Microsoft axes Xbox Live for first-gen consoles, games

By on February 5, 2010, 3:20 PM
Microsoft's Marc Whitten announced in a blog post today that the company would discontinue Xbox LIVE for original Xbox consoles and games, including both titles for the first-generation Xbox and Xbox Originals. The switch to Xbox 360-only service will take place on April 15, so you still have a couple months to squeeze in some Halo 2 multiplayer action.

In justifying the move, Whitten explained that the decision wasn't "made lightly," but is necessary to facilitate the evolution of Xbox LIVE. "To reach our aspiration, we need to make changes to the service that are incompatible with our original Xbox v1 games." Affected members will receive messages via LIVE and email over the next few weeks for "more details and opportunities."

In his closing, Whitten said he believes forthcoming changes to Xbox LIVE and Microsoft's Project Natal will make 2010 a landmark year in gaming and home entertainment.




User Comments: 17

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TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

While I don't have an Xbox, and probably never will - seems like a BS move to yank Xbox and Xbox games support from Xbox live. Why couldn't they just have the new features disabled for older games and the older Xbox's??

teklord teklord said:

Now I know for sure I should mod chip this old Xbox I found by a dumpster that still works! Modded Xboxes can't access Xbox live BTW. They abandoned original XBox too soon and now Xbox live is to follow? Not cool, especially since Xbox 360 does not have 100% backwards compatibility with all original Xbox titles.

Guest said:

Am not surprised...M$ always cut and run at whatever cost just to make more money. They dont believe in total commitment to their consoles or their core gamers. They are also ditching the X-Box 360 in favor of natal support and if the latter doesn't work quick enough they will pull the plug too...

All about the money...

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

TorturedChaos said:

While I don't have an Xbox, and probably never will - seems like a BS move to yank Xbox and Xbox games support from Xbox live. Why couldn't they just have the new features disabled for older games and the older Xbox's??

End a service to a system that ended hardware manufacturing in 2004 and software support (new games) in 2005. Since it's 2010 seems to make a lot of sense to me.

r3claimer r3claimer said:

I think this is sort of a dumb idea. What they should be doing is just giving up support for the original Xbox console, not the games. This is basically sending a message that Xbox 360 games don't have the same kind of longevity that other gaming services offer.

Luckily for myself I just bought myself a new Gaming Laptop (Asus G51JX-X2) so I can keep playing Halo 2 Multiplayer online forever! Although it's lost alot of its user base with the switch the the 360, if this trend continues with future Microsoft consoles, XBconnect just might make a comeback. Just some food for thought.

(And if you want to keep playing original Xbox games online, go ahead and check out XBconnect. It's a very nice [and completely free] service.)

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Tekkaraiden said:

End a service to a system that ended hardware manufacturing in 2004 and software support (new games) in 2005. Since it's 2010 seems to make a lot of sense to me.

The original Xbox came out in what, early 2000's, like 2001? And discontinued about 4 years later when the 2nd generation came out. (Too soon) So that's not quite a 10 year product life cycle but at least it was a 5 year extension on services after the last sale date could be appreciated. While at first I was excited and thought that this was a harsh move - after all these are customers we're talking about and not just console systems - I'm going to agree with you in thinking that support for this platform should eventually terminate. My only concluding thought is that the notification should be lengthier than 3 months.

tengeta tengeta said:

And yet if I start up StarCraft or Aliens vs. Predator (the 1999 one) I can still play them online. There is no real excuse for this, I'm 100% done with console gaming... if you can even call it that anymore.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Although I know MS intends to make changes to improve service for what is most important (their current products) tengeta makes a great point. I do still have StarCraft around and like knowing I could still play online if I wanted to. My experiences with players has gone way downhill the past two years on XBL, which is pushing me ever closer to making the jump to gaming solely on PC. Darn, then I have an excuse to finally build myself a gaming rig. : P

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This is one of the downsides of having a console. YOU HAVE NO CONTROL; look at EA who informed us last month that they were pulling the plug on several games some of which are just a year old! This is what happens to closed platforms like consoles and shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

While it's disappointing that they are doing this I can understand them wanting to finally move on. The original service outlasted the Xbox by years, and the most popular title Halo 2 MADE Xbox Live what it is today. I'm sure Microsoft didn't make the decision lightly. This might even open doors that were previously closed, like the 100 friend limit, granted a stupid example but the only one that came to mind atm .

I'd also hope this would encourage more console gamers to look at PC gaming. Seeing as there are many advantages, one being not having to worry about servers/services shutting down over time as you and the community can run them on your own.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If they wanted to they could run the old xbox service on a few smaller servers side by side with the new one. Its a massive downside of having game servers run by companies like Microsoft, EA and Infinitiy Ward. I can still jump on a quake server if I want but if Infinity Ward decide they want people to buy Modern Warfare 3, they will just close the MW2 servers. Microsoft can just stop running Live and there is no option to go to a player run server for your games.

Downloadable content is beginning to see a darker side after a generation of consoles. I know its not massive that people cant play Halo 2 on Live after April but the Xbox Originals titles have been sold on the console recently so surely the service to use those should be available?

Guest said:

I don't know how keeping Xbox Live players connect would add to the cost of the service, I think the discontinuance is probably because they want to force some of these old Xbox owners to upgrade to the Xbox 360 but I agree it's going to alienate a huge professional gaming community which still plays Halo 2. Isn't Halo 2 still the primary competitive game at most gaming leagues like MLG and WSCG? Not only would it affect the live gamers but could have a ripple effect across all of competitive gaming as Halo 2 players begin to drop off. http://www.baduku.com/topics/microsoft-xbox-360-console-syst
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Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

Isn't Halo 2 still the primary competitive game at most gaming leagues like MLG and WSCG? Not only would it affect the live gamers but could have a ripple effect across all of competitive gaming as Halo 2 players begin to drop off. [link]

It was but if I'm not mistaken both MLG Pro Circuit and WCG moved on to Halo 3 a while ago and so did a lot of the competition. Granted local and smaller leagues might still use them but lan play is still possible.

JudaZ said:

if lan play is still possible, so is playing over the internet...you just dont use live to do it.

and of course you need to know the other people you want to play with.

bludfist said:

But most game developers either die or quit supporting the servers long before 10 years is up. Microsoft has been more than gracious with this.

teklord teklord said:

Halo 2 is on PC as well, so the Xbox version faithful will have to convert to keep the good times rollin'. I recognize you can't keep the servers up forever, but the original XBox is still very popular. Too soon IMO to pull the plug.

Guest said:

Like TorturedChaos, i havent got 1 but i know that pretty much all my friends have them. taking away live means people need to buy the newer versions just for that privilege. again putting a few more $ in their pockets. they should think about these things in future or risk losing dedicated fans.

Guest said:

i dont think a whole lot of pople are going to care and the ones who do are going to be super pissed cause they have been playing the system for almost a decade but upgradeing would make sence of this long period i dont see why microsoft dodnt do this a long time ago

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