Microsoft said on Thursday it will discontinue its online store and marketplace for the Xbox 360 next year as the company focuses on its latest console and subscription service Game Pass.

A post on the Xbox website states that the Xbox 360 Store and Xbox 360 Marketplace will close on July 29, 2024, and gamers using older consoles will not be able to buy and download new games.

However, Microsoft allows users to play already purchased Xbox 360 games as well as older games compatible with the console.

Xbox said: “A lot has changed since the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005. Technology continues to evolve, gamer expectations have changed, and we’re committed to making Xbox Series X|S the best place to play, now and in the future.”

Microsoft discontinued the Xbox 360 in 2016, and a year later launched Xbox Game Pass, a subscription gaming service accessible on consoles and Windows platforms.

As part of the latest move, the Movies and TV app on older consoles will also be removed.

The Xbox 360 is considered one of the best-selling game consoles of all time, rivaling Sony’s PlayStation 3. Microsoft had sold about 84 million Xbox 360s as of 2014, the year Microsoft stopped reporting sales for the console due to its launch. Successor Xbox One.

The Xbox 360 is on its way out, but Microsoft has already set its sights on the next generation of consoles. Court documents from the FTC’s trial of the Xbox parent company’s attempted acquisition of Activision Blizzard show that the company believes the next-generation console should launch in 2028. These include the next-generation Xbox game consoles and PlayStation 6.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is rolling out a new crackdown system to crack down on bad behavior by online Xbox players. Players who exhibit bad behavior while playing online, such as using slurs, sending threats, condoning hate and bullying, can now be reported and they will be cracked down. Each strike will result in a period of ban on the Xbox multiplayer game service, and the eight strikes will result in a year-long ban.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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