Xbox Live is back after hours-long major outage

Even consoles can no longer escape the Internet, even if you play games offline. In addition to actual online gameplay, console platforms require you to go online and sign in to your account for some activities and features, especially when buying digital copies of games. That, of course, means that when those remote servers go down, gamers suddenly find themselves locked out of certain experiences, just like what happened with Xbox Live for more than a few hours.

Xbox Live is Microsoft's all-in-one platform for everything related to the cloud. That includes not just online multiplayer or purchasing content but also party chat and parental controls. So when Xbox Live goes down, gamers lose some functionality that may be essential to their games.

That's what happened when Xbox gamers suddenly found themselves unable to log into their accounts. It eventually spread out to affect other Xbox Live services. Eventually, it was reported that the same outage affected Windows and mobile as well, practically anywhere you could or needed to sign in to an Xbox Live account.

Although not exactly rare, today's outage earned notoriety for how long it took to fix it. It started at around 3 p.m. ET and it wouldn't be until six hours later for the Xbox Live status page to go all green again.

The good news is that it is now all fixed and users will be able to sign in and buy games once more. As always, Xbox remains mum on what took caused the service to go down but hopefully, it's more of a technical error rather than some nefarious incident. At least for now, all is good again in the Xbox world.