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."