“’Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement,” a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed in a statement to The Verge. “The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold memberships.”
Microsoft had hinted about the name change through its Services Agreement in August 2020 but didn’t make an official announcement yet. Xbox network, formerly Xbox Live, is the company’s online service that lets gamers play online, interact with friends, and download games. Without this, users cannot access any Internet-based service on the consoles.
Microsoft is also reportedly planning to remove the Xbox Live subscription requirement for free-to-play games like Fortnite and Apex Legends in the future. However, the company hasn’t announced when the paywall for the games will be removed.
In other Xbox-related news, EA Play was introduced to Xbox Game Pass free-of-cost to subscribers first on Xbox and then subsequently to subscribers on Windows. This brings titles like FIFA 20, Need for Speed Heat, Battlefield V, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to subscribers.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Which is the best “next-gen” console in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.