Published on January 4, 2008 By Island Dog In XBOX

I was just reading Major Nelson's blog this morning when I noticed a letter from Xbox Live's GM, Marc Whitten.

As a result of this massive increase in usage we know that some of you experienced intermittent Xbox LIVE issues over the holiday break. While the service was not completely offline at any given time, we are disappointed in our performance. I would like to take this moment to thank you each and every one of you for your patience and understanding as our team has worked around the clock to return the service to a stable state.

At the same time we would like to offer a token of our appreciation to all of you in celebration of record success for the service. And as a thank you for your loyalty during this holiday period, we will be offering all of our Xbox LIVE members around the world access to a full Xbox LIVE Arcade game that will be available to download free of charge. In the coming weeks we will be sharing the specific details of this offer with you.

As you may have heard, or if you are a 360 gamer you probably have experienced the troubles during the holiday week with Xbox Live. Many people were not able to connect at all, and if they were they were unable to connect to online games. Very frustrating especially for people who received new games or an Xbox 360 for Christmas.

While the details of this offer haven't been published yet, it will be interesting to see if XBL gives users a choice of their arcade game, or gives members a limited or single game.

Read the full letter here: Link

Comments
on Jan 04, 2008
Good to hear. There was basically no XBL connectivity since just before Christmas until earlier this week, extremely disappointing since the holidays are the only time where I can go live and play some of my old friends online.

Knowing Microsoft, I'm still holding my breath though. A 'free game' is good and nice, but chances are we won't be able to choose freely...
on Jan 04, 2008
They still need to compensate for the lost time on Xbox Live too.  The free arcade game (or free points to spend getting a game of your choice if they go that route) is fine, but it doesn't make up for the time that ticked away in players Xbox Live subscriptions.  Players that wanted to play Call of Duty 4 and couldn't, or that wanted to play Uno and couldn't, aren't getting more time to play those games if they get a free arcade game.  I hope that MS does the right thing and offers up both -- additional Xbox Live subscription time (a month's worth would be nice) and the free game and/or some MS points to be spent to get your own game of choice.
on Jan 04, 2008

There was basically no XBL connectivity since just before Christmas until earlier this week, extremely disappointing since the holidays are the only time where I can go live and play some of my old friends online.

Sadly even last nite there were issues as Microsoft just plain wasn't ready for all of the new gamers that have jumped online in the last 10 days (give or take).  It's a little better with the school kids back to limited (non-holiday) hours now, but it's still obviously not ready for as many potential simultaneous players as they could peak at now.

I wrote an earlier article on the problem and joked that MS's Xbox Live developers/engineers must be using Excel (Microsoft Office) to do their forecasting and tracking with.  Sure seems to be the case.  They just massively underestimated how many players would be trying to get online at the same time.  Gee, what a concept.

I'm glad for Microsoft that they still have such a hot console system, but they really do need to make this right with customers and give us all a much more stable system.

On the plus side, I'd say they have about 6 months to get it right from here.  Come summer vacation time, when all the kids are home and trying to play with all of their friends.  That'll be the next time we're all back here writing about how screwed up the system is.

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