Illustrations showing various moments in Xbox history, including Halo, Minecraft, Gears of War, and the Xbox One X console

Xbox History Walk

Recreation of a plaque on the Xbox history walk

The history of Xbox

Check out the vibrant history of Xbox from the first console to the Adaptive Controller at the Xbox Plaza.


DIRECTX

1995

DirectX technology drove a multimedia and 3D graphics revolution on the PC. By 1999, it would inspire Microsoft’s first console, code named “DirectXbox.”

Illustration of the original Xbox console

XBOX

2001

The first console designed for a broadband world combined a powerful processor, hard drive, and built-in Ethernet port. Its introduction thrilled developers and gamers alike and would change the direction of the industry.

Illustration of the Master Chief helmet from Halo: Combat Evolved

HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED

2001

Halo's combination of first-person mechanics, storytelling, and cutting-edge graphics revolutionized a new style of gameplay and became a cultural touchstone for console games to come.

Xbox Live logo

XBOX LIVE

2002

Xbox Live was the first online console gaming service that combined matchmaking, voice, high-speed downloads, and friends lists across all games under the vision that “within five years every important game will be online.”

GAMERTAG

2002

Launched in 2002, the Gamertag is your alter ego in the Xbox world. It's made from an alias, an optional avatar or picture (called a gamerpic), and a bit of info to represent you when you're playing games and sharing with other people in the Xbox community.

Illustration of the Master Chief helmet from Halo 2

HALO 2

2004

Halo 2’s online matchmaking and Xbox Live integration made it the most popular online game on the original Xbox, setting the foundation for modern multiplayer gaming.

XBOX LIVE ARCADE

2004

Xbox Live Arcade made it possible to buy new console games as downloads, without a trip to the store. Today, digital downloads are the most popular method for distributing games.

Forza Motorsport logo

FORZA MOTORSPORT

2005

Forza invited everyone to push the world’s greatest cars to their limits. With Xbox One, it would become the best-selling racing franchise and a leader in automotive entertainment.

Illustration of an Xbox 360 console

XBOX 360

2005

The Xbox 360 combined the connectivity of Live with the industry's first-ever HD graphics. The 360-theme abounded with circular design cues throughout the hardware and interface – an invitation to “Jump in.”

Illustration of a gear that reads Property of the Coalition of Ordered Governments

GEARS OF WAR

2006

Designed specifically for the Xbox 360, Gears of War ushered in the era of HD gaming and became the fastest-selling exclusive Xbox game ever.

Illustration of a Minecraft pickaxe

MINECRAFT

2009

Thanks to its global community, Minecraft has become one of the most popular games in history. Every day, millions of players come together to create, explore, and survive.

Illustration of an Xbox Kinect sensor

KINECT

2010

For the first time, this hands-free gaming device allowed games to be played using only body movements, gestures and voice – with no controller required.

Illustration of the Xbox One console

XBOX ONE

2013

Xbox Game Pass, console-to-PC streaming and back-compatibility were all introduced on Xbox One, allowing the choice to play the games you want, with the people you want, on the devices you want.

Illustration of a diamond within a circle representing a Gamerscore of one million

1M GAMERSCORE

2014

The first person in gaming history to reach this milestone goes to ‘Stallion83’. Xbox pioneered this achievement-based system in 2005. Since then the development of the Gamerscore system has created a new niche in the internet economy.

Illustration of a carousel of game boxshots

XBOX GAME PASS

2017

This service features unlimited access to over 100 titles to download and play. It now includes backward-compatible games and first-party titles arriving day-and-date with the retail release of the game.

Illustration of the Xbox One X console

XBOX ONE X

2017

Introduced as the world’s most powerful console, the Xbox One X takes full advantage of ultra-high definition TVs, featuring high dynamic range and true 4K visuals.

Illustration of the Xbox Adaptive Controller

XBOX ADAPTIVE CONTROLLER

2018

The first-of-its-kind controller was created to accommodate gamers with limited mobility and was recognized as one of the year's “best inventions” by Time Magazine.