Xbox One users found their consoles temporarily bricked this morning

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,398   +553
Staff member

Twitter and Reddit lit up with users claiming that despite several soft and hard resets, their XB1s just wouldn’t start. One player claimed he almost got his to fire up by pressing the Xbox button and A. However, that ultimately led to a screen telling him he needed to update his software and that the update was “not available at this time.”

By 10 am, Xbox Support had acknowledged that it was aware of the problem and was investigating the situation to determine the cause. Xbox Program Manager Brad Rossetti piped in about thirty minutes later saying they had discovered the problem.

Apparently, a "service change" caused the black screens. Rossetti said they were working on rolling back the change, but there was no definite time frame. As of now the problem persists, but it might be fixed by the time of this publication.

Outages like this are frustrating, but are not uncommon. Both Sony and Microsoft deal with service interruptions on a somewhat regular basis. However, most of the time they can restore service fast enough that most don’t even realize there was a problem. For those that do notice there is always gnashing of teeth and threats to switch consoles.

The grass is always greener until you're on the other side.

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psycros

Posts: 3,133   +3,245
Strange how these things manage to get by all testing. I always assumed that companies with so many active systems, be they consoles or PCs, would have a bunch of test units and/or VMs set up with various configurations to run automated tests on. Presumably after any bugs had been discovered and dealt with the real update deployment would happen. Maybe its not like this at all..?
 

m4a4

Posts: 1,814   +1,546
TechSpot Elite
Strange how these things manage to get by all testing. I always assumed that companies with so many active systems, be they consoles or PCs, would have a bunch of test units and/or VMs set up with various configurations to run automated tests on. Presumably after any bugs had been discovered and dealt with the real update deployment would happen. Maybe its not like this at all..?
It's more complex than that. There's a lot of stuff that could go wrong and the IT guys are only human.

As a programmer, my basic understanding of online systems says it's one area of systems where I give plenty of slack when things go wrong (as long as they're not reckless/careless about it).
Just last weekend EA had a blunder with their game Anthem (seemingly affecting their core online systems too), and just the other day Epic had problems with logging in. And I've beta tested plenty of other online games that needed to test their online stuff (and for good reason).
So basically, it can happen to anyone (despite their best efforts).
 

paynetrain007

Posts: 92   +10
Strange how these things manage to get by all testing. I always assumed that companies with so many active systems, be they consoles or PCs, would have a bunch of test units and/or VMs set up with various configurations to run automated tests on. Presumably after any bugs had been discovered and dealt with the real update deployment would happen. Maybe its not like this at all..?
It's more complex than that. There's a lot of stuff that could go wrong and the IT guys are only human.

As a programmer, my basic understanding of online systems says it's one area of systems where I give plenty of slack when things go wrong (as long as they're not reckless/careless about it).
Just last weekend EA had a blunder with their game Anthem (seemingly affecting their core online systems too), and just the other day Epic had problems with logging in. And I've beta tested plenty of other online games that needed to test their online stuff (and for good reason).
So basically, it can happen to anyone (despite their best efforts).

That makes sense in the PC realm when dealing with massive different types of hardware... But when you are on a console and you have a problem that basically bricks every console... that never should have gotten by testing.
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,103   +5,355
Strange how these things manage to get by all testing. I always assumed that companies with so many active systems, be they consoles or PCs, would have a bunch of test units and/or VMs set up with various configurations to run automated tests on. Presumably after any bugs had been discovered and dealt with the real update deployment would happen. Maybe its not like this at all..?
It's more complex than that. There's a lot of stuff that could go wrong and the IT guys are only human.

As a programmer, my basic understanding of online systems says it's one area of systems where I give plenty of slack when things go wrong (as long as they're not reckless/careless about it).
Just last weekend EA had a blunder with their game Anthem (seemingly affecting their core online systems too), and just the other day Epic had problems with logging in. And I've beta tested plenty of other online games that needed to test their online stuff (and for good reason).
So basically, it can happen to anyone (despite their best efforts).
The only problem with giving online systems more slack is when people rely on them. How in the world are you going to convince people to buy your products when you essentially tell them "Yep chances are we are going to screw up at some point and it's going to ruin millions of people's day". If they are going to be making a service they know intrinsically has a higher chance of failure, perhaps they should include an alternate operation mode?
 
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Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 235   +266
Strange how these things manage to get by all testing. I always assumed that companies with so many active systems, be they consoles or PCs, would have a bunch of test units and/or VMs set up with various configurations to run automated tests on. Presumably after any bugs had been discovered and dealt with the real update deployment would happen. Maybe its not like this at all..?
It's more complex than that. There's a lot of stuff that could go wrong and the IT guys are only human.

As a programmer, my basic understanding of online systems says it's one area of systems where I give plenty of slack when things go wrong (as long as they're not reckless/careless about it).
Just last weekend EA had a blunder with their game Anthem (seemingly affecting their core online systems too), and just the other day Epic had problems with logging in. And I've beta tested plenty of other online games that needed to test their online stuff (and for good reason).
So basically, it can happen to anyone (despite their best efforts).

That makes sense in the PC realm when dealing with massive different types of hardware... But when you are on a console and you have a problem that basically bricks every console... that never should have gotten by testing.
The problem has more to do with varying server environments, not client environments. Netflix is on the forefront here and has gotten ridiculously automated with rebuilding environments so that they can add, remove, and transition software and infrastructure on the fly. In order to deliver such huge bandwidth to so many clients scattered everywhere in the world in reasonable amounts of time, they've had to tackle this more than anybody. YouTube is probably right behind them.

That said, the bug that happened to clients (Xbox consoles) was probably an obscure issue caused by a server issue never seen before by Microsoft.
 
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m4a4

Posts: 1,814   +1,546
TechSpot Elite
The only problem with giving online systems more slack is when people rely on them. How in the world are you going to convince people to buy your products when you essentially tell them "Yep chances are we are going to screw up at some point and it's going to ruin millions of people's day". If they are going to be making a service they know intrinsically has a higher chance of failure, perhaps they should include an alternate operation mode?
I'm not saying that I let everything slide, but if something weird happens every-so-often, that's actually not surprising with how complex they are. Similar for if they're testing out the services for the first time (or scaling up).
But if they're constantly down or bugged, or part of something critical (not online gaming systems lol), then yeah, I'll give them flak.

The more complex something is, the more that could potentially go wrong. Even if you rely on it.
Also keep in mind that these online systems can evolve quickly, and when something goes wrong it can be fixed much faster. The more critical services won't be updated nearly as quick.
 

Dosahka

Posts: 215   +83
The problem has more to do with varying server environments, not client environments. Netflix is on the forefront here and has gotten ridiculously automated with rebuilding environments so that they can add, remove, and transition software and infrastructure on the fly. In order to deliver such huge bandwidth to so many clients scattered everywhere in the world in reasonable amounts of time, they've had to tackle this more than anybody. YouTube is probably right behind them.

That said, the bug that happened to clients (Xbox consoles) was probably an obscure issue caused by a server issue never seen before by Microsoft.
This make sense, but why Online Game makers can do this? to go modular, anytime goes something wrong or want to replace it will need less time and effort to keep others alive.
I know I know at some point it will be diminishing return, but when you can separate like an MMORPGs into so many systems to make sure when PvP is down not the whole game is down and you sent back to the character selection screen or forcibly signed out with a common error (no Login server or server is down...etc).
I don't think that's too hard to fine tune it into smaller parts until it's worth it. It's true they have spend a bit more on it so they can't keep more money...sooo bad.
 

Hellbishop

Posts: 25   +14
Always Online Console?
That's what I'm wondering, if my PS4 doesn't have Internet access, it still loads up and let's me play a game...
My younger friend has been having issues not getting internet access with his PS4 for the past two weeks. I tried to tell him it is probably something on their side and to give it some time but he just had to be online even though he could play offline. He brought a new router which he eventually returned, he called the PS4 Network, he called Optimum Online, he took a long train ride to the Optimum office etc. Finally he listened to me when he was disconnected again last night giving it some time and voila! This morning he was back online where he furiously played some sports games before heading out to work.

Makes me glad I grew up in the 1970s when everything was offline and the internet was a hobbyist thing just like ham radio. Though it does make one appreciate how insanely fast things have evolved something the current generation of chronic complainers does not seem to realize just how good they have it.
 

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