Xbox One owners are currently dealing with a pretty severe Xbox Live issue that’s making Microsoft’s console difficult to use for anything at all. Many people (just take a look at the Xbox One subreddit) are reporting seeing a black screen shortly after their console boots up. Others are having issues accessing save data. Microsoft has tweeted that it’s aware of the “Xbox One console startup, title update, and sign-in errors” and will provide updates as it can. It’s pointing people to the system status page, but that’s also down at the moment.
We are aware of reports of Xbox One console startup, title update and sign-in errors. We will keep everyone informed once we have more information to share. Thank you all for your patience.
— Xbox Support (@XboxSupport) January 30, 2019
You don’t need to be alarmed that your console hardware is having problems: as far as we can tell, this is purely an Xbox Live and software issue — albeit a bad one that’s basically making the Xbox One unusable for affected customers at the moment.
Xbox Live servers down? Turned on Xbox, nornal start up welcoming screen, then goes to home page and instant black screen. Can hear as I navigate around and such. Anybody else having issues?
— LG (@LukeGross10) January 30, 2019
xbox servers is down on the coldest day in history.
I’ve never wanted a girlfriend more than today.
— Thelonious Martin™ (@KingThelonious) January 30, 2019
Some have reported that unplugging from Ethernet allows the console to start up normally since it’s not making any connection to Live. But if your console is set to a Wi-Fi network, a workaround might be more challenging until Microsoft fixes this. Fortunately, the company seems to have pinpointed the problem and is in the process of resolving it:
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
But the situation is another reminder of how deeply woven into Xbox hardware the online service is. If the whole system can go haywire when something’s wrong with Xbox Live, maybe that link is a little too direct. Xbox chief Phil Spencer has previously acknowledged that some aspects of the Xbox are too dependent upon Microsoft’s services running smoothly at all times.