Not long ago, we were celebrating the massive success and emergence of Cloud Gaming. It comes as little surprise that Microsoft, a big name in both Cloud Computing and Cloud Gaming, has set a very high bar for the quality of its gaming services.
Over the years, Xbox has amplified its role from being just a gaming console to something a lot bigger. Today, Xbox represents a whole suite of video and cloud gaming products by Microsoft. However, today was a rough day for the market goliath.
At around 2:15 PM Central Time on February 25th, Xbox was hit by a major outage of key services. The unavailable or offline services included Account and Profile, Store & Subscriptions, Multiplayer Gaming and Cloud Gaming as well.
It won’t be an overstatement to say that Xbox was literally “down” today, as the above elements account for nearly all the Xbox services currently on offer. The other worrisome aspect of this outage is the extent of devices that were affected.
As of now, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Cloud Gaming section, Android as well as Apple devices, web services, Xbox 360 and Xbox on Windows were affected. This makes up nearly the entire device portfolio over which users avail Xbox services.
The outage, whatever its source or root cause, simultaneously affected the above cited Xbox services. This implies that the outage of so many Xbox services all at once may be interconnected, or the result of a possible chain reaction.
As of 4:10 PM Central Time, Feb 25th, Microsoft was still working on resolving the issue or outage. What’s encouraging though is a reassurance by the company that they were close to figuring out the root cause.
It is premature to say whether this major outage was the result of some technical flaw, or a cyber security incident. Still, this outage is a stark reminder that Cloud Gaming platforms are also prone to speed bumps, and there should be thorough contingency planning.