Xbox Live service for original Xbox ends today

Today marks the last day that the Xbox Live service will be available for those who are still clinging to their original Xbox consoles. Microsoft announced back in February that as of April 15, all active servers for original Xbox Live subscribers will be shut off. This means that all multiplayer components of original Xbox games, including those available through the Xbox 360‘s Xbox Originals program, will no longer be accessible. 

While this is undoubtedly a decision influenced by financial issues, Microsoft has also hinted that maintaining the service has hindered their ability make certain updates to the Xbox 360 Live service. Microsoft’s Larry Hryb said in his initial announcement that “this change will allow us to continue evolving the LIVE service with new features and experiences that fully harness the power of Xbox 360 and the Xbox LIVE community.” It was also revealed in February that retaining compatibility with the original service is rumored to be the reason behind Live's current 100 friend limit.

Xbox live was the first robust online gaming community for a console, succeeding where Sega's Dreamcast failed. It enjoyed the recent widespread proliferation of home broadband services, and was able to sustain its quality of service by charging a monthly fee for its Gold memberships. Games like Halo 2 and the Battlefield franchise made multiplayer online console gaming an industry all its own, and games are released that are designed purely based around their quality in online matches over Xbox Live. Xbox Live ushered the console generation into the the information age, and the gaming world never looked back.

If you are feeling particularly nostalgic, be sure to hop on and get your Halo 2 matches in while you can, or head over to gaming website Giant Bomb, where they will be live-streaming the last few hours of the service. As the Xbox Live service on the 360 continues to grow and offer newer and better features, bringing back nostalgia from the older systems, offering up the bleeding edge in community gaming, or just connecting gamers all over the globe, remember where it all began and wish it a fond farewell.

Neowin writer Tzvi Friedman contributed to this report

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R.I.P old xbox. You were always a friend to me. I will remember all the good times, the fun, the anger. I'm sorry u still have orange juice on you from 2 years ago.
I hope that now you are away from the world, disconnected and essentially dead, that you too, will remember the fun we had, I hope that somewhere on your hard drive, you miss me too.
I loved my playlists
I loved my game saves
I loved your green.. Everything
I loved how I ALWAYS had +40000 blocks
I still love you.
Good night, god bless. X(box)

While this is undoubtedly a decision influenced by financial issues, Microsoft has also hinted that maintaining the service has hindered their ability make certain updates to the Xbox 360 Live service.

Um... I think Microsoft did actually say that this decision was made because it limited their ability to make certain enhancements to the service...

Meh, who still used them online? The great thing about having a classic XBox is installing a huge hard drive, soft modding it and turning it into an epic media center. Also for playing all your favorite old 70s and 80s console games through emulation.

Anyoine still playing games on the original xbox, hasn't bothered with online play for quite some time. And most likely using it to play 'backup' games, and/or using it as a media centre

I will be able to free up a network port on my game router now
Make sure you get all your DLC for original Xbox games now.

Every 360 owner should be asking themselves two things right now:

1) Why am I paying for peer-2-peer matchmaking and backwards compatibility when Microsoft so readily drops support for various games and aspects of Live?

2) If Microsoft makes no qualms about killing off your old library in regards to going online; where does that leave 360 games, Live, DLC, XBLA games, Indie games, and so forth next gen?

We know Valve's plans with Steam in regards to continued support but Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have, so far, been very cagey and shady when it comes to making sure that your digital-only spacebucks driven games are playable and supported.

Aahz said,
Every 360 owner should be asking themselves two things right now:

1) Why am I paying for peer-2-peer matchmaking and backwards compatibility when Microsoft so readily drops support for various games and aspects of Live?


Microsoft stopped updating backwards compatibility a long time ago. That really has been a moot point anyways.
Aahz said,

2) If Microsoft makes no qualms about killing off your old library in regards to going online; where does that leave 360 games, Live, DLC, XBLA games, Indie games, and so forth next gen?

Who knows? That will happen when the next gen console comes out but that won't be for a while.
Aahz said,

We know Valve's plans with Steam in regards to continued support but Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have, so far, been very cagey and shady when it comes to making sure that your digital-only spacebucks driven games are playable and supported.

Valve doesn't control the servers. They are only responsible for digital distribution. They do have the anti-cheat servers but shutting down those won't usually disable a game from playing online.

I will add that PC games are not immune from future disablement if the publisher or the developers are maintaining the servers being used. The fact that Diablo II and Starcraft still play online is because they are popular still. The only games that are being disabled at this time are the ones that are not popular. The original XBox units are likely not being used online anymore and Microsoft is shutting it down because they are not seeing any activity. This will allow them to push forward by enhancing existing features and developing new ones.

Edited by shinji257, Apr 14 2010, 4:34pm :

Aahz said,
Every 360 owner should be asking themselves two things right now:

1) Why am I paying for peer-2-peer matchmaking and backwards compatibility when Microsoft so readily drops support for various games and aspects of Live?

2) If Microsoft makes no qualms about killing off your old library in regards to going online; where does that leave 360 games, Live, DLC, XBLA games, Indie games, and so forth next gen?

We know Valve's plans with Steam in regards to continued support but Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have, so far, been very cagey and shady when it comes to making sure that your digital-only spacebucks driven games are playable and supported.

Exactly. Well said.

Aahz said,
Every 360 owner should be asking themselves two things right now:

1) Why am I paying for peer-2-peer matchmaking and backwards compatibility when Microsoft so readily drops support for various games and aspects of Live?

2) If Microsoft makes no qualms about killing off your old library in regards to going online; where does that leave 360 games, Live, DLC, XBLA games, Indie games, and so forth next gen?

We know Valve's plans with Steam in regards to continued support but Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have, so far, been very cagey and shady when it comes to making sure that your digital-only spacebucks driven games are playable and supported.

The expectation that Microsoft continue support of a console until the end of time is ridiculous... They're now well into the 360 generation and I would expect them to drop support of these older games... Just as I would expect them to at some point to drop support of 360 games... It's part of life...

Ahh the future of gaming. What to play that old XBox game online? TOUGH!

EA shutting down servers to games that are not even a year old and now this. Seams like this is the new norm and a way to force users to play, er, pay for something new and shiny.

necrosis said,
Ahh the future of gaming. What to play that old XBox game online? TOUGH!

EA shutting down servers to games that are not even a year old and now this. Seams like this is the new norm and a way to force users to play, er, pay for something new and shiny.

It's not like Microsoft didn't provide support for these original games for quite some time... lol I think they did more than enough...

Remysaus said,
yes, because 8 years from now (original xbox is from 2002) we'll still be playing the same games online...

A lot of people still play old games. Look at Star Craft and Quake 2. Action Quake (Quake 2 mod) has a level of fun and action that only Team Fortress 2 has come close to.

Edited by NeoTrunks, Apr 14 2010, 3:05pm :

as i said before a reason that you pay 50 dollars a year for live gold its the possibility to play online multiplayer games no matter if its old or new games. with microsoft dropping this feature means that old games will be dropped too eventually, so i cant see the value of live gold anymore....

so basically i think that the monthly fee that microsoft its charging you for multiplayer games its not worth it

eilegz said,
as i said before a reason that you pay 50 dollars a year for live gold its the possibility to play online multiplayer games no matter if its old or new games. with microsoft dropping this feature means that old games will be dropped too eventually

Ummm... you can't suddenly invalidate old games. They are losing money supporting a console that stopped selling 5 years ago. What's happening here is that they only are closing servers for multiplayer games that are way outdated and underused. As to Live Gold, millions of people disagree with you because they can play the games of the present, that things like Battlefield, CoD, and (*sigh*) Halo 3 are so appealing to people. If you don't care to play recent, mostly better games online, and would prefer to ditch the network entirely because you want to play games that very few other people are, I suppose that's up to you.

CarlJ said,
The service that started it all, and people say Microsoft aren't revolutionary.

um? you only been around a few years? the first online community was build around the game maze back in 70s. nothing something microsoft did. sorry. the xbox online service was nothing special and was a bit overdue when it came out considering how long gaming has been online.

SputnikGamer said,

um? you only been around a few years? the first online community was build around the game maze back in 70s. nothing something microsoft did. sorry. the xbox online service was nothing special and was a bit overdue when it came out considering how long gaming has been online.

Yea but I think Microsoft's is the one that really got it going. There were plenty smaller ones before that.

SputnikGamer said,

um? you only been around a few years? the first online community was build around the game maze back in 70s. nothing something microsoft did. sorry. the xbox online service was nothing special and was a bit overdue when it came out considering how long gaming has been online.


Are you really that stupid or did you purposely misinterpret my comment so you could make your point?

Edited by SoyoS, Apr 14 2010, 4:56pm :

SputnikGamer said,

um? you only been around a few years? the first online community was build around the game maze back in 70s. nothing something microsoft did. sorry. the xbox online service was nothing special and was a bit overdue when it came out considering how long gaming has been online.

1) English, and I can say that because you're a 24 yr old in the USA.
2) Xbox Live was still revolutionary, imo, and I point to the scale and success it had, so yes it could be considered the first large scale, online community for consoles.

Alladaskill said,

1) English, and I can say that because you're a 24 yr old in the USA.
2) Xbox Live was still revolutionary, imo, and I point to the scale and success it had, so yes it could be considered the first large scale, online community for consoles.

1) English is my second language on top of really not caring to impress a forum. I made the comment in passing. It is not meant to be a well thought out and written thesis.
2) Doing something someone else already did and being more successful isn't revolutionary unless you want to claim everything Apple does is revolutionary?

CarlMS said,

Are you really that stupid or did you purposely misinterpret my comment so you could make your point?

You're comment implies you think Microsoft is revolutionary for doing something that has been around since the 70s. Not much room for interpretation unless you just forgot the sarcasm tags on your post?

SputnikGamer said,

You're comment implies you think Microsoft is revolutionary for doing something that has been around since the 70s. Not much room for interpretation unless you just forgot the sarcasm tags on your post?

Online gaming has been around for a long time but Microsoft were the first ones to implement it in a way that built a strong community on anywhere near this scale. You can say what you like about it not being original, but it was revolutionary becuase it brought online gaming to the masses. You quite obviously have some kind of grudge against microsoft though and will refuse to admit this. I'm not personally their biggest fan but I can at least see when they do something right.

Edited by M4x1mus, Apr 14 2010, 11:58pm :

The question is will they drop the 360 just as fast when the NextBox comes out? That's the one thing you can say about Sony is they support their hardware.

Asmodai said,
The question is will they drop the 360 just as fast when the NextBox comes out? That's the one thing you can say about Sony is they support their hardware.

I believe my statement will hold true for any company - as long as the previous generation product is making money, they will continue to support it. MS was bleeding $$ due to the Xbox so it only made sense to eliminate future losses. Think what you want but Sony would have cut the PS2 support just as quick if it wasnt still selling like it was.

Asmodai said,
The question is will they drop the 360 just as fast when the NextBox comes out? That's the one thing you can say about Sony is they support their hardware.

Mainly because it still sold...and had a considerably higher profit margin, then their followup. the fact that your company survived largely on the back of almost a decade old system for 3+ years after your new generation came out is not a point of pride

Asmodai said,
The question is will they drop the 360 just as fast when the NextBox comes out? That's the one thing you can say about Sony is they support their hardware.

If it's just as fast then there's not much of a problem. We're 5 years into the XBOX's successor lifetime. So 5 years after the new XBOX comes out, of 360 support sounds like plenty to me.

helios01 said,

If it's just as fast then there's not much of a problem. We're 5 years into the XBOX's successor lifetime. So 5 years after the new XBOX comes out, of 360 support sounds like plenty to me.

Exactly. I can't believe what a big deal some are making of this... Should Microsoft support original XBox games for the rest of our lives?

i have never played console games... does this mean the original xbox will be useless or just that some of the games wont play?

unbreak09 said,
i have never played console games... does this mean the original xbox will be useless or just that some of the games wont play?

you can still play the original XBOX, but the online gameplay will not work.

unbreak09 said,
i have never played console games... does this mean the original xbox will be useless or just that some of the games wont play?

There are still some great games on the xbox (Halo 2, Psychonauts and a few others) that you could play just not online. My xbox isn't being used for games anymore it's now running XBMC.

Forced obsolence? Look at the PS2... Still selling and new games are out for it....

It's the longest living console to date. It's still the only console that brings money in Sony's wallet.

TruckWEB said,
Forced obsolence? Look at the PS2... Still selling and new games are out for it....

It's the longest living console to date. It's still the only console that brings money in Sony's wallet.

I'm not seeing where you can draw an inappropriate comparison like this from. The PS2 came out before the push of Online Gaming on Consoles like you had with the XBOX 1 and XBOX 2 (360).

Microsoft cutting off XBOX Live for the XBOX 1 is a forced obsolesce. They are forcing you onto the newer product to experience online gaming and cutting you out of the experience on your old games.

So you can draw some mess about the PS2 sales data, but that has no relevance to the comment or the article at hand.

TruckWEB said,
Forced obsolence? Look at the PS2... Still selling and new games are out for it....

It's the longest living console to date. It's still the only console that brings money in Sony's wallet.


do you actually understand the meaning of the phrase "forced obsolescence"? I'll say you don't.
The PS2 is actually the opposite to that phrase, as Sony is still manufacturing it and providing full support (they even released several hardware revisions after the PS3 launch).

Microsoft dropped the original Xbox the day the 360 was out. And when I say dropped, I mean, it vanished from stores and almost no new games where out for it. It's about time Xbox Life came to an end.

People still using their original Xbox are most likely XBMC users....

TruckWEB said,
Microsoft dropped the original Xbox the day the 360 was out. And when I say dropped, I mean, it vanished from stores and almost no new games where out for it. It's about time Xbox Life came to an end.

People still using their original Xbox are most likely XBMC users....

Yeah compared to the PS2... That thing needs to die...

TruckWEB said,
Microsoft dropped the original Xbox the day the 360 was out. And when I say dropped, I mean, it vanished from stores and almost no new games where out for it. It's about time Xbox Life came to an end.

People still using their original Xbox are most likely XBMC users....

That was more due to the fact MS contracted Nvidia at a fixed cost for the graphics chip without the ability to re-negotiate the price lower over time (better manfacturing, smaller waffer, etc). and soon as the 360 came out wanted to stop it's production asap. Ms tried to sue Nvidia to get the price lowered and lost in court.

Edited by etempest, Apr 14 2010, 4:30pm :

brent3000 said,

Yeah compared to the PS2... That thing needs to die...

you have to give sony and microsoft credit for making a solid machine. I've had my PS2 for years and it hasn't had a problem yet. Same with my original Xbox, the old systems are pretty solid. My xbox 360 on the other hand worries me every time I turn it on, I'm scare I might experience the RROD. I haven't gotten it yet ::knock on wood::

Brandon B. said,

you have to give sony and microsoft credit for making a solid machine. I've had my PS2 for years and it hasn't had a problem yet. Same with my original Xbox, the old systems are pretty solid. My xbox 360 on the other hand worries me every time I turn it on, I'm scare I might experience the RROD. I haven't gotten it yet ::knock on wood::

I loved my first-gen original XBox. I was 16 years old and I saved up at $5.15 an hour until I could buy a used one, JUST so I could play Halo, lol. Even when the DVD drive went bad in college I went to eBay and ordered a new drive from some warehouse in Canada, stuck it in and kept on truckin'. I wish I'd seen this earlier, it's just after midnight, now April 15th, Ima throw some Halo 2 into my 360 and see if it still works.