The Xbox 360 released in late 2005, heralding the start of the seventh generation of consoles, establishing a market for downloadable TV games, and cementing Microsoft's gaming brand. Why think back on that formative time today?
Because Microsoft has decided to finally stop manufacturing the Xbox 360 console after more than 10 years, citing lessening demand and an increased focus on its successor, the Xbox One. Microsoft will continue selling existing supplies until they're exhausted across varying territories.
"Thanks to the Xbox 360, we evolved Xbox Live from the original Xbox into the thriving online gaming community it is today," writes Phil Spencer, Microsoft's Xbox head. "And the console became a beloved gaming and entertainment hub with over 78 billion gaming hours played, nearly 486 billion Gamerscore on 27 billion achievements and over 25 billion hours spent in apps over its lifetime."
The Xbox 360 was a huge success, reportedly selling about 84 million consoles worldwide, making it the sixth-best-selling console of all-time and by far the top-selling platform from an American company. The PlayStation 3, which initially lagged behind in the generation, has sold about the same amount of consoles, while the Wii blasted past both with about 101 million consoles sold.
We'll think back fondly on the Xbox 360 for its many excellent console exclusives (indefinite or timed), including Gears of War, BioShock, Mass Effect, Halo 3, Braid, Limbo, and Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, as well as brilliant multiplatform releases like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Grand Theft Auto V, and so many more.
Less fondly, we'll recall the dreaded Red Ring of Death hardware failures, which affected a staggering number of early consoles. But overall, many good times were had over the years during the extended console generation.
The Xbox 360 hardware may be ending production, but more than 100 games can be played on Xbox One via the backwards compatibility added late last year, and more titles are being added regularly. A recent update also added the ability to buy Xbox 360 digital games on Xbox One, so today's news is as good a prompt as any go dig back in to the console's excellent library.
[Source: Xbox Wire]