Microsoft has announced that production of the Xbox 360 has come to an end, over a decade after the console’s initial UK release on December 2 2005 and its worldwide premiere on 22 November 2005.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer wrote in a blog post that “we will continue to sell existing inventory of Xbox 360 consoles, with availability varying by country” and promised that the “Xbox Live servers that support Xbox 360 services will also remain online and active.”
Microsoft plans to maintain the console’s online and multiplayer features, as well as maintaining its Xbox 360 online support portal, into the foreseeable future.
Spencer also emphasises that “Xbox One owners will be able to continue to enjoy available Xbox 360 games through Xbox One Backward Compatibility – at no additional cost.” This may aid sales of the company’s newest console, which is reported to be lagging behind Sony’s rival PlayStation 4 in the battle for market dominance.
However, currently, only a relatively small number of Xbox 360 games are officially confirmed to be fully backwards compatible with Xbox One.
The Xbox 360’s ten-year run easily places it among the most long-lived and much-loved consoles of all time. Its reign saw the release of classics including Assassin’s Creed, multiple instalments of the Halo series, Grand Theft Auto V, Braid,Dead Space and Far Cry 3.
Since the console’s release, its users have clocked up 78 billion gaming hours and a collective Gamerscore of almost 486 billion.