Times are changing, and as Microsoft dives into the next generation with two new consoles, a subscription service, and even cloud streaming, it looks like the company has decided that the old brands could use them with a little refresh. Microsoft announced that it is in the process of rebranding Xbox Live, although this branding will not completely disappear after this step. In fact, Microsoft appears to be re-naming Xbox Live in an attempt to differentiate between Xbox online systems and Xbox Live membership.
Going forward, Xbox Live will be known by the Xbox Network, and there are already references to this change popping up for Xbox Insiders. With this change, Microsoft appears to be planning to retain the Xbox Live branding for Gold memberships, while everything else related to online service will capture the Xbox Live branding.
It’s a little baffling, but a Microsoft spokesperson clarified the company’s mentality in a statement to the edge. The spokesperson said, “The Xbox Network” refers to the Xbox Core Online Service, which has been updated in the Microsoft Service Agreement. “The update from” Xbox Live “to the” Xbox Network “aims to distinguish the basic service from Xbox Live Gold membership.
Both online service and membership have held the Xbox Live title almost since the original Xbox was introduced. While Xbox did not have online service when it launched in November 2001, Xbox Live’s introduction wasn’t too late. Ultimately, it took Microsoft a year to get Xbox Live up and running on the original Xbox, and we’ve got it ever since.
Although this is a major change of branding for Microsoft, it doesn’t look like it will lead to any noticeable change for end users. However, although the Xbox Live branding will be hanging in some capacity, it’s hard to deny that this is the end of an era.