Gaming Consoles & PCs What Is the Original Xbox? What you need to know about features, pricing, and more By Eric Qualls Writer Former Lifewire writer Eric Qualls has been covering the Xbox line of consoles and Xbox games since August 2004. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Eric Qualls Updated June 03, 2019 Evan Amos/Wikimedia CC 2.0 Consoles & PCs Xbox Buyer's Guide Tweet Share Email The Microsoft Xbox is a video game system developed by Microsoft and it was released on Nov. 8, 2001. Not to be confused with the Xbox One, which was released in November 2013. Features Four controller ports that allow for easy multiplayer gaming.Multi-signal audio/video connections for simple and easy hookup to TVs and home theater systems.Ethernet port for fast online gaming.Hard drive for game saves, mp3s, and saving downloaded game content.DVD player (requires separate DVD Playback Kit) that is full featured and very impressive.Parental lock on DVD player so you can choose what content is suitable.Powerful hardware capable of producing realistic graphics. Online Play The Xbox allows gamers to play games online through their broadband internet connection. It requires you to sign up for Xbox Live and you can do that in several ways. Two-Month Free Trials are available with pretty much every Xbox Live compatible game.Three-Month Trial.Xbox Live Starter Kit which includes 12-months of service, a headset, and full version of the game MechAssault.Xbox Live One Year Subscription. Game Developer Support The Xbox has a lot of support from big-name publishers and developers including Atari, Activision, Lucas Arts, UbiSoft, Vivendi Universal, Rockstar Games, Capcom, Konami, SNK, Sega, Sammy, SNK, Namco, Tecmo, Midway, THQ, and Electronic Arts among many, many others. Microsoft also has its own development studios that produce games exclusively for Xbox. Racing, shooting, puzzle, action, adventure, sports - everything is covered on Xbox. Game Content Ratings The Entertainment Software Ratings Board gives each and every game that comes out a content rating much like the “G” and “PG” ratings for movies. These ratings are posted on the bottom left corner on the front of every game. Use them to choose games that are appropriate for whoever you are buying for. E = Everyone. Content that may be suitable for persons ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal violence, some comic mischief and/or mild language.T = Teen. Content that may be suitable for persons ages 13 and older. May contain violent content, mild or strong language, and/or suggestive themes.M = Mature. Content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain mature sexual themes, more intense violence and/or strong language. Bottom Line The Xbox is a solid investment because it is not only a great game console but it is also a full-featured DVD player. This saves space, saves time, and provides fun for the entire family.