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"Unprecedented" Sky Player Demand On Xbox 360 Caused Problems

Microsoft and Sky have had to issue a statement to explain why the Sky Player for the Xbox 360 console had to be pulled abruptly from Xbox Live, hours after it was launched.

In a statement issued earlier today, both companies explain that "many tens of thousands of customers" tried to sign up within the first hour of launch and because Microsoft and Sky did not expect to see such a high level of demand, the system crashed, leaving them with no other choice than to suspend all access to the service.

Instead, Sky player is likely to be rolled out in stages (Microsoft, on the Xbox update page, says that they have implemented a "revised roll out") to avoid a repeat of the cock-up. The Sky Player option, which was first announced back in May 2009, will see Xbox Live Gold members get access to Sky content on demand.

24 channels will be available at launch and the service will also be available for Windows 7 users on all three retail versions of the Microsoft operating system. The teething troubles, as some called it, were initially attributed to some bugs and it now seems unlikely that it was the case.

Our Comments

If they are overwhelmed now, what will it be when the service will reach a fraction of the Xbox and Sky customers, let say a few millions simultaneously. That's possibly 100 times more than the number of users that crashed the system two days ago.

Related Links

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Teething problems for Sky Player and Xbox 360 online TV (opens in new tab)


Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.