As we approach the release of Halo Reach, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at Halo: Combat Evolved, the game that launched a console.

When Microsoft threw its hat into the game console arena, no one was quite sure what to make of it.  The company had never done anything like this before, and the company's reputation wasn't exactly spectacular at the time.  Add in the fact that the first Xbox was physically gigantic, and things just didn't look that promising for this new entry into the console wars.  But, then, a little game came out on Nov. 15th, 2001 called Halo: Combat Evolved, and through word of mouth, people started buying the console just for that game.

Halo: Combat EvolvedWhen I finally broke down and bought an original Xbox, one of my friends commented, "Oh, so you bought a Halo adapter, huh?"  That really was the opinion of a lot of people at the time that there was no other reason to purchase the inaugural Microsoft console except to play this one game.  I, of course, said that wasn't the reason … but I was lying.  I really had acquired this console for one game, but luckily, over time, I discovered there was a lot of other worthwhile games out there.

It would be interesting to wonder where the Xbox console would be without Halo and its multiple sequels.  Almost nine years later, and if you think "Xbox" you immediately think of "Halo". that's how much they go hand-and-hand.  Would we have seen the Xbox 360?  Probably, I don't think Microsoft was going to give up on the idea of having its own console for quite some time, but I'm not sure it would have ever enjoyed any months as the number one selling console.

While I personally ended my involvement with the franchise after Halo 3, I still love my Xbox 360 and play it (not as often as I would like) due to all of the other games I enjoy on it.  I do, however, think of Halo still when I fire it up, and wonder, if even for a second, "Where would you be without that first Halo game?"