Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (2005-2016), one of the most successful and longest-running video game consoles of all time, was officially discontinued by Microsoft on April 20, 2016.
The 360 holds the distinction of being the best-selling American-made console of all time, as well as the sixth-highest selling console of all-time. The first seventh-generation console to be released, the 360 overcame early hardware problems and the famed Red Ring of Death to become Microsoft’s best-selling console and a legitimate competitor to industry mainstays Sony and Nintendo. It also leaned on its hardware and famous console exclusives like the Halo and Forza Motorsports franchises to gain staying power.
Perhaps equally important to the Xbox 360’s staying power was Microsoft’s Xbox Live service, which revolutionized the way that games were both played and sold. Microsoft has also said that Xbox Live will continue to be kept alive and maintained despite the discontinuation of the console’s manufacturing.
The Xbox 360, especially for younger gamers like myself, was an essential part of many people’s gaming experience, and the console that truly shifted video games into the high-definition era. Even though many have moved on to bigger and better consoles, the 360 seems likely to be a console that achieves “cult” status, like the Nintendo 64 or the Playstation 2, and I don’t personally foresee getting rid of mine anytime soon.