Microsoft has confirmed the Xbox Live name’s days are numbered, with a quiet rebrand ditching one of the platform’s biggest attractions since the launch of the original console
The Xbox dashboard quietly changed over recent days to remove references for uploading gameplay screenshots to Xbox Live, instead referring to an “Xbox network”.
Participants in the beta program spotted the change and revealed the new name on social media.
Microsoft later confirmed to tech-site The Verge that it was rebranding the service.
“‘Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement,” a company spokesperson told the publication.
“The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”
The ability to play games online, which was the main attraction for Xbox Live to begin with, is obviously not going away, but it is going to get cheaper for some gamers.
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Xbox Live Gold has been required to play games online, but Microsoft is also planning to ditch the requirement for “free-to-play” games like the hugely popular Fortnite, although it’s not yet clear when that change will come into effect.
It comes after Microsoft tried to jack up the prices of the service, a plan it abandoned within hours following a huge backlash.
Microsoft quickly admitted it “messed up” when it tried to raise the prices.
The new rebrand to Xbox network inspired many comparisons to Sony’s equivalent PlayStation network branding.
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It could also signal a further push to the Xbox Game Pass service Microsoft is seeking to grow in the future.
Game Pass provides day-one access to some new games and a library of others, and has previously included an Xbox Live Gold subscription in its $15.95 a month Ultimate tier.