Microsoft has shut down the servers on the original Xbox Live service this week, bringing a defining era in the emergence of online gaming to an end.

Gamers – in typically hyperbolic fashion – are referring to it as the 'Xboxalypse', commemorating the end of the first Xbox Live's seven-and-a-half year lifespan.

Bye Xbox Live

Giantbomb streamed its final Halo 2 session earlier this week to mark the passing of Microsoft's online service.

"We'll be playing loads of Halo 2 and other Xbox classics," noted the Xbox fans. There are sure to be a few hardcore Halo fans mourning the end of the original Xbox Live this week.

"And so, without further ado," the lament continues, "LET THE XBOXALYPSE BEGIN!!!"

Jon Hicks, Editor on Official Xbox 360 magazine, added: "It's a solemn day. The first version of Xbox Live pioneered console multiplayer, and laid the groundwork for everything that's come since – and did so off the back of some genuinely classic games, as proven by the fact they're still being played right up until the plug is finally pulled.

"It's a shame they can't live on, but their demise does mean bigger, better things for the Xbox Live service. We're expecting to hear more about that at E3."