Game preservation efforts continue to be important after Xbox 360 store shutdown announced

There needs to be less games lost in history for future generations

With the Xbox 360 store set to shut down permanently on July 29, 2024, efforts to conserve games continue to be important so they don't become lost in the past. (Claudia Culley)

With the Xbox 360 store set to shut down permanently on July 29, 2024, efforts to conserve games continue to be important so they don’t become lost in the past. (Claudia Culley)

Earlier last month, Microsoft announced the online Xbox 360 store will permanently shut down on July 29, 2024. This means Xbox 360 owners will no longer be able to buy games, downloadable content, and other entertainment from the store on the console or Xbox Marketplace. The store will be 18 years old this November. 

Microsoft did clarify that Xbox 360 owners can still play games purchased from the store. Any games that are bought before the shutdown and got deleted as a digital copy can still be downloaded to regain data to help run the games. Even multiplayer modes for games can still be accessed as long as publishers for those games have the servers online. 

While these games won’t exactly be lost forever, they’ll become harder to access and play for those who don’t have an Xbox 360 console or access to one. I do hope these games can still be played in some form, whether as a port or remaster to future systems. Continuing to create consoles with backwards compatibility to play older games helps with preserving these games for future generations to experience.

Considering I’ve been seeing more discussions about lost media such as movies and video games that are no longer available to the public yet still exist, preserving older content is something I will always support. If it weren’t for game preservation efforts, we would probably never hear about E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial game for the Atari 2600 back in 1982 and the history relating to it. 

With the Xbox 360 store shutting down in less than a year, people who want to play games that are most up-to-date to that console may have to find other means of accessing them since there’s only so many Xbox 360 consoles available and still functional. 

This could lead to more usage in emulation on other systems at little to no cost to play these games, which may be better known to some as pirating. 

While I don’t necessarily condone this action, I can’t blame anyone at all for going this route. Not every retro game is or will be fortunate enough to exist in an accessible form for other people to play. 

Even games fortunate enough to get ported to future generations of consoles or given a remaster or reboot, could end up being disappointing or dysfunctional. If not, the original games end up being more expensive than the usual pricelines of around $80 to $90 more often than not. 

For example, I’ve always wanted to try to play some older games like Pokémon Emerald or Pokémon Platinum. However, the remasters ended up being either a different version of those games or did not meet the expectations I had. 

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl were also upsettingly disappointing remasters of the original Diamond and Pearl games, considering how much of an upgrade Platinum was.

To this day, I still wish Emerald and Platinum could get ported to current Nintendo hardware. 

While remakes and remasters help out a lot, I’ll often support having some way to play the older games just to retain some accessibility to those games, something that will be more difficult to do with the Xbox store eventually going offline forever.