It’s the end of a gaming era – Microsoft says it is to stop manufacturing the Xbox 360 console after more than a decade.

The console – released in 2005 – helped Microsoft gain a strong foothold in the market and it became the sixth most popular games console of all time.

Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, said that it reshaped a generation of gaming but it was now showing its age.

He said: “Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft. And while we’ve had an amazing run, the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us.

Xbox 360

The Halo franchise gained popularity on the Xbox 360

“Which is why we have made the decision to stop manufacturing new Xbox 360 consoles. We will continue to sell existing inventory of Xbox 360 consoles, with availability varying by country.”

He added: “The console became a beloved gaming and entertainment hub with over 78 billion gaming hours played.”

He pointed to franchises like Gears Of War and Halo, which thrived on the Xbox 360 platform, as a sign of the console’s influence.

Xbox Live services will continue, along with technical support, despite manufacturing coming to an end.

More than 80 million units of the console have been sold since it was launched, placing it behind PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, Game Boy, PlayStation and Wii in the all-time bestseller list.

The latest Microsoft console – Xbox One – launched in 2013 and is backwards compatible, meaning many Xbox 360 games can be played on it.