‘Xbox Live’ is undergoing a big change

Microsoft’s Xbox Live service is in the process of rebranding. This catchall term for the systems’ online networking features has been around since the beginning, but that’s about to change. The service is now titled “Xbox network” in an attempt to more plainly portray its purpose. Microsoft believes that the change will help to distinguish between its behind-the-scenes networking framework and paid Xbox Live Gold subscriptions.

Is Xbox Live closing down?

Xbox Live closing down

Hints that Xbox Live was on its way out have been around for a while now. Last summer, the Microsoft Services Agreement received an update referring to the “Xbox online service” in place of its typical branding. The company denied that it was considering a name change at that time. Since then, however, users have noted the Xbox network branding on console hardware and shared proof via social media.

Despite some concerns, Xbox Live is not shutting down. The underlying networking features that keep online services functional are not facing discontinuation or any major changes. Microsoft is simply rebranding Xbox Live to the Xbox network in an effort to better communicate its purpose to customers.

When asked for comment, a Microsoft spokesperson finally gave confirmation to The Verge.

Whether or not Xbox Live Gold memberships will also undergo a name change remains to be seen. Maintaining the same branding will help to distance the subscription from the newly rebranded Xbox network, as intended. That said, it could potentially cause some confusion. If Microsoft has effectively discontinued Xbox Live via this rebrand, then users may see Xbox Live Gold memberships as being outdated.

Obviously, the rumors about Microsft discontinuing Xbox Live aren’t strictly true. Sony, on the other hand, really is closing down several storefronts. Despite the fact that PS3, PSP, and PS Vita games will no longer be available to purchase digitally, there won’t be any immediate effect on online multiplayer servers.

Looking to grab an Xbox Series X? Here’s the latest stock update.