Xbox and PlayStation servers are not being shut down during school hours

25th Mar 2020

Claim

From 23 March until the foreseeable future, Microsoft and Sony will shut down their gaming servers during UK school hours.

Conclusion

This is not true. Microsoft and Sony haven’t announced these measures.

An image shared on Facebook falsely claims to be a BBC News story announcing that gaming servers from Microsoft and Sony will shut down during school hours in the UK from 23 March to “enable children to focus on their school work”. 

This post implies that multiplayer games that are played on Xbox (owned by Microsoft) and PlayStation (owned by Sony) would not work during school hours. 

This is not true.

We spoke to a representative from Microsoft, who said that it has not announced such measures. We have contacted Sony, but are yet to receive a response.

The post claims that the shutdown began on 23 March and will last “until the foreseeable future”. To check if this was true, staff at Full Fact logged onto online games using both consoles on 24 March, and can confirm that they were able to gain access during school hours. 

There have been reports that an increase in the number of players since the new coronavirus outbreak have led to disruptions in online gaming.

We aim for our fact checks to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible. If you think we've made an error or missed some relevant information, please email team@fullfact.org.

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