The Xbox is a video game console manufactured by Microsoft. It was released on November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan, and March 14, 2002 in Australia and Europe. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console market. As part of the sixth-generation of gaming, the Xbox competed with Sony's PlayStation 2, Sega's Dreamcast (which stopped American sales before the Xbox went on sale), and Nintendo's GameCube. The Xbox was the first console offered by an American company after the Atari Jaguar stopped sales in 1996.
The integrated Xbox Live service launched in November 2002 allowed players to play games online with a broadband connection. It was one feature that made the Xbox so popular, with most critics stating that Xbox Live had a better online experience than PlayStation 2's online service, though Xbox Live required a subscription while PS2's online is free. The best-selling Xbox game is Halo 2 released in November 2004, which was also extremely popular through its online play on Xbox Live.
Xbox's successor, the Xbox 360, was launched in November 2005. The Xbox was discontinued in late 2005 in Japan where sales were poor. It was discontinued in late 2006 in Europe and early 2007 in North America. The last Xbox game in Europe was Tony Hawk's Project 8 released in November 2006, and the last game in North America was Madden NFL 09 released in August 2008. Support for out-of-warranty Xbox consoles was discontinued on March 2, 2009, stating that any in-warranty repair now needed will not be undertaken. Xbox Live support was discontinued on April 15, 2010.