Daltrey referred to the tour as the start of the Who's "long goodbye" during a news conference Monday at Ronnie Scott's jazz bar in London.
"Well, it just has to be really," the 70-year-old Daltrey said. "We can't go on touring forever, but we don't know how long we will go on touring. It's an open-ended kind of thing. But it will have a finality to it. We'll stop touring, I'm sure, before we stop playing as a band. It's just like Eric Clapton's just said: It's the grind of the road, it's incredibly tough on the body this age. The singing is free; you pay us for the bloody traveling. "
The Who Hits 50 tour will be a retrospective of the band's career, including best-known hits such as "Who Are You," ''Pinball Wizard," and "Baba O'Riley." It is set to begin Nov. 30 in Glasgow, Scotland, and wind up in London on Dec. 17. Tickets go on sale Friday in the U.K.
Monday's news doesn't necessarily mean Townshend and Daltrey are backing away from the band. Townshend said he's written three new songs and hopes to record them with Daltrey.
"I thought I must send them to Rog. ... Happily he likes them," the 69-year-old Townshend said.
The Who hasn't issued new music since 2006's "Endless Wire," its first release in 24 years.