The future waits for no man... or games console.
Seven years after its original release, Microsoft has announced it will be pulling support for its original Xbox games console on Xbox Live from 15 April. "I want to start by saying this isn’t a decision we made lightly, but after careful consideration," said Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten. "It is clear this will provide the greatest benefit to the Xbox LIVE community."
Whitten didn't break down what percentage of its LIVE community were using the original Xbox, but admitted "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."
Microsoft will contact any Xbox LIVE members directly impacted by this change and said emails will be sent out over the coming weeks when it will unveil "more details and opportunities" (presumably Xbox 360 discounts or LIVE refunds/credits). "We view you as a partner in this process," Whitten added.
While some will mourn this decision it is understandable (if a little short notice) and to cheer you up Whitten signed off name dropping Project Natal and saying "I believe we’ll look back on 2010 as a landmark year in gaming and home entertainment". If it is, I doubt many will begrudge Microsoft switching of the Xbox's LIVE support along the way...