Microsoft ending Xbox Live support for older games

The software maker says that after April 15 it will no longer allow online play of games for the original Xbox.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried

Microsoft said on Friday that it plans to discontinue support for playing original Xbox games on its online service.

In a blog posting, Microsoft's Marc Whitten said that after April 15, users of the Xbox Live service will no longer be able to play titles like Halo 2 that were created for the first Xbox console.

"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," Whitten said. "And as we look down the road, we'll continue to evolve the service with features and experiences that harness the full power of Xbox 360. To reach our aspiration, we need to make changes to the service that are incompatible with our original Xbox v1 games."

Whitten said Microsoft will be reaching out directly to those affected by the change.

In the note, Whitten referenced the company's work to support the upcoming Project Natal add-on that will bring gesture and voice recognition to the Xbox 360 when it makes its debut later this year.

"We'll share more details soon, but in the meantime I want to assure you that the best is yet to come for Xbox Live," he said. "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."