Goodnight, Xbox (Live)

Cutoff

Live support for the original Xbox has passed on.

To celebrate, friends gathered together to relive the past. For one last time, they trekked across Coagulation as an unseen clock counted down to the great disconnect. It wasn't money, or fame, or bragging rights that drove the games. Rather, it was a way to reconnect with yesteryear.

And so, sometime last night, eight years of online fun came to a close.

Instead of mourning, I invite you to share your own memories of the original Xbox Live.

Comments

Other than some dabbling in Starcraft and Diablo, I never really got into playing games online until Xbox live. What really did it was Halo 2. I met a great group of people through the I Love Bees ARG, and so gaming became much more of a social experience for me than it had before. We don't get together to play online much anymore, but we managed to get a good portion of the group back together on Wednesday for a few final games before they turned the lights off.

I didn't really get into the original Xbox's Live. The only games I played were some Rainbow Six (which wasn't very good) and Amped 2 (which was very good), I think. The 360 is where it's been at for me. It was very forward-thinking of Microsoft to go all out on Live, though, and begin the education of the playing masses into online beings.

eeeeevvverrry rose has its thorns.

Halo 2, you taught me how too insult strangers on the internet. You will not be forgotten.

For some reason, I've kept my Xbox 360 live gold account. I have no idea why: I have no online contacts, and the two or three times I've tried to play games online were amazingly bad experiences. I can't make out what people are saying, which I think is good, because most of the garbled sound seems to homophobic slurs.

Ok, I admit I've been enjoying the Blur demo the last few days, but that's an outlier.

What did you guys DO on the live that wasn't the electronic equivalent of visiting a junior high school on substitute teacher days?

GWJ got me onto the original Xbox Live. I was a PC gamer only and had picked up a copy of Madden. I started looking around for leagues to play in, but I think my search included 'mature' or 'adult' or something in it. Eventually that brought me to the sports forum here and the 2k5 leagues that were ongoing. I had played NFL 2k1 on the Dreamcast, so this tempted me...a lot. Enough to run out and buy an Xbox and plop my money down for Live.

Interestingly, it is Live that also sold me the 360. I would log in using my original Xbox, and I kept seeing what all the people with 360s were playing. I saw that they had gamer pics and read on here about how Live was so persistent and even worked across games. Wow. It just seem so much richer than the original version. That made me go out and get a 360. Oh, and Dead Rising.

Nathaniel wrote:

What did you guys DO on the live that wasn't the electronic equivalent of visiting a junior high school on substitute teacher days?

Played a lot with GWJers. Also, I stayed away from Halo! Mostly played NFL 2k5, Crimson Skies, and Ghost Recon 2. If you have no on-line contacts on the 360, you should start friending up people from this site. It's a great community on Live. And we won't make too many jokes about your mother.

Nathaniel wrote:

What did you guys DO on the live that wasn't the electronic equivalent of visiting a junior high school on substitute teacher days?

You don't play with pubs. That's the secret to the universe. And 42.

I didn't play much Xbox, expect the occasional Halo 2 at a friend's place. Live was the harbinger for greater things to come.

I learned today that Xbox Live existed on the original Xbox. Huh. That's weird.

I only used the original xbox live on occasion for a few public games and you know how that can be. If I had been plugged into the GWJer network back then, maybe there would've been more online gameplay incentive. I remember playing some Halo, SW: Battlefront 2, Doom 3 and Far Cry Instincts. I also used it grab a couple of dlc items. There was even an Arcade disc back in the day, but it was an integrated experience and there were hardl any games to it. The original XBOX LIVE got the job done, but its scope was so much more limited.

In particular, it just didnt have that same sense of pervasive community you immediately feel when you log into the 360 version of it. The updates to LIVE that came with the 360 launch, like cross game friends lists, achievements and cross game voicechat etc have become the benchmark for the console gaming industry.

If the original LIVE is imposing limitations on further extending the current version of LIVE then, I'm glad to see it go. It was cool in the day, but the current iteration of LIVE has left it far behind. I'm more focused on the gaming experiences of today and tomorrow, than being able to muster up the interest or time to return to the gaming of yesterday.

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Phantom Dust is nothing but a memory now... the irony is enough to drown in.

Xbox Live is definitely something that I'll never forget. It, along with the Dreamcast... they might not have been perfect, but it provided us with a foundation, something that eventually blossomed into what we have today.

It's just a shame that we've forgotten about all of these games, though. Dozens of them would be instant hits if they'd just be re-released as an Xbox Original or something similar. Phantom Dust, RalliSport Challenge 2, Alien Front Online, Phantasy Star Online... they're just sitting in boxes now, collecting dust with no way to plug it back in and play with friends.

Clocks only move forward, sadly.

The first Xbox Live game I played was MechAssault. Didn't really play online much before that, with a few sessions in AvP2, a few months in Planetside and College LANs with UT2K4, but I never really played regularly. MechAssault sucked me in and also made me feel largely inadequate without a microphone whenever I even considered online PC gaming.

I've reached a point, however, where I have no interest in playing online with strangers with few exceptions. Bioshock 2 is actually fun, but most of the time...I just can't stand it.

I have many fond memories of Ghost Recon 2 with the GWJ crew, and of course Halo 2 was the game for a while.

I miss Sanjuro.

Guess I'll never get to play Steel Battalion on line ever again.

I played a TON of Halo 2 back in the day.

Was awesomely good fun...

My one, and only, experience with Xbox Live was on a Friday night after a few drinks at a friend's house using his account to play some Halo 2. I got screamed at by pre-teens who called me a f@ggot and then claimed they were going to perform unspeakable sexual acts on my mother. This was, more or less, exactly what I had expected.

BergZ wrote:

My one, and only, experience with Xbox Live was on a Friday night after a few drinks at a friend's house using his account to play some Halo 2. I got screamed at by pre-teens who called me a f@ggot and then claimed they were going to perform unspeakable sexual acts on my mother. This was, more or less, exactly what I had expected.

8 years, and nothing has changed.

I was one of the first 5000 picked for the initial public beta of Live and I'll never forget the first time I logged on and heard someone speaking to me from the ether...I was playing the RC car game and the voice I had heard sounded like someone huffing off of a helium balloon (they were using the voicemask feature). After the beta, Live was a means for me and close friends from college who had moved on to stay in touch and even re-connect during games of Unreal, MotoGP 2, Halo, and Ghost Recon. I even managed to meet some new "virtual friends" over Live - one of whom I purchased my wife's wedding ring from and has help us out with numerous jewelry related issues.

I've been cussed, tea-bagged, and taunted - by folks both known and unknown - to the point that I have snapped and broken a controller or two. One person was vile enough to send a voice message to my wife about how he was going to do unspeakable things to her since she had the nerve to cross his path in Halo 2.

Over the past 8 years, the good has greatly outweighed the bad and Live has grown to make it easier to not have to deal with/hear from the undesirables. It has also made it much easier to stay in touch with folks you may not have otherwise.

Xbox Live is what sold me on the 360. I still find the online community to be a great asset to XBL. It just don't consider the entire XBL community, just the folks I actually take the time to play games with.

This.

It's interesting that MS has succeeding in expanding the scope of Live and making it so much more of a social network while at the same time reducing the number of people that you are likely to have direct contact with on Live. The party system was something of a breakthrough in this regard.

Eh, maybe it's just the games I play...

No, I think it's rather astute, firesloth.

When you get down to it, the party system is trying to capture that feeling of having 3 dudes on a couch/in a dorm/down the hall from you. I think it's rather telling that a lot of the good will towards Live is a result of close gaming friendships. It's like MS figured out that we generally like to play with a group of people, instead of being thrown into the wilds of publand.

Kojiro wrote:
BergZ wrote:

My one, and only, experience with Xbox Live was on a Friday night after a few drinks at a friend's house using his account to play some Halo 2. I got screamed at by pre-teens who called me a f@ggot and then claimed they were going to perform unspeakable sexual acts on my mother. This was, more or less, exactly what I had expected.

8 years, and nothing has changed.

I had a completely different experience playing Halo 2, PGR 2, and NHL 2K6 with Goodjers. Not only did I play free from the assault of pubtards, Live made it ridiculously simple to find and keep in touch with people I enjoyed playing games with.

Xbox Live is what sold me on the 360. I still find the online community to be a great asset to XBL. I just don't consider the entire XBL community, just the folks I actually take the time to play games with.