Update: Microsoft seems to have resolved the issue.
We've just received word that users should be able to complete purchases again. We appreciate your reports. We're here & we're listening. https://t.co/QKYsuRUTST
— Xbox Support (@XboxSupport) January 2, 2020
Original Story: Over the holidays, many gamers found a shiny new Xbox One under the tree. New owners are likely in the mood to start filling the console's hard drive with all kinds of digital goodies, but some Xbox owners are reporting issues with making purchases on the system's online store. According to Xbox Support, the issue is affecting some users who try to purchase "games, media and subscriptions." Microsoft has issued a statement that makes it sound as if the problem is on a smaller scale, so it's impossible to know for sure just how many people have been impacted, as of this writing.
We're aware that some users are having an issue purchasing games, media, and subscriptions. Our teams are aware and looking into this. We will update you here but in the meantime, you can find updates on our status page. https://t.co/dG2dbISiH7— Xbox Support (@XboxSupport) January 2, 2020
Unfortunately, this is the sort of problem that has become all too common in the digital age. Gamers that prefer to buy physical media shouldn't encounter any issues, but those who prefer buying digital, or even those who own the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, will be out of luck until the issue is resolved. It doesn't mean owners of the console can't access the games they already have downloaded, but it might cause some temporary frustration for those looking to make a new purchase.
As the gaming industry lurches towards what some see as an inevitable, all-digital future, moments like these should give gamers some pause. This problem for Xbox owners should end up resolved fairly quickly, but what happens when an issue like this crops up for a digital streaming service like Stadia, or a service like Microsoft's own Project xCloud? It will mean gamers will have no ability to play their console at all. Microsoft is clearly taking their time to make sure their digital streaming service does not face the same launch issues as Google's console, but some problems will inevitably come up. As the rush to abandon discs and cartridges behind increases, gamers should consider whether or not the trade-offs are truly worth it. It could just mean the difference between who gets to play and who doesn't.
Have you had any issues downloading anything on Xbox? How do you feel about digital purchases versus physical? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!