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Microsoft is shutting down the Xbox 360 store, but your games are safe

Published Aug 17th, 2023 3:00PM EDT
Xbox 360 logo
Image: Microsoft

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Well, it’s time to say goodbye to a store that I last shopped in when I was in college. The Xbox 360 came out a whopping 18 years ago (good lord, am I feeling old now), and with it, the company also launched a store within the console that allowed players to download games and apps. The store actually became one of the first devices to support Netflix when it started to move from DVDs into streaming (crazy, right).

However, of course, people have largely moved on from the Xbox 360 over the years as the Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X have all launched since then. The Xbox 360 is now two generations old and pushing 20, so Microsoft has decided that it is time to start rolling back support.

Xbox Game Pass includes over 100 games for $10 a month. Image source: Microsoft

In a press release, Microsoft announced that it will be shutting down the Xbox 360 store next year. On July 29, 2024, Xbox 360 owners will no longer be able to purchase “games, DLC, and other entertainment content” from the store on the console or the Xbox Marketplace website. So, if you want to buy any Xbox 360 games, you should do so sooner than later.

The closure of the Xbox 360 store will also impact entertainment content like movies and television shows. Microsoft says that the Microsoft Movies & TV app will also no longer work on the Xbox 360 after July 29, 2024, so you’ll need to use a newer Xbox or PC to watch movies and TV shows you have acquired through the app.

Xbox Live Gold allows Xbox gamers to play games online. Image source: Microsoft

What about the 360 games that you already own? Thankfully, you’ll still have access to all of the games and DLC that you purchased up to that date. If you happened to delete a game you purchased digitally through the store, you’ll still be able to re-download it and play it again. You’ll also, of course, still be able to purchase and play Xbox 360 games that support backward compatibility through the newer Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles.

The changes also don’t have any effect on Xbox Network services. Xbox 360 owners will still be able to play multiplayer games and chat with their friends online. The only thing that is happening here is that purchasing Xbox 360 games through the console and marketplace is going away (oh, and the ability to watch movies and TV shows through the Movies & TV app).

While it’s a shame to see something I used to use when I was younger go away, it makes sense. I’m sure the number of people actually using the Xbox 360 store has dropped precipitously over the years, and there is only so much time before you have to be honest about if it still makes sense to support things. While it’ll be sad to see it shut down, it isn’t unexpected.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, launching on November 10th. Image source: Microsoft

While this may have been a big blow to gamers who love to play Xbox 360 games, this reminds me once again about how much I appreciate the lengths that Xbox has gone to support backward compatibility on the Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles. While you can still play your games on your 360, there’s only so long those consoles will survive, so I am really appreciative that I can still play them on the latest console as well.

Now, Xbox just needs to resolve these Series S issues with Balder’s Gate 3, and let us start playing along with PC and PlayStation players!

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.