The Xbox 360 has been around for quite some time. Last November, Microsoft celebrated the console’s 10-year anniversary. But all good things must come to an end, and the company announced today that it’s ceasing production of the venerable console.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you’ll stop seeing Xbox 360 on physical (or digital) shelves anytime soon. The company will continue to sell its remaining inventory of Xbox 360 consoles. In addition, Microsoft will continue to support Xbox 360 players in various ways. Xbox Live services are still available to players for online multiplayer, parties and apps. In addition, subscribers will still receive free games through the Games With Gold program and discounts through Deals With Gold. For any troubleshooting issues, Microsoft will also continue to add support for the hardware on its Support page.
However, the company is still pushing customers to get the Xbox One with backwards compatibility, which was announced at E3 last year. Many popular titles are already available through the program, and more games are added every month.
In the end, the legacy of the Xbox 360 will endure for quite some time. The successor to the original Xbox, it launched on November 22, 2005. It continued the Halo franchise with multiple installments, most notably the ever-popular Halo 2, and the series continued to the Xbox One with Halo 5: Guardians. Forza Motorsport also made its debut on the Xbox, but over the years it became Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s Gran Turismo series.
Until recently, the Call of Duty franchise had a longtime partnership with Microsoft, which increased the popularity of the game on the Xbox 360. The Gears of War franchise was introduced in the Xbox 360, too; four titles came out under the franchise name, and just like the Halo series, Gears of War will continue on the Xbox One when Gears of War 4 arrives in October.
The Kinect peripheral also made its debut on the Xbox 360 (Project Natal, anyone?). The device allowed users to play games with body gestures and speech. Six years after its 2010 release, it’s still available as an add-on for the current Xbox One console.
Microsoft entered the console gaming business with the first Xbox, but it was the Xbox 360 that cemented the company’s place in the industry. Now, Microsoft’s plans continue as it attempts to link its PC and console gaming divisions together for what it hopes will be an improved experience.