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Xbox 360 Discontinued – Landmark Moments


Microsoft have announced that they are to cease production of the Xbox 360 - 11 years since the console first went on sale.

Following the announcement, which will no doubt be sad news for many 360 enthusiasts, the Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer admitted that the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old were "starting to creep up on" the firm.

The console was a huge success for Microsoft and became a top seller around the globe - with 78.2 million sales recorded in 2013.

For those of you who still have an Xbox 360 in your home, Microsoft have said that you will still receive updates for your games and Xbox Live as usual. Support servers will also remain open and the support team will still service your consoles.

Microsoft will continue to sell its remaining stock and supported games while supplies last. Don't forget that the backwards compatibility function is increasing all the time on the Xbox One - so the legacy of the 360 can continue.

Today Zatu Games takes you through some of the key moments of the Xbox 360 story.

2005 - Xbox 360 Reveal and Launch

The Xbox 360 was unveiled at a special event which was televised on MTV. Named 'The Next Generation Xbox Revealed' the show revealed the console's design and name. More information about the console was revealed at E3 later in the year.

The console was released on November 22, 2005, in the US and Canada before becoming available in Europe on December 2. Within the first year, the Xbox 360 was available in 36 different countries.

Due to an error with production, Microsoft were not able to supply enough hardware to meet the initial demand in Europe and the US. Many stores sold out of the console within a day or two.

Gamers could choose from two different versions of the Xbox 360; The Core and the Premium. The Core model was the 'entry version' of the console and came with a wired controller, no detachable hard drive and was only capable of SDTV resolutions at first.

The 'Premium' model came with a 20GB hard drive, a wireless controller, a head-set and all of the the cables which came with the core model.

An Elite model was released in 2007 which boasted a sleek black design and a 120GB detachable hard drive.

At the launch, 15 games were available for people to choose from here in the UK. Notable titles included Project Gotham Racing 3, Call of Duty 2, Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Condemed: Criminal Origins.

Xbox 360

Early years - Red Ring of Death

There were some teething issues with the original console, with the dreaded 'Red Ring of Death' being the most common and notable.

This involved three red lights appearing on the face of the console - where there would usually be green lights representing that your controllers were on. The three lights appearing would mean that there was a 'general hardware failure'.

Signs that your console could be about to suffer from the dreaded red lights would include freezing, graphical issues and sound errors.

If the three lights appeared it was highly likely that your console was dead. This became a global and all too frequent problem for Microsoft.

The company eventually agreed to replace or repair consoles which had been 'killed' by the red lights.

2010 - Xbox 360 Kinect

In 2010 Microsoft unveiled a whole new way of playing games on your Xbox 360 with the Kinect. The Kinect camera enabled gamers to play games using their movement and voice - with no controllers required.

The Kinect took the Nintendo Wii concept and beat it thanks to the high definition graphics and quality of their games.

The Kinect Sensor was a horizontal bar which was connect to a small base stand before being placed above or underneath your TV. The camera had an in-fared sensor which would scan the room environment to ensure the highest quality of gaming

The idea behind the concept was to introduce a wider audience to the Xbox 360 - which was sometimes considered to be for serious gamers. This time the focus would be on fun, age friendly games for all the family.

Some of the top games at launch included Dance Central, Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures and Joy Ride.

Xbox 360 S and E 

Alongside the Kinect, Microsoft also unveiled the Xbox 360 S at the 2010 edition of E3. The S was a smaller and better looking console which featured a built-in 250GB hard-drive and a glossy-black paint job.

The new console featured a new touch-sensitive starter power button and and slightly altered controller. This controller featured black toggle and d-pad buttons and a chrom 'Home Button'.

The S included a port specifically for the Kinect and essentially replaced the old Xbox 360 Elite console. A 4GB model was also released a few weeks after the 250GB version - which came in a matte-black finish.

Following the announcement of the Xbox One in 2013, Microsoft announced one final version of the 360 - called the E. The E console featured a similar design to the Xbox One - including a more rectangular shape and a two-tone colour scheme. The console featured a 250GB hard drive.

Keep checking the Zatu Games blog throughout the week as we take a look back at the Xbox 360.