Microsoft is ending production of new Xbox 360 consoles due to “the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old,” Xbox division head Phil Spencer announced today.
Originally released in 2005, the Xbox 360 celebrated its tenth birthday in November of last year. The platform sold 84 million units worldwide as of 2014.
“Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft,” Spencer said. “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. We will continue to sell existing inventory of Xbox 360 consoles, with availability varying by country.”
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Multiple Xbox 360 hardware revisions premiered in the wake of the console’s 2005 launch, including a “slim” variant that has since become the standard model available at retail. The earliest Xbox 360 units lacked hard drives, HDMI output, and Wi-Fi functionality — features that quickly became requirements over the course of the previous console generation.
In addition to hosting hundreds of disc-based games, the Xbox 360 is widely credited with popularizing the distribution of digital content via consoles. The platform’s Xbox Live Arcade storefront became a haven for independent developers, and many high-profile games released over the past decade remain exclusive to Microsoft’s previous-generation console.
Microsoft rolled out the Xbox 360’s successor console, the Xbox One, in 2013. Many popular Xbox 360 games are playable on the Xbox One via the platform’s recently introduced backward compatibility feature, and the list of supported titles from the previous console generation continues to grow on a monthly basis.
Though Xbox 360 hardware production has ended, Microsoft notes that players will still be able to play Xbox 360 games online via Xbox Live in the foreseeable future. Xbox Live Gold subscribers will continue to receive free Xbox 360 games monthly, and customer support will continue via Microsoft’s website.
“I want to personally thank the Xbox community,” Spencer stated. “That includes the vast and diverse audience of gamers, developers, and publishers who brought so much passion and creativity to the Xbox 360. You are the heart of what we do at TEAM XBOX, and you have been critical to the success of Xbox 360.”