Some changes to the Xbox dashboard have prompted many fans to ask; is the era of Xbox Live finally drawing to a close?
We all have fond memories of Xbox Live. Whether it's the great videos we see online or our first-hand experience, the service was the introduction to online multiplayer for many gamers.
Xbox Live lobbies had a different feeling to them. Everyone in those Modern Warfare lobbies was so angry and vitriolic towards each other for seemingly no reason, yet it was a place where many players found new lifelong friends. Xbox Live lobbies were unlike anywhere else.
But of course, Xbox Live has changed a lot. It's very much been streamlined to accommodate the next-gen online gaming experience. It's a very different beast from what it was.
Unfortunately, stock problems are still keeping players from engaging in the next-gen online experience. Luckily, some big restocks are on the way, like this huge PS5 and Xbox Series drop at Walmart.
Yet despite these problems, the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles have sold incredibly well.
Online gaming owes an awful lot to Xbox Live and its communities. But now, it looks like it could be on the way out, signaling the end of an era.
Is Xbox Live Dying?
According to a few tweets from an industry insider, Xbox's Live branding could actually be winding down very soon.
Tom Warren, the senior editor at The Verge, has pointed out a few changes to the Xbox dashboard that point towards Xbox doing away with their iconic branding.
He first quotes a tweet of user EvilBoris that indicates that the base for players' screenshots and screen captures is now being referred to as "the Xbox network". It's an interesting change and one that likely wouldn't have gone ahead if it weren't attached to something larger.
As it turns out, something larger could actually already be here.
In Warren's quote tweet, he shows another "Xbox network" alert that indicates that the change could have spread further. Seemingly after attempting to upload a screenshot or screen capture to Xbox Live, it asks if he'd like to "upload to the Xbox network".
Anyone would think this is a simple rebranding of the platform that allows players to share their screenshots and videos, but it's stretching further than this. Even more evidence is implying that the era of Xbox Live could be coming to an end.
Staff Title Change Hints Towards End of Xbox Live?
Warren also notes that Larry Hryb, a member of staff at Xbox, has had a title change. In the Google cache found when searching his name it appears as "Larry Hyrb, Xbox Live's Major Nelson". However, when clicking on his YouTube channel, it reads "Larry Hryb, Xbox's Major Nelson".
Without this information, it would seem that the Xbox network is its own sharing platform. But, this title change could imply much bigger things.
In many ways, it makes sense to do away with the Xbox Live branding. Xbox Live has changed a lot over its years of service, and it's transformed from the barebones online experience into the next-gen system we use today.
Maybe changing its name could help Xbox shake the reputation Xbox Live once had for toxic players. But, many don't want to move on. And we can't blame them.
Plus, Microsoft has done enough themselves to make them want to rebrand. The huge Xbox Live price hike was a massive point of contention for players.
They performed a huge Xbox Live pricing U-turn, but maybe this change is to distance themselves from their own mishaps?
Many fans have wondered if the branding of Xbox Live is even necessary for the era of the Game Pass, and it's a reasonable point; the pass has been performing incredibly well.
Plus, after months of waiting, EA Play has come to Game Pass to PC, and with a new game to sweeten the deal.