Microsoft to shut Xbox 360's online store next year

FILE PHOTO: Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming console units are shown for sale at a Microsoft retail store in San Diego January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - Microsoft said on Thursday it would pull the plug on Xbox 360's online store and marketplace next year, as it focuses on its latest consoles and subscription service Game Pass.

Xbox 360 Store and Xbox 360 Marketplace will be shut on July 29, 2024, and gamers using the old console will not be able to purchase and download new games, according to a post on Xbox's website.

Microsoft is, however, allowing users to play with their already purchased Xbox 360 games and older titles that are compatible with the console.

"A lot has changed since the Xbox 360 launched in 2005. Technology has evolved, expectations from players have shifted, and we are focused on making Xbox Series X|S the best place to play now and in the future," Xbox said.

Microsoft stopped the production of Xbox 360 in 2016 and a year later launched Xbox Game Pass, a subscription gaming service that can be accessed on consoles and Windows platforms.

As part of its latest move, the Movies & TV app on the older console will also be removed.

Xbox 360 is regarded as one of the best-selling gaming consoles of all time, right up against Sony's PlayStation 3. Microsoft had sold about 84 million units of Xbox 360 till 2014, which is when it stopped reporting its sales because of the launch of the successor Xbox One.

(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru)

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