Saturday’s Xbox Live Outage Shows Dangers of Always On DRM


849
38 comments, 85 shares, 849 points

If you were somehow gleefully unaware, this Saturday Microsoft’s Xbox Live saw a rather significant outage, as the service was down for most of the day. By the end of the day they were able to restore most of the network, but certain parts like group chat just simply did not function and were still being worked on in the wee hours of the night. For Microsoft, it is a pretty big deal as it is a Saturday afternoon in North America, where their core audience is and also when their core audience spends a good deal of time gaming or consuming entertainment. Saturday was a great day to buy a new game on the marketplace or watch a few movies, but Xbox Live was down and things were less-than-smooth.

Of course, this comes right after the persistent rumors of the next Xbox console, the Xbox 720/Durango possibly having an “always on” DRM system that forces the user to always have an internet connection to access Xbox Live. We still haven’t heard if the rumor is true or false, but when Microsoft employees are going to twitter and saying, “tough” and losing their jobs over it, there is a good chance that there might be some truth to it. This breach of the network could not come at a worse time for Microsoft with these rumors flying around, as it shows just how worthless the Xbox 720 would be if there was a problem with Xbox Live and everyone was sitting on an expensive paperweight that won’t load games or apps.

One would have to think that if Microsoft is really going to move forward with the always on DRM that there has to be some beads of sweat accumulating in Redmond tonight after this Xbox Live outage. We use the internet for just about every part of our modern lives now, so it isn’t far-fetched to imagine a console wanting you to always be connected to the internet to gather and send information and to keep the user engaged, but when everything revolves around a service like Xbox Live, things get dicey.

We all remember the great PlayStation Network hack, where thousands of accounts were hacked, the network not working for a span of a few days, which forced Sony to give users free games as well as force everyone to reset their passwords. If Microsoft is going to force users to always be accessing their network, there can be no flaws, no downtime and no security holes for hackers to exploit. If Microsoft is going to move ahead with “always on” then they need to prove that they can offer that service without it being intrusive or a hindrance at all, and as of today, I think that there will be a lot more gamers a bit leery of the idea.

There are going to have to be assurances from Microsoft if they do move forward with the always on DRM that they are not going to be overly intrusive and that they themselves can keep the service up and running, or they’ll have a lot of worthless Xbox systems out in the wild that no one can use. The idea of if this happened next year and not being able to play any games at all is just a horrifying one and proof that this idea is not the most well thought out of ideas and should be revised to be more forgiving in the event of such outages in the future.


38 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I hope that they got the problem fixed, my kids kept blaming our internet provider, but when I got my computer out the internet was fine….Come on Xbox don’t let me down anymore on a Saturday with 4 kids home from school PLEASE!!!!

      1. Troll lol. You probably don’t even have kids. My kids go outside, read books, watch TV and play video games…pretty sure both are smarter and in better shape than you lol.

      2. Dont read articles about videogames and then complain about parents who allow their children to play video games. I tire of people who view allowing children to play games as “bad parenting”. Get over it.

        1. It’s bad parenting only if the parent is unaware of what the game is then whines about the game’s content. Don’t want your child seeing full frontal male nudity or drug references or the F word? DON’T BUY THEM GTA4!!!

          I have seen parents that do this…

    1. Or there is always the idea of be a parent and do something with your kids. Better yet. They could even go play outside.

  2. Eh, bad stuff happens from time to time. Take your @$$ outside if your bored. What in the world did people do before XBOX?LOL It could have been worse, Dave Walsh seems to be down playing the severity that Sony was seriously hacked, and important information was actually stolen from them…people’s credit card info, real names, addresses, etc. etc. REAL important stuff.

  3. I have had my 360 over 5 yrs now n the only time I haven’t been able to connect to live is when there was a problem was with either my service provider or my internet equipment. On 4-13-13 I was connected to live from 8 am to 630 pm. Maybe it was something other than live that was down …

    1. That is amazing. I have had my 360 for 7 and I have never paid for xbox live. I have silver and only use it for dlc. Why waste the money.

      1. Microsoft is using the revenue that they are making from x-box live to pay and have someone maintenance their servers. Keeping them up to date and preventing what happened to Sony. Anyone in the IT Industry will tell you there is always going to be a problem somewhere down the line. Nobody is perfect.

  4. I think this online all the time is stupid. As soon as u put a game system like that out the internet company’s like charter will jack there prices up. Cause they know people need the service to play. And with this crash come on u know its going to happen a lot more

  5. I don’t waste money on this so I don’t worry about it I rather spend the day with my kids doing something fun and exciting then sitting in front of the TV eating and playing games.. how sad .

    1. Troll? I mean, why else would you come to an article like this and leave such a retarded response. Also, you’re forgetting that there are other aspects to this. Such as movies, TV even video chatting with far away loved ones. I video chat with my sister and her family every week. She lives 1000+ miles away, so having a way for me to see her, and for my kids to see their cousins, is great. But ya, go ahead and live in your pathetic judgmental little bubble of self-importance. Continue to believe that you are better then everyone else.

  6. I bought Xbox to play games, solo games, when I want to. Now, it seems every time, I sit down to play the damn thing wants to “update.” I should have known better than to get something from Microsoft.

    1. We dont know if Microsoft will actually roll out with always online DRM system or not, but i still believe they will manage some profit from it too.
      Though this will be a long term profit because currently they will get bashed by PS4, and be bashed pretty hard.

  7. If this article is any indication of the writing skills of the next generation, maybe kids need to spend more time with their English homework rather than playing xbox all day.

    I’d say they should be playing outside, but parents are moving kids to further, more spread out and isolated suburbs these days. This doesn’t leave many youth close enough to other kids in their school network that they can meet eachother without being driven everywhere.

  8. I’m sorry but today kids love video games ppl!! I live in Wisconsin and the whether was horrible am I supposed to send my kids out to go play and catch a cold? We watch Netflix all the time and I watch it with then no harm in video gamed TV etcetera

  9. I didn’t have any problem on Saturday either. I was playig borderlands 2 online all day with my brother, his roommate, and one of my friends. It never dropped even once. I admit that “always on” will end up putting a PS4 in my house rather than the new xbox, but this seems like a made up story just to get people bitching.

  10. I guess I will not be getting a 720 when i move to costa rica due to the internet there going in and out on a constant basis.

  11. honestly i hope that this xbox console is a complete fail i have a ps3 and am getting ps4 when it comes out and it would be great for ps4 if the xobx 720 was a complete let down and everyone switched over to playstation it would also mean companys like activision and trewarch giving the new dlc to playstation first since there is more money to be made there anyway

  12. The Next Xbox will not feature always on DRM… Microsoft has confirmed this much at least. They think it’s stupid. We think it’s stupid. Everyone except Ubisoft think it’s stupid.

    1. You don’t “pay to play games you already bought” we pay to play games with people in other states or countries ….. Assume yourself an idiot for not knowing that

  13. There is no such thing as the 720. Do your research before writing an article that makes you sound like a dumbass. I didn’t experience a single outage, as a matter of fact I was able to play with my friends online ALL day.