Microsoft has seen a 775 per cent increase in demand for its cloud services, including Xbox Live, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an update on the official Microsoft Azure blog (thanks, VG24/7), Microsoft said that “in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place order" – countries and cities that are in lockdown, in other words – the company was seeing increases across all areas of its clouding business as people work, and play, at home.
"In response to health authorities emphasizing the importance of social distancing, we’ve seen usage increases in services that support these scenarios - including Microsoft Teams, Windows Virtual Desktop, and Power BI," the blog post said. "We have seen a 775 per cent increase of our cloud services in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders."
In a written Q&A that specifically asked if the strain of Xbox Live was impacting on other Microsoft servers, the blog responded: "We’re actively monitoring performance and usage trends to ensure we’re optimizing services for gamers worldwide. At the same time, we’re taking proactive steps to plan for high-usage periods, which includes taking prudent measures with our publishing partners to deliver higher-bandwidth activities like game updates during off-peak hours."
"Gaming is many things to many people around the world," further elaborated an update post on the Xbox Support page. "It’s entertainment, it’s connecting with friends and loved ones, it’s a much-needed break, especially in times like these.
"Like many of you, we’re adjusting to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our staff is a top priority at this time, but rest assured, we’re also committed to taking care of your Xbox support needs."
Consequently, the firm is experiencing heavy support volume at the moment, so "wait times may be longer than usual".
In related news, Sony recently confirmed that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has yet to have any major effects on the launch of the PS5, which is still planned for this holiday season.
Take a look back at the past 10 years with our pick of the best games of the decade.