Xbox One owners around the world were treated to a nasty surprise recently when they turned on their consoles only to face a completely black screen. Reported by Windows Central and reflected in a series of tweets by the Xbox Live Support account, the problem spread to not only console startups but also sign-in errors, lack of title updates, and Xbox Live outage.
According to Brad Rosetti, the head of Xbox Insider Program, the source of the issue came from a bugged Xbox service update. To remedy the issue, Rosetti detailed a plan to roll back the update in order to get the global network functioning again. Impressively, Xbox Support did not leave console owners in the dark. They provided updates on potential fixes and even had a checklist detailing the statuses of all the services and whether they have been fixed.
Xbox One Users – we have identified the service causing the black screens and working on rolling back the service change – please be patient.
— Brad Rossetti (@WorkWombatman) January 30, 2019
By 14:40 ET on January 30, 2019, a limited fix was given to some Xbox One owners, allowing them to re-access the console by doing a hard reset via a full reboot cycle. However, at that point in time, this was not a universal fix, leaving many gamers still literally in the dark. Just an hour later, Xbox Support tweeted once more, but fortunately this time with more positive news: all the issues were fixed. Visiting the Xbox Live status site, players were greeted with green checkmarks and the comforting text up top that states: “All services and games are active”.
The issues surrounding Xbox One console startup, sign-in, title update errors, and our status page have now been resolved. Thank you for sticking with us while our teams addressed these issues and we appreciate the reports. As always, we’re here and we’re listening.
— Xbox Support (@XboxSupport) January 30, 2019
This rather short-lived catastrophe undoubtedly brought back unpleasant memories for past Xbox 360 owners and the infamous “red ring of death” debacle. In an increasingly connected gaming world where servers and networks determine the playability of games, such an outage could easily translate to global outrage within widespread communities. Thankfully, Microsoft responded to this crisis in a transparent and quick manner, a testament to the impressive infrastructure that it has built throughout the years.