Late last night Microsoft announced it was discontinuing its Xbox Live service for original Xbox games. You’ll still be able to play games such as the Halo, Halo 2, and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory on your original Xbox and on the Xbox 360, but after April 15th, the online multiplayer features for all of these titles will be disabled. The move will free up resources and bandwidth for the latest generation of Xbox 360 games. Both Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten and Xbox Community/Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb issued very similarly-toned statements explaining the move.
Marc Whitten: “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.”
Major Nelson: “We did not make this decision lightly, but after careful consideration and review we realize that this decision will allow us unprecedented flexibility for future features.”
Microsoft is obviously hunkering down for a bit of backlash over this Xbox Live euthanasia, but is all of this contrition really necessary? All of the affected Xbox 1 games are really old and, in most cases, have essentially been rendered obsolete with newer, better versions. Everyone has fond memories of playing Halo 2 over Xbox Live, but it’s time to move on.