I’ve been uber-hyped about the UFC’s new XBox app for a while now, mainly because I dream of a day where fans can pay 10 bucks a month and watch all the fights we want from the UFC’s vault on our goddamn television. Right now the app is just a glorified PPV buying system, but I’m sure it’ll get there. Slowly, if how things have started are any indication. Here’s what was sent out 10 minutes before UFC 141 even started:
Ruh-roh. The app’s maiden voyage ended up like the Titanic, sans even Kate Winslet boobehs. Here’s someone from vidgame site Bitmob describing the situation:
As some of you might’ve heard (especially if you followed all my frustrated Tweets last Friday evening), UFC 141 was a complete disaster on Xbox Live. Due to technical issues with the 30,000 promotional freebies Microsoft had sent out, the UFC on Xbox Live app wouldn’t load for a lot of people; would continuously crash or reset to an earlier point in that night’s event (with no way to fast forward to live broadcasting); would constantly switch between high definition, standard definition, and Vaseline-all-over-your-TV-screen definition (generally preferring the latter); would stutter and pause while trying to buffer; etc.
It was a huge mess and ensured that a lot of Xbox 360 owners won’t be using this system to watch future live events when cable pay-per-view is still a sure thing. I apologize if anyone out there paid for UFC 141 based on anything I wrote earlier and had a poor experience.
I asked Microsoft for the reasons behind the problems, and here is the official response from a spokesperson (at least those affected will get a make-up freebie in the future):
“The broadcast of UFC 141 through the UFC for Xbox LIVE application was hampered by technical issues appearing in the hours leading up to the fight. Despite restoring service to some users during the course of UFC 141, there is a great deal of room for improvement. All 30,00 users who registered to view UFC 141 for free will be provided access to a future fight at no cost.”
Say what you will about the bloodsucking cable companies, but at the very least you don’t have to worry (much) about your event going 8-bit and crapping out for 1001 various technical reasons when you go through them. This muck-up is all pretty surprising for UFC fans because we’re used to this kind of thing actually working – the company has been doing a stellar job streaming prelims and events for a few years now. Let’s hope this is just a small bump in the road towards the UFC app kicking ass and taking names. Having what amounts to a ‘Netflix of MMA’ would just be so badass.