The Origins of Online Multiplayer Gaming

Overview Of X-Band

The X-Band was a modem released for the Sega Genesis in 1994 and Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1995. It enabled gamers to plug in a phone wire, and through a dial-up connection, and compete against other players over the internet. It supported 15-20 games for each of the gaming consoles it was featured on. Player statistics were tracked and progression was rewarded by earning different colored karate belts, starting at white belt and culminating at black belt.

Catapult Entertainment, the creators of X-band had to reverse engineer the programming code and modify it to allow video games to be played over the internet. It also had a built in e-mail feature, called X-mail. It was almost never advertised and its popularity was spread by word of mouth. Unfortunately word of mouth usually only goes so far and as such X-Bandís servers were shut down in 1997.

X-Band Stats Peak Subscription #'s Total # of Supported Games
Super Nintendo 373,000 17
Sega Genesis 327,000 14
X-Band Modem for Online Multiplayer Gaming