Microsoft kills off its Xbox 360 gaming console, but Xbox 360 games will live on thanks to Xbox One

Remember when Ben Kenobi was killed, but turned into a ghost and never really died? It's kind of like that.

The Xbox 360 is dead. Long live the Xbox 360.

Microsoft said Wednesday that the company has ceased production on its last-generation Xbox 360 game console, which launched just more than 10 years ago in November 2005.

Microsoft announced the news in a blog post, which noted that Microsoft had simply decided to focus its production on its latest console, the Xbox One. “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,” Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox for Microsoft, wrote. “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.”

The decision isn’t entirely unexpected; Microsoft said in 2013 that the Xbox 360 was expected to last until 2016.

Why this matters: Normally, the demise of a beloved game console is cause for mourning. And for Microsoft, the Xbox 360 dominated the game console space for a generation. But Microsoft softened the blow last year when it added Xbox 360 backward-compatibility to the current Xbox One, allowing gamers who own the old Xbox 360 discs to keep on playing at least some of their games on the latest console.

Xbox 360 will live on

Microsoft said that, collectively, gamers spent 78 billion hours gaming on its console, and 25 billion more hours using apps like Netflix. That itself is noteworthy, given that the Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 were the first consoles to be capable of streaming movies and television shows from the Internet in addition to playing games. Ironically, Microsoft allowed streaming and other apps to become the initial focus of the Xbox One, but the company beat a hasty retreat when gamers protested.

While Microsoft will halt the manufacture of the Xbox 360 console, its services will continue unabated, for now. Xbox Live services for the 360 will continue, and the servers that support Xbox 360 such services as multiplayer gaming will remain online and active, Spencer said. (Spencer didn’t say, however, how long those services will remain viable.) Gamers will be able to buy more than 4000 existing Xbox 360 titles either via the Xbox Store or through retailers, at least until supplies run out. Microsoft will also continue to support the console through its warranty program.

Finally, Microsoft said that it plans to continue the Deals with Gold and Games with Gold programs; the latter offers one of the best deals in gaming: If a gamer subscribes to the Xbox Live service, he or she receives four free games per month: two for the Xbox One, and two for the Xbox 360. All Xbox 360 games are playable on the One via the backward-compatibility program.

With the Xbox 360 being phased out, Microsoft’s focus will now turn to the Xbox One and its integration with Windows 10. Spencer promised that over the next few weeks and months, the company will share more of the company’s plans for gaming on “Xbox One, Windows 10, and beyond.”

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftXBox 360

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Hachman

TechHive (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?