Satire: Xbox Live prepares for its 'annual' holiday weekend outage [update]

Update: The joke's on us, folks. The source article is, of course, satirical -- something we conveyed rather poorly in the story below. We've seen no signs of Xbox Live so much as flinching this holiday, so far, and it has continued to provide us with a legitimate excuse to ignore that one cousin that nobody seems to know but someone keeps inviting for Christmas lunch. If you can give us your forgiveness for the error, that would be a really fine gift.

Can't wait to get home to the family for the holiday this weekend ... and then completely ignore them with a Left 4 Dead 2 marathon on Xbox Live? You're not the only one. Microsoft is bracing itself for a flood of online gameplay this weekend, including players trying catch up on all of the games they were too busy (baking cookies and wrapping presents) to play since November, as well as all the new folks who just unwrapped new games from under the tree. It's become a holiday tradition -- last year two years, the outage lasted for 11 days, from the weekend before Christmas to the end of the year, and spawned not only a free game, but a class action lawsuit to boot.

Previously, the problem was compounded by most of the tech staff being offline with their families, but this year, we're sure Microsoft has both servers and staff on notice to solve problems the second a clatter happens to arise. And if not, maybe we'll get another free game. Hopefully one better than Undertow.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.