From now on, Microsoft officially will refer to Xbox Live as “Xbox network.” Despite the change of name, the corresponding Xbox Live Gold subscription service remains the same – you will still need it to play the games online. Microsoft informed that the name has been changed to help, separating the overall network from the subscription service it offers.
Tom Warren, the Microsoft reporter is the first among many to notice this change. The dashboard on Xbox now refers to Xbox Live as the “Xbox network,” prompting speculation that Microsoft might be coming with a change in name for its online services. It’s very much noticeable that the word “network” is not capitalized.
Seeing Xbox Live branding going away, Larry Hryb, the Microsoft spokesperson has changed his YouTube channel name from “Larry Hryb, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson” to “Larry Hryb, Xbox’s Major Nelson.”
However, the change is now acceptable than it might first appear. A spokesperson said in a statement shared with GameSpot, “’Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement. The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”
Microsoft attracted too many discussions earlier this year when it announced the price hike for Xbox Live Gold – a move that the company swiftly reversed. Microsoft also announced that it was dropping the Xbox Live Gold requirement for the free-to-play games. Few people believe that Microsoft is willing to phase out Xbox Live entirely, as the company does focus on its future with Xbox Game Pass.