Microsoft is stopping production of the Xbox 360, a hugely popular games console that cemented the company’s position in video games but was succeeded in 2013 by the Xbox One.
The Xbox 360 launched in late 2005 as the successor to the original Xbox. At the time it represented a big leap in graphics technology and came on the market at least a year ahead of its competitors — Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii.
The Xbox 360 quickly became the best-selling console in the United States and, in contrast to the original Xbox, gave Sony and Nintendo much tougher competition in Japan.
And with the addition of TV and video streaming, helped redefine what a games console could do, but perhaps it’s most innovative technology was that introduced in 2008 as Project Natal.
Consisting of a camera unit could see players and accurately record their movements, it meant the joystick could be dumped and players could put their whole bodies into the game. It was released in 2009 at Kinect, and while the technology attracted praise, it wasn’t a huge commercial hit.
Microsoft ends Xbox 360 production with at least 84 million consoles sold and an impressive 78 billion hours of gameplay.
But despite the end of hardware production, online services like Xbox Live will continue for 360 owners and more than 4,000 games will still be available online. The Xbox 360 is still far from gone.