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Microsoft Giving Xbox Live Users a Free Game

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the angered-texans-inconsolable dept.

XBox (Games) 265

Earlier this week we covered the Xbox Live outages over the holidays. Several users have pointed out that Microsoft has acknowledged its lack of performance, and is now offering a free game to compensate its users. Unfortunately for Microsoft, disgruntled patrons have already filed a class action lawsuit over the recent difficulties. Quoting the PC World article: "Xbox Live general manager Marc Whitten said that the problems with Xbox Live downtime were caused by an influx of new users who had gotten an Xbox 360 over the holidays. It's been a record-setting season for Xbox Live. 'This included our largest sign-up of new members to Xbox LIVE in our 5 year history and just yesterday you broke the record for the single biggest day of concurrent members ever on the service,' said Whitten."

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265 comments

dodge the chair (4, Funny)

kie (30381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932414)

will it be a game of dodge the flying chair?

don't flame me please, it was just a thought!

Problems still not resolved as of last night... (5, Informative)

toupsie (88295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932416)

Last night was another terrible night of XBOX Live gaming. COD4 was unplayable online. At one point, while designated as host, my XBOX froze, unfroze, froze, unfroze and so on for 10 minutes. I couldn't even back out being host. The only way i would have been able to get control over my system was to turn it off. I didn't just to see how long XBOX Live was going to keep my XBOX 360 hostage to its poor performance while surfed for prices for SONY's PS3 gaming system. Now that nearly every major motion picture company has abandoned HD-DVD for BluRay and it appears Apple is going BluRay, the PS3 is looking to be a more desirable platform. I am really not satisfied with the response that Microsoft has put out and giving me a P.O.S. XBLA game I will never play for losing two weeks of paid service that still doesn't appear to be fixed isn't convincing me to stay with Microsoft -- not to mention the three times I have sent my XBOX 360 in because of the Red Ring of Death.

Same old story... (5, Interesting)

Life2Short (593815) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932500)

Years ago I used to play Asheron's Call. In those days, Microsoft owned the game, and instead of logging directly onto the servers you had to pass through Microsoft's "Gaming Zone." This was later extended to requiring Internet Explorer to access a Microsoft Passport account to log in to the Gaming Zone so you could get to Asheron's Call. Thanks to this convoluted system, there were a LOT of connection problems that weren't addressed until Microsoft finally sold the game back to Turbine, and you could log directly onto the Turbine servers.

Good luck XBOX Live customers, and don't hold your breath...

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932556)

You think that's bad? I was playing Geometry Wars last night, and FINALLY got over a million points, something I've been trying to do for well over a year.

I scored 1.5 million points, got two achievements...

and the leaderboard wasn't updated. It still has me at 700,000.

Imagine if you actually made it through some CoD4 and didn't get the experience points/challenges marked done and had to start over....

Seriously, it's been over two weeks and MS keeps saying that this stuff is fixed. I'm on my 3rd 360, and it's about to be the fourth...for as fun as its games are, MS seems determined to ensure that the 360 inconveniences its owners and push them towards the Wii and PS3.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (1)

toupsie (88295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932666)

Dude, I feel for you! I read about several Geometry Wars players that experienced the same issue. I didn't have to worry about losing achievements. I couldn't play long enough to achieve any.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933518)

Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

No, but it is definitely superior to the electoral college


-1 off topic, I know, I know...

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933520)

Where did you read that? I have searched for others and can find nothing about it.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (1)

FCAdcock (531678) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933564)

I know exactly how you feel. Every time I gain a new rank in COD4 lately it kicks me out of the game at the end and I loose my points. I've had to quit games as soon as I unlock anything to keep it. That kinda blows though, leaving your team in the middle of a game just so you can have a scope for your m14.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933852)

I'm on my 3rd 360, and it's about to be the fourth...for as fun as its games are, MS seems determined to ensure that the 360 inconveniences its owners and push them towards the Wii and PS3.

You're on your third 360 and they're pushing you away? Sounds like their plan isn't working.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933890)

So, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved for the 360 is supposed to sync your score automagically? The Wii version, it keeps a local list, that you can then sync into the internet leader boards via WFC manually. That seems a little more smart, really, since if that happens you could always try again.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (3, Interesting)

Peil (549875) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932776)

Got to say last night was the first time in about 2 weeks I've had a chance to even look at Live, and boy was it painful.

Took about 10 minutes, and several dozen attempts to even get signed in, once in the whole thing was running painfully slowly. Generally not very good, especially as I was seeing lobby issues on PGR4 BEFORE Christmas.

Looking around the forums there are a lot of guys over on PA who are maning that every live user will get the free download, and complaining that Silver members will get the same 'compensation' as Gold. You have to agree that at some point the users who pay to play (roughly £40 a year over here on Airstrip One) are going to complain more loudly as they are the ones who cannot play online, as opposed to accessing marketplace content, but to moan about a 400 point XBLA POS does seem a bit cheap.

What is worrying is that these issues have been going on for so long (4 weeks is a figure I'm hearing a lot), surely even MS would think that they should maybe chuck a bit more coal on the boiler?

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (3, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932828)

'This included our largest sign-up of new members to Xbox LIVE in our 5 year history and just yesterday you broke the record for the single biggest day of concurrent members ever on the service,' said Whitten.

With all that influx of cash, couldn't you divert some of it to funding, you know, new servers and stuff like that?

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (1)

MSZ (26307) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933200)

Nah, there were more pressing concerns, like xmas bonuses for the management.
Once they go back from vacations and finish all that duty free booze, they're going to look into it. Really.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (-1)

epiphani (254981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933228)

Theres more - the PS3 actually outsold the 360 over the holidays. Everyone was starting to think that Microsoft had won this round, yet all the sudden in november, the PS3 became a major contender again - with sales jumping nearly 300%. The PS3 is back in this game in a big way. I just picked one up myself yesterday (first next-gen console I got - along with an HDTV) after I heard the blue-ray news. Its a nice machine. The media server abilities alone make it worth my while.

Total Worldwide Sales for the Month of December:

DS 6,474,403
Wii 3,869,926
PS3 2,081,432
PSP 2,399,757
PS2 1,958,444
Xbox360 1,894,335
GBA 309,755

(Misplaced the source for that, sorry..)

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933508)

"(Misplaced the source for that, sorry..)"

How convenient. You post how PS3 is making a Rocky Balboa comeback with detailed sales figures, but you just can't remember where that data came from??

What? Did you memorize the sales data?

Fanboi

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (1, Informative)

epiphani (254981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933598)

I copied the data and sent it to a friend. Lucky for me, I was able to find the source again.

here [vgchartz.com]

There are several other references to it onliine as well.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933980)

The numbers from your post and the numbers on your linked page are different.

Even better, they don't even run with real numbers. From the 'Methodology' page:

Sales figures are determined through two important methods:
Data Sampling - VG Chartz gathers random data from a sample of the total number of retailers.
Shipment information - VG Chartz has contacts with publishers who give their best estimates on number of products shipped.
Because the number of retailers selling videogames is quite large, it is possible to attain statistically valid results from a small sample.

It then becomes a matter of working backwards by having:

The approximate number of retailers.
Historical sales figures.
Data from sales tracking agencies as reference points in accuracy.
There are obvious limiting factors as well - few games have above a 40% attach rate, a game will never sell more than the console user base, publishers do not ship significantly more or less than they expect to be sold
So, your numbers are not sales data, they're sales estimates. You would do well not to misrepresent your sources as factual.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (1)

Stolovaya (1019922) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934126)

Unfortunately, VGChartz is really the best that we (the consumer) have access to. NPD seems to be locking up its numbers more and more to make a profit off them.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (1)

janrinok (846318) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933968)

How convenient.

I copied the data and sent it to a friend. Lucky for me, I was able to find the source again. here [vgchartz.com]
It seems that an apology might be in order, or at least a thank-you? No, of course not, not from an AC.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933850)

Of course you misplaced the source! It couldn't be that Christmas sales data hasn't been released yet. Let's look at it like this: November sales data wasn't released until December the 16th. It's only the 6th of January.

So, either you're from the future or you're a fucking liar. I'm going to go with the latter.

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (1)

nuzzy (969021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933478)

I think you should aave your money for tissues and a TON of cheese to go with your whine...

Re:Problems still not resolved as of last night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933552)

I am really not satisfied with the response that Microsoft has put out and giving me a P.O.S. XBLA game I will never play for losing two weeks of paid service that still doesn't appear to be fixed isn't convincing me to stay with Microsoft -- not to mention the three times I have sent my XBOX 360 in because of the Red Ring of Death.

As a Slashdot reader, you should know better than to buy a Microsoft console and be surprised when it crashes, dies and lets you down when you most need it.

fuck niggers and fuck republicans (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932430)

they all should hang!

Re:fuck niggers and fuck republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932820)

Excuse me. Do you know a Mister Ayak? Fucking Retard.

No Thanks. Just fix Xbox Live already (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932432)

I've been having hanging and intermittent logon problems for weeks now. I keep hearing they have everything under control and yet myself and friends in different geographic locations are still having problems.

big f-in deal (0, Troll)

notoriousE (723905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932452)

so you can't play online games for a couple days --- who cares? Filing a class action lawsuit? What the hell is wrong with people these days? It's just a gaming console

They paid for it (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932720)

It's just a gaming console

The basic idea of money is that one dollar is just as good as another. If the customers paid for something they didn't get, it doesn't matter what was being bought, they have the right to be compensated.

Re:They paid for it (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932952)

The basic idea of money is that one dollar is just as good as another. If the customers paid for something they didn't get, it doesn't matter what was being bought, they have the right to be compensated.

While the notion of getting a free game (as long as it isn't Yaris) as compensation for network troubles is a good one, and is good for public relations, if you read the EULA there is no guaranteed level of serice for Live. They are doing this to save good will, but they don't have to. Because of this I expect the lawsuit from Texas to go nowhere.

Re:They paid for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933350)

I do not know how SLAs are supposed to work in the eyes of a bunch of whiny kids, but while corporations out there suffer telco outages, they are usually compensated for the downtime at the rate they pay telco for the service. Applied to XBOX live it will mean what, like $1 a day? Good luck with a class action law suite that has a slight possibility of winning you $.75 and millions to lawyers.

Re:They paid for it (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933440)

And Microsoft is giving them a free game. I don't know what Arcade game they're planning to give out, but with a quick look at wikipedia, it seems that Arcade games tend to be either 400 or 800 MSP. That translates to something like $5 or $10, unless I'm mistaken. Considering that the cost for a year of Live Gold is $60, that $5 or $10 translates to the value of 1 or 2 months of service. Seems like pretty fair compensation to me.

Not to mention that since Microsoft doesn't guarantee uptime, the users aren't entitled to anything, legally speaking. It's good business on Microsoft's part that they're doing this (for once), but they don't have to.

Re:They paid for it (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933846)

And Microsoft is giving them a free game

I said a dollar is as good as any other, but a game isn't necessarily as good as any other. FTFA, "Whitten stopped short of identifying the game or when, exactly, it would be available". If I paid for a service I would want exactly that, not a game as a replacement, no matter the game's price.


Besides, considering that Microsoft is offering a free download, they are giving away nothing but some downloaded bytes, which their crappy service should have provided in the first place. It's not as if they were having the expense of printing a DVD or something like that.


The *value* of the game they are giving isn't the same as the *price* of the same game in the market. If you give me something that costs you a few cents to produce, and I wouldn't be willing to buy, you cannot argue that you are giving me the full shelf price of that product.

Re:They paid for it (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933480)

If the customers paid for something they didn't get, it doesn't matter what was being bought, they have the right to be compensated.
While that does make sense, it doesn't hold true for some things. For example, my Wildblue internet service only guarantees that I have "up to a 1.5M/s connection" and that they don't guarantee connectivity. ahref=http://www.wildblue.com/aboutWildblue/qaa.jsprel=url2html-26276 [slashdot.org] http://www.wildblue.com/aboutWildblue/qaa.jsp> There are times when my connection just drops. It's in the contract. I have no recourse as it was explained in the ToS. I'm sure that XBL has a very similar clause that does not ensure connectivity and that you're not entitled to compensation. MS was trying to appease their customers by giving them a free game, they didn't have to do that either, but it would have impacted their subscription rates.

uptime (1)

commo1 (709770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932462)

Ha... so where's the "five nines" here?

They should be running at least the authentication servers on a flavour of Linux like the rest of their network.

Re:uptime (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932744)

They don't use Linsux, you fucking zealot faggot cocksuck. If they used Linsux, there would be no Xbox Live because they would always be configuring an endless array of config files. Get your mouth off of Whorevald's cock and get a fucking life, stupid.

Re:uptime (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933046)

Ubuntu was too hard for you wasn't it?

Personally I would rather edit an "endless array" of configuration files, than the endless knot of binary shit that comprises the Windows Registry.

Re:uptime (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933206)

Personally I would rather edit an "endless array" of configuration files, than the endless knot of binary shit that compromises the Windows Registry.

There fixed that for you.

Class Action!? (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932478)

Okay - I realise it's annoying when a service doesn't work, but only a little bit. Considering every single user of the service likes to play games, a free game seems a perfectly good level of compensation.

Re:Class Action!? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932618)

"Considering every single user of the service likes to play games, a free game seems a perfectly good level of compensation."

A good level of compensation would be making the service work, dammit. "Hey, Xbox LIVE isn't working, so here, have a free LIVE game. What do you mean you can't play it?". LIVE isn't working, the article says they're offering a free Xbox LIVE Arcade game. Could someone explain the logic behind this?

Re:Class Action!? (5, Insightful)

stuboogie (900470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933798)

"Could someone explain the logic behind this?"
This is Insightful???

So, you must think that the technical issues with Xbox Live are all part of Microsoft's evil plan? Yes, if you listen carefully in the direction of Redmond, you can hear a faint "Eeeexcellent!"

They are providing an Xbox Live game as compensation because they expect the technical issues to be resolved soon. Is that logical enough for you?

Really, I'm quite sure that those responsible for Xbox Live are working overtime trying to get the issues resolved. Do you REALLY think MS wants bad PR over the online service for their console?? They have taken it in the shorts financially trying to get the Xbox into the console market. Now that they are actually seeing some improvements in market share, they're just going to alienate their new found customers?? It seems that they had a much higher than anticipated growth in the 4th quarter of '07. Maybe someone dropped the ball in being prepared, but they will get the issues resolved as quickly as possible.
Why? Because it is good for business. Xbox Live is a huge selling point for their console.

As a consumer, I would be upset if the service I paid for did not work. In this case, MS is offering a form of compensation. Is this form of compensation adequate for all users? I would say probably not. I'm sure many would prefer a refund. Well, how much is MS required to refund to all users? Do they just give everyone $5 back? In my opinion, extending each users subscription by a month would be a more equitable compensation than an arcade game that many may not even want. Still, I'm not sure MS is legally bound to provide any compensation for these issues, but they have. To file a class-action lawsuit is a bit over the top though, and I doubt it will go anywhere.

On a side note. How are the online services for the other consoles doing????

Everybody likes sex... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932784)

... so why not send your mom to give them a blowjob??!?

Re:Class Action!? (1, Insightful)

MattBurke (58682) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932826)

They're not giving away anything really. XBox Live Arcade is a collection of cheap and nasty games like Frogger which probably took a single guy 2 hours to code including drawing the sprites. Think bargain bucket games from the early 1980s.

Frogger (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933602)

XBox Live Arcade is a collection of cheap and nasty games like Frogger which probably took a single guy 2 hours to code including drawing the sprites.

Games like Frogger have extraordinary longevity and appeal. Talk to anyone who has sponsored a computer museum or video game expo. Its the "cheap and nasty" classics that draw the crowds.

Re:Class Action!? (1)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933656)

I don't know, they DO have Street Fighter 2, how do you pass that up? I'm pretty addicted to Lumines [wikipedia.org] and Carcassone [wikipedia.org] as well. There were a lot of games from the 80's and early 90's that had gameplay that blows many current games out of the water. I think that game publishers need to go back to their roots, and they need to realize that more pixels != better games.

The service itself really isn't that bad, when it's working, and really it was only the last couple of weeks of December that XBL was having issues. I like the fact that you can shell out a few bucks and get access to arcade and boardgame style games. Granted that those bucks are translated into Live points (read: M$ bucks), and there are some obvious issues if the network goes down. As far as giving out a free game for the network issues, why not? I'd be happier if they fixed the service, but hey, they want to issue a free game, that's fine with me. My life certainly doesn't revolve XBL.

Re:Class Action!? (1)

Maradine (194191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933688)

XBox Live Arcade is a collection of cheap and nasty games like Frogger which probably took a single guy 2 hours to code including drawing the sprites. Think bargain bucket games from the early 1980s.

I hate to yank your hyperbole-bubble back down to one standard atmosphere, but XBLA contains, amongst other things, the two best computer ports ever produced of two of the best board games ever produced, a complete and well-executed Smash Brothers clone, a number of excellent arcade-perfect translation of classics, fucking Symphony of the Night, and numerous first-time attempts from indy developers showcasing a several consumer game development engines.

If you could execute any one of the above in two hours, you're too talented to troll.

M

Re:Class Action!? (4, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933066)

... until it crashes the Xbox Live servers when everyone tries to download that game ;-)

Re:Class Action!? (1)

Shetan (20885) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933772)

Considering every single user of the service likes to play games, a free game seems a perfectly good level of compensation.
That might be true if the game in question was a game that the people inconvenience actually wanted to play. If they are crediting every account with enough points to purchase a game so the subscriber can pick a game they like, then it's probably reasonable compensation. If they picked the game with the worst sales record on Arcade to give away so that they can say that they can rave about it in a press release, it's nothing but empty PR spin.

Re:Class Action!? (2, Funny)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933836)

Uh, lawyers can't feed their families on video games! Geez, won't someone think of the lawyers? If companies could premtively fix things by giving out the refunds or bonuses or rebates they would probably be forced to give out from a class action lawsuit, then by God, the _LAWYERS WOULD NOT MAKE MONEY_. Do you want to live in a world like that? Do you?!?! I didn't think so.

Class action? (3, Insightful)

ricebowl (999467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932522)

Given the results of the class action law suit against Sony, due to the unlawful/undisclosed root-kitting of consumers' computers, I can imagine that the free game, already offered by Microsoft, is probably going to exceed any class action payout. Unless, of course, you happen to be a lawyer.

In which case it's probably a worth-while pursuit.

I aren't a member of X-Box Live though, so your level of frustration may make it worth the time, though if you were frustrated by poor service over the holidays I can't imagine that a law suit will be any less frustrating...

Re:Class action? (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934022)

Not to mention that this is going to go over about as well as the class action suits brought against MMO operators in the distant past. If there's a guarantee of uptime and usability in the Live contracts, even by omission, then I'm officially gobsmacked.

If this all had to do with the holiday weekend... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932534)

...then why is it still happening, now?

I don't know if it's lawsuit-worthy, but the notion that they were unprepared for an influx of new users during the holiday season is pretty much inexcusable. Besides, let's say they make the free game available tonight; we still can't sign in our profiles to get it.

Microsoft really just had to maintain its velocity in order to handily beat the PS3. Screw-ups like this are going to send their potential customer base over to their rivals in droves. Granted, the online experience on the PS3 and Wii is fairly primitive compared to XBL, but there haven't been any of these sensationalist reports to indicate that they don't work.

Blech.

Re:If this all had to do with the holiday weekend. (3, Insightful)

jounihat (884616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933622)

Granted, the online experience on the PS3 and Wii is fairly primitive compared to XBL...
Fairly primitive? I can play Resistance in PSN with 39 other players without any lag whatsoever. Maybe XBL has some advantages over PSN, but that argument works vice versa also. I think in the end they're both quite on par at the moment.

Re:If this all had to do with the holiday weekend. (1)

stuboogie (900470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933952)

"I think in the end they're both quite on par at the moment."

Do they have the same number of users on their servers at the same time? If not, then they are not "on par at the moment".

There are some issues that do not arise until certain conditions exist. MS should have been better prepared to handle the additional new users over the holidays, but their issues appear to be due to poor planning. To say that you can play a game well on PSN right now and Xbox live sucks is a hollow example. MS has paved the way for online gaming in the console market. Sony is reaping the benefits of following in their footsteps, but MS is still the forerunner and will meet the technical issues with regard to scaling first.

Hopefully, they (MS, Sony and Nintendo) will learn from MS's mistake and do better in the future.

That's why I avoided the Xbox (0, Flamebait)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932546)

I knew this was bound to happen. First Halo 3, which was so overhyped and never came close to living up to it, not to mention sucks. Then they rip off all the little kids and make them buy Xboxes to play Halo 3. So Microsoft is succeeding in their plan to control the networking of the gaming Internet infrastructure, but, they skipped a very important step in expanding their audience: making sure their servers can withstand it! Such a careless business mistake is sad for the biggest software company in the world. I bet the servers run Windows.

pretending they didn't see this coming? (5, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932588)

It's not like this was a SURPRISE to them. They SELL the units, the have absolute control over how many units are sold. If your netgame people say the current network can support 80,000 users, you DON'T SELL 200,000 UNITS until you have upgraded your network. (numbers fabricated but you get the idea)

This was entirely their responsibility, and I cannot believe they did not see this coming. What it came down to is they wanted to do a money grab for the holidays so they made as many units as they possibly could, to hell with the network until we get past christmas then we'll divert resources from production to upgrade the net so they can USE the product.

Not saying it's unexpected, just shameful is all. Nothing new there in business.

Re:pretending they didn't see this coming? (1)

ddrichardson (869910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932644)

On the other hand, 80,000 users will not be online at the same time all the time - so there may be room for more but I see what you mean.

Re:pretending they didn't see this coming? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932824)

But that is the point. Over a holiday week as most children in the USA have off between christmas and new years, your going to have 50-75% more people online at any given time.

But you should have the infrastructure to handle that much load anyways. What gets me is that they are still having problems a week later after all those kids have already gone back to school.

Of course MSFT is probably running an all MSFT setup and are having problems scaling.

Re:pretending they didn't see this coming? (2, Insightful)

Omnedon (701049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932788)

They sold tens of thousands of units (per day) with the majority of those units being wrapped in shiny paper.

Network services was (probably) ingnored as "crying wolf".

Then over the course of one day all of the shiny paper comes off and then fingers are pointed at network services.

I have seen too many instances of one division ignoring another until a scapegoat is needed.

Re:pretending they didn't see this coming? (3, Insightful)

AndrewM1 (648443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933006)

Remember that only a portion of XBoxes sold will ever show up on XB Live - I own an XBox 360, and I've never once connected it to the net. Hence, Microsoft has to make a guess at what portion of sold XBoxes will wind up on the net, and apparently guessed wrong. (I.e. The net supports 100,000, and we sell 200,000 but only about 1 in 2 ever gets onto the net, so we're good) Still really dumb, but a far cry from the picture of them malevolently planning network outages that you paint.

moD dowN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932624)

off the play are4 Reciprocating bad or a publ1c club, you loved that

Windows servers, what do you expect? (4, Funny)

Marcion (876801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932742)

TFA says that Microsoft 'was "disappointed" with Xbox Live's performance'

Well it should blame the server software vendor for the lack of concurrency ... oh it's Microsoft.

Citations, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932956)

Can you give specific examples of where Windows servers fall down but Linux ones don't under specific loads? I'm requesting actual numbers, not anecdotal experiences or "gut feelings."

Re:Citations, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933256)

Can you point out where he even made that claim? I'm requesting an actual quote, not imaginary interpretations or "I think that's what he meant".

Live? or not.. (2, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932754)

Maybe now people will see why having all your online PC games tied to a MS Live service is a terrible idea.

Re:Live? or not.. (1)

ilovepolymorphism (642188) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932884)

Yes, because other services never have technical issues.

Re:Live? or not.. (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933130)

Yes, because other services never have technical issues.
Because when one of my online service_S_ goes down, i still have tons of others.

Re:Live? or not.. (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933410)

That just means that it's a bad idea to have all your games tied into one service, period (which I agree with, not that it's a bad idea to have all your games tied into an MS service (which is only part of the larger truth).

Re:Live? or not.. (1)

spanishfrogg (956988) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934096)

... just like parent, this explains why I am very leery of trusting too much of my data that I might need to access at a moment's notice to cloud computing companies such as Google even though I do use a number of their applications.

tsk tsk tsk.... (2, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932778)

...a great promotion is to fail and blame it on popularity abundance.

Do we have any examples of high user load being successfully maintained?

Re:tsk tsk tsk.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933264)

Name one? Ok. WoW? Same issues when it first came out, and even the same explanation: We grew too quick.

In Other News: Sony says... (5, Funny)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932864)

"Our network works just fine... please somebody use it"

Re:In Other News: Sony says... (3, Insightful)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934090)

It's a great thing that it's free. Not sure why people would want to pay for online and add another $250 to their total cost of gaming over the life of their console.

He's full of crap. (4, Interesting)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21932940)

These problems started two weeks before the Christmas holidays. In my case on the first reboot after the winter software update was installed.

They're making excuses. It has nothing to do with Christmas gifts.

Same kind of MS crap that happened to turbine (1)

Bored MPA (1202335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933460)

Turbine's Ascheron's Call 2 used MS chat (text) server technology and it didn't scale beyond several hundred users (a friggin chat server!). Chat and in-game action text was delayed, non-functional, or unreliable for several months. Turbine lost lots of subscribers and eventually left their MS "relationship." Sure turbine had huge issues with lack of content, but I wonder if the early release and MS technology requirements weren't MS mandates. I liked the AC2 franchise and now it's dead :/

But considering the quality of Lord of the Rings Online, either Turbine became a different company or moving away from MS improved their operations.

Bullshit (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21932986)

The disgruntled patrons didn't do a damn thing except maybe stop playing the game for a minute. The lawyers are the ones who did it, because they make money from class action law suits. We need class action lawsuits to keep companies honest, but we sure as hell don't need them to be done the way they are. Can you imagine, a lawsuit where you have to opt-out in order not to sue a company? Talk about spam...

Microsoft Giving Xbox Live Users a Free Game (4, Funny)

galleyslave (1213748) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933054)

WEAK MINDED FOOLS JOIN IN CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT Jan 6, 2008. A bunch of simpering idiots caught unaware by overloaded servers were today taken by ambulance to local hospitals in various locations around the U.S. The idiots were all suffering from mental breakdowns brought on by online game server failures and overloading at various Microsoft data centers around the country. "I was just playing my game and, um, it just suddenly locked up on me!" ranted Mike Hunt of Birdflip, Arkansas, "and those Microsoft bastards wouldn't even answer the phone when I called! I was, like, FREAKING OUT and they wouldn't answer the phone! It was horrible and I pee'd my pants because I was on the phone for so long. They deliberately WOULDN'T ANSWER!" After being sedated, a Microsoft Xbox 360 controller was pried from his left hand. Mr. Hunt is recovering slowly at Rapeme Medical Center outside of Little Rock where he was airlifted after the local medical clinic facilities in his hometown of Birdflip proved inadequate to the task. It is unclear whether Mr. Hunt's medical insurance will cover the cost of the air ambulance service. Quoting Mr. Hunt's attorney, Don I. Cheatem, "We'll sue Microsoft for the air ambulance costs too. The devils in Redmond won't get away with this. It's just a simple computer game and now my client is in the hospital. Microsoft should be ashamed of themselves. I've seen these kinds of products before. Remember the Erector Set? All those little kids who skinned their knuckles when their screwdrivers slipped during kit assembly? Right! We got those A.C. Gilbert bastards too! Imagine the nerve of those people suggesting in court that fun science, physics and chemistry education could ever take precedence over the preservation of perfect 9 year old knuckles." When pressed further, both Mr. Cheatem and fellow attorney Ramy Olbutt engaged in the class action law suit being assembled in Little Rock, stated for the record that online gamers are "very delicate beings and after long sessions at the computer when they should actually be outside getting fresh air or at least focusing their eyes on objects more than 18" away for a few minutes, things can get kind of tense. Microsoft knows this and must be forced to take steps to protect itself from all of the simpering weak-minded idiots and all of the scheming, calculating con artists. The best way to do that is to make every product perfect. We just don't understand why Microsoft refuses to do that." Microsoft lawyers were unavailable for comment. However, a long-time receptionist at Microsoft's central administration stated confidentially that, "These dizzy morons are all on crack if they think they're going to get a quick settlement and get paid off to shut up. Our lawyers will wrap these jack-offs up with briefs, warrants, affidavits, hearings, examinations for discovery and every piece of legal paperwork imaginable for the next ten years. If I was one of those morons I might just consider dropping this whole thing and stop buying or playing Microsoft products. It will take money out of Microsoft's pockets, keep money in the morons' pockets, and they can try their luck with other games and servers offered by other companies. GEEZ, what's the big deal? Those morons have just bought into a world of stress and aggravation. It's just not worth it." -33-

As if they were the only ones with trouble... (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933056)

On Christmas day a friend of mine had invited me over to play Bubble Bobble on his Wii, he was going to buy and download it on VC. He spent forever getting thrown out again and again trying to buy some Wii points, and then again trying to access the game library. It finally worked but it was not a very fun experience. Bubble bobble was though, but nothing beats the old version we knew on C64. At any rate this seems more serious but I think everyone's servers take a hit at Christmas. It's the console version of slashdotting, all the kids who got their console for Christmas coming online all at once.

Re:As if they were the only ones with trouble... (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933550)

I had the same issues (Lode Runner FTW), but the problems went away later that evening as the load died down. The Live issues have been going for at least a month now.

Daily statistics of down time XBOX-live (4, Informative)

cemaykan (1213770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933072)

I am tracking each day(every 10 minutes) the status of xbox live, and creating statisical images, this shows the biig picture on how "live" xbox-live actually is :) http://www.acddv.com/ [acddv.com] Also these statistics are available for the public as-well Cem Aykan

SLA? (4, Informative)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933184)

When you buy a XBOX and sign up for XBOX Live, is there a SLA (Service Level Agreement) that guarantees uptime/accessibility? So under what grounds would you be able to file a class action lawsuit?

Re:SLA? (2, Informative)

MrJynxx (902913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933624)

SLA's are generally created between the internal technology group and the internal users(ie. the business). Now I haven't read through the agreement but i can almost guarentee you there is no mention of guarenteed uptime for xbox live.

Also it's considered a binding contract according to the ITIL definition of service level management for services provided to *external* clients (ie, everybody who uses xbox live). So that is probably why they're giving away a free game in order to avert the class action suit due to this binding contract.

yes I know, I'm nitpicking on the definition of an SLA :)

Re:SLA? (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933698)

I can't be bothered to go look it up, but I'd expect that 1) yes, there is an SLA, 2) it's 'best effort,' AKA none at all, and 3) by signing up for Xbox Live, you agree that it's not going to necessarily work. Couple all that with 4) Xbox Live being broken doesn't take anything away from the 'core' functionality; that is, your games still work, you just can't play online, and 5) Microsoft moved very quickly to recompense the users, this class action will be tossed pretty damn quickly.

And even if the class action succeeded, do you know how Microsoft would probably pay out to the users? A free game. Exactly what they're already doing.

Microsoft Blasting (1, Flamebait)

sporktine (639092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933252)

I come to slashdot after a long time ignoring the crap flinging here and lo and behold I see Microsoft attempting to act responsibly and try to give something back to the users they acknowledge they did not serve properly, and people still waste their time writing trash.

1. microsoft is apparently doing something about it on their own EVEN THOUGH SOME DOUCHE is trying to get free money from them because their game didn't work for a couple days. Waah waah waah.

2. you accept an agreement that says if the service doesn't work all the time, you give up responsibility.

3. Xbox live is one of the few services that actually has a customer service line. IN THE US. Your dell, dude, doesn't even have that.

4. go outside and play.

5. They don't have to do a DAMN thing about it and most people would still accept it.

6. Lemme guess, if Google had a game console, it would always work perfectly.

7. Did you notice that nintendo shipped thousands of wiis with faulty video cards? I have one, it sucks, i'm sending it back, but thems the breaks. Are you telling me that you have never bought a new complex electronic item and had it not work properly and had to replace it? is that unique to microsoft?

8. I think that it's obvious that they realize that they need to serve their customers to keep them, and that xbox and live are a big part of that. if it wasn't they wouldn't even bother.

Re:Microsoft Blasting (1)

Fishchip (1203964) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933644)

You ever played a popular MMORPG? This is the equivalent of one exasperated sigh compared to, say, the reaction if Blizzard takes an hour or so longer to bring the WoW servers back up on patch day. I feel sorry for those poor bastards, both the people who get so worked up about it as to demand Blizzard credit their account for the hour of playtime they lost, and the guys on the other side who get such an amazingly psychotic, giant blast of shit.

Re:Microsoft Blasting (1)

EW87 (951411) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933694)

You know what IS UNIQUE to Microsoft? A fucking 45% Electronics failure rate, most electronics have a 2% or LESS failure rate.

Also if you paid for a month of dental insurance and for the month the only dentist approved for you to use is on vacation, would you like your money back? X-box live (XBL) has been down for almost a 2 week combined. That's not getting what you pay for.

Thank god my Xbox 360 has been at the repair center for the 3 weeks of on-and-off downtime, getting fixed because it had the Red Ring of Death.

So I played my PS3 for the time, I can't say the service is better than XBL, but it's reliable, free; and you get what you pay for.

But for two days the Activision servers were down so there were some Call of Duty 4 issues there, but the issues were fixed promptly, and in the meantime there are other games to play.

Re:Microsoft Blasting (2, Insightful)

Flipao (903929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933738)

I'll bite, this is not just about a bunch of gaming servers going down, this is about Microsoft wanting everything to go through their servers, and then being unable to cope with it.

1. microsoft is apparently doing something about it on their own EVEN THOUGH SOME DOUCHE is trying to get free money from them because their game didn't work for a couple days. Waah waah waah.


It was not a couple days, it was a couple weeks. A couple days it's fine, some people may have gotten an XBOX for XMas, as far as they knew, that's how it was always going to be...

2. you accept an agreement that says if the service doesn't work all the time, you give up responsibility.


XBOX 360 users have no choice but to accept the agreement, there's no other way for them to play online.

3. Xbox live is one of the few services that actually has a customer service line. IN THE US. Your dell, dude, doesn't even have that.


The issue is not customer service, it's reliability... having "Steve" read lines off a script with a fake Boston accent won't bring the servers back online.

4. go outside and play.


But... but... I just spent hundreds of dollars on this shiny games console.... besides, it's cold and I lost my legs on a bizarre cooking accident.

5. They don't have to do a DAMN thing about it and most people would still accept it.


Actually they do, a good chunck of their users pay monthly fees, also, their LIVE service is going to be added for Windows as well, where they have to compete aganist services like Steam.

6. Lemme guess, if Google had a game console, it would always work perfectly.


The best thing about Google: You can always go somewhere else, which is why it's always up.

7. Did you notice that nintendo shipped thousands of wiis with faulty video cards? I have one, it sucks, i'm sending it back, but thems the breaks. Are you telling me that you have never bought a new complex electronic item and had it not work properly and had to replace it? is that unique to microsoft?


This is so off the mark... but ok: If you purchase a faulty item, you can take it back to the shop and get another one. XBOX Live is the only way for XBOX users to get online.

8. I think that it's obvious that they realize that they need to serve their customers to keep them, and that xbox and live are a big part of that. if it wasn't they wouldn't even bother.


That's the thing isn't it... just imagine what kind of service you'd get if they weren't trying hard... now, some people purchase DRM'ed music, and depend on Microsoft's servers to license their tracks, or when using Windows Update, a false positive could cause Windows Vista to cripple your PC.... I think it's not a bad idea to be ready to snap at Microsoft the second they screw up, because if you don't, then they'll screw up a lot more often.

Re:Microsoft Blasting (1)

gaforces (1082431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933838)

They shipped the units, developed the live service, they need to support it. Along with their other products.
Everything connected to the live service has been slow, inconsistent, and bloated.
They owe more than just a game, and to more than just console owners. *Cough* Vista users.

Re:Microsoft Blasting (2, Informative)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934044)

3. Xbox live is one of the few services that actually has a customer service line. IN THE US. Your dell, dude, doesn't even have that.


Psst.... Yes they do. well, not in the US. But in Canada. All XPS technical support for North America is done out of a call center in Ottawa, Ontario. That's for the US and Canada, in both English and French, Spanish is done out of Panama. Likewise, for the business line of products... that is Optiplex, some Dimension, Vostro, and Latitude systems, it's all done in NA.

Otherwise, I agree with you fully. Quite aside from that... a free video game is probably worth a lot more to the end user than any settlement they'd see out of a class action suit. And the fact that MS has already offered the video game of their own volition probably means that any class action would get thrown out of court. It's pretty hard to prove damages when you've already been offered a freebie that's worth more than the cost of a month's subscription, let alone the 5 days that it was actually out.

Obligatory disclaimer... I have an @dell.com e-mail address. :)

Re:Microsoft Blasting (1)

chocbar31 (1102447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21934058)

Lemme Guess...you are an idiot??? In this Country there is also a law that protects consumers. If you buy something that is advertised....It damn well better do JUST that!!! This is the reason they are getting a class action suit against them. False advertisement!

microsoft is apparently doing something about it on their own EVEN THOUGH SOME DOUCHE is trying to get free money from them because their game didn't work for a couple days. Waah waah waah.

M$ accepts the money without a problem and they are not giving anything back for free, in my experience (M$ has never given anything away). Free is not an option to M$, they do not beleive in free software or services that has anything to do with a product. They are giving back; hoping to escape a class action law suit. Which is not going to work. They have collected too many millions, the courts will enforce and ensure that they make it right with anyone who has sunk their monies into this service

When you get a drivers license, you sign an agreement not to drink and drive, speed, cruise...etc! Have you ever driven 1Mph/Km over the speed limit? Agreements are for their protection..not YOURS! I am helpdesk...Dell does have customer service here in the US, Alabama, Texas, New England states. I have spoken with customer service in all these areas. You need to keep your comments when you don't know what you are talking about, and maybe do some research when you make references to other entities. You say you are returning a Wii, well my son has had to return his XBOX, twice, same issue! Please keep ignoring! As M$ is not giving you anything without a hidden agenda...sorry to inform you.

Most Members Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933528)

"This included our largest sign-up of new members to Xbox LIVE in our 5 year history and just yesterday you broke the record for the single biggest day of concurrent members ever on the service"

Yea - To Complain

ma8e (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933716)

came as a complete What we've known users. This is save Linux from a sling, return it to

Just go away for a little while and let them work (1)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21933832)

I'm still seeing new faces appearing in Halo3 (zero experience points and green colours), which is surprising since I figured anyone getting an Xbox would have been on by now, then again maybe they couldn't.

  I'm no Microsoft fan (Linux is my OS for my home PC) but I can relate to what they are going through. I work at a casino and it seems people are attracted to broken or malfunctioning games. It seems like they go out of their way to sit next to you when there are 100 other seats available or play a game that has burnt out lights or a sticky button. When you try to repair the local network the bank of games connect to, I feel like saying "If you'd just go away for two minutes I'd be done and you wouldn't have so many problems! Go away!" I bet MS Xbox Live engineers are thinking the same thing right now.

  Just go away for a little while and let them work!

It's Software As A Service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21933886)

It's the new 'Software As A Service' model.

They provide the software, and a bunch of services for a 'small monthly fee'.

Everything is sold 'WITHOUT WARRANTY' or 'FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE'.

You pay your money, and hope the code monkeys and cable pullers at microsoft had a good day when 'Latest Steaming Pile of Code v2.0' was rolled out.

Don't like it? Don't buy it.

You are a consumer, you have no rights.

CONSUME! CONSUME! CONSUME!

360 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21934030)

they cant really give out games for free because of contracts with game developers. for example, im sure everyone wants halo 3 (heck, even halo or halo 2), cod and other cool games..but microsoft cant compensate their losses with other companies' games because they would incur losses (by losing sales)...microsoft makes the XBLA games so thats pretty much all they can give away..

i mean i dont really know, i had a ps2 before this and i just got my xbox 360 last week and its perfectly fine so far. i love it.
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