Microsoft has announced that after 10 years of production it will no longer make Xbox 360 consoles.
The machine turned 10 years old last November, and Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, said the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are "starting to creep up on us." He still praised the console, noting franchises like Gears of Wars were born on the Xbox 360, and that the Xbox 360 helped usher industry innovations like Kinect. It also allowed Xbox Live to turn into a "thriving online gaming community".
"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," Spencer explained. Despite all that, Microsoft made the decision to stop manufacturing new Xbox 360 consoles but will continue to sell existing inventory, with availability varying by country.
The company will presumably now put all its focus on the Xbox One, the Xbox 360's successor that released in late 2013. Microsoft realises however that gamers are still active on the Xbox 360, so it will continue to support the platform in multiple ways.
Will Xbox 360 owners get Xbox Live services?
Yes. They will continue to receive Xbox Live services for their console, including online multiplayer gaming and parties, access to the apps they still use, and Games with Gold and Deals with Gold. Microsoft also said Xbox Live servers that support Xbox 360 services will remain online and active, allowing Xbox 360 owners to continue playing their favorite games with Xbox Live.
Can Xbox 360 owners still buy 360 games/accessories?
Xbox 360 owners will still be able to buy over 4,000 Xbox 360 games or Xbox 360 accessories either through retail stores or Microsoft's Xbox 360 store online (while supplies last).
Will Xbox 360 hardware receive support?
According to Microsoft, any Xbox 360 hardware will be supported at xbox.com/support.
Can Xbox One owners still play Xbox 360 games?
Microsoft previously announced Xbox One owners could play Xbox 360 games on their new console, and now it is promising they will be able to continue to play available Xbox 360 games through Xbox One Backward Compatibility (at no additional cost).
Want to know more?
Check out Phil Spencer's blog post for more details.