So Long and Thanks for Halo 2, Xbox LIVE

Xbox LIVE 1.0

It's finally final, Xbox LIVE for Microsoft's original beveled black brick-house has left the building, and Halo 2 followed right behind in a Bungie-hyped multiplayer sendoff last night.

"You don't need to find us and make us dead to win some free stuff," wrote Halo developer Bungie on its official blog. "Just play. That's all we ask."

"See you on the battlefield, Seventh Column. One last time."

Microsoft announced in early February that Xbox LIVE for the original Xbox would exit stage forever today, April 15. Kind of a double-whammy when you think about it. Today is tax day, after all.

"While I can't comment on the specifics, this change will allow us to continue evolving the LIVE service with new features and experiences that fully harness the power of Xbox 360 and the Xbox LIVE community," wrote Microsoft's Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb back in February. "We did not make this decision lightly, but after careful consideration and review we realize that this decision will allow us unprecedented flexibility for future features."

Sadly, that means once-popular Xbox games like Halo 2, Rainbox Six 3, MechAssault, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and Crimson Skies are no more, as far as their online modes are concerned.

Why discontinue at all? Because, according to Xbox LIVE general manager Mark Whitten, "[Microsoft needs] to make changes to the service that are incompatible with...original Xbox v1 games."

Natal support? (Microsoft's "motion control without a motion controller" gizmo.) We'll see.

As for Xbox Live 1.0, sayonara little neon-green-and-orange-on-black buddy, and R.I.P. November 2002 - April 2010.

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