Microsoft apologizes for cloud outage with free month of Xbox Live Gold

Xbox Live screenshot

This weekend Microsoft ran into a glitch in its Xbox Live online service. For reasons that are currently (and will likely remain) unknown, the system’s online cloud save option ceased to function. As a result, those gamers who use the cloud service to store and move their game saves were unable to access their vital data. Given the size of modern games, losing one’s save can be a massive headache, particularly if it seems that the issue stems from nothing you did, but instead resulted from the actions of a company that you trusted with your data.

Microsoft knows this and, quickly realizing what a public relations hit this mistake might cause, has moved quickly to rectify the situation. This morning Xbox figurehead Major Nelson announced that the cloud storage service is once again completely functional, but more crucially, he also made it known that the company will be offering a free month of Xbox Live Gold service to anyone who was affected by the issue.

To wit, an official apology from Xbox Live general manager Alex Garden:

We want to thank all of our Xbox LIVE members impacted by the Cloud Saved Games service issue for your patience and understanding. It took longer than we expected to get back to full performance as we needed to ensure the integrity of everyone’s game saves. Whether you couldn’t access your game saves for a couple of hours or a couple of days, we sincerely apologize for the delay and inconvenience. We will be automatically applying a one-month extension to the Xbox LIVE Gold memberships of everyone who was impacted. We can assure you we’ll also be doing a thorough post mortem to help prevent this from happening again.

If you happen to be among those negatively impacted by this weekend’s issues, the good news is that you don’t need to do anything to reap the rewards of your momentary inconvenience. Microsoft claims that it has the usernames of everyone afflicted and will be automatically applying the extra month of Xbox Live Gold service to their accounts. 

While this isn’t exactly a positive endorsement for the Xbox Live cloud storage service, we’re glad to see Microsoft move on this issue so quickly, and more importantly it does serve as a handy reminder for console owners that periodic data backups can save your life. In the grand scheme of things a Skyrim save isn’t critical to your existence, but had you taken a few extra moments to mirror the save onto your console’s hard drive (which is exceedingly easy, given how the system is set up), you wouldn’t have spent last weekend raging against Microsoft and occupying your free time by spending time with loved ones.

Gaming

Eat your way to a limited-edition Xbox One X in new Taco Bell contest

If you like the idea of a limited-edition Xbox One X that makes Taco Bell's famous "bong" sound every time it starts up, then you need to enter a new contest launched by the fast-food chain and Microsoft without delay.
Music

How much is Spotify Premium, and how can you get it at a discount?

Having access to millions of songs comes at a price -- albeit, a pretty small one. Before you figure out how much is Spotify Premium going to cost you, you will want to see if you qualify for a discounted (or even free) subscription.
Home Theater

What is Hulu with Live TV? Here’s everything you need to know

Hulu with Live TV is a different take on a live TV streaming service, directly integrating live TV into the Hulu app you already know and perhaps love. We've put together a guide with everything you need to know about the service.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

Dinner is cancelled! How to keep Call of Duty's zombies from eating your brain

New to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Zombies mode and don't know how to succeed? We've got the tips you need to blast away at the undead and keep yourself alive for longer, even without other players helping.
Computing

'World's best gaming processor'? We put Intel's new i9 through the ringer

Intel has launched the first Core i9 for the average gamer. Despite some controversies around its release, it’s the fastest gaming processor we’ve yet tested.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

Who needs a sharpshooter when you have our 'Fortnite' shooting gallery guide

Fortnite season 6, week 4 challenges are here and with it comes the shooting gallery challenge. We show you where to find the shooting gallery locations and what kind of guns to use.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for October 2018

Looking to score Nintendo's latest hybrid console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on stand-alone consoles as well as bundles that feature games like Fortnite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Gaming

Rockstar Games employees defend work culture following controversy

Rockstar Games employees have taken to social media to speak out about working conditions following the controversial comment about 100-hour work weeks made by co-founder Dan Houser in an interview.
Home Theater

They’re not just for gaming: Watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X

While the Xbox One S and Xbox One X boost the visuals of your games, they also can pull double-duty as Blu-ray players, but there's a bit of set up needed. Need help? Here's our guide on how to watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and X.
Gaming

More days gone: Sony moves zombie exclusive ‘Days Gone’ to April

Sony has delayed the PlayStation 4 exclusive Days Gone to April. It was previously bumped from a 2018 release window into February, 2019, but Sony Bend apparently needs more time to add polish.