Earlier today, there were rumors that Microsoft was set to rename one of its most iconic services, Xbox Live. The name has always been the name of Microsoft’s online features dating back to the original Xbox when the service was launched in 2002. But everything is changing, and now it’s due for a name change, but it doesn’t appear. that anything functionally changes with it, at least from now on.
As reported by The Verge, Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox Live will be officially discontinued as a naming convention for their online network. Now, it can be a little confusing, but that doesn’t mean the end of the Xbox Live paywall. It is simply a name change of the online infrastructure. Xbox Live Gold’s subscription service will continue, although it’s unclear whether it will also change its name in the future. As a Microsoft spokesperson told Verge, “Xbox network” refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft service agreement. The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold subscriptions.
Xbox Live introduced online payment for console playback in 2002 and since then Sony and Nintendo have followed suit. There were rumors that online payments would disappear in the Xbox ecosystem, but that did not materialize. Whether this is a first step is for everyone to guess, although at this time it seems that nothing fundamental will really change.