February 5th 2010 8:00 am PT

Xbox LIVE being discontinued for Original Xbox consoles and games


I wanted to let you know that on April 15, 2010 Microsoft will discontinue Xbox LIVE service for original Xbox consoles and games, including Xbox 1 games playable on Xbox 360. Our first step in this process will be to turn off auto-renewals for those members who only use Xbox LIVE on a v1 Xbox. While I can’t comment on the specifics, 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. 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. 


Xbox LIVE general manager Marc Whitten (Gamertag Notwen) has posted this letter to the community which provides additional context.


The best is yet to come, and we look forward to sharing more details in the near future.



Xbox 360 By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • Computerdude103

    @whoever said this

    The only viable alternative I can see is to leave Xbox 1 connected to the existing service (let’s call it “Live 1.0″) and move 360 and Windows over to a new service (let’s say “Live 2.0″) instead. That’s still not perfect, especially for things like playing Xbox 1 games on a 360 console. It also doubles maintenance costs, and generally over-complicates the already complicated administration process. Do you really want E and his team to work even longer hours? :)

    Yes thats the alterative I was thinking of also. It’s not perfect, but it would allow people to keep playing Xbox 1 games. It wouldn’t double costs since they don’t have to do any work on the Xbox 1.0 network once it’s set up. For a team of competent engineers it wouldn’t be a problem. But as we all already know, e is a drunk and his team is a bunch of stupid fools.

  • Joergen8

    Hmm so even money cant guarantee Live running for us in the future. What precious resources can a few hundred xbox1 users possibly take up that any future service could run on!

    If and when this same thing happens to the 360, all our arcade games stop working (if say your 360 breaks and you get a new one), we cant patch our games; DLC doesnt work etc etc. Cant say I’m looking forward to that, no matter what marvels the Xbox3 can THEN give us AFTER they clear a few precious gigs of patches from the servers.

    Get ready to buy your arcade games and full games over and over again in the coming years. Once for each generation.

    I thought we were paying for continued service. Guess not.

  • Jonah Falcon

    I think this will allow fuller Facebook integration (which allows 5000 friends) and Twitter integration.

    Can you say “post Facebook/Twitter from within a game”?

  • Jonah Falcon

    ” It’s not perfect, but it would allow people to keep playing Xbox 1 games. ”

    Backwards compatibility is NOT BEING AFFECTED. Sheesh.

  • yolarrydabomb

    wow whoever has 100 friends is too popular.

    delete useless people that you dont play anymore.

  • lespaulio

    Is there any chance that the original Xbox DLC servers could be brought back online for a little while? Apparently they’ve been taken down, so people who need the map packs to play Halo 2 online before 4/15 are unable to download them.

  • Blue Thunder28


  • KillaKev89

    I cant believe People still play original xbox games on live, those are probably the same people that still have a tube TV. This is going to be on of the best things that the Live team has done that is for the best. Halo 2 wasn’t even that good of a online game.

  • Darth Pman

    There is one thing I don’t like about this and it’s called Star Wars Battle Front 2. I will be happy when Lucasarts makes a Battle Front 3 for the 360 instead of PSP games.

  • Quaranj

    I can’t believe the short-sightedness of some people here. Old games this, and move on that…. Well, if old games magically lost their appeal, then no one would own any of the retro arcade titles. This is no different than if you had bought your whole music collection on CD, and they stopped making all the old music when the new format came out. Would you be so inclined to kiss off your entire music collection? Maybe you should move on because that music from 5 years ago is SO inferior to the beautiful classics we have being created today. :P The comments about tube TVs and stuff is laughable as well. Just because you have 1080P doesn’t mean that you ditched your DVD collection of Criterion films simply because they aren’t on Blu-Ray. 100+ chumps on Live doesn’t appeal to me whereas playing Battlefront 2 with someone like Darth Pman above until 3 surfaces does. Regardless, I can and will live with the fact that the online is disappearing. I will just be very light on my DLC purchases from here on in, as unlike my old SuperNES games I wont necessarily be able to play them in 5 years.
    And Major, I’ve said it before… I don’t envy your job one iota. Sure, there’s the perks of playing all the goodies before release, perhaps you have god-mode on the DLC and can sample what you like on whim, and you get to sit next to Wil Wheaton at charity functions. But on the other hand, you’re forced to take the brunt of backlash of passionate games ire every time something is poorly handled.
    I know you probably had your information presented to you as a release, I don’t suspect that you personally would mislead your readers, but allow me an edit of your post here –
    You wrote:
    Our first step in this process will be to turn off auto-renewals for those members who only use Xbox LIVE on a v1 Xbox.
    This *SHOULD* read:
    Our first step in this process will be to wipe out all of the XBOX 1 DLC effective yesterday and destroy years of consumer confidence in our digital distribution system.

  • The Dukenator

    why do people always jump to the wrong conclusions without gathering the facts first?

    Microsoft has yet to give more details on what’s coming and going.

  • Twanks

    I don’t cuss except under extreme stress, but no one took a shit’s worth of “careful consideration” to make the decision to remove DLC BEFORE YOU EVEN MAKE THE FUCKING ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DISCONTINUATION OF XBOX LIVE ON ORIGINAL CONSOLES. Damn I’ve never been so disappointed with the Xbox division in my entire life.

  • DarkGin87

    What is the problem? they have kept it running 5 years into the life cycle of the xbox 360, they obviously want to put new stuff the service that the old xbox can’t support

    it is stopping the current console from evolving into something better so why would you complain bout that

    Not every xbox 360 owner still has there xbox 1 most of us traded up so why keep around a dead service? id love to see the actual active members on the xbox1

    An for the people who are compiling of them taking the DLC away without warning the DLC has been there for 5 years if you didn’t get it then its you’re loss

    with the amount of active users on xbox 360 live they should have closed it down sooner

    An tot he people saying there going to PS3 blab blab PS3 is just as bad they cut out there BC within 2 years of the PS3 being out(yes i know some have it )

    the price you are playing for xbox live is for this current generation not last generation

  • Quaranj

    Wow… Did I just see an F-bomb above? It seems the auto-moderation software is broken here. DarkGin87: Content IS downloaded, but wont play, says corrupted, get it again. What would you suggest? I’m not the only one either. Judging by your GS, you’ve probably had an RRoD by now, when that happens, you need to re-download your DLC. So even if you did everything possible to maintain your DLC it is still a loss.

  • Lucky 13 X

    It’s saddening to see this is happening. Was hoping it would not happen until much later, but at least I hope the original Xbox’s online shutdown can benefit its successor in a very large way.

    Thanks for the notice Major. I’ll be playing as many original Xbox online games on the original Xbox itself, that I can in remembrance between now and the shutdown.

  • LittleBlueAlien

    There is just no reason to do this – none. Microsoft needs to stop thinking about the Xbox as a version of Microsoft Office or Windows. It’s a piece of hardware with a pricetag on it that people have invested in. As a 360 owner, I did the same expecting that I could play my games, online or off, as I pleased for the lifetime of my console. However, I now realise that this will not be the case because Microsoft will pull support! Well folks, something happened this month: the card I’m using for LIVE billing has expired and I received a message from LIVE to update it. I have decided to ignore that and let my account revert to silver. In fact – I may just trade the lot in for a Playstation 3 as I can see that Sony takes good care of its Playstation 2 owners just as much as the current generation. This is the end for me. Goodbye and good riddance.

  • a peeking duck

    LittleBlueAlien: good luck finding a PS3 with backwards compatibility. :P

  • LittleBlueAlien

    @peeking duck – lmao! Buddy, the PSN store is loaded with old titles including the original Silent Hill! Xbox backward compatibility is selective at best and overpriced bigtime if you buy it off of ‘Originals’ from the LIVE marketplace. So what would I be missing out on exactly?

  • MeS FEAR

    Qoute Marc Whitten
    “I want to assure you that the best is yet to come for Xbox LIVE. I believe we’ll look back on 2010 as a landmark year in gaming and home entertainment, and I couldn’t be more excited about what we have in store with “Project Natal” and LIVE”

    This sounds very promising. Looking forward to new details.

  • SumHydroponic

    Wow, I was looking forward to one last hoorah with Halo 2, now I can’t even play it on Live because my maps are outdated and need redownloaded and they are no longer available. That just blows. Oh well, bring on Bioshock 2 and Aliens vs Predator.

  • Ba7d0

    That must suck

  • wolfnemesis75

    Yayy! I will be able to have more than a 100 friends finally!

  • DarkGin87

    @Quaranj – i have had 4 consoles 1 RROD others are just playable around the house, i could redownload my DLC but i don’t have to when i keep hold of my harddrive and just take 1 minute to copy my content licenses to the xbox I’m using right now then DLC all better.
    If the DLC has not been working then complaining here is the wrong place you should of rang Microsoft up right when it was broke and not when they are closing the service down, Microsoft reserves the right to shut any server down after 30 days of launch without warning just like game servers hold that same right so stop complaining because nothing can be done


    @Ai Kago I dont think in this case anyone has trouble choosing. You cant even play PS2 titles in any SKU out there for PS3. If you read the back of the box on “Online Enabled” PS2 games you’ll notice they say they can pull support for online at ANY point without notice. I owned a few Online Enabled Ps2 titles before the PS3 ever released that had the online pulled, heck even before they left the shrink wrap in one case. So I’d say if someone is choosing for that reason, they should go with a free online service such as PSN who has no obligation to support their online titles this generation either. As far as I’ve heard game publishers pay for the online service for their games on PSN. If that is the case I’d expect games to drop online support before this generation is over.

  • FBIX

    So is anything being done yet on the ability of Account Transfer when moving Countries? Or are the Military and others still going to be punished for tours of duty/Living in a different country and then moving home?

  • Xerus

    I dont play xbox 1 games any more but I know a person that does.

    I understand why you are doing this but the short notice stinks. At the very least it should be at least 6 months. A year would be better.

    If you are turning off auto renewals now then for all the people that just paid they should get their year of using Xbox 1 online or you give them a free Xbox 360 with Halo 3 or similar game that they play on xbox1. If this really doesnt imparct anyone , then release your numbers of actually how many people this will affect!!!



    buuuuuuh bye

    Dear Microsoft,
    I’m sorry to inform you that you lost me aka LittleBlueAlien as a user of your product. This is your own fault for stopping support for the xbox. How dare you stop support before a new xbow was even released.(oops scratch that last line) Ill have you know that I still call Atari when I have a problem with my 2600 and they always find someone to help me. Okay sure at some point they get annoyed and hang up on me but they listen for at least 5 min. I’m leaving you MS and you wont see another penny from me. Hahahahaha without ME youre down to 22,999,999 users hahahahaha GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. YOU WILL MISS ME. [ Yours Truly
    [ LittleBlueAlien

  • Beantherio

    I haven’t made up my mind on what to think of the pulling down of online play for the original Xbox, but I am very disappointed about no longer being able to download the DLC for original Xbox-games. There was some stuff that I wanted to download before Live 1.0 was shut down, but I found out that I can’t anymore. That is just wrong and I am very unhappy about that. :(

  • Chaotix Bressan

    What?!?I need the Original Xbox ”Live”.I love to play Counter Strike and Halo 2 and I don’t wanna miss These games…and there are o lot of more games that I will miss like,Unreal and another Online FPS games.Microsoft Should lauch a Halo 2 version Compatible with Xbox 360 Live and with Cross Plataform Online Playing with PC.

  • Beantherio

    Something else to think about: is this the way that things will go with digital distribution? If DLC that I paid money for will be pulled in only a few years time then you are making it very unattractive to buy said DLC. Microsoft needs to think about how they are going to give Xbox Live-users more lasting value from the DLC they paid good money for.

  • Slapshot777

    “If not, one consequence could be a huge spike in the gray market value of the game’s Multiplayer Map Pack. Forum posters already are talking about trying to find one at game retailers. Although three maps were released after that disc, so it’s unclear if getting that disc would solve the Halo 2 problem.” (Taken from Kotaku.com)

    I have the disc and it is STILL a problem. I erased all the maps, reloaded with this disc and still issues………….arg!

  • just1uncle

    I just wanted to add another voice who is extremely upset that DLC had been pulled without warning. I had been meaning to pick up the Dance Dance Revolution song packs for quite some time and I will be pissed if I’ve lost that opportunity forever.

  • tasmanian guy

    I cannot believe they have already removed the DLC for Xbox. No one can now download the FREE halo 2 map packs, Star War Battlefront 2, etc. I love the original xbox and the games on there such as Battlefront 2 cannot be matched by any other Star Wars game on any of the other consoles or 360 for that matter! Patch the top 10 xbox original games so they work on the Xbox 360 with more than 100 friends, how hard can it be?

    So we’d get

    Halo 2
    Star Wars Battlefront 1, 2 and Republic Commando
    Counter strike
    Doom 3
    Conker Live and Reloaded
    Splintercell Chaos Theory
    Crimson Skies (I added that one in, cos there is nothing else like it anywhere).

  • HiddenTruth

    This sucks so bad. Here I was just thinking about playing Halo 2 again too… Thank god there are other products that can turn lan parties into an online experience. I don’t honestly see how providing support for the original Xbox can possibly prevent further development. Nothing is impossible for you guys. Find or make a solution to this. You guys have the brains to do this. I know that you know there will be a huge user decline if you are seriously going to do this. All I can say is good luck. If Sony can manage it why can’t you?

  • stststststq

    “Buddy, the PSN store is loaded with old titles including the original Silent Hill!”

    What PS2 titles are on there? Oh yeah – zero. The grass is always greener, yet these whiners never actually make the shift. Wonder why? Maybe cos PSN sucks, has no cross game chat, universal cross-game invites system, private voice chat, voice messaging etc. Most downloadable games on PSN don’t even have demos. Also, LittleBlueAlien, there aren’t any PS1 games with online play, so again, you’re no better off switching to the PS3, although I hope you do just so you can stop appearing on this blog and whining like a bitch.

  • Exu

    Sort of on the fence about this.

    Sure, I hardly play my original Xbox anymore but the option to play it online was always nice. You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

    Still, I have to wonder about Xbox Live sometimes. What are we paying you for?
    Anyway, all I ask is that you find a way to keep the DLC available. I paid for those Halo 2 maps, I want to be able to redownload them should I need to.

  • Red Bull Racer

    I think it’s a good idea, I remember years ago hearing on a Podcast that the reason the friends list is limited to 100 people is cos of the original xbox live. So, little things like that are being held back on the 360 cos of the original xbox…and lets be honest, who really plays these games that much?

    I think it does suck a bit, but it make sense to make the 360 live better. I just wonder what they will do about HALO2, I think they will re-release it live marketplace as a download.

  • Doominated

    @ Anyone complaining about not being able to play Xbox1 titles online anymore; Go google XBConnect, you’ll realize you can still play those games after they discontinue Live.

  • DeadOne Walking

    The only things I am worried about are patches and DLC released for XBox 1 games.
    It would be nice if they could have those available somehow…

  • a peeking duck

    LittleBlueAlien: then what is your worry about original Xbox games not being able to go online any more? You will still be able to play whatever original Xbox game that is backwards compatible on the 360. It’s not like Microsoft is removing the ability to play those games entirely, just the ability to play the online multiplayer component of such games.

  • Z4M0

    Have to agree that the DLC stuff matters.

    This makes you think twice before getting more DLC for the 360 because who knows if we’ll be able to DL it again once the next console is out.

    I care about this cause back at the time I paid for my 8-bit games and in case I wanted to play them again I just have to take from the shelf et voila… I actually did last year.

    But nowadays I’m paying for virtual games (stuff that I can not lend or resell if I don’t like it), so if there isn’t anything stopping them doing so, who can assure me I’ll be able to play castle crashers or braid in, lets say, 4 years? It’s amazing how we are getting less and less for our money as time comes and goes.

    I’m not really complaining but hell I hope MS think about stuff like this before releasing new hardware, otherwise they’ll be loosing loads of loyal customers.

  • Anonymous

    @Cumore: “Because clearly 50+ dollars a year for Live is not enough..”

    Really, are you REALLY arguing about the price?

    Let’s hypothetically assume an average of 5.5% sales tax on a 12 month live card from a brick and mortar store. That brings it to $52.74 a year. That’s $4.40 PER MONTH. Less than a freakin’ combo meal at fast food joints. Less than so-called “premium” coffee.

    I have never seen so many people complain for so long over what translates to 4 dollars a month as I have since the inception of Xbox Live. We see how well the “free” model is working for PSN. Oh, wait, that’s right, Peter Dille dropped a big bomb of a hint in an IGN interview that the people at the top of SCE/SCEA/SCEE are looking at how to integrate a subscription model!

  • tGs Wraith

    Hi Major,

    What happens to all our DLC once this happens? I assume we’ll no longer be able to download it (since we’ll no longer be able to sign in). How is this progress? I’ve been a member of Xbox Live since it launched in Australia and I’ve bought DLC for most of my old games. I don’t play online since MS don’t provide dedicated servers and the matchmaking experience is beyond appalling in Australia. I do, however, play all my xbox campaign games as well as the DLC missions and I’ve already had to re-download them when my Xbox RRoD’d. How am I meant to download this content that I’ve paid for once you cancel this service?


  • LittleBlueAlien

    so many sheep

  • The Dukenator

    @tasmanian guy Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay was remade for 360 as the original xbox 1 disc was not made backward compatible.

    You want every xbox 1 game to be remade for 360? Is that what you’re getting at? I’d say its a bad idea and a waste of time, companies rather make newer games than updating the old ones to work with current generation.


    Will this affect Original Xbox title updates or Xbox 360 backward compatibility updates?

  • Parassassin

    I can see why MS have decided to do this, understandably the current subscribers will be very annoyed but there is no way MS can support the massive costs of running live with only a handful of subscribers!

  • GuZ1977


  • h8b1llg8ts

    I still can’t find the words since I found out on Friday. And it’s been 3 days and it still hurts. With over 260 oXbox games in my library and about 75% of them with Xbox Live support it feels like MS didn’t care about it loyal supporters when they discontinned BC support without warning, breaking that promise. But I got over it and have two oXbox systems set up to play my originals.

    But now this. How about asking gamers first? Maybe giving them an option to pay for an extra service or give someone else a shot of hosting and supporting oXbox games and Live. I would pay an extra $10 a year for the option. But I can’t even imagine it costing that much just to keep the servers on. Don’t go the way of Sony, Microsoft. I thought you were better then this.

    And to Major Nelson – Long time listener, first time caller.


  • LittleBlueAlien

    @Parasassin – yeah, cause it’s not like they charge for LIVE or anything like that, is it? >.>