We all know that no online service is perfect but it seems that Microsoft’s Xbox Live service has had it pretty bad this month, especially in the last couple of days. Users of PSN and XBL have had their fair share of troubles this generation but this month in particular it’s the Xbox One that seems to be having the roughest time of both systems. While not everyone pays for an Xbox Live Gold membership, the premium version of Xbox Live that provides Xbox customers access to special deals and online multiplayer functions, millions of people do subscribe to the Gold tier. And these outages are a major source of frustration and disruption for anyone paying $60 (or the local equivalent) a year so that Microsoft can maintain its servers and keep them running.
The Xbox Status Page tells us that:
“Are you having a tough time launching previously purchased content or purchasing new content, Xbox members? We’re aware of the issue and our team is working hard to fix things as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience! We’ll update you as soon as we have more information.”
But this seems to be a message that Xbox Live gamers have seen far too frequently this month and it’s starting to cause quite the stir amongst Xbox gamers. This is one of the worst streaks for the Xbox One’s connectivity features since the attacks by hackers like Lizard Squad. However, Microsoft have been virtually silent as to why the servers are facing these troubles this month and gamers are starting to get tired of their silence.
Worst of all, these outages have been causing people to be unable to access content they themselves have already paid for. Issues like the ‘Do you own this game or app’ or ‘We can’t start … for some reason’ have been prevalent this month and it seems this is the core issue at hand and the source for most people’s frustration. Unlike when PSN goes down, where you can still access your content such as apps, dlc, or even watching bluray videos but when XBL is knocked offline users are unable to access any of these features and quite frankly it’s a shameful problem with Microsoft’s console.
Therefore, whether you own a game digitally or you simply want to sit back and watch Netflix or Hulu while XBL is having issues, you simply aren’t able to. Not only does this seem like a violation of your rights as a consumer, since if you’ve purchased the content you should be able to have access to it as you please. Further, while PS4 still allows players to access and gain trophies while PSN is experiencing issues, Xbox Live also falls short in this category as achievements either don’t ‘pop up’ or they’re rendered completely unaccessible when Xbox Live is experiencing issues. It’s just downright frustrating and many, many Xbox gamers seem to agree. If you head over to this Reddit thread, you can see over 700 Xbox gamers voicing their anger with comments like:
“How come I can’t even watch a DVD when xbox live goes down?”
“I’m trying to watch a BluRay and it won’t work. Bloody pointless”
“I played Xbox 360 from 2006 to this very day sometimes. I swear it feels like Xbox Live has been down more times in 2016 then all of the time I’ve been on 360. I feel like the only time XBL was down on 360 was when it was scheduled maintenance. This like 10 days in a row now. And its getting fucking ridiculous.”
“I completely agree. It was almost never down on the 360. I know it did go down occasionally, but now that I think about it there was never a time I went to go play the 360 that it was down. Microsoft needs to get their shit together with xbox live.”
“I understand issues, but this has been a steady problem for weeks now. When is something going to change?”
And those are just a handful of the comments on the thread. It’s clear that Xbox gamers aren’t happy and Microsoft’s silence isn’t helping matters at all.
I would presume that Xbox One’s cripped offline use is a remnant of Microsoft’s previous always online vision for the Xbox One but when my console asks me to put a disc in to prove I own a game that I bought digitally, it’s clear that Microsoft’s machine still has a long way to go to make their machine endurable to these outages. So, since people are paying as much as they are for Xbox Live Gold and Microsoft are making literally billions of dollars out of it, is it unreasonable that we ask for Microsoft to overhaul the Xbox Live service to ensure that our content can be played when Xbox Live is experiencing issues?
Last month, it was Sony’s PSN that was suffering issues for quite a lengthy duration and as a result Sony revealed plans to reimburse people one day’s worth of PS+ as compensation for the downtime. While it might not seem like much for the likely disruption it caused for millions of gamers, it was still something which is more than what can be said for Microsoft who have been silent on Xbox Live’s issues this month. Even Sony’s own Shuhei Yoshida apologized for the outages in a tweet
“As people are tweeting, PSN is back online. Very sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.”
Yet, Xbox execs remain silent.
In light of Xbox Live’s issues this month and the evidence of it’s very limited offline capabilities, we can’t help but feel it’s nigh time for an overhaul to the Xbox Live service to allow for more offline functionalities. Here’s what Snoop Dogg has to say on the matter:
How have you been affected by the Xbox Live outages this month? Let us know your thoughts and opinions below.