RIP Xbox Live, welcome Xbox network. Microsoft has officially rebranded its Xbox online service to “Xbox network,” the company confirmed in a statement to The Verge.
“Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement,” a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed in a statement to The Verge. “The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”
Users began noticing the change this morning on the Xbox dashboard. On the upload page for Xbox Live, players are now being shown “Xbox network”. Microsoft launched the Xbox Live services in 2002 which allowed players to play games online for a fee. The service is no longer available on the original Xbox since last year.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers have access Xbox Live Gold subscription which is needed to play games online. While Xbox Live Gold costs $10 monthly, Xbox Game Pass costs $15 monthly. Earlier this year in an investor, Microsoft confirmed its Netflix-like gaming subscription service had garnered 18 million subscribers.
Microsoft announced a price hike for Xbox Live Gold which would have seen the price go from $60 annually to $120 but the company was forced to reverse the decision following a widespread backlash. Microsoft is also planning to make free-to-play games on its Xbox network really free without an Xbox Live Gold subscription.