Xbox Live Archive


Lizard Squad claims responsbility for yesterday's Xbox Live attack *updated*

Lizard Squad Hits Xbox Live with DDoS Attack

Update: After our story went live, a Twitter user claiming to be a member of Lizard Squad informed XBLA Fans that the cyber attack on Xbox Live took place between 9:00 and 11:00 pm UTC on Sunday. In a follow-up tweet, he stated that the alleged perpetrators "did manage to fix the lower restrictive server that allowed local play to be revived in a couple of hours." Our original story is below.

Many gamers, including some XBLA Fans staffers, experienced difficulty playing multiplayer games over Xbox Live last night. If you were one of them, you now know who to blame for your woes.

Lizard Squad, the same collective of nefarious internet users behind attacks that brought Xbox Live to its knees this past holiday, has claimed responsibility for the network problems. In conjunction with the group Like No Other, Lizard Squad apparently hit Xbox Live with another shot from its weapon of choice: a DDoS attack.

Though XBL appears to have since fully recovered from the attack, this may have just been the opening salvo of Lizard Squad's latest offensive. "More to come, it's about time to re-ignite lizardsquad," the group tweeted last night. Gamers may recall that the biggest holiday DDoS attack was preceded by a smaller one.

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Xbox Live founder leaves Microsoft


Boyd Multerer has left Microsoft after 17 years of working for the company. He marked the occasion by tweeting, "Goodbye Microsoft. It was a good run. Xbox was Great! Time to do something new". He leaves behind a long legacy of accomplishments, most importantly the creation of Xbox Live.

According to Polygon, Multerer began his career at Microsoft in 1997. In 2000, he lead the development team that created Xbox Live for the original Xbox. He later became the product manager for XNA, paving the way for independent game developers to create for Xbox 360. Most recently he was the director of development, overseeing the design and development of the Xbox One. His tenure at Microsoft was impressive, playing a large part in the making of the Xbox consoles and experiences we've loved over the years.

Source: @BoydMulterer via Polygon


Lizard Squad members apprehended by authorities

Lizard Squad Xbox Live DDoS Attack

Like millions of other Xbox gamers, you may have had trouble logging onto Xbox Live during Christmas. That's because both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network were victimized by DDoS attacks that took them offline, but authorities may be closing in on the parties responsible.

YLE reported last week that a supposed member of Lizard Squad, the group claiming responsibility for the attacks, had been apprehended by Finnish authorities. A 17-year old identified only as "Ryan" was brought in for questioning, but Chief Inspector Tero Muurman of Finland's National Bureau of Investigation has since stated that Ryan was not detained, only questioned about his possible involvement.

During his questioning, Ryan denied direct involvement in the attack, claiming to only be a spokesperson for Lizard Squad. He played the part during an interview with Sky News in which he said the actual team of attackers consisted of only one or two individuals.

Although Ryan said the group may contain members younger than the age of 20, one of them may be 22-year old Vinnie Omari, who The Daily Dot reports was arrested by UK authorities on December 29 in connection to the DDoS attacks. Omari was later released on bail, with no formal charges having yet been filed. Omari told the Dot that a forensics team was pouring over his "Xbox one, phones, laptops, computer USBs, etc."

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Halo: Nightfall trailer debuts at Comic-Con

Attendees of the San Diego Comic-Con were treated to a sneak peak of Halo: Nightfall.  The production is “led by world class talent such as executive producer Ridley Scott, Scott Free TV President David Zucker, award-winning director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (Battlestar Galactica, Pillars of the Earth, Heroes), and written by Paul Scheuring (A Man Apart, Prison Break).”  Microsoft looks to give Halo fans something to get excited about in the time between major releases.

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Xbox Live is having issues

Xbox Live

If you are having trouble on Xbox Live using accessing your purchased content or using streaming services like Netflix or Twitch, you're not alone. Microsoft has issued service alerts for territories including the US, Europe and Australia to let us know their teams are working on the problems.

The issues span both Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as well as other Xbox media-related devices and services. You can stay up-to-date on progress by checking the service alerts for your territory at the Xbox Support page.

Last week, we couldn't log into Xbox Live to do our livestream of Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, but eventually we got it working. Have you been affected? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Xbox Support via CVG US


Latest Xbox One system update brings auto-sign in, external storage and more

The latest system update for Xbox One rolled out last week, bringing with it a slew of new features. First and foremost are the Gold benefits, including Deals with Gold and the surprisingly excellent first free selections of Xbox One's Games with Gold. If you aren't a Gold member, you still have plenty of reasons to be happy. Apps such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and all 180+ others are no longer hiding behind the Gold paywall – now anyone with an Xbox will be able to access the full breadth of app experiences.

The system also now supports external storage, allowing you to increase the available space of your Xbox One via USB 3.0 hard drives. You'll also be able to set up an account to automatically sign in when your turn on your Xbox. Those are just some of the highlights – you can see all of the changes in the video above, or on the Xbox Newswire here.

If you haven't received the update yet, Major Nelson has info on how to force it to download.

Source: Major Nelson, Xbox Wire


Xbox One June update brings external storage and real name support

Continuing with its stated goal of giving gamers what they've been asking for, Microsoft announced today that the Xbox One's June system update will add functionality for external storage support and real names for friend identification.

Once the update arrives, Xbox One consoles will support up to two external USB 3.0 hard drives, provided the drives are at least 256 GB in size. This move will allow users to increase their storage space from the standard 500 GB available on the console's internal drive. After plugging in a compatible drive, players will be asked if they wish to format it and given the option to make it the default device.

In addition to storing more Xbox One content simultaneously, external drive support will give gamers the ability to drop full games, downloadable content and apps onto external drives and take said drives on the go for usage on a friend's console. Content can either be saved directly to external drives or copied over to them from the internal one. Digital content stored on external HDDs can be accessed on other consoles once the user has signed into Xbox Live. For retail games, the disc will have to be inserted in order to verify ownership.

Speaking of friends, real name support is aimed at making it easier for users to immediately identify who is who on their friends lists as those lists continue to grow up to 1,000 names in length. Microsoft is cognizant of the privacy concerns this move could potentially raise. The console holder will give each gamer the ability to choose whether all friends, some friends or no friends see their real name. Settings can be changed at any time and real names will not appear in-game.

Microsoft originally planned to support real name usage on launch day but ended up delaying the feature. Competitor Sony has supported actual names since launch on its PlayStation 4 console.

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Happy Wars gets even more joyful with latest update

Happy Wars Gold

The 13th title update for Happy Wars has been released. The upgrades and changes this time around include support items, which are consumables used to hasten the progress of a character; premium membership that gives different bonuses for an allocated time; and finally, item evolution, where items that reach level 10 can be transformed into an even grander version.

The item shop has also been revised to allow for the purchase of the aforementioned support items and premium memberships. However, item sets have been removed from the shop.

To celebrate this update and new content, there is an in-game event through April 30 during which players will receive an extra 30 percent added on to their multiplayer score, as well as the opportunity to get limited edition gold armor in a new Happy Cards Limited Edition set.

In addition to this update, developer Toy Logic has been busy preparing Happy Wars for a beta on Steam, from April 30 through May 13. More information and sign-ups are available here.

Source: PlayXBLA


Keeping Xbox Live running smoothly is a 24/7/365 job

Xbox Live Operations Center

This November will mark 12 years since the launch of Xbox Live, Microsoft's online gaming service that currently boasts more than 48 million global users. Ensuring all of those Live members are constantly connected with each other and enjoying all of the service's many features is paramount to delivering the Xbox experience gamers have come to expect. To pull it off, Microsoft has staffers working around the clock at its Xbox Live Operations Center (XOC) in Redmond, Washington, reports Total Xbox.

As part of their job function, XOC staffers respond to clear-cut problems. The majority of their time, however, is dedicated to ferreting out issues that no one knows about. Team members search for irregularities and investigate them to discover whether or not they are problems that need solving. They can't guess at whether something is a threat to uninterrupted Xbox Live service or not; they have to know. They have to find out.

Microsoft Gaming Ninja (yes, that's his real job title) Eric Neustadter informed Total Xbox that his team has to be ready for anything at all times. "It's a bit like being in the fire department or police, where you have to think through what would I do in [a worst case] scenario. My boss was in the fire department for years, and he went from doing that to running services like this. In a lot of ways, it is a similar mindset."

Redundancy is Neustadter's go-to tool for preventing an Xbox Live doomsday scenario. "We have all the things you need to run 24/7/365, like multiple power grids connected into the campus," he explained. "When that fails, we have diesel generators with huge tanks out there so that we can run for roughly 72 hours without power, and then we can bring in tankers with more diesel and refill the tanks while they're running. We also have a disaster recovery site… somewhere else on a different power grid with almost all of this replicated so we can go over there and work instead."

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New apps arrive for Xbox 360 and Xbox One

MLG App 2

A post on the Xbox Wire website reveals both new and updated apps for Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

The lion's share of the coverage details the Major League Gaming (MLG) app's release on Xbox 360.  With this app, Xbox Live Gold subscribers can view live streams of gaming tournaments, access an eSport report, as well as take in other original programming.  The most recent broadcast was for the Call of Duty Championship, which included a $1 million prize for the winning team.  Development of an Xbox One version is currently in progress.

Also on its way to Xbox One is MLB.TV.  Previously released and refreshed on Xbox 360, users who subscribe to both Xbox Live Gold and MLB.TV premium can watch all out-of-market regular season games for the 2014 season.

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