enjoys great popularity. But in 2003 there was a side trip to the Xbox.
On November 8, 2000, a video game was released that not only changed the world of gamers, but also almost single-handedly brought glory to an entire sub-genre. On that day the official first version of the tactical shooter of Counter-Strike (1.0) was released.
The game was extremely popular from the beginning and became a real hit in the gaming scene. This year it celebrates its 20th anniversary.
In the time that followed, it became increasingly clear that the shooter was being played more competitively and in its own leagues – for ESL, founded in 2000, the title later served as a breeding ground for further development and orientation.
Just one year later, in 2001, the first major tournament was held in Dallas, Texas, which was won by the eSports organization Ninjas in pajamas, which is still active today. The prize pool was 150,000 US dollars, a considerable sum considering that eSports was still in its infancy at that time.
In comparison: The first Worlds in League of Legends, 2011, had a total prize pool of $100,000.
To this day, Counter-Strike is the dominant shooter when it comes to competitive gaming. But although CS, now officially available with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in its fourth edition, is almost exclusively played on the computer, there have been various attempts to establish the title on other platforms.
From the PC to the console
Counter-Strike 1.6 was officially released for the PC on September 09, 2003. This version was not only the final version of the classic CS, it was also the first title in the series that was played exclusively via Steam connection – this hasn’t changed until today. But in fact it should not remain exclusively with this release.
Only a few months later, on December 5, 2003, Counter-Strike was released for Xbox 1 – not to be confused with the Xbox One. Visually, there was not much difference between the console port and the PC version, but the focus was set fundamentally different in terms of content.
While on the PC players could only compete against human opponents, the Xbox version offered computer-controlled figures that confronted the player and or actively helped him. A novelty, which was also adopted in the following parts like Condition Zero or Source. Nevertheless, the console version also offered the option to let players compete against each other.
Thanks to the Master Chief!
In 2001, Halo: Combat Evolved was released on the Xbox, turning the general understanding of competitive console games completely upside down and offering an extremely popular online mode. Counter-Strike, which followed two years later, should also benefit from this.
Thanks to the existing LAN port, players could compete online against other gamers from all over the world. However, an active Internet connection and a subscription to the Xbox Live service, which is still used by Microsoft today, was required.
But even though CS did basically nothing wrong on the Xbox, and was even groundbreaking for the series in terms of the shop reels (weapons were selected using a radial menu) and the computer opponents, the title didn’t make an impression on the fans. Basically the price was a big problem.
In contrast to the PC version, which was included as a free bonus with the full version of Half-Life, the console port cost a total of 60 Euros. Too expensive in the eyes of many. To make matters worse, Counter-Strike lacks the familiar precision of the PC version on the console.
Although this is due to the controls in general, the overall impression, the presentation plus the controls couldn’t really convince the fans.
A template giver
What remained was the attempt to transfer the hype about the tactical shooter, which has been going on since 2000, to another platform. But even if it didn’t work with the port of Counter-Strike 1.6, it shouldn’t have been the last attempt of a console offshoot of the probably most famous shooter franchise in the history of eSports.
That again is another story