Xbox head Phil Spencer announced today that the Xbox 360 will cease production, over 10 years after launch. Phil Spencer explained:
Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft. 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.
While production is ending, Spencer also said that Xbox Live and the Xbox 360 store will stay online for the foreseeable future, with full Gold benefits.
Speaking on the legacy the Xbox 360 left for Microsoft, Phil said:
Franchises like Gears of War were born on the 360, and established blockbusters like Halo really came into their own during this console generation. Xbox 360 was also the foundation for industry-leading technical innovation like Kinect, and the start of system updates and dashboard refreshes based on fan feedback. [...] From the original Zero Hour launch event, to the incredible reaction received last year at E3 when we announced that you could play your Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, the soul of Xbox 360 was about putting gamers at the center of every decision we make – and we apply this principle across our business to this day.
Phil Spencer ended the press release thanking the fans, saying:
I want to personally thank the Xbox community – 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.
While social media is just getting this news, it is unknown how this will affect the games industry as a whole. We will find out the true effects of this within the coming months.