It's a sad day for Xbox 360 fans: Phil Spencer has just announced on Xbox Wire that Microsoft is ceasing production of the 10 years old console. His whole post is well worth a read so we'll share it with you below:
The Xbox 360 helped redefine an entire generation of gaming at Microsoft. I am incredibly proud of all of the work and dedication that went into development of the Xbox 360 hardware, services and games portfolio over the last decade. And I’m grateful to the fans for their continued passion and support.
Franchises like Gears of War were born on the 360, and established blockbusters like Halo really came into their own during this console generation. Xbox 360 was also the foundation for industry-leading technical innovation like Kinect, and the start of system updates and dashboard refreshes based on fan feedback.
Thanks to the Xbox 360, we evolved Xbox Live from the original Xbox into the thriving online gaming community it is today. And the console became a beloved gaming and entertainment hub with over 78 billion gaming hours played, nearly 486 billion Gamerscore on 27 billion achievements and over 25 billion hours spent in apps over its lifetime.
From the original Zero Hour launch event, to the incredible reaction received last year at E3 when we announced that you could play your Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, the soul of Xbox 360 was about putting gamers at the center of every decision we make – and we apply this principle across our business to this day.
Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft. And while we’ve had an amazing run, the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us. Which is why we have made the decision to stop manufacturing new Xbox 360 consoles. We will continue to sell existing inventory of Xbox 360 consoles, with availability varying by country.
We know that many of you became gamers on Xbox 360 and are still active, so it’s important to us that while the overall Xbox gaming experience will evolve and grow, we will continue to support the platform you love in multiple ways.
The Xbox 360 was first released in the US November 2005, and we have to say it definitely aged well over all those years. The console received two hardware revisions during its lifespan, first with the slimmer Xbox 360 S in 2010 then Microsoft introduced the Xbox 360 E along the Xbox One during E3 2013. In 2015, the console was still getting some AAA games such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain and FIFA 2016, but as developers are now focusing on current generation consoles it was clear the writing was on the wall.
However, the Xbox 360 as a platform is not completely dead: the Xbox 360 operating system actually received its last update on March 29, but Phil Spencer didn't clarify if the console would continue to get software updates in the future. Spencer also didn't mention the fate of the Xbox 360 Preview program that allows select users to receive updates and preview content (Microsoft barely talked about it over the last year). But if you're wondering if Microsoft will continue to support Xbox Live on the Xbox 360, Spencer explained that nothing will change in the future:
- Xbox 360 owners will continue to receive Xbox Live services for their console, such as online multiplayer gaming and parties, access to the apps they use today, and Games with Gold and Deals with Gold.
- Xbox Live servers that support Xbox 360 services will also remain online and active. Our Xbox 360 fans can continue to play their favorite games with the full support of Xbox Live.
- Gamers will also be able to continue to buy over 4,000 Xbox 360 games or Xbox 360 accessories at retail and through our Xbox 360 store online, while supplies last.
- Any Xbox 360 hardware will still be supported at xbox.com/support. And Xbox One owners will be able to continue to enjoy available Xbox 360 games through Xbox One Backward Compatibility – at no additional cost.
So, if you love your Xbox 360, you're free to continue to enjoy it! More, the spirit of the Xbox 360 will continue to live on in some way through backward compatibility on the Xbox One. However, if you're into collecting old game consoles, now would be a good time to score an Xbox 360 with all its accessories. Do you still use your Xbox 360? Please tell what you think of the ten year old console in the comments!