Xbox One owners had to deal with a pretty severe Xbox Live issue on Wednesday that made Microsoft’s console almost non-functional for some of those affected. Many people (just take a look at the Xbox One subreddit) reported seeing a black screen shortly after their console booted up. Others had issues accessing save data. At around 1PM Wednesday, Microsoft tweeted that it was aware of the “Xbox One console startup, title update, and sign-in errors” and said it would provide updates. By 3PM, Brad Rossetti from the Xbox team confirmed that things should be back to normal.
Some gamers were alarmed and initially worried that their console hardware might be broken, but it was purely an Xbox Live and software issue — albeit a bad one that basically made the Xbox One unusable for a couple hours.
While the problem was still happening, some reported that unplugging from ethernet allowed the console to start up normally since it wasn’t making any connection to Live. But consoles set up for a Wi-Fi network couldn’t use that workaround. Fortunately, the company pinpointed the problem shortly after trouble began and got to resolving it:
But the situation is another reminder of how deeply woven into Xbox hardware the online service is. If the whole system can go haywire when something’s wrong with Xbox Live, maybe that link is a little too direct. Xbox chief Phil Spencer has previously acknowledged that some aspects of the Xbox are too dependent upon Microsoft’s services running smoothly at all times.
Update January 30th 2019 3:10PM: The article has been updated to reflect that Microsoft has fixed the issue.