Released: November, 2001
Price at launch: $299
Beating Nintendo's GameCube console to the U.S. market by three days, Microsoft's Xbox marked the software company's debut in producing hardware of any kind. The system was a powerhouse, resembling a PC with its built-in hard drive and broadband-ready Ethernet port. But one Xbox launch title would matter most, and that was Halo: Combat Evolved. The well-received first-person-shooter game, along with solid third-party titles such as Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden and LucasArts' Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, would allow Microsoft to dive headfirst into the console wars. Although Microsoft has yet to make a profit from Xbox, the company says it has sold more than 24 million units since its launch, placing it ahead of Nintendo's GameCube console.