The Xbox 360 launched back in November of 2005. Microsoft announced today that they’ll retire the system.
“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,” wrote Xbox head Phil Spencer in a post to the official Xbox news site.
Spencer answers a few burning questions in the same post, explaining that things like Xbox Live for Xbox 360 and the features that come with it aren’t going away Games will still be playable online for the foreseeable future, and games available in the store will continue to be available. Xbox hardware support will continue for a while, as well. There’s a practical limit to how long they can do that for, but Spencer doesn’t indicate how far out that is. And, finally, they’ll be continuing to get Xbox 360 games working on Xbox One.
When manufacturing something like computer hardware, a market that’s still evolving, hardware starts expensive as it’s hard to manufacture, gets cheaper as things like manufacturing processes and production lines get streamlined and optimized, and then gets more expensive again as the world moves onto newer tech. Keeping manufacturing costs down might be getting difficult, not to mention things like upkeep. Regardless, the system had a good long run, and the continued efforts to make games backward compatible should help take the sting out of the announcement. We’re sad to see it go, but it’s about time.