Microsoft dropped a major bombshell on longtime fans of its Xbox consoles this morning. The Xbox 360, the console that turned Xbox into a household name and solidified the repuation of Xbox Live, won’t be made anymore.
Microsoft announced the discontinuation of the Xbox 360 this morning in a post on Xbox Wire. After three major hardware revisions, the company will sell the stock that it has left and wrap up production. From that point on, the Xbox 360 will only be available at auction websites and used resellers. Think GameStop and you have the right idea. That means that it will be the Xbox 360 E that allows the console to ride into the sunset. Microsoft introduced the Xbox 360 E alongside the Xbox One in 2013.
Because the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Program allows publishers to bring games to Xbox One, the Xbox 360 version of Xbox Live and the servers that support it will stay live. Microsoft says that it’ll continue to update the dashboard on the Xbox 360 too. Retail stores won’t stop selling disc copies of Xbox 360 games overnight either. Basically, as long as you own an Xbox 360 or buy one soon, you’re fine. The notable exception here is Xbox 360 apps. Microsoft will still offer app downloads through the store, but a growing number of them are getting discontinued by their makers. Verizon pulled its FiOS a few weeks ago.
The original Xbox was the first gaming console that I ever purchased, but it’s the Xbox 360 that turned me into a steady gamer. (That and Halo 3.) Xbox head Phil Spencer concluded the announcement with an ode to the console that could. “I want to personally thank the Xbox community – that includes the vast and diverse audience of gamers, developers and publishers who brought so much passion and creativity to the Xbox 360. You are the heart of what we do at TEAM XBOX, and you have been critical to the success of Xbox 360.”
Here’s to the Xbox 360. Goodbye old friend.