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When the service debuted, it lacked much of the functionality that later titles included, but Xbox Live grew and evolved on the Xbox and many aspects of the service were included with the Xbox 360 console out of the box, rather than through a later update.
Microsoft's 5000th patent was Live-related and gave Xbox 360 users access to watch other gamers compete against each other over Xbox Live.
As Microsoft developed the original Xbox console, online gaming was designated as one of the key pillars for the greater Xbox strategy.
Sega had made an attempt to capitalize on the ever-growing online gaming scene when it launched the Dreamcast video game console in 1999, including online support as standard, called Sega Net and Dreamarena.
Microsoft announced that 50 Xbox Live titles would be available by the end of 2003.
Utilizing the required broadband bandwidth, Xbox Live featured a unified gaming "Friends List", as well as a single identity across all titles (regardless of the publisher), and standardized voice chat with a headset and communication, a feature that was still in its infancy.
Xbox Live is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft.
It was first made available to the Xbox system in November 2002.
Xbox Live was finally given a name at E3 2002 when the service was unveiled in its entirety.
An updated version of the service became available for the Xbox 360 console at the system's launch in November 2005, and a further enhanced version was released in 2013 with the Xbox One.
The service was extended in 2007 on the Windows platform, named Games for Windows – Live, which makes most aspects of the system available on Windows computers.
The online features, while praised as innovative, were largely considered a failure, and the Dreamcast's immediate competitor, the Play Station 2, did not initially ship with built-in networking capabilities.
Microsoft, however, hoped that the Xbox would succeed where the Dreamcast had failed.