Microsoft is the youngest of the three main console manufacturers, with the original Xbox coming out in 2001. The NES came out in 1985 and the first PlayStation came out in 1995. So the original Xbox was mainly competing against the PS2 and the GameCube. The big thing about the Xbox was it being more powerful than the other two and third-party games looking/running better on it.
It sold well, selling around 24 million worldwide, but couldn’t compare to the juggernaut numbers the PS2 put up. It sold around 150 million units during its lifetime. The Xbox 360 came out in 2005 and put Xbox on top of that generation, thanks to the original PS3 having some launch issues.
This list is going to focus on some of the insane rumors that fans thought up/wanted and they ended up coming true. Microsoft has been doing a really good job of listening to the fans since the Xbox One launched in 2013. They had a shaky E3 and the PS4 launched a month ahead of it and took the lead early. So since then, they have been taking some chances and most of them have been working out.
The PS4 is still in the lead and the Nintendo Switch has been selling really well since it came out a year ago. So they need to continue to listen to the fans and they can start to get where they want. Let’s get to the list!
25 Finish The Fight… Again
Bungie’s last Halo game was Halo Reach in 2010. They decided to leave the franchise and start a new game called Destiny. Turns out, it was a great idea because Destiny is one of the most successful games of the past 10 years. Microsoft, on the other hand, wanted to keep seeing Halo games, and so did the fans.
343 Studios had helped on all Halo games.
There were rumors that 343 Studios was going to make the next game in the series. The first game they fully did on their own was Halo Wars, an RTS game that told stories that happened before the first Halo. So Halo 4 was announced at E3 2011 with 343 developing it. The last time we saw Master Chief before that he had saved the world and was frozen in a ship floating in space. The game came out in 2012 and it was the start of a new trilogy.
24 Green Lightning
The Final Fantasy games started out on the Nintendo Entertainment System. In 1997 the series moved to PlayStation with Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy X and XII both came out on the PS2. So when the rumors of the new Final Fantasy game started up, literally everyone thought it would be at Sony's E3 press conference. But there were a few rumors that it might appear on the Xbox stage and break the exclusivity. Turns out the Xbox rumors were true and at E3 2008 Final Fantasy XIII was first revealed on an Xbox stage.
People went crazy that they would finally be able to play a Final Fantasy game on an Xbox platform. Looking back it should not have been too surprising since the Xbox 360 was selling far more systems than the PS3. It’s weird to think about that, seeing how well the PS4 is doing now.
23 Elite Trooper
Scuf controllers have been a thing going back to the Xbox 360 days. They are mainly designed for players to never take their fingers off the sticks to make playing First-Person Shooters more fluid. There's paddles on the back of the controller that can do the same as the face buttons so you can reload or whatever in multiplayer faster. They became such a big deal that people wondered why Microsoft and Sony didn't just make official controllers like them.
Apparently, Microsoft was listening. In 2015 they came out with The Elite controller for the Xbox One and PC. It’s heavier than the normal controller and all the parts can come off and be replaced by different ones. The parts are magnetized so it’s really simple to change the parts out. It has paddles on it just like the Scuf and it has a better build feel to it.
22 Who Do You Voodoo
In the early days of the original Xbox, they took some chances with some original new game characters but none of them really took off. Blinx: The Time Sweeper came out in 2002 and Voodoo Vince came out in 2003. They were both platforms with a twist. In Blinx you're a cat and could… travel through time with a vacuum cleaner. Voodoo Vince was a voodoo doll. Neither sold all that well but became cult favorites by the Xbox hardcore.
There was a fan petition to try and get Blinx remastered.
Blinx ended up being the more popular of the two seeing as it got a sequel in 2004. For some reason, Voodoo Vince was the game that was chosen to be remastered for the Xbox One. It came out in 2017 and it kind of seemed like no one cared about it since it wasn’t Blinx.
The Xbox 360 came out with a few different versions during its lifetime and it’s looking like the Xbox One is following that mold. The Xbox One S came out in 2016 and it was a smaller version of the existing system. It ditched the touch power button and went for an actual button instead, and also got rid of the Kinect port, more on that later on.
4K was starting to become more of a thing and it was rumored that the new Xbox One and PS4 were going to be able to run games in 4K. Xbox was the first one to go for it with the S. Now, it couldn't do full 4K and it only worked with a few games like Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3. It was also nice that they included a 4K Blu-Ray player in it as well.
20 Smaller Is Better
When the original Xbox came out people loved the console but there was an overwhelming hatred of the controller. It was probably the biggest standard controller that a console has ever launched with the outside of the Dreamcast. It got the nickname “The Duke” since it was so big. I have big hands so I actually liked how big it was. We’ll go into this controller later on. So they came out with a smaller controller called the S.
There were several color variants of the S controller.
The S soon became the standard controller for the system and came with the Xbox when you bought one. Even though it was smaller, it felt great in your hands and the button layout was more convenient. If you look at it and an Xbox 360 controller you can tell the 360 controller was the evolved version of the S.
19 So... 900 Or 1080?
So this is the first entry that is not a positive one for the Xbox. Not everything they did over the past few years has been good or smart. When the Xbox One first launched, it had some pretty awesome launch titles and they all looked great! There was a fear from fans that most of the third-party games would run in 900p while they ran in full 1080p on the PS4. Well, once the system came out the fear ended up being true.
So since the games technically looked a tad worse on the Xbox One all the third party games sold way better on the PS4. Not only did Microsoft have a rough E3 that year, but they didn’t sell as well as the competition on launch. It wasn't all bad though. Games like The Witcher 3 actually performed better in 900p than 1080p, so that was a win amongst the fails.
18 Installed Or Nah?
Back in the days of the Xbox 360, you basically just bought a game, put it in the console, and played the game. I love the way games look now, but man I miss those days! So the PS3 had mandatory installs for certain games but the Xbox didn’t have that. You had to get hard drives that went on the top of the console. You mainly used that memory for saved games but a few years into the life of the console they gave the option to install the games from the disc for people wanting shorter load times.
Early Xbox 360s had some overheating problems, AKA The Red Rings of Death.
If you installed the games it was less strain on the system and the disc didn’t need to spin as much. It was cool if you had a 120gb hard drive, but if you just had the base drive you really didn’t have space.
17 No More Blades
One of the main things that I really haven't liked about Xbox over the years is how they have changed up the way the dashboard looks. When the Xbox 360 launched, it had a unique look to the UI that got the nickname “blades” because each section looked like blades. Pretty simple nickname. So there was a big update for the system a few years in, and some fans wanted the interface to change... and hey, they got what they wanted.
Microsoft made Windows 10, and the look of it on a computer has boxes everywhere. The Xbox interface has slowly transitioned to that. It kinda seemed like every other update to the system the interface changed and it became a little much. The PS4 and Switch have had the same interface since launch and everyone seems to like them. The Xbox team really needs to simplify that stuff!
16 Halo Horde
Gears of War 2 came out in 2008, and not only was it the follow up to one of the biggest Xbox games ever made, but it introduced a new mode. Horde Mode was even a bigger deal that even the developers anticipated it being. It was just wave-based survival against enemies that got tougher the longer you went until you won at level 50. So, since it was so big, people started guessing what the next game to use it would be. For the fans who guessed Halo, they were right!
You could play Horde Mode though Xbox Live as well as local co-op.
Halo 3: ODST came out in 2009 and introduced Firefight Mode. It was basically the same as the Gears mode but… Halo. It was a nice inclusion with it, since the campaign was short in that game.
15 Always On
Leading up to E3 2013, there was a lot of pressure on Microsoft and Sony because their new systems were going to be revealed and priced. There were a ton of rumors about the price and when they would come out but one rumor stood above the rest and it dealt with the Xbox One always needing to be online in order to work. Well, Microsoft always has the first press conference of the day, and guess what? Came true: you had to be online for things to work!
Now, to their credit, they did change that before the system launched. But at the conference, it was one of the messiest Xbox shows I’ve ever seen. At the Sony conference they had the PS4 $100 cheaper and made fun of Xbox with their conference and the crowd was literally chanting “Sony” at the show like it was Monday Night RAW!
14 "Deserve Has Nothing To Do With It"
Red Dead Redemption is considered one of the best games ever made by a lot of people around my age. I’m 31, for perspective. I think it had to do with it feeling like you were playing a Clint Eastwood western and we grew up watching those. I consider GTA V a better game but the world and atmosphere of Red Dead is unlike anything I’ve ever played. So once the Xbox One announced backward-compatible Xbox 360 games Red Dead was always at the top of the most wanted games. Well, fans got their wish in 2016.
The original game came out in 2010 on Xbox 360 and PS3, not PC.
Once it was available to play on the Xbox One, people noticed that it looked and ran better. Since the game never came out on PC, playing it on Xbox One is the best way to currently play the game.
13 The Game Is On How Many Discs?
A little ways into the life of the Xbox 360, the games started to get so long and graphically intense that they needed to be big and take up a ton of space on the disc. The Xbox was still using DVDs for games, but Sony upgraded to Blu-ray so they could have more space for games. Fans feared that would end up biting Xbox in the end, and it definitely did!
Games like Mass Effect 2, Final Fantasy XIII, Lost Odyssey, and Dead Space 2 along with a lot of other AAA games needed to be on multiple discs on the 360. It felt weird to have the latest video game console and have to get up and put another disc in after a star moment. That’s what it was like playing the Final Fantasy games on the PS1.
12 Ultra Kombo
Killer Instinct Gold came out in 1996, and most people thought that was the end of the series since Rare, the developer, went under. I remember loving the game when I was a kid. The black cartridge on the Super Nintendo is still one of the coolest ones ever made. It wasn’t a complicated fighting game, but just had a different feel to it. So once Microsoft bought Rare, the fans started almost demanding a new Killer Instinct game. We’ll touch on Rare later on the list.
Once Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One, they announced that a new Killer Instinct game was coming exclusively to the Xbox One and would be a launch title. Awesome as that was, you basically had an entire generation who had no clue what that game even was. It ended up being the most successful launch title for them, though.
11 Natal = Kinect
Around 2009 rumors started about Xbox coming out with an add-on to the Xbox 360 that would change things forever. The early rumors from fans thought it might be some kind of hands-free way to play games. Well in 2010 Microsoft unveiled the Kinect for the first time at E3 and it was all over every news outlet later that day and the following days.
The original name for the Kinect was Project Natal.
They showed games with people interacting with the environments with their hands and throwing fireballs with the flick of the wrist. From a technology standpoint, this may have been the most coverage an Xbox conference got since Bill Gates revealed the original Xbox. Now in 2018, the Kinect isn’t really a thing, and we’ll touch on that later. But for a minute, Microsoft was on top of the technology world.
10 Exclusive Tombs
Square Enix decided to give the Tomb Raider series an overhaul in 2013, coming out with Tomb Raider. It was a mature, darker take on Lara Croft, and it was one of the best games that came out that year. Yeah, it was overly violent at times, but it played better than the Uncharted games and the story was interesting. So everyone knew that a sequel was coming, and Xbox fans really needed a win with an exclusive. There were rumors that the next game might be an Xbox exclusive, but most thought that was too big of a game to just have on one system even though Tomb Raider was a PlayStation exclusive for years. Well, when Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced, it was also announced as an Xbox One exclusive for a year. That was huge considering the Xbox One was being outsold by close to double.
9 They Take What?
When the Xbox 360 and PS3 came out, a big difference between the two were the controllers. The PS3 went with a rechargeable battery built in and the Xbox went with an option to use batteries or buying a rechargeable battery with charging cable. People preferred the feel of the Xbox controller but liked the ability to charge the PS3 controller.
The Xbox 360 controller took 2 AA batteries.
So when the new consoles got announced people just assumed that they would both have rechargeable controllers this time. Some fans thought that Xbox would still go with the batteries since the controllers were the preferred controllers for PC players. The fans were right, the Xbox One controller still needed the batteries. It’s not a big deal, but more of an annoyance than anything. It just feels better to plug a controller in rather than put batteries in, to me at least.
8 Inked Up
Whenever a new GTA game is announced, it’s always a big deal! There’s a reason that they have been around since 1997 and there have only been five numbered games come out. GTA IV was set to be the first next-gen GTA game, but in 2006 there were just rumors about it. People didn’t know where it was set, who the main character was going to be, or what E3 stage it would appear on.
Peter Moore was working with Microsoft at the time and he had previously gotten a tattoo of the release date of Halo 2 for an E3 show. So there were rumors that if GTA IV appeared at the Xbox show that he might get another one. Well, E3 2006 rolled around and he lifted his sleeve to officially announce GTA IV to the world with another tattoo. There are conflicting reports if the tattoos are real or not, I’d like to think they are!
7 Kinect No More
So you remember when we talked about Microsoft revealing the Kinect? Well, we’re about to go full circle here. When the Xbox One S launched without a direct port for it, people started to feel like they might be cutting support for it and they were right. Last year Microsoft decided to end production of the Kinect as they weren’t selling.
The original Xbox One launched with a Kinect.
I can’t say I blame them for doing that, but seeing how they were on top of the world when they announced it and only a few years later stopping production is something you don’t see often. I think people mainly used them to navigate the dashboard to watch Netflix and stuff like that, and the games for it didn’t sell well. It was a cool idea and I wish it had been fleshed out more.
6 Chainsaws And Bandanas
Cliff Bleszinski worked at Epic Games until 2012 and he was responsible for arguably the second biggest Xbox series of all time. Once it was known that he was working for an Xbox exclusive people kinda went nuts because he was a big reason why the Unreal Tournament games got to where they were at the time. So having that pedigree, fans assumed that he might make the next big Xbox game with whatever he was working on. Well, they were the right cause in 2006 Gears of War came out and set everything on fire!
Cliff is now the head of Boss Key Productions.
Not only did Gears take over because of the multiplayer but the single player was awesome! All the characters were huge, but also relatable. It also introduced the active reload system that almost every shooter uses now. It was one of those revolutionary gaming moments.
5 Got That Pass
If you are an Xbox Live Gold member, then you get some free games every month that you can download, and that’s awesome! But last year Microsoft decided to step up the game a little bit and introduce Xbox Game Pass. It costs $9.99 a month and has around 100 games to download and play. Some games switch out at the end of the month and others are kind of staples.
This may have been an answer to PlayStation Now.
The great thing that Game Pass has over PS Now is that you download the game opposed to streaming them. I have a decent internet connection and I have trouble using PS Now. This year, Microsoft announced that all first-party Xbox games will come to Game Pass day one. So if you just want to get Game Pass and never buy any game you will have a ton to play!
4 The Duke
We touched on this controller a bit earlier, but it’s become a bit of a fan favorite, so here we are again. The Dreamcast came out 1999 and launched with a pretty big controller but not quite as big as The Duke. Even though the controller was very big there were people who enjoyed using it, myself included. So for years, fans have been wondering if they would ever bring the controller back. Well, they are!
Hyperkin has made a new version of the controller that is coming out at the end of April. It is wired, but with a huge controller like that, it might be hard to make something like that wireless. It’s going to be $70 and is a GameStop exclusive. It’s kinda crazy seeing a new version of this controller in 2018 but it’s also kind of awesome. It would be nice if it were an official Microsoft controller.
3 More, More Power
After the Xbox One and PS4 had been out a few years, rumors started about mid-gen consoles to come out with 4K support. The Xbox One S came out first and it was smaller and had the capability to play some games in 4K. But a bigger console was on the horizon. Xbox was touting it was the most powerful console ever made and some people had their doubts.
It was called Scorpio until they gave it the name Xbox One X.
The Xbox One X came out last year and it sold for a staggering $500. Once it got into people’s hands, though, they saw that it was worth the money. It truly is the most powerful console on the market. It plays games in a higher resolution than the PS4 Pro. Now the PS4 Pro is $100 less, but it’s also a tad less powerful so.
When Microsoft announced that Xbox 360 games were going to be backward compatible with the Xbox One, people were happy. But there were some that thought original Xbox games might have a shot at coming. It was kind of a long shot, but Final Fantasy VII and IX are both playable on the PS4, so it was possible. So last year the fans' dream came true and they announced that select original Xbox games were going to be playable on the Xbox One.
Late last year, the games became playable and people went nuts with them. They looked and ran better than they did originally. The coolest thing though was that you could take your old disc, if you still had it, and put it in the system and it would download the game just like with the 360 games. PlayStation already had PS2 games playable on the PS4, but you had to buy them.
1 "I Don't Dance Now, I Make Money Moves"
The video game company Rare was best known for making games like Banjo-Kazooie, Goldeneye 007, and Perfect Dark. They were mainly known for their N64 and Super Nintendo games. They fell into financial problems in the early 2000s and were looking for buyers. There were rumors that Microsoft and Sony were both interesting in buying the company but Microsoft ended up being the one to buy them.
They bought Rare for $375 million in 2002.
Since they owned Rare they figured they might as well get them to make a launch title for their upcoming Xbox 360 and they made Kameo: Elements of Power. It was a fun game and sold pretty well since it was a launch title. They brought back Banjo and Kazoo with Nuts & Bolts. It was kinda nuts, but it worked. The big game was Rare Replay in 2015, though, and it had 30 games in a bundle for $30.