The Xbox Live Marketplace was inoperable for a brief period last night, though Microsoft has insisted that the problems were not due to any kind of hack or intrusion.
Following the mystery disappearance of both the Xbox 360 and online version of Marketplace, MS issued the following press statement:
"Users may experience difficulties with the following services: browsing Indie games from the Xbox 360 console or Xbox.com, browsing the Games for Windows Live Marketplace on a PC, browsing Games Marketplace from the Xbox 360 console or Xbox.com.
"We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve the issue. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience."
The console version was quickly resumed, with the online version following later.
Asked online if the problems were due to a hacker attack or maintenance, Microsoft's Major Nelson insisted that it was due to "internal operational error".