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An Ambitious Fan Project Is Bringing Xbox Live Back To Some Original Xbox Games

Persistent internet connectivity and online elements for most games may be the standard today, but that wasn't always the case. Some gamers still remember a time when multiplayer exclusively meant sitting on the couch with friends and playing on split-screen. For Xbox users, this all changed with the introduction of Xbox Live twenty years ago.

In 2002, Xbox Live, now known as the Xbox Network, first launched, ushering in a new era of online gaming experiences. For the first time, Xbox gamers could play with others worldwide. Games like "Halo 2," "Counter-Strike," and "Mech Assault" made Xbox Live a hit, and the success of the service led to an evolution of consoles.

While online console gaming is now the norm and Xbox Network is going strong, the original iteration of Xbox Live shut down in 2010. This is a source of disappointment for fans of retro gaming that still have one of Microsoft's first consoles. While they can play all the latest games online, they have no hope of reliving the old days of playing their classic Xbox games with friends. That's all going to change soon, however, with a fan project that's set to bring Xbox Live back to the original console.

Insignia is setting up servers to bring back classic Xbox gaming

In July 2022, Games Radar reported on a project to revive the original Xbox Live. Known as Insignia, this effort involves setting up new servers to replace those Microsoft shut down back in 2010. Once up and running, these servers should allow anyone with an old Xbox to play classic games, including "Counter-Strike" and "MechAssault" online.

While this should be exciting news for some, there are a couple of points to note. First, not every classic Xbox game will be available initially. More games are planned to be added monthly, but only 20 are currently available, and "Halo 2" is not among them.

Second, the project is still in development, with a closed beta coming soon. Gamers who want to get in on the beta can submit their email to Insignia, but preparing an old console to connect to the servers may require some work. Additionally, Insignia is looking to keep the beta very small until it's clear that the servers are working smoothly.

It may be some time before most players have access to the service, but it's still something for Xbox fans to look forward to. Eventually, gamers will have a chance to relive their glory days on the underrated Xbox.