Microsoft Says Xbox Live Outage Due To Server Strain

live_rising.jpgThe weeks long connection troubles many Xbox Live users have experienced since the holidays was due, according to Microsoft, to heavy Xbox Live server load brought on a record number of users attempting to access the service. Xbox group marketing manager Albert Penello told us that "It's wasn't a malicious thing." He explained "We had the biggest concurrent day we've ever had on Live. We had more people than ever signing up on Live, it was 9 million, then 10 million, and it literally was that a lot more people were trying to get on, sign up and play than we had expected over Christmas."

The continued problems were a result of not simply too many people trying to connect and play on Live, but also that too few Xbox Live team members were in the office to react. "It's easy when we're all the office in November, but on December 25th, it's harder to get a hold of everybody," Penello said, later adding "I hope people feel like [giving away a free Live Arcade game]is a fair make good for the inconvenience."

Penello also came to the Live team's defense, noting that "I'd also say in seven years, this has happened maybe zero other times, but I can't remember a time when, other than the slow downloads we had when we launched Video Marketplace, we have had a service outage that wasn't planned."

While Microsoft's Penello and Jeff Bell gave us the impression that the problem is largely addressed when we asked at CES, some of us at Kotaku are still having connection issues, specifically gamertag recovery unresponsiveness. Unfortunately, I'm away from my Xbox 360 and can't report on my own successes or failures with the service. We've heard fewer complaints from readers over the past few days, but still want to hear from you if you're having troubles.


    Ok as an Australian I can say we are through the worst of it. CoD4 seems the worst hit with the system not working for whole days at a time and even when switching to halo3 or other online multiplayers the lag made them unplayable. I managed a whole day yesterday without outages, and all my Aussie mates were online too. I look forward to getting *insert game name here* for free but it had better not be one I already had like last time with that damn live is 5 deal.

    Ok forgive me I was wrong, it was only because I had a holiday mid week that I got my game on. This weekend just past was as bad as it had ever has been. Friday night was ok, Saturday day passable. But Sunday? unplayable I tried halo 3, CoD4 and GHIII my wife even tried Viva Piñata party animals and told me she had to stop because it was "too laggy" trust me when I say my wife has never used the word laggy before so that lent extra gravity to the situation.

    Not sure what the latest from M$ is but this is getting old quick. I'm a big fan of Live and I do like to throw an hour or two at multiplayer online but if most of it is spent in lobbies trying to connect I'm quickly going to go back to my other hobbies and hey thats great for my painting etc, but to Microsoft it means another gamer heading in to EB to sell his console and library of games. Which sucks because I still don't want a PS3 yet. I am waiting for the PS3 slim because the current style looks god aweful

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