Say that the Xbox One is too big. Say that the Xbox 360 was too unreliable early on. What you can’t  say is that Xbox LIVE, the service that powers the online gaming and media experience for millions of users across the world, wasn’t a game changer when it debuted with the first-generation Xbox.

Just how big of a deal was it? Polygon perfectly captures the work, sweat and vision that led to Microsoft creating Xbox LIVE initially. The piece even goes back to chronicle the Xbox LIVE-related exploits of J Allard, the visionary who worked tirelessly to conceptualize and market the Xbox One.

“All right, we put the Ethernet port in the box. Go figure out what it talks to.”

J Allard

All told, its a perfectly decent read — though users who want to read it in one sitting are better off grabbing a tablet, a hot cup of apple cider and an original Xbox Duke controller for posterity. It’s great to see how far Xbox Live has come and far it could co if Microsoft continues to invest in it.