It seems like the end of an era somehow, but as the current generation pushes into the future it had to happen. Microsoft announced their plans to discontinue support for the original X-Box on LIVE today, and that includes playing backwards compatible games online on the 360. X-Box LIVE general manager Marc Whitten explains this move as necessary to facilitate the continued evolution of LIVE as a service, but I’m sure that more than a few people will be disappointed with this action. Microsoft has continually stated that the furtherance of original X-Box games have been holding up certain LIVE features on the 360 such as raising the friend list cap to 100 Gamertags.
While the official press release does do a lot to trumpet the Microsoft horn, it’s good to see that the LIVE team is taking steps to make sure that those who will be adversely affected by this move are being taken care of. Users who are still subscribed to the base LIVE service will receive prorated refunds, and Mr. Whitten had this to say about those being left behind:
“We will contact the X-Box LIVE members directly impacted by this change and if this includes you, I encourage you to check your LIVE messages and associated e-mail account over the coming weeks for more details and opportunities. We view you as a partner in this process.”
Interesting developments indeed, but what innovations are coming to LIVE that required this change? Who here is going to get in a few more games before the serivce gets axed on April 15? Just for kicks, what were your favorite original X-Box games to play online? Halo 2 was a good one, obviously, but who played Crimson Skies? Oh yeah, have you heard that XBL Arcade crested a hundred million in sales last year?