Xbox Live suffers holiday hangover

Microsoft's online gaming service ends 2007 with more than a week of on-again, off-again outages.

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'Twas the night before Christmas when Xbox Live director of programming Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb updated his blog with the first of numerous bulletins about holiday hang-ups for Microsoft's online gaming service. Xbox 360 owners found the service suffering frequent and varied problems, from issues with signing in to problems in recovering accounts.

On December 29, Hryb updated his blog and said that "record numbers of new members signing up for Xbox Live and record numbers of players online" had contributed to the issues.

"While the service was never completely offline, problems like this are not acceptable," Hryb wrote. "The entire Live team has been working day and night to ensure that you can have a great Live experience. While we're not done yet, I wanted to let you know that things are getting better each hour and that no one on the team is going anywhere until the job is done."

A number of users reported continuing issues with the service today, from lengthy delays in performing basic Xbox Live functions to persisting matchmaking troubles. The last word about the outages from Hryb came in a Twitter post on his blog yesterday with an acknowledgement that things were still not working properly, but "appeared to be getting better."

A follow-up Twitter post this morning didn't directly address the Xbox Live problems, but did imply "As you can imagine, today is a flurry of meetings/activity etc." A Microsoft representative did not return GameSpot's request for comment on the issue or what, if any, actions will be taken to compensate Xbox Live Gold subscribers for the pay service's downtime.

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