In a heartfelt post on the official Xbox website, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has announced that Microsoft plans to discontinue production of the Xbox 360, officially retiring the console so the company can put an increased focus on the current-gen Xbox One.
Having celebrated its 10-year anniversary just a few months back, Spencer says in the post that the 360 helped to “redefine an entire generation of gaming,” and thanked fans for their continued support and passion.
The statement reads:
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.
So why has Microsoft waited until now to cease production of the now-outdated hardware? Spencer doesn’t go into too much detail, but essentially attributes the termination of production to the fact that it’s simply not practical to manufacture an obsolete piece of hardware when the technically superior Xbox One now exists, especially now that the latter can now run Xbox 360 games through backwards compatibility.
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.
However, Spencer is keen to emphasize that this doesn’t mean Microsoft will be ceasing support for the console altogether. Quite the opposite, in fact. All current features and services for the Xbox 360, including Xbox Live, Games with Gold and hardware support will all still be available for the foreseeable future, as will option to buy the console and its many accessories. That last one will only be possible while stocks last, however.
- 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.
Well how about that. It’s by no means a surprise that Microsoft has opted not to continue producing brand new Xbox 360 units, but it’s always sad to see a console – one that will have been many a young gamer’s first – be retired from active service.
We’re sure there’s a lot of you out there with fond memories of the console to share, so why not regale us with your stories in the comments below?