Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of Xbox Live, and it also marked the return of Xbox Live 1.0 for the original Xbox in the form of an unofficial replacement service called Insignia, which has launched in beta form for a few thousand people.
The service, which requires a fairly complicated softmod of the original Xbox in order to get access (do this at your own risk), provides the player with many of the key features that were present in the original version of Xbox Live, including online multiplayer. And based on the early impressions we've seen so far, it appears to be working well!
Insignia launched with support for 25 games this week including the likes of Mech Assault, Counter-Strike, Unreal Championship and Crimson Skies, but it will also be adding support for new titles every month.
The first three new additions to Insignia will arrive this coming Monday, November 21st, when the original Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront II will get Insignia support along with Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
In a launch day message to fans, the Insignia team thanked everyone for their support and excitement, while also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the official Xbox Live. Here's a bit of what they had to say:
"Happy 20th Birthday to Xbox Live. Celebrating this with you all by bringing back the original experience is a dream come true. Thank you for joining us."
"We've been working on Insignia for almost 4 years now, lots of stress, lots of late, sleepless nights. A lot of time and effort went into this, but we're excited to finally see people playing. Watching the excitement today has made it all worth it."
If you're still confused what Insignia is all about, it's a free service that is only intended for use on the original Xbox, and the only way to get access right now is to sign up via the Insignia website and hope you get an invite - those invites being slowly sent out in batches. Keep in mind that Insignia is not affiliated with Microsoft whatsoever.
Here's some launch day footage of Insignia in action:
Liking the look of Insignia? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.