Eleven years after its launch, the Xbox 360 console has been discontinued by Microsoft. The US tech giant announced the decision to stop manufacturing the console on its official Xbox News website on April 20th.
In a blog post posted on the Xbox News website, Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, thanked gamers, developers and publishers for their continued support.
Spencer told Xbox 360 users: “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.”
Spencer told the media the console was now showing its age. In an official statement, he said, “the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us.”
While Microsoft will no longer produce Xbox 360 consoles, the company will continue selling off its current inventory – something that differs in size from country to country.
Because units of the console are still being sold, servers are staying up. Gamers will be able to continue playing games online, at least for the foreseeable future. Microsoft also announced that official Xbox 360 hardware will remain covered under its manufacturer’s guarantee.
The Xbox 360 console celebrated its ten-year anniversary in November 2015. Within that time, Microsoft estimates over 84 million units were sold.
Spencer suggested the Xbox 360 had racked up even more impressive figures. The Microsoft man revealed gamers worldwide had enjoyed close to 80 billion hours of gaming, and had unlocked around 25 billion Gamescore achievements.
Tributes poured in from gamers around the world when the announcement was made. Twitter users swapped stories of car chases while Facebook users shared their favorite Xbox 360 gaming moments on Xbox’s official Facebook page.
The console proved ground breaking when it was released back in 2005. Games could be enjoyed anywhere in the room thanks to wireless controllers, and could be enjoyed full stop thanks to the device’s stunning HD graphics.
Xbox 360 games will remain accessible thanks to the Xbox One’s backwards compatibility feature. Looking towards the future, Phil Spencer also hinted a new upgrade for the latest Xbox machine is on its way.
He ended his blog post by saying: “Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be sharing more of our plans for gaming on Xbox One, Windows 10 and beyond”