If you haven’t heard by now, the Xbox brand turned 20 this year. With anniversary livestreams, controllers, and even a surprise Halo Infinite multiplayer release, we’re not sure how you could have missed the news, but that’s neither here nor there. The anniversary train hasn’t stopped rolling yet, as Microsoft has launched a new virtual museum that takes us through the history of Xbox.
From 1990s concept to present day
At first blush, a virtual museum celebrating 20 years of Xbox might sound a bit self-indulgent, but it’s well worth visiting for any Xbox fans out there. The browser-based museum starts you right at the beginning of the Xbox’s history, when Microsoft’s DirectX team began developing the Xbox as a competitor to the upcoming PlayStation 2.
From there, we’re taken through many of the significant events in Xbox history, looking at the development and reveal of the first console and the subsequent launches of other consoles that comprise the Xbox family. It isn’t just console releases that the museum covers, as big events like the launch of Kinect and Microsoft’s acquisition of Mojang are included in the museum. We also get a look at some of the stumbles in Xbox history, with the museum covering the Xbox 360’s “Red Ring of Death” problem, too.
Visitors to the museum get to use avatars to run through a digital track that takes them through the history of each console. There’s also a separate museum for Xbox’s biggest franchise, Halo, which shows all of the major happenings in that franchise alongside Xbox history. You might want to set aside some time over the upcoming holiday weekend to explore the museum, as seeing every exhibit and watching every video will take quite a while.
A quick note: we’ve tried visiting the Xbox museum in both Chrome and Edge, and for us, at least, the museum runs much more smoothly in Edge. Perhaps that’s not a coincidence, but, in any case, if you have Edge installed on your machine, you might want to start by using that browser.
The biggest exhibit is you
While the trip down Xbox memory lane is cool, the virtual museum also recaps the Xbox histories of the players visiting. Logging into your Microsoft account will show you statistics on your years with Xbox, dating all the way back to the original Xbox (assuming you actually connected a LAN cable to it and signed into the early iteration of Xbox Live).
For instance, even though I had an original Xbox back in the day, I never connected it to the internet, so as far as Microsoft is concerned, my first Xbox console was the Xbox 360. The first Xbox game Microsoft has a record of me playing is Halo 3, and my first sign-on to Xbox Live was on October 2nd, 2007.
These statistics go pretty deep, showing you the first time you logged in on each Xbox console throughout the years, the first game you played on each of those consoles, and even the first time you played your most-played Xbox game of all time (for me, that date is September 25th, 2010 and the game in question is Halo: Reach).
The virtual Xbox museum is a very fascinating trip, and it’s something that all Xbox users should check out, if for no other reason than to see their history with the consoles.