Xbox Live is now being referred to as “Xbox network,” at least on some consoles, in a change that Microsoft has yet to respond to or acknowledge.
Microsoft reporter Tom Warren was among the first to notice the change. The dashboard on Xbox now refers to Xbox Live as the “Xbox network,” prompting speculation that Microsoft might be considering a name change for its online service. GameSpot can confirm having seen this name change as well, though it’s worth noting our system–an Xbox Series X–is enrolled in the Xbox Insider program that receives updates early before they roll out publicly.
It’s immediately noticeable and odd that word “network” is not capitalized. If “Xbox Network” was the new name for Xbox Live, one would imagine the n in network would be capitalized.
Lending further fuel to the speculation that Xbox Live branding is going away is the fact that Microsoft spokesperson Larry Hryb has changed his YouTube channel name from “Larry Hryb, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson” to “Larry Hryb, Xbox’s Major Nelson.”
Microsoft caught a lot of heat earlier this year when it announced a price hike for Xbox Live Gold–a move that the company swiftly reversed. Not only that, but Microsoft announced it was dropping the Xbox Live Gold requirement for free-to-play games. Some people believe Microsoft is looking to phase out Xbox Live entirely, as the company focuses on its future with Xbox Game Pass.
Whether or not that comes to be is another story. We’ve contacted Microsoft in an attempt to get more details, and we’ll report back with anything we hear.
For more on Xbox, check out GameSpot’s list of the best Xbox Series X games you can play right now and the full list of Xbox Game Pass titles.