In scenes grimly reminiscent of a doctor turning of a long-forgotten patient’s life support, Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox Live services for the now nine-year-old original Xbox console will be turned off on April 15th.
The move affects both games played on the 2001 machine, Xbox 360-compatible Xbox titles and any games with online functionality downloaded through Xbox Originals.
“This isn’t a decision we made lightly,” Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten stated. “But after careful consideration, it is clear this will provide the greatest benefit to the Xbox Live community.
“Your Xbox Live community has grown to 23m strong. And as we look down the road, we’ll continue to evolve the service with features and experiences that harness the full power of Xbox 360. To reach our aspiration, we need to make changes to the service that are incompatible with our original Xbox v1 games.
“We will contact the Xbox 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.”
The highest profile casualty of the move will undoubtedly be Bungie’s Halo 2, but Microsoft will be hoping and any generation one Master Chief fans will now be encouraged to buy into Xbox 360.