If anything should highlight the danger of having a console “always on” it’s this: Xbox LIVE is currently down. The current status of the service says that “users may experience difficulties with … signing in to Xbox LIVE” which is about as crucial as it sounds.
Now, obviously, nobody’s saying 100% that the next Xbox will be always-on – there are rumours, but until Microsoft say it they’re exactly that: rumours. But if it’s true, and Xbox LIVE does go down next gen, potentially that’ll mean that no games will boot, at all.
“We are still hard at work fixing the issue members are having signing in to Xbox LIVE,” says the company. “Rest assured we have every available resource working on fixing the problem. Thank you for your patience and keep checking back here every 30 minutes for an update on our progress.”
It’s worth noting that the way Microsoft has some of its apps (like Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, and YouTube) behind the Xbox LIVE paywall means that those won’t currently work either.
Hopefully this won’t last too much longer and at least there’s the service update page so that users can keep an eye on progress – not that Microsoft’s frequent updates haven’t halted the obvious jokes appearing. But this timing is all too cruel given the events and rumours of the last few weeks.