Xbox criticized after outage that made games inaccessible

UPDATE 4:30 PM UK: “Full mitigation” of this weekend’s Xbox server issues is expected “in the coming days,” Microsoft said, and will come as part of a new console update.

In the meantime, Xbox Support’s Twitter account said there was “significant improvement in the issue.”

However, the message about an upcoming system update to address the issues is intriguing. Will this cause Microsoft to deactivate its Digital Rights Management (DRM), which has blocked access to certain games on weekends? It’s likely we’ll hear more when the update is announced.

Meanwhile, Eurogamer has contacted Microsoft for comment.


ORIGINAL STORY 11am UK:Xbox has been criticized for several periods of server downtime over the weekend, which prevented some players from launching their own games.

The Xbox Support Twitter Account reported issues influence the ability to launch Xbox games and play games through the Xbox Cloud on the evening of Friday, May 6, and then again on Saturday morning, and again on Saturday evening (UK time).

The outages have sparked a spate of complaints on social media, including from streamer and Xbox host Parris Lilly, who have called for greater transparency from Microsoft about how its digital rights management (DRM) policy works.

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“Xbox outage has made it clear that their DRM policy needs to change,” says Lilly wrote“games downloaded to my console must have a window to be offline and playable without checking in. Hopefully we get some clarity and a fix to prevent this problem from happening again.”

WindowsCentral Writer Jez Corden suggested inconsistency between some games that work despite the downtime may lie with different publishers requiring Xbox to perform different levels of DRM checks on specific games (including some that are purely offline). Accessibility Account Does it play? suggested that this was an issue specific to Xbox and not something found on other console platforms.

During recovery from one period of downtime, Xbox employee Brad Rossetti reported that a full reboot of your console can help restore access to games.

“I’d love to see an Xbox Wire post explaining how offline works on Xbox consoles,” Lilly later said message†[including] what to do in the event of a service outage and any lessons learned from this weekend’s outage and any changes as a result.”

Eurogamer has contacted Microsoft for more.

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