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An Xbox Live Rant, By a Long Time Gold Member

If you’re not up to date, Xbox Live on the Xbox One has been having some serious issues over the last couple of days, and up until now, it never really affected me. Sure, I wasn’t able to socialize with my online buddies, but at least I could still play my downloaded video games, albeit with limited network support.

Well, fast forward to today, and that no longer seems to be the case. As of right this very moment, I am unable to launch any of my downloaded video games, such as Fallout 4, Halo 5, and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Every time, I get a rather unusual error message, stating that it cannot launch the game for some reason. Yes, it actually said that, meaning that even my Xbox One doesn’t know why it’s failing to function. That’s not all, though. I also got another error, that simply said We cannot launch %2. Try again later.

What the hell is %2? I tried to launch Fallout 4, not some mystery percentage thing.

And to make matters worse, Netflix is also failing to launch. So, in addition to my inability to play video games on what is supposed to be a video game console, I’m also unable to launch media applications, aside from a few rare exceptions, like the television app. Honestly, I just don’t understand as to why an active Xbox Live connection is required to launch games, or media applications. Microsoft is basically holding all of my games hostage, until they can resolve whatever issues they’re having on their end. I mean, really; if I can’t play games, or access basic media apps, what exactly is the purpose of owning an Xbox One?

But you know what, fine. Okay, I get it. Microsoft is having issues. I’m honestly not upset so much by the current and temporary issues that are affecting millions of Xbox gamers, than I am the future implications of an over reliance on a digital networking service, such as Xbox Live. What happens in the future, after the Xbox Live services for this particular console generation are shut down? Will we lose access to the right to play our purchased video games? If there’s no Xbox Live, and games require Xbox Live, wouldn’t that make the Xbox One a paperweight, with no purpose?

The fact is, eventually Xbox Live will be shut down. It happened with the original Xbox, and is likely to happen with the Xbox 360 within the next ten years. But unlike the current generation, even if Xbox Live goes down on the Xbox 360, your video games will continue to function. With the Xbox One, there is no such guarantee. Unless Microsoft grows to rely less on Xbox Live, the Xbox One will forever have a temporary shelf life.

And that’s basically where my rant comes in. The Xbox One is temporary. Your Xbox One game collection is temporary. Everything you do, all of the things you’ve purchased, are all temporary. Is this honestly the future you all want? A future where your games can be taken away without your consent, simply because the company that sold them to you are having network issues? It kind of makes you question if building up a large and  diverse video game collection, like you’ve done for every generation, is truly worth it this time around. Nothing you buy on Xbox One is yours to keep, because everything requires an Xbox Live connection.

But you know, fuck it. It’s not like the servers will go down for another twenty odd years, right? So why bother ourselves with this dilemma now, when it’s a problem for our future selves to worry about?

Just answer me one thing, alright? The Nintendo 64 came out twenty years ago, in 1996. There’s still a market for Nintendo 64 games and systems. Now tell me, in 2034, which would be 20 years after the launch of the Xbox One, do you think people will still be buying this console? Do you think there will still be a market for Xbox One games?

I don’t, and that’s the problem.