Feature: Celebrating The 15th Anniversary Of The Xbox 360
Image: Major Nelson, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

It was this time last week that we celebrated the 19th anniversary of the very original Xbox, and today is the turn of the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, which are turning 15-years-old and seven-years-old respectively.

It's a particularly big birthday for the Xbox 360, so that's what we're focusing on today - and specifically the launch of the system back on November 22, 2005, which was kicked off with a major launch event called Zero Hour.

The event took place in a military hanger in the Mojave Desert of all places, and allowed thousands of gamers and industry members to test the new console and its launch lineup, described as "the ultimate Xbox 360 oasis" by former Xbox head Peter Moore in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz back in 2005.

Here are some photos of the event courtesy of Xbox Live's Major Nelson on Flickr:

It's fair to say that despite the overwhelming love many fans went on to have for the Xbox 360, its launch lineup wasn't packed with too many big hitters - there was no Halo and no Gears of War, for example.

Still, there was plenty to get excited about in the form of Rare's highly-anticipated Perfect Dark Zero and new platformer Kameo: Elements of Power, while Project Gotham Racing 3, Call of Duty 2, Need for Speed Most Wanted and a wide range of sports titles were on hand to flesh out the day one lineup for the system.

  • “Amped 3” (2K Sports)
  • “Call of Duty 2” (Activision Inc.)
  • “Condemned: Criminal Origins” (SEGA Corp.)
  • “FIFA Soccer 06 Road to 2006 FIFA World Cup” (Electronic Arts Inc.)
  • “GUN™” (Activision)
  • “Kameo: Elements of Power” (Microsoft Game Studios and Rare Ltd.)
  • “Madden NFL 06” (Electronic Arts)
  • “NBA 2K6” (2K Sports)
  • “NBA LIVE 06” (Electronic Arts)
  • “Need for Speed Most Wanted” (Electronic Arts)
  • “NHL 2K6” (2K Sports)
  • “Perfect Dark Zero” (Microsoft Game Studios and Rare Ltd.)
  • “Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie” (Ubisoft)
  • “Project Gotham Racing 3” (Microsoft Game Studios and Bizarre Creations Ltd.)
  • “Quake 4™” (id Software and Activision)
  • “Ridge Racer 6” (Namco Ltd.)
  • “Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 06” (Electronic Arts)
  • “Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland” (Activision)

Of all of those launch titles, Call of Duty 2 went on to be the highest-rated Xbox 360 launch game on Metacritic with a score of 89, followed closely by Project Gotham Racing 3 and Need for Speed Most Wanted.

Feature: Celebrating The 15th Anniversary Of The Xbox 360 3

The Xbox 360 was originally released in just the United States and Canada on November 22, 2005, with most European countries getting it in December, and others being forced to wait until 2006. And like the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, the system sold out very quickly in many regions with limited stock available at launch, described by Slate at the time as "the great Xbox shortage of 2005."

Nevertheless, CNN reported that the Xbox 360 had sold 325,902 units in North America in its first month, and it became the "first current generation gaming console" to sell over ten million units in the US by May 14, 2008. By June 2014, 84 million versions of the system had been sold across the world, making $37.7 billion in lifetime game sales.

Of course, there are loads of fascinating and memorable aspects of the Xbox 360 - the iconic 'blades' dashboard, the Red Ring of Death fiasco, and its incredible library of games just to name a few, so what are your favourite memories of the Xbox 360, and were you lucky enough to get your hands on a system on day one? Let us know below.

When Did You Get An Xbox 360? (318 votes)

  1. I got it day one!20%
  2. Shortly after launch35%
  3. In the middle of the generation25%
  4. Not until much later12%
  5. I never owned an Xbox 3608%

What Did You Think Of The Xbox 360? (312 votes)

  1. I loved it!72%
  2. It was pretty good18%
  3. It was OK6%
  4. It wasn't great2%
  5. It was terrible!2%