Xbox Live Maintenance

New Xbox Live services and upgrades are coming from October 18th onwards. What exactly will change isn’t known yet. Here a summary from Xbox Support posted in the official forums:

The Xbox Live service and Xbox.com will be offline for routine maintenance for approximately 24 hours beginning at 3pm (GMT+8), October 17th. During this time, users will be unable to sign in to Xbox Live, create new Xbox Live profiles or access Xbox Live account management. The Xbox.com website will also be unavailable during this time.

From the official downtime announcement page, we get further details about the downtime itself and clues about what’s coming up. I consider this bit quite important as it suggests there will be a hardware and/or network change/upgrade going on. A mere server replacement wouldn’t cause such a trouble:

For the first hour or two that Xbox.com and Xbox Live are down, you’ll get error messages—when you hit Xbox.com you’ll see a Server Not Available message, and if you try to connect to Xbox Live you’ll get the "can’t connect" message. Don’t freak. It’s not your account, your computer, your browser, or your ISP. It’s us. After a couple hours you will see a "We’re down for maintenance" page on Xbox.com and a similar message on your Xbox console.

Another hot trace would be:

Because we’re adding some cool stuff. (…) Secret cool stuff that we’ll tell you about when we’re back online October 18. Other stuff we’ll be talking about later in the fall.

Fall? What’s happening in fall? Sharpening the knifes for Nintendo’s upcoming Wii in November and looking better for any attempts to compare Playstation 3 with Xbox 360? The timing is good as there will be time to fix any bugs before the battle begins, and it isn’t too long in advance to be worn off either. Funny to read and actually coming up with some good suggestions is the "Top Ten Things to do on October 17 2006" list:

  1. Boost your gamerscore. That’s right, you can still earn achievements when you’re offline. Your achievements will be uploaded to the Xbox Live service when it becomes available.
  2. Bust out your big black buddy original Xbox. There are still awesome games coming out for Xbox®. In fact Destroy All Humans!™ 2 comes out on Tuesday October 17. That’s pretty good timing.
  3. Go shopping! We’ve had a boatload of great games and accessories release in the last few weeks. Check out LEGO® Star Wars II®: The Original Trilogy, Xbox Live Vision Camera, Test Drive® Unlimited, and lots of other great stuff. Make your local retailer very happy.
  4. Nominate a friend for the Gamer Spotlight. TriXie’s email will still be working, so drop her a line at xlmail@microsoft.com and tell her who you think needs some attention on Xbox.com.
  5. Listen to Xbox podcasts. Visit Gamertag Radio, XBLRadio, SquadXP, and Unscripted360, just to name a few. We’d suggest Major Nelson’s ‘cast, but we know everyone’s already listened to all of his!
  6. Study up on October 17 history. Here are some examples of momentous events that occurred on 10/17:
    • 1931: Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion.
    • 1933: Physicist Albert Einstein arrived in the United States as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
    • 1945: Col. Juan Peron staged a coup, becoming absolute ruler of Argentina.
    • 1979: Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  7. Birthdays! October 17 is also the birthday of Rita Hayworth, Evel Knievel, Mike Judge, Eminem, and Superman creator Jerry Siegel! It’s a great opportunity to use Xbox 360™ for more than games—watch the Shawshank Redemption, Beavis and Butthead, and Superman: the Movie.
  8. Holiday anyone? Hoist a glass in honor of The United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (just don’t waste any) and Black Poetry Day in the U.S.
  9. Talk to your significant other. Remember them? You last spoke about 11 months ago when you got your Xbox 360 console. Just don’t say anything like, "Have you gained weight?"
  10. Make your holiday wish list. HD DVD anyone? How about the Wireless Headset and Wireless Racing Wheel? How about that cool new Zune thingamagig and the cool accessories to go with it? Don’t forget Gears of War®, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent™, and Viva Piñata!
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