Considering Xbox One’s Limited Offline Capabilities, Is It Time Microsoft Overhauled The Xbox Live Service?

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.

Image courtesy of VentureBeat and Microsoft

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.



Have your say!

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  1. I started having server problems the night of the Superbowl. I couldn’t play anything “Servers Unavailable” & etc for Halo 5 and Rainbow Six for days which I kept reseting my router and X1 and it finally started working. Few days ago I was playing Halo 5, server kept dropping connection mid-match so I jumped on PS4. Next day I start to play Halo 5 and twice in a row during the matchmaking lobby it dropped and gave me a temporary ban for 3 hours(?). I have a good connection and I’ve seen skipping in Halo 5 a bunch, since release some too. Like Snoop, I just want this stuff fixed and as the Reddit comment in the article noted I can’t remember 360 and LIVE ever being like this.

    • Its been like that for me too…. around the Superbowl. Every week I’m hard resetting my console and as we speak Xbox live is down. I’m in Canada, Manitoba to be more specific and right now I can’t even play a Blu-ray. I’ve invested about 2000.00 in games and controllers and this is my second Xbox one. I’m not a hard core gamer as I only have one hand these days and my kids and lazy wife keep me busy. But its frustrating when at the end of the night and its time to get some game time in, I turn on my console only to be stopped dead by Xbox live issues. An overhaul is needed because its not just today but quite a bit within past while. Wanted to try a ps4 but couldn’t really grip the controller with one hand, and Xbox controller is great when atop my thigh.

  2. Great article and as for more features when offline, bring it on because offline its close to useless.

  3. Cloud powah

  4. Where is Savage Savant to defend the XBL saying that it never goes down?

    • Its OK…There will be Xbots and other idiots to claim that PS4 has the same issue, ignoring the fact that IF you set your PS4 up properly it functions perfectly offline no matter what…Yet X1 seems to keep having these issues where XBL is down and the console can’t do anything or something happens and X1 users cannot use their digitally purchased games, which again for slow people who might want to defend X1 and try to say PS4 has the same issue, yeah umm it doesn’t when the console is set up properly

      • Agreed. I have a few friends that have thee XB1 and I have been ribbing them because of the outage. They pointed out to me that it was going down constantly last year, and now it is starting all over again. Now with all of the “exclusives going to PC, a few of them are re-thinking about their purchase and also feel a bit screwed over. First: the network is nothing like what it use to be, and now it no longer has “exclusives”. “So, what is the point of having this”, one good friend said to me. All I could do was just laugh.

  5. You just gave you set your console to offline in the settings then all of your offline content and digital games work fine when Xbox live is down. Do your research son!

    • Apps, some DLC and achievements do not work offline. Trust me, research was done.

      • You can’t get achievements offline or you can’t sync your achievements offline?

        You can get PSN Trophies offline they just won’t populate to your profile until you go online.

  6. You just have to set your console to offline in the settings. Then all of your offline content and digital games work fine when Xbox live is down. Do your research son!

  7. The “insert the disc” message for a game bought “digitally” is an online issue, but has nothing to do with the paid Gold level subscription service. With that said Microsoft needs to work on whatever ails the X-Box Live service.

  8. How has XBL having downtime effected me? Well, picked up a great book, researched a few topics about state & federal law, cooked a brand new recipe… overall fee it was quite liberating. Didn’t just pout and whine and entertained myself like a rational adult.

    Sadly, society has become way too reliant on technology; learn to live life without the crutch of electronics and life tends to be a much different pace.

    It’s aggravating yes, life damning, no.

  9. Like a youtuber said, it’s amazing how quick people jump all over MS for something like this, but if PSN is down for a month, nobody says anything.

    • This is a joke, right???

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