Company exec hints at difficulties in meeting customer demand as pre-orders more than double that of previous console.
Emanuel Jumatate, from Chicago, hugs his new Xbox One after he purchased it at a Best Buy on the day of its launch. Photograph: Nam Y. Huh/AP.
Microsoft’s Xbox One launch was marred by problems with its online services early on Friday which took down the official website Xbox.com, as well as microsoft.com and Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based software service.
Users were shown error messages referencing a DNS failure.
A spokesman said services are now fully restored and said it would update customers once the cause was found, though previously component failure and a certification issue have caused outages for Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform.
The Register speculated that an internal DNS issue may be to blame but was told by Microsoft that it was still investigating.
“We can confirm that these issues were not caused by Windows Azure. We will keep our customers updated as information becomes available. The service interruption that affected Windows Azure Storage was a separate issue and has been resolved. All Windows Azure services are running as normal.”
Mervyn Kelly, marketing director at infrastructure firm Ciena, said that particularly in the US, the success of internet-connected, data-hungry games consoles would depend on the underlying network.
“Without realising it, average households are beginning to slide into domestic data usage patterns that would mark them out as power users,” said Kelly.
“The growth in demand for data-heavy networked and multiplayer games, online television and rich content sourced from the internet, all over a computer console, will undoubtedly make an impact on networks and data centres.”
Separately, Xbox vice president Phil Harrison appeared to admit that the company would struggle to meet consumer demand for the console, telling the site MCV that “there will be difficulty getting stock through until Christmas but we will do everything we can to accelerate that”.
“Our job on a tactical level is to ensure we get enough supply to retailers and customers as we possibly can to meet demand, and that will be a struggle but we are doing our best,” said Harrison.
A spokesman said: “We have been blown away with the demand for Xbox One by our fans. Pre-orders are over double the amount when we launched Xbox 360. We are doing everything we can to make sure Xbox fans have an Xbox One under the tree this Christmas but they should definitely shop early this year.”
He pointed to an interview with Harvey Eagle, Xbox marketing head, which explained that any short supply would be determined by whether individual retailers chose to hold back stock or not.
“We have been clear with retailers in telling them their day one allocation,” Eagle told MCV in an interview earlier this week.
“It’s the retailer’s decision whether they hold back any stock for on-shelves. Currently pre-orders are in excess of supply, but ultimately we leave those kind of decisions to retailers.”