After over 18 years, Microsoft will soon rename Xbox Live. The service will be called Xbox network. Some of the earliest mentions of the name change came from beta testers of Xbox’s new dashboard, however Microsoft has since confirmed the changes itself.
In a statement to The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “‘Xbox network’ refers to the underlying Xbox online service, which was updated in the Microsoft Services Agreement. The update from ‘Xbox Live’ to ‘Xbox network’ is intended to distinguish the underlying service from Xbox Live Gold Memberships.”
In other words, the service’s new name refers to the underlying system that connects the consoles to the internet, not the subscription players use for online games (which will still be called Xbox Live Gold). But it does still represent a change to a name that’s been around since the original Xbox back in 2002. It’s not clear when exactly this name change will take full effect.
This isn’t the only change Microsoft is bringing to its online services this year. The company briefly considered raising the price of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, but after fan outcry the idea was scrapped. Instead, Microsoft went so far in reverse to say that in the near future players won’t even need to pay for Xbox Live Gold to play free-to-play online games. According to Microsoft, this change is set to take effect at some point “in the coming months.”