Xbox under fire as outages leave many unable to play

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Many Xbox users are criticising Microsoft over online outages, which have left many unable to play games, even offline.

There were issues with the service throughout the weekend, with some players still unable to play now. The Xbox Support Twitter addressed the issue on Friday, 6th May:

“We’re aware that some users may be unable to launch games on Xbox consoles and through Cloud gaming, and our teams are investigating.”

On Saturday, the support team reported the server issues as resolved. “All users should once again be able to launch games and start Cloud Gaming sessions. Thank you for your patience and happy gaming!” Only, the problems returned soon after.

Server outages are, of course, an irritating reality for companies with infrastructure as sprawling as Microsoft’s or Sony’s. However, the issue was particularly galling in this instance because people were unable to play games that they had already downloaded—even while they were offline.

The situation has caused a lot of people to question Microsoft’s digital rights management (DRM) policies, and to wonder if there shouldn’t be a change here.

According to Does It Play? (via VGC)—a Twitter account that tests whether games will work without a connection to the internet—the problem is unique to Xbox.

“If the PlayStation servers go down tomorrow permanently, every single player game you own will work offline almost permanently. (Provided console is working and account was linked). There are a tiny subset of titles that will not.”

In other Xbox news, Microsoft may release a dedicated Xbox Cloud Gaming streaming device in the next year.

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