Time magazine has named the launch of the Xbox as one of 10 key moments for Microsoft, in a list of other milestone events that includes the launch of various versions of the Windows operating system, investigations over monopoly concerns and the company’s slow reaction to the popularization of the Internet.
"More than 1,000 people lined up in Times Square to snag the first Xboxes at midnight on Nov. 15. Microsoft had a $500 million marketing budget for the game platform, which also contained a hard drive and Internet connectivity," says the article
The entry continues: "The next year, Microsoft launched Xbox Live, a paid subscription service allowing gamers to play with opponents all over the world. In 2005, Microsoft launched the Xbox 360, which sold out of countless stores before Christmas. But Xbox faces a challenge to its dominance from an old competitor: Nintendo’s new Wii console."
Although some analysts have attempted to paint the Xbox project as a failure for Microsoft, the company itself has always been fiercely defensive of its efforts in the video games market, which has certainly succeeded in bringing Microsoft products into the living room.
When, for example, the San Jose Mercury News accused the company of having "run out of ideas to boost sales" in October, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer described the Xbox 360
as "an absolute home run".