The Xbox community is a loyal bunch, so much so that the Xbox brand alone is a big part of what causes Xbox 360 owners to move on to the Xbox One. Over the holidays last year, the number of Xbox One owners increased, as young and old gamers alike set up their new systems for a relaxing time spent playing games, but the actions of a few ruined the enjoyment of many more via DDoS attacks. Both Xbox Live and PSN suffered issues, and after a time, both were back up and functioning as normal, but the damage had been done, leaving people concerned about such a thing happening again.
Xbox Live asks a lot of its users - especially Gold members - including the sharing of passwords, email addresses and credit card information. As such, people expect things to run smoothly and, most importantly, unhindered, which is why the events of the recent holidays - among other similar events - cause people to become more protective than usual.
Microsoft and Sony have put in the effort to ensure that their respective services aren't harmed, as well as done well at keeping their communities well informed, be they performance issues or upcoming updates.
Speaking to Game Informer, Xbox Boss Phil Spencer reinforced his company's ongoing commitment to its users, saying that keeping Xbox Live in reliable shape is just as important as its security. He also stated that these very things have come up in his talks with Sony and Nintendo, and despite being rivals, even if one of their own services goes down, it's of no benefit to him.
"I don't think it's great when PSN goes down. It doesn't help me. All it does is put the fear and distrust from any gamer that's out there, so I look at all of us together as this is our collective opportunity to share what we can about what we're learning and how things are growing. Those conversations happen, which I think is great."
Spencer also discussed another Xbox One-related topic that's been in the public eye recently, specifically the launch and post-launch status of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It's no secret that the Halo collection had a rough couple of months, but according to the Xbox Head, all pre-launch tests supported the idea that the game was ready to release. Of course, that wasn't the case, and as he put it, "you can't simulate the real-world environment completely inside of any sterile, fixed environment."
The latest update for the Master Chief Collection issued a number of stability and bug fixes, but was largely focused on the matchmaking system, which continues to be one of the bigger problems plaguing the game.
"The thing I'm proud of is how committed the team is to solving this problem – that commitment to delivering what our customers want is great.
"The team has stayed on this and they have more of a plan for the future - to continue to make it better."
Looking ahead to Halo 5: Guardians, opinions of the game are sure to be affected by the MCC's performance, but the feedback gained from the extremely early beta earlier this year will hopefully help the full game's own launch. Gamers spent a decent chunk of time figuring the game out and telling 343 Industries what their likes/dislikes are, as well as what needs fixing.
Microsoft might have Sony beat when it comes to early access - between the beta for Halo 5 and the preview program for the Xbox One's monthly updates, it's only a matter of time before system level issues become big surprises. Whether or not it's easing the concerns of Xbox One owners is questionable, however, but it's definitely better than an alternative in which MS doesn't care.