Microsoft announced Thursday that it will close the Xbox 360 online store and marketplace next year as it focuses on its latest consoles and subscription service, Game Pass.
According to a post on the Xbox website, the Xbox 360 Store and Xbox 360 Marketplace will close on July 29, 2024 and players using the old console will not be able to purchase and download new games.
However, Microsoft allows users to play with their previously purchased Xbox 360 games and older titles that are compatible with the console.
“A lot has changed since the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005. Technology has evolved, player expectations have changed and we are focused on making Xbox Series X|S the best place to play now and in the future,” said Xbox.
Microsoft stopped producing the Xbox 360 in 2016 and a year later launched Xbox Game Pass, a subscription gaming service accessible across consoles and Windows platforms.
As part of the latest move, the Movies & TV app on the older console will also be removed.
Alongside Sony’s PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360 is one of the best-selling gaming consoles of all time. Microsoft had sold approximately 84 million units of the Xbox 360 as of 2014 and was no longer reporting its sales due to the launch of its successor, Xbox One.
The Xbox 360 is on its way out, but Microsoft already has its sights set on the next generation of consoles. Court documents from the FTC trial over Xbox parent company’s attempt to acquire Activision Blizzard revealed that the company believes the next generation of gaming consoles should launch in 2028. These include the next Xbox console and the PlayStation 6.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is introducing a new attack system to curb malicious behavior from its online players on Xbox. Players found to be using harmful slurs, sending threats, and engaging in hateful behavior and bullying while playing online games can now be reported and receive warnings as a result. Each strike comes with a ban on Xbox multiplayer services, and the accumulation of eight strikes would result in a one-year ban.
© Thomson Reuters 2023