Microsoft Ending Support for Original Xbox Live

While this news isn't going to affect the majority of Xbox gamers out there – especially those playing on the Xbox 360 – but Microsoft today announced that it will discontinue supporting the original Xbox Live service on April 15, 2010.

That means that games still being played over Xbox Live, such as Halo 2 and Counter-Strike, will no longer have online functionality after the shut off date. Xbox and Xbox Originals will still work in their offline modes.

"I want to start by saying this isn’t a decision we made lightly, but after careful consideration, it is clear this will provide the greatest benefit to the Xbox Live community," wrote Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten. "Seven years ago we laid out our vision for the connected console when we launched Xbox Live. ... Your Xbox Live community has grown to 23 million 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."

Whitten acknowledges that this will bring an end to Halo 2's amazing run on Xbox Live, but reminds gamers that there's "Halo 3," "Halo 3: ODST" and soon "Halo: Reach" on Xbox 360.

He continued, "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."

Marcus Yam is a technology evangelist for Intel Corporation, the latest in a long line of tech-focused roles spanning a more than 20-year career in the industry. As Executive Editor, News on Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, Marcus was responsible for shaping the sites' news output, and he also spent a period as Editor of Outdoors & Sports at Digital Trends.

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  • tamick88
    That sucks, a ton of my friends still play Halo 2 online...
  • idisarmu
    CRAP! I bought a used xbox with tons of games for $40 just a few months ago. I was considering putting live on it for Halo 2, but I guess it's not worth it anymore. :(
  • shadow187
    I'm glad they're doing this, and this is what Microsoft needs to do with their IE as well. Though consoles are quite different, people should realize its time to upgrade. The only reason I still have my xBox original is because it, "Might," be modded to, oh I don't know, play games I, "Might," have gotten from certain, "Matey's."
  • kamel5547
    And this is why having in game match-making sucks. You can still find Quake 1 servers to play... yet after consideration Microsoft is pulling the plug on Livefor Xbox as a whole. Sure it may not be generating additional sales, but it should be supported for far longer than they bothered to (same goes for most games who have the rug pulled out from under them).
  • fun_fan
    But halo 2 is the best Halo! Guess we should move on to the PC version.
  • igot1forya
    You would think that the original Xbox Live and the 360 would use the same service network, guess not. :/

    btw... Halo & CounterStrike are best played with/against friends, otherwise why else play it? Can you still LAN play them I hope?
  • Regulas
    Wait till the Crapbox 3 comes out and you 360 fan boys get dumped several years later, your $1,000 plus investment (Console or 2 and all the games) is gone for online play. If you say it won't happen you are in denial.
    Another reason to not trust MS or any of these online services. One reason PC gamers are pissed about COD MW2 and no dedicated servers and Starcraft 2 and have to use their servers. This crap happens all the time. Wait till one day Steam goes tits up. They won't give a flying rats ass about you either.
    I stick with a PC for main gaming.
  • Xaios
    This kind of thing won't happen to Steam, at least not this way. The critical difference is that when you make a match, Xbox Live or an affiliate company gets to host the game, so in their view, the original Xbox oldies are taking up bandwidth and server resoures that could better be used to host X360 games. Steam, on the other hand, is merely an interface. Games are hosted by the end user, not Steam, so there's no incremental cost to them. You simply can't do that with a console though, because most console gamers out there don't even know how the non-centralized setup works, or that it even exists.