Xbox 360, we hardly knew ye. Over the last 10 years, gamers around the world have spent over 78 billion gaming hours on the console, with another 25 billion hours spent using apps on the platform. All told, over 27 billion achievements were earned by players during that time.
Unfortunately, the realities of keeping a product in production for that long (especially alongside the Xbox One) have led to Microsoft deciding to cease production of the console. Existing inventories will remain available for sale, but no new 360 consoles will be produced.
Xbox head Phil Spencer announced the cease of production on the Xbox Wire blog, doing his best to thank the gamers that made the console a success and explain what the halt of production meant for fans of the system. Xbox Live services, including Games with Gold, will remain active and Xbox Live servers that support Xbox 360 games will remain online. Spencer also pointed out that existing Xbox 360 games will remain available at retail while supplies last, and the Xbox 360 console will still be supported at the Xbox Support website. He also mentioned that Xbox One owners will be able to continue enjoying the benefit of backwards compatibility, which will likely continue to expand now that Xbox 360 production is ending.
At the end of the message to fans, Spencer mentioned that there will be more announcements coming “over the next few weeks and months.” Specifically, he said that the team would be sharing its plans for gaming on Xbox One, Windows 10 PCs “and beyond.” This mention of “beyond” has some wondering whether the recent rumors of a major Xbox revision on its way are true.
Spencer himself has previously said that fans shouldn’t expect an incremental update like an “Xbox One-and-a-Half.” That doesn’t rule out more robust hardware revisions, however, or hardware designed to better take advantage of Microsoft’s partnership with Oculus Rift. Of course, given recent announcements such as the combination of the Xbox and Windows 10 platforms and the possibility of cross-platform play with other consoles, it’s possible that the company’s plans “beyond” the Xbox and Windows 10 aren’t necessarily hardware-based at all. Even if they are, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re related to a new console.
Still, the next few months should be very interesting for fans of the Xbox platform. E3 2016 falls within that timeframe, so it’s entirely possible that we’ll see several smaller announcements leading up to a big reveal at the expo. Given that this is the same timeframe that many believe the Nintendo NX and PlayStation 4 Neo to be introduced, it will be interesting to see exactly what the Xbox platform has in store.
Source: Xbox Wire