The Dark Age Of Xbox (2010-2015)

Xbox went from a popular gaming giant to one of the most ridiculed. How did it happen?

Xbox One Halo facepalm

Having been in the gaming industry for nearly two decades now, Xbox has firmly established itself as one of the biggest players, its games and characters reaching equally iconic status alongside its competitors. Its first two consoles were both strong successes, but the third time ended up being unlucky as Microsoft entered a dark age.

In the late stage of the seventh generation and much of the eighth, the tables turned against Xbox tremendously. How did they fall out of favour and how have they redeemed themselves in recent years? Like with Sony before them, we'll start with where the brand found itself beforehand.

A Strong If Imperfect Start

xbox 360 red ring of death

Microsoft would kick off the seventh generation of consoles early when it launched the Xbox 360 in 2005. The original Xbox, despite being Microsoft's first time in the gaming business, had done well and the corporation geared up for its successor. It was all about upping both the power and its overall functionality.

However, by racing to get out of the door first Microsoft had missed a critical hardware flaw. The red ring of death became notorious in the early days, indicating the 360 had broken down entirely with an internal error. Thousands of gamers were forced to send their new consoles back to the company or buy new ones. The incidents costed Microsoft over a billion dollars to fix and yet it didn't quite kill consumer trust.

Being such a massive and encompassing company, this was a cost they were able to afford, even if it did take some of the wind out of their sails. As it stands, the Xbox 360 would go on to sell five million units by the time the other seventh gen systems arrived in 2006.

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A tough but fair writer and critic broadly covering games, movies and just about every type of entertainment media. Spent a good part of the last seven years blogging and more recently, making amateur videos under "The Cainage Critique". You can follow my work on my website and my YouTube channel at