-)

Sony could still learn a lot from the 360 and Xboxlive, PS network is pretty poor in comparison, never has the term " you get what you pay for" been more apt ;-)
I keep hearing a hell of a lot of PS3 gamers moaning about PSN connectivity and chat issues..

Happy 5th B'day X360!!


@ Paul Taylor.. How many of the total number of PS3's sold have suffered faults such as YLOD? or have cost the owner money to fix the fault as PS3 warranty is only 1 year?? Or are just used for watching expensive blu-ray films?? Take that into account and i'll maybe listen to your argument about half the number of X360's sold being owners who's consoles have RROD'd..


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Kat Mills Studying Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College8 years ago
Happy Birthday 360!

I remember when these first came out. It wasn't so long after I got the original Xbox (which we had to order from Japan to get). It was a disappointment being out of date again, and we attempted to get the console when it was first released. It was in such high demand, that we never got our hands on one until a year afterwards - swaying from availability to our economical finance.

But I have to say that although I don't play the console much (I'm a PC gamer), it seems to be rather long lasting if you don't play it all too often. Other than that, I think I've had to send it away for one repair, before getting bored of it and passing it onto my brother, who has since sent it away a number of times due to his hardcore gaming and violent attitude to defeat.
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