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Xbox Live Discontinued On Original Console

Microsoft is ending online service for older game hardware as it adds new features to the platform.
Microsoft said Friday that it will no longer offer its Xbox Live online gaming service for its original Xbox console and is also ending support for older games on the network.

Microsoft officials said the move was made necessary by plans to add advanced features to the gaming service that will be incompatible with the original Xbox, which first appeared in 2002.

"This isn't a decision we made lightly," said Xbox general manager Marc Whitten, in a blog post Friday. "But after careful consideration, it is clear this will provide the greatest benefit to the Xbox Live community," said Whitten.

Whitten said new features for Xbox 360, such as on-demand Netflix movies and integration with social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, made the older consoles a thing of the past.

"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," said Whitten.

"To reach our aspiration, we need to make changes to the service that are incompatible with our original Xbox v1 games. We will contact the Xbox Live members directly affected by this change and if this includes you, I encourage you to check your Live messages and associated e-mail account over the coming weeks for more details and opportunities," said Whitten.

Whitten also took the opportunity to confirm that Microsoft is continuing work on Project Natal, which will see the company release a Nintendo Wii-style motion controller for the Xbox 360. "We'll share more details soon," Whitten promised.

Xbox Live currently counts about 23 million members, Microsoft said.

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