Last week we celebrated the birthday of the PS4. The first anniversary of the Xbox One is a little more difficult to pinpoint, as it happened across several countries and time zones in the same day.
Technically, the first ones to celebrate the birthday have been the gamers living in Australia and New Zealand, about ten hours ago. Right now Xbox One is blowing on the candles in central Europe. In one hour celebrations will move to the UK, and in six hours they’ll finally reach the eastern shores of North America.
Given the wide spread, we decided to celebrate pretty much in the middle, on Central European Time, which means now.
The Xbox One launched to positive reviews from critics and with one million units sold in 24 hours, but reception from customers during the first half of the year was milder than some expected, especially due to the price (mostly caused by the forced inclusion of Kinect in the box), and to the tail from the original presentation, which included several elements that users did not really take a liking on. Despite the fact that most of those issues were withdrawn, steering the ship around proved difficult right at the beginning.
One year after, the console seems to be on the raise thanks to a very nice slew of exclusive games including Forza Horizon 2, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Sunset Overdrive, the launch of a lower-priced Kinect-less SKU and a further price cut for the Holidays. The tireless work of the new head of the Xbox division Phil Spencer and a chain fire of very relevant software updates also contributed to the upturn.
That’s why we have reasons aplenty to celebrate the birthday of Xbox One on a positive note, and to look back at some of the most epic, interesting and funny moments of the launch happened 365 days ago.
Giant Xbox Ones in Canada
Xbox One Hotel
Another event before the official launch: Microsoft France turned a whole hotel in Paris into a Xbox One venue. It even had Roman-themed beds.
Standing in line
Above you can see Xbox Live’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb as he reports from the line in front of Best Buy Theater in Times Square, showing the gamers ready to take part in the launch event. We also get a glimpse on the lovely Forza Motorsport-themed cars that took part in the event, and towards the end on the launch events in Australia and New Zealand.
The launch in UK
Leicester Square in London was decorated and packed with events, costumed actors, gameplay demonstrations and a giant Xbox One “logo” illuminating the scene.
Times Square Transformed
You don’t get to see Times Square in New York painted green every day, or transformed into a parade ground for Roman Legionaries. One thing is for sure: Microsoft knows how to paint things green.
The Xbox One comes carried by armored trucks…
…Because normal trucks are for chumps.
The sizzle reel
Microsoft is pushing a lot on a strong games line-up, and the first signals were already visible at the launch event.
Can there be a launch of a console without a count-down? Possibly, but it wouldn’t be the same thing.
…Because even competitors can shake hands before the battle. Maybe some could learn from them.
— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 22, 2013
— Adam Boyes (@amboyes) November 22, 2013
365 days later, the Xbox One prepares to enter its second Holiday seasons with its fangs sharpened by solid games, a constantly updated system software and the new “cool” image created by Phil Spencer and his team. How will it fare during its second year? We’ll know on November 22nd, 2015.