As the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One continue to sell big numbers, the console pairs have recently struggled to keep their networking infrastructures online, a matter that is particularly irksome given gamers pay fees for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network multiplayer access. Although a subscription to PS Plus is not required to play multiplayer games on PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3, an increasing amount of gamers have jumped onto the PlayStation 4 and expect their $50 a year investment into PS Plus to result in consistent access to online services without the threat of outages looming with startling regularity.
Coming into 2016, PlayStation Network was down for the better part of a day with players at the time worried the outage might last for days, like the Christmas outage in 2014. Although that particular attack, by hacker group Lizard Squad, paled in comparison to the 23-day outage in 2011. While Playstation has seen devastating outages, Microsoft has not been left unscathed, as its Xbox Live network has suffered problems as well. The latest outage even brought about a bit of public shaming from Snoop Dogg himself.
Xbox Live services were down earlier with players reporting problems getting into matches and accessing certain Live features like party chat. The official status page initially stated Social and Gaming services – that includes in-game matchmaking, cloud storage, finding friends, and accessing Game DVR -- are currently "limited." Upon entering Halo 5, developer 343 Industries posted a message assuring players that the matchmaking issues were actively being worked on.
As mentioned above, the ongoing networking issues did nothing to impress rapper Snoop Dogg, who posted a video on Instagram voicing his dismay at the status of the Xbox servers (warning: salty language ahead):
Other services like accessing the Xbox Live Marketplace and purchasing content were functioning as normal. The latest word from Microsoft, via their official Xbox Support Twitter page, was that services are back up, with Support recommending users power cycle their Xbox's before trying to connect again:
The issues should now be resolved! Please be sure to power cycle your Xbox console before trying to connect again: https://t.co/QENEhDs7tB
— Xbox Support (1-5) (@XboxSupport) January 14, 2016
And yet, despite the all clear from Microsoft, some players have continued to take to Twitter to state problems getting into matches persist. Having jumped into a quick game of Halo 5, there was a noticeable latency issue and party chat still doesn’t seem to be fully functional. It seems (at the time of this writing) that the problem has largely been resolved, but there may still be a few lingering issues.
With things on the verge of being completely restored, the next question is: What will Microsoft do to prevent people from making like Snoop, but following through on the threat to leave Xbox Live for Playstation out of spite or simply frustration? Following its network outage on January 4, Sony announced PS Plus, PS Now, and video rental extensions as recompense for lost gaming time, so it's reasonable to assume Xbox Live subscrbers will expect something similar from Microsoft.
While any outage is incredibly frustrating, perhaps it's best for it to have happened now, before next month's big releases, like The Division and Rocket League arrive on Xbox One. Imagine the angry celebrities taking to social media to vent their frustration the day those titles hit store shelves.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on all the Xbox news as it is made available.
Source: Xbox Support, Snoop Dog