Now is the absolute worst time for Xbox Live to be down. Today marks the debut of Titanfall, the game that could make or break the Xbox One game console. It's a masterpiece of mechanical manslaughter, and Microsoft pulled out all the stops for its release, delivering new system updates, new peripherals and even a "fix" for the Xbox One game controller ahead of its launch today. But now, as prospective US players return home from work to play the Xbox One's killer app, many are finding themselves unable to sign into their consoles and actually play the game.
With some games, that might not be a gigantic problem. You could simply play a single-player mode. But Titanfall is a multiplayer-only game that's joined at the hip to Xbox Live, dependant on the service for everything from dedicated servers to AI calculations. You can't even play the tutorial without a connection.
Of course, it's certainly not unheard of for a popular new game to have online issues at launch, and Microsoft's Major Nelson claims the sign-in issue has nothing to do with Titanfall itself. But Microsoft had a chance to show that Xbox One, with its increased dependency on Microsoft's more powerful cloud, could be better than previous failures. Five hours into this outage, that's probably not the message that locked-out Titanfall players will be taking home. Here's hoping a fix won't take much longer.
Update: The official Xbox Support Twitter account claims that Xbox Live is "good to go," though the status page still lists service as "limited."
Update Wed 4:15PM: If you're still experiencing issues, Microsoft says they can easily be fixed if you power cycle your console, by shutting it down, unplugging it, waiting ten seconds, plugging it back in, and turning it on again. We also had luck this morning by simply holding down the power button for five seconds to force a hard reset. The company is apologizing for the outage, but says it's entirely resolved.