Although many Xbox 360 owners will soon be shoving the console aside to make room for the Xbox One on November 22, there are still going to be plenty of gamers out there holding onto the soon-to-be previous-gen Microsoft gaming console. Most of today’s Microsoft news centered around the announcement of the official Xbox One release date, but they did take a moment to remind Xbox 360 owners that the company will still support the console for a few more years.
At yesterday’s Citi Global Technology Conference, Xbox Marketing and Strategy Chief Yusuf Mehdi explained that Microsoft intends to fully support the Xbox 360 until 2016. This is certainly good, albeit expected, news for consumers not looking to shell out $499 for the Xbox One quite yet, and developers looking to capitalize on the Xbox 360’s large install base. According to Mehdi, 360 owners can rest assured that the company will still offer support for the next three years.
“It’s not like the day we ship the Xbox One your 360 won’t work; we’ll continue to support it. In fact, we’re going to ship over 100 new games on Xbox 360. So you’ll still be able to play your [older] games, just not on the same exact box.”
The release of 100 new games in the next three years should help to keep Xbox 360 owners spending money. In responses to questions about Microsoft’s profitability, Mehdi claimed that the Xbox 360 is actually incredibly profitable now in the tail of the cycle. He cited the console and Xbox Live as two ongoing revenue streams for the company.
The original Xbox also received occasional support after the Xbox 360 launch in 2005, so it’s no surprise that the Xbox 360 will receive the same (or better) treatment. Support for the Xbox wasn’t extensive, but Xbox live support did stay in place until 2010.
Three more years of support will allow the console to head off to pasture after an 11-year life cycle. Some fans may be disappointed when the support dies off in 2016, but it’s hard to ask for a much longer console life cycle than the 360 will have seen by then. Gamers would have to look back to the impressive 13-year life cycle of the PlayStation 2 to find a console that lasted longer than the 360.
PlayStation 3 owners can expect a similar level of support after the PS4 launch on November 15. It was nearly a year ago that Sony confirmed its intentions to support the PlayStation 3 through 2015, which will help push the aging console through the last days of its long-planned 10-year life cycle.
Xbox One releases on November 22, 2013.
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