UPDATE: Services have been restored.
Microsoft, along with a multitude of users, are reporting that Xbox Live is currently having various issues with core features. The overall Xbox Live Status is listed as “limited”, with some small features still functional, but core ones like “Social and Gaming” having issues.
Microsoft is already looking into the problems, saying simply “We’re looking into some troubles with Xbox Live”. How bad the problems are, and how long gamers can expect to be experiencing them isn’t yet known, but check back here for updates as they come out.
The Xbox Live Status page goes a little further, saying “Hey Xbox members, are you having trouble creating or joining your multiplayer sessions? We are aware of this issue and are working to get it fixed right away! Thank you for your patience while we work. We’ll post another update when more information becomes available.”
This outage is reminiscent of smaller outages that hit Xbox Live throughout last year. It’s rival, Sony’s PSN service, had a major outage earlier this year though, which had the entire service down worldwide for multiple hours. No explanation was given for the downtime, as is usually the case, so if it was an attack of some sort then this one could be as well.
That is definitely speculation though, as both PSN and Xbox Live suffered huge attacks over a year ago, bringing them down multiple times over the course of a few weeks. Microsoft and Sony both stepped up their security measures though, and we saw fewer outages in 2015. 2016 hasn’t gotten off to a great start so far, but perhaps these are outliers, and we’ll see more stability going forward.
After Sony’s recent PSN outage, they promised extensions for many subscription services due to the hassle. We’ll have to wait and see if this Xbox Live outage lasts long enough to warrant the same, and if Microsoft is willing to issue them.