The original Xbox launched in 2001 and marked Microsoft’s foray into the console market. The console’s UI featured a smattering of Xbox’s iconic green hues and basic navigation to memory management, music, and general setting. More than the UI’s green onslaught, the original Xbox’s dashboard is, perhaps, even better known for its sci-fi inspired navigation sounds. The unique sound effects gave the menus a futuristic feel, but if the console was left idle long enough, player’s were met with an eerie whisper. Turns out, the terrifying noises were actually modified recordings of the Apollo missions, according to Xbox Director of Programming, Larry Hryb.
After its release, the UI remained fairly unchanged besides the addition of an Xbox Live tab when the service launched in 2002. From that menu, gamers could add friends, set up voice chat for up to 16 people, and see what friends were up to online.
The original Xbox UI was basic but functional. More importantly, it laid the groundwork for what would become a far more complex ecosystem in the 360 generation.