Microsoft officially ends 'Xbox Live' brand, changes to 'Xbox network'
The change from "Xbox Live" to "Xbox network" is official.
What you need to know
- Xbox Live refers to the underlying network technologies that have powered Xbox for nearly two decades.
- Recently, Xbox Insiders noticed that mentions of "Xbox Live" were disappearing from the Xbox console.
- Microsoft has now confirmed in a statement that Xbox Live is officially rebranded to Xbox network.
- Xbox Live Gold isn't changing right now, but the Xbox Live branding is being retired.
Xbox Live is a well-known brand that has been synonymous with Xbox online since the console's debut 18 years ago. However, Xbox Insiders recently began noticing that mentions of the Xbox Live brand disappeared from the Xbox Dashboard, most noticeably when trying to upload and share game captures like screenshots on Xbox or view already-uploaded captures. Eagle-eyed people also noticed that the Microsoft Services Agreement (opens in new tab) was updated to remove any mentions of Xbox Live.
In a statement to the Verge, Microsoft has officially confirmed speculations: Xbox Live is being rebranded to Xbox network, and the long-running brand is being retired.
Xbox network 🤔 https://t.co/E49QQzQFad pic.twitter.com/OQS1cRsrZ2Xbox network 🤔 https://t.co/E49QQzQFad pic.twitter.com/OQS1cRsrZ2— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) March 21, 2021March 21, 2021
From a Microsoft spokesperson: "'Xbox network' refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement. The update from 'Xbox Live' to 'Xbox network' is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships."
In recent years, the importance of the Xbox Live brand has diminished significantly in the wake of Xbox Game Pass and its exponential growth (the list of games coming and going from Xbox Game Pass is huge). With this change, the Xbox Live Gold subscription, which lets gamers play online multiplayer games on Xbox, isn't going away or being altered at all. Still, even Xbox Live Gold has lessened in importance with its inclusion in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is one of the best values in gaming, and combines a ton of different benefits in one. Get the most out of your subscription by checking out our list of Best Games for Xbox Game Pass.
A catalog of games
All your gaming needs, in one subscription.
Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It's possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox Game Pass subscription for both Xbox consoles and Windows PCs, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go. That means access to hundreds of games, with more added all the time, for a single monthly subscription cost.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.
Thanks for 18 years Xbox online.
That is why everything they do ends up scriptable to one extent or another.
They don't really do many black box, hardwired, my way or the highway, apps.
They typically start with a platform and then add ways for customization and watch what happens.
Apropos of XBOX, the boxes are just ways to host DirectX content, a tool for developers and gamers to interact. The evolution of XBL is classic MS: they gave the consoles online capability and then watched how people used them and evolved it accordingly. Gamepass is the current iteration. And the "nerdiness" isn't dead weight, it's the company's strength. They aren't particulaly good at communication or marketing but they are laser focused on the mission, whatever the mission du jour might be. They lost some of that under Ballmer's ADD but Nadella has brought back the long view and added a measure of mild-seeming sneakiness. (They do a lot of sleight of hand. "Look at this. Never mind that console on tbe bookcase behind me." ) Underestimate the nerds (and in this case, Series S) at your peril.