“Game over, man. GAME OVER!” After over ten years of production, it’s time to say goodbye to the venerable Xbox 360. The console celebrated its tenth birthday this past November and global sales for the console have surpassed the 85 million mark.
Early in its life the Xbox 360 was fraught with quality control issues, as witnessed by the infamous Red Ring of Death that struck many consoles (and subsequently resulted in lawsuits). And we can’t forget the HD DVD add-on debacle, which saw Microsoft on the losing side of the next-generation, high-definition optical disc format war. Sony eventually won the standards battle with Blu-ray and Microsoft was forced to hang its head in defeat (the Xbox One now includes a Blu-ray drive).
But these two blemishes don’t diminish what a gaming juggernaut the Xbox 360 was during its heyday, competing with the Sony PlayStation 3 for the attention of hardcore console gamers. Over the course of its lifecycle, gamers have spent a cumulative 78 billion hours playing games on the console while racking up 27 billion achievements and a Gamerscore approaching 486 billion.
However, console gamers of the Microsoft persuasion have for the most part made the transition to two-year-old Xbox One, which while lagging behind the PlayStation 4 in overall sales, is still a formidable machine. And given that fact that Microsoft continues to expand Xbox 360 backwards compatibility on the Xbox One, there are fewer reasons for the Xbox 360 to stick around and take up valuable manufacturing resources in this day and age.
“Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft,” said Xbox Chief Phil Spencer. “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, which is why we have made the decision to stop manufacturing new Xbox 360 consoles.”
Microsoft will continue to sell the Xbox 360 and its accessories worldwide until supplies run out. But once inventory is depleted, that’s all folks! However, just because Microsoft is stopping the production of Xbox 360 hardware doesn’t mean that online support is ending. Gamers will still be able to participate on Xbox Live services and Xbox Live servers for the Xbox 360 will continue to operate.
“I want to personally thank the Xbox community – that includes the vast and diverse audience of gamers, developers and publishers who brought so much passion and creativity to the Xbox 360,” added Spencer.