Print 73 comment(s) - last by psychobriggsy.. on Sep 13 at 8:36 PM

  (Source: Kristopher Kubicki)
Dean Takahashi delves in to the causes of the Red Ring of Death

In a meticulously researched 11,000 word article, Dean Takahashi of Venture Beat has written about the chronological series of events that led to the hardware failures faced by the Xbox 360. Often called the “Red Ring of Death”, it is a condition that describes when three flashing red lights light up the front of an Xbox 360 indicating hardware failure.

The article describes how the business need to be first to market influenced all decisions resulting in compromised hardware quality. Early warnings were ignored as Microsoft was determined to launch their console first. According to Takahashi, Microsoft’s engineers started working on the Xbox 360 at least a year after Sony’s engineers began work on the PlayStation 3, yet Microsoft wound up shipping a year ahead of Sony. Although we were repeatedly assured all was fine it was thanks to gamers and the media Microsoft was dragged kicking and screaming in to admitting there was a problem.

Takahashi reports in August 2005 during the early stages of the Xbox 360’s development warnings were already being raised but were ignored. An engineer raised his hand and said, “Stop. You have to shut down the line.” This wasn’t just a brief moment. The engineer spoke up repeatedly. According to the article that engineer, who remains anonymous, had deep experience in manufacturing. When production results were really off kilter, stopping a line and tracing a problem back to its roots was the answer. Managers and executives, higher-ranking engineers ignored the warnings and decided to go forward. At the time, 68 out of every 100 Xbox 360s made were not working. Worse still, when the first batch of the system's three-core CPUs rolled off the line, only 16 percent worked.

Microsoft mandated the Xbox 360 had to be smaller, if only to fit in the smaller homes in Japan, a key target market. There was a constant tug of war between the industrial designers, who wanted something small and the engineers, who wanted to pack a lot of performance into the Xbox 360. The more powerful the system was, the bigger the box had to be to provide air flow for heat-sensitive components. Incremental changes to a finalized design appear to have caused many problems. According to the article, Microsoft decided late to add a hard disk drive. They also came up late with a plan to add wireless controllers. Many of these decisions resulted in reduced airflow causing the overheating that caused so many Xbox 360s to fail.

On November 22, 2005 the Xbox 360 launched and the consoles began to fail immediately. In July of 2007, Microsoft publicly admitted there was a problem and took a corresponding financial hit of more than $1 billion to fix it. Prior to that acknowledgement, Takahashi reports that Microsoft had taken returns on 1.2 million of the roughly 11.6 million shipped Xbox 360s.

According to Takahashi, there was no single reason for the failures. Many of the problems could be blamed on the ATI graphics chip, which could overheat so much it warped the motherboard. This put stress on bad solder joints, causing them to fail early in the machine’s life. Sometimes the heat sinks on top of the GPU were put on the wrong way, resulting in heat problems. Finally, games would sometimes crash because of sub-par memory.

The implications of the “Red Ring of Death” issue are being felt to this day. In Takahashi’s own words:

The Xbox 360’s defect problem will go down as one of the worst snafus in consumer electronics history.

Microsoft argues being first to market was worth the compromises. Microsoft’s top game executive, Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment & Devices group, said at a dinner in July that Microsoft’s own research shows that gamers have largely forgiven the company for defective Xbox 360s. Bach also said in July 2008, “It has given us a leg up in a number of places that are super important. It has given us a leg up with game developers. It has given us a leg up from an economics perspective. It helped us expand Xbox Live quickly.”

What Microsoft sacrificed was the good will of consumers, who are critical for establishing a lasting platform. It remains to be seen whether the benefits of launching the Xbox 360 first will exceed the consequences of releasing a faulty product.

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majority of consumers forgive them?
By tastyratz on 9/8/2008 11:27:57 AM , Rating: 2
Just like how research showed minimal to no demand for xp once vista launched?

The new xbox 360's aren't the big box of problems the original ones were... But I for one will certainly think twice before buying the Xbox 360's successor on launch day.
They have clearly proven its worth waiting for their second revision of anything they make because they always release a product before its ready - except with hardware its not just a simple patch/service pack...

RE: majority of consumers forgive them?
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2008 12:22:22 PM , Rating: 5
I won't be. They know they screwed up. And this time the development cycle will be far longer. They designed and developed the 360 in less than 3 years. Sony was working on the PS3 for 5.

I for one can't wait to see what the next generation of consoles will bring. And I think we'll find out in 2010. 2011 at the latest.

RE: majority of consumers forgive them?
By StevoLincolnite on 9/8/2008 5:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
They were sort of forced early on to the market because of the dispute between Microsoft and nVidia which stopped the production of the Xbox 1 GPU, which is not something that would be good, As Microsoft would have had no consoles on the market at all for a few years.

So although everyone seems to Blame Microsoft for not Testing the consoles thoroughly enough, some of Blame can lie with nVidia for not continuing to produce Xbox 1 GPU's which lead to a rather quick launch of the Xbox 360.

All in all, Money/First Onto Market/Disputes with nVidia all lead to the issues at hand.

But it doesn't bother me, the machine has great games, And I'm looking forward to Fable 2 soon, I've come around and basically told myself that all consoles cannot be as reliable as the Super Nintendo was.

By afkrotch on 9/9/2008 2:23:50 AM , Rating: 1
They were sort of forced early on to the market because of the dispute between Microsoft and nVidia which stopped the production of the Xbox 1 GPU, which is not something that would be good, As Microsoft would have had no consoles on the market at all for a few years.

No they weren't. If Microsoft was smart, they would have paid up and stuck with Nvidia until the 360 was actually ready. Instead, they decided to launch earlier with a crap console and instead, blow a billion and change to not fix the console, but extend the warranty. Then blow even more money to actually band-aid fix the console multiple times.

Microsoft was the one who decided in the end to stop production of the Xbox and move to ATI for the 360. Why? Cost cutting measure. Also a form of punishment for Nvidia, for not going with their different deal for the 360.

The console might not be at a 30% failure rate anymore, but I still wouldn't trust it as far as I can throw it, until Jasper comes to market.

RE: majority of consumers forgive them?
By Calin on 9/9/2008 3:29:55 AM , Rating: 2
The NVidia issue on the XBox was different. NVidia and Microsoft had an agreement on graphic chip production and per unit price. Later in the life of the console (when the price was lower on other internal components) Microsoft asked NVidia to reduce the price of the graphics chips, more than previously agreed upon (Microsoft was also selling the XBox at much lowered prices).
NVidia refused to go below the agreed upon price.

RE: majority of consumers forgive them?
By Samus on 9/9/2008 6:33:02 AM , Rating: 4
The original XBOX was retired far too early. Even today, it is still a capable machine. Infact, it excels in virtually every way over the Wii, PS2, and many other consoles STILL in production, when it is not.

First console with a hard drive. First console with X86. First console with 720p (HD) output. First console with a network jack. First, first, first. The damn XBOX deserved a longer run, and had it had one, the 360 would have been a better system.

And honestly, with the complete flop the PS3 was at launch, the original XBOX didn't have anything to worry about, they could have sold it for $99 at PS3 launch and made a killing over XMAS when few people were buying $400 360's.

By psychobriggsy on 9/13/2008 8:28:00 PM , Rating: 3
"First console with X86"

What about the PC Engine?

And why is x86 relevant for domain specific tasks anyway? Why else do you think MS moved to PowerPC for the 360?

RE: majority of consumers forgive them?
By Staples on 9/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: majority of consumers forgive them?
By tential on 9/8/2008 12:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
I forgave them. My family lives in Nigeria so my dad buys consoles and then when he flies over there (he does a lot of business there as well) he brings a console too. Out of the 5 consoles we bought ONE has broke so far. One word to describe Nigeria of course is HOT. Surprisingly the one that broke was in my basement the coolest place in my house. Still it was easy to replace it and I got through the whole process pretty fast. Will I rush out to buy the next box? Yes I'll be first in line to ebay them and wait to here how reliable they are before I open the box.

I think the big problem though is that companies now figure they can release sub par products and update them over time. I think it's unfair to have to "clear the cache" on an xbox 360 and other types of maintenance. The iphone 3g as well with his poor quality worries me. Then you have nvidia with their gfx cards. It no longer matters to companies it seems to me to release products that work as long as they will work eventually. I have to update the firmware on my TV now and soon I'll have to do it for a microwave I bet. The future troubles me.

By Alexvrb on 9/8/2008 11:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
I've never had to clear the cache. I suspect most people won't. Its not really regular maintenence for the typical user. Besides, as a troubleshooting step its better than what Sony tech support has told people to do (GTA IV comes to mind). "Clear the cache" is way better than "format your hard drive".

RE: majority of consumers forgive them?
By sweetsauce on 9/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: majority of consumers forgive them?
By zerocool84 on 9/8/2008 6:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
So it's ok that it took them almost 2 years to correct the mistake? That's ridiculous IMO but hell people still bought the console. The public showed that you can release buggy hardware and people will still buy it. Hell look at the iphone. That sucks for the future.

By robinthakur on 9/9/2008 5:51:38 AM , Rating: 1
Believe me, I'd take my iPhone 3G at launch (which worked fine) rather than my Ex Box 360 which imploded before the "extended warranty" came into effect. I didn't replace it then and I won't be buying another one when the successor is launched. They compensated with the warranty because they HAD to, not out of the generosity of their little hearts. The situation online was making them look bad and lose sales. The best way to voice your protest at MS's less than stellar quality control is simply to not buy it. Such a cynical company, judging from this and other articles, does not deserve your support.

By wempa on 9/9/2008 12:26:52 PM , Rating: 2
He was NOT stupid. The original warranty was only 90 days. It wasn't even extended to 1 year until after the consoles had been out for a while. They did not "go out of their" way to fix the screw up. They denied the failure rate was so high for 2 years before the evidence was overwhelmingly against them. Only when they were back against a wall did they finally admit the flaw and extended the warranty. Comparing your PS2 failure to this one is asinine. No previous console has had such a horrible failure rate. Your PS2 was obviously in the small percentage of failures that is expected with any electronics device.

By JasonMick on 9/8/2008 11:10:00 AM , Rating: 5
I would have imagined Steve Ballmer as more likely to be superimposed on Jabba the Hutt's face. They both have a knack for sticking their tongues out.

RE: Funny...
By dflynchimp on 9/8/2008 11:17:37 AM , Rating: 3
funny, I was thinking his personality was more like Salacious Crumb

RE: Funny...
By daftrok on 9/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: Funny...
By zshift on 9/8/2008 12:35:39 PM , Rating: 2
awesome ending, that brought me back to when i was a kid watching dragonball...

RE: Funny...
By onelittleindian on 9/8/2008 12:59:02 PM , Rating: 2
I would have imagined Steve Ballmer as more likely to be superimposed on Jabba the Hutt's face. They both have a knack for sticking their tongues out
Their body styles are similar also.

Smaller is not better.
By MrHanson on 9/8/2008 1:17:51 PM , Rating: 4
I remember when the original X-Box came out, everyone was complaining how large it was. Microsoft installed more than adequate heat sinks for the intel and nvidia processors and installed a large fan to pull that heat out. After 6 years, my original XBOX is still running reliably without problems. When the PS3 was release, again a lot of people complained how large it was. The quality of the PS3 (software aside) is so much more apparent than the 360. You can't cram high speed/temperature chips into tight spaces and expect them to work reliably. I don't understand why people buy into this smaller is better and anything larger is technically inferior. Smaller is Better works for cells phones/PDA's and laptops but not game consoles. If you have room for a 50" widescreen HDTV, you more than likely have room for a larger console.

RE: Smaller is not better.
By wempa on 9/9/2008 12:32:25 PM , Rating: 2
Excellent point. Why is size of a home (as in NON-portable) console such a concern for everybody ? It's not like you're going to be moving the thing around all the time. You set it up once and forget about it.

I don't understand...
By Souka on 9/8/2008 1:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand this statement: "took a corresponding financial hit of more than $1 billion to fix it. Prior to that acknowledgement, Takahashi reports that Microsoft had taken returns on 1.2 million "

$1 billion to fix 1.2 million units? That's $833 per unit...ouch

RE: I don't understand...
By Warren21 on 9/8/2008 10:57:14 PM , Rating: 3
No, the $1B was to cover not only returns up to the present, but also a certain number of 'expected' future refurbs.

Sux to be me ( & MS )
By nogascans on 9/8/2008 9:56:24 PM , Rating: 1
"that Microsoft’s own research shows that gamers have largely forgiven the company for defective Xbox 360s "

well that may be their analysis, but I'm not one of those gamers for sure! In our family we have 3 360's, including my latest 360 Elite purchased last Xmas. All 3 units have failed due to the 3 RROD "China Syndrome", including the Elite unit which failed the 2nd week of August.

As with the previos models, I sent it for repairs, having to expend for a shipping box and packaging. Last week they shipped back the exact same one with the SAME 3 RROD! When I called MS, they claimed that they had replaced, not repaired the unit. But after comparing the Serial Number as recorded before shipment ( and listed on the MS Xbox site ), it was clear that they had in fact not sent a new unit NOR had they repaired the current unit. I was told to simply return the unit, and was not given any apology or explaination for the snafu! Is this is what is called "GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE"??

So back to shipping I go with the same inconveinence of not having the use of the console that I spent good money on.

I work in a High End Custom Electronics company as a Consultant, and if we handled issues like this we would be out of business. The POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE/QUALITY CONTROL MEASURES have made me feel that I cannot recommend in good faith to my Clients such a poorly constructed electronics device. As a result I will no longer recommend MS Xbox 360 products to my Clients for Gaming or Media Extenders.

I will also be purchasing Sony PS3's in the near future to replace the Xbox 360's and curtail my involvement in my MS Partner program's for my business and personal accounts.

Has anyone comtemplated a Class Action lawsuit?

Steve Ballmer: are you listening?

RE: Sux to be me ( & MS )
By Warren21 on 9/8/2008 11:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what kind of bad luck you had, but I bought a used 360 Premium last November for 240 CAD.

I plugged it in, turned it on... RROD. I was aware of the recent 3 year warranty extention, so I called them up. After maybe 20 minutes on the phone, they had opened a case file on my console, taken my address, phone etc...

Only a week later a box arrives complete with 360-specific packaging, intructions and a pre-paid shipping label. All I had to do was pack it up and drop it off at my local courrier. Got it back in about 2 or 3 weeks, and my refurb is still going strong today.

RE: Sux to be me ( & MS )
By psychobriggsy on 9/13/2008 8:36:49 PM , Rating: 2
Bet you enjoyed being without a product for those 4 weeks, right at the beginning!

All 360s that will eventually die should have been recalled, and if Microsoft couldn't replace them in time then the consumer should have been refunded the entirety of their spending on the console. Do you think this is harsh? I don't, I think it would force Microsoft to release hardware that worked in the future. Right now, I think they will do it again should they be in a situation where they feel they need to risk something like this.

By jabber on 9/8/2008 11:40:57 AM , Rating: 2
So there you go its the enviromentalists fault!

By MattFishel on 9/8/2008 12:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
At least some of the newer models are better about it. At least they're trying to right some wrongs...

Defective maybe, but we're first!
By gstrickler on 9/8/2008 4:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft argues being first to market was worth the compromises.

Aren't you happy to know that M$ values your time, money spent, and user experience so much? Apparently, your time, money, and experience are secondary to them establishing market share. Enjoy.

By wjobs55 on 9/8/2008 5:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
Aren't you happy to know that M$ values your time, money spent, and user experience so much? Apparently, your time, money, and experience are secondary to them establishing market share. Enjoy

o that, bro. No truer words spoken before.

By mrdeez on 9/8/2008 6:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
What is ad is that a company screws up and owns it then replces a product for free and we cry.; They announce a new product and we cant wait to get it and we cry until they release it because we want it so bad.(xbox, vista BD and HD DVD)If you have wanted some of these things and couldn't wait cus you had to have them now then you have a part in this too. I am not excusing anyone I am just saying.

By wempa on 9/9/2008 12:36:02 PM , Rating: 2
In most cases, they are NOT replacing it. They usually send a refurbished one back. Many of the times, the refurbished one has the same flaw as the one returned. So, basically, you are getting another dud. This has happened to several people I know.

So, what's the news here?
By Jack Ripoff on 9/8/2008 2:45:43 PM , Rating: 3
Business as usual for Microsoft...

Purchasing multiple xbox360's
By gss4w on 9/8/2008 3:08:21 PM , Rating: 3
I found this quote the story this article liked to be very true:

Oddly enough, demand for Microsoft’s console continued, partly because gamers loved playing games so much that they kept on buying replacement consoles.

One of my friends has a younger brother who is basically addicted to Xbox 360 and Halo. Last week his console (purchased at launch and never serviced) got the RROD for the first time. Rather than wait to get it repaired he immediately went out and bought a new Xbox 360 Elite.

This worked out for me, because he gave me the broken console and I've sent it in for repair. I'd been waiting for prices to drop and reliability to improve before I buying an Xbox 360. I don't really want a refurbished console, but since it was free I can't complain. I'm hoping that MS has fixed their process for repairing Xbox 360s and that my refurbished console will be ok.

It's all about the MONEY!
By LorKha on 9/8/2008 11:17:44 AM , Rating: 1
I wouldn't blame Microsoft... I'd do anything to get more money and stay ahead of the game...


RE: It's all about the MONEY!
By SunAngel on 9/8/2008 11:27:23 AM , Rating: 1
lol. ... ahead of the game. some people are so far behind in a race they think they are actually winning. guess who?

+ 1 more...
By jemix on 9/8/2008 2:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sending my console back for repair tomorrow because it also got the red ring of death.

First Jasper sighting
By MarcLeFou on 9/8/2008 3:51:18 PM , Rating: 2
The source is dubious at best seeing as it is an anonymous blog an the typing style of the poster is highly suspicious but it is the first reported sighting of Jasper.

Post #176542 and the one right below.

As I've mentioned though, this is a dubious source at best so no comments on how this is crap please.

By nanogeektech on 9/8/2008 7:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
My best friend has a 360 and my younger brother has a friend 360 died RROD but he took his younger brother's younger brother 360 died RROD but he sent his back and got a Refab..

My 360 has been pretty only issue is an defective DVD tray that sometimes have a mind of its own..

I also have a launch day 160GB PS3(I upgraded 20gb to 160GB) I have had no issues so far..someone up top made a comment that all next gen console are buggy...I have not heard anything about the Wii....and there was some issues with the PS3 firmware updates..I never experience any of these issues..overall the PS3 is a quite machine

The only console I have had any issues with has been my 360 and its not too bad I can still play it..

Tsk tsk
By kingcarcas on 9/8/2008 10:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft mandated the Xbox 360 had to be smaller, if only to fit in the smaller homes in Japan, a key target market.

How did that work out for them? Just say NO to broken consoles. PCwiiS3 FTW!

Think today not yesterday
By crystal clear on 9/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: Think today not yesterday
By crystal clear on 9/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: Think today not yesterday
By TerranMagistrate on 9/8/2008 2:49:25 PM , Rating: 5
Plenty of people are still sending in their 360s for repairs and such so this is still relevant. The fact that you're so bothered by a legitimate article like this makes it "crystal clear" that your an xbot.

RE: Think today not yesterday
By sweetsauce on 9/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: Think today not yesterday
By crystal clear on 9/8/2008 9:40:57 PM , Rating: 2
Whats "plenty of people are still sending in their 360s for repairs"

Do you have any figures to back up your claims ?

Ofcourse from a reliable source !

If you did have anything to support your claims you would not have hesitated to quote them & their links in your response.

I will rephrase your sentence-

The fact that you're so bothered by a legitimate comment like this makes it "crystal clear" that your an xbot.

Its crystal clear this article has no relevance to "today"
its history....

Time to move on....Think today not yesterday.

RE: Think today not yesterday
By afkrotch on 9/9/2008 2:33:57 AM , Rating: 2
Its crystal clear this article has no relevance to "today"
its history....

Are there still 1st gen and 2nd gen 360s out there? Yes, there are. Will they die at any moment and are within their 3 year warranty? Yes, they are. Will most of them probably result from faulty solder, hot gpus, or warping mobos? Probably. Is this all happening today and not in the past? Definitely, yes.

RE: Think today not yesterday
By sjvlad on 9/9/2008 3:36:07 AM , Rating: 2
I just had to send in my 360 2 months ago because it red ringed. This is now the 4th one I have. I'd say it's still perhaps a problem?

RE: Think today not yesterday
By crystal clear on 9/9/2008 1:57:55 AM , Rating: 2
Whats the point bring up a story that has no relevance today....

Whats the motivation behind this article ?

Is it to stir up emotions & open up old wounds ?

Is too discredit M.S. & question its reliability & ability to launch a good product maybe ?

Is to cast doubts on the future & reliability of Xbox ?

Dean Takahashi has some very serious explainations to provide.

RE: Think today not yesterday
By afkrotch on 9/9/2008 2:37:35 AM , Rating: 1
A timeline doesn't need to have an explanation. It's simply there to provide information. Would be no different if he were to write an article about how the US turned into a country. All just information.

Sux to be you
By koenshaku on 9/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: Sux to be you
By kelmon on 9/8/2008 12:16:40 PM , Rating: 5
You know, what really sucks about all this is that we have to consider these things now. I don't recall anyone wondering if their Super NES or Megadrive would fail due to components overheating. Now we're looking at the serial numbers of the products on the shelves in order to try and determine whether it will melt its way through our floor.

Honestly, electronics are supposed to be more reliable now, not less.

RE: Sux to be you
By mooncancook on 9/8/2008 2:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. Current gen consoles like 360 and PS3 make traditional closed-space styled TV stand obsolete. You really need an open-shelf styled TV stand to allow the heat to escape. My PS3 whines like crazy inside my TV stand and I had to placed it outside which is not pretty... well until I buy an open-shelf unit

RE: Sux to be you
By Camikazi on 9/8/2008 2:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
This is why I loved older consoles, my original NES and SNES still work perfectly. I really don't think any of the new-gen consoles will work 10-20 years from now, specially the way I handled my NES and SNES. Thrown around in boxes while moving, hidden in garage or attic for years, just dust them off plug em in and they work.

RE: Sux to be you
By kelmon on 9/8/2008 2:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Amen to that, brother/sister (* delete as applicable *)

RE: Sux to be you
By mircea on 9/8/2008 12:22:33 PM , Rating: 2
Actually all kinds of manufacturing has a 3-5% acceptabale defect rate, but most of consoles launched until the XBox-360 didn't even have that much, neither has PS3 or Wii

RE: Sux to be you
By BigToque on 9/8/2008 12:32:46 PM , Rating: 4
All consoles are not "buggy" at launch. In this generation of systems I haven't heard of any real problems with either the Wii or PS3.

Microsoft intentionally released a product with major design flaws and hoped that being first to market would provide more money/market share/brand recognition than money they would lose due to repairing faulty equipment.

Xbox 360 is the Ford Pinto of the video game industry.

RE: Sux to be you
By Smokey159 on 9/8/2008 12:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm, didn't the Wii have a bunch of "Wiimote" issues when it first came out?

And check out this thread about the PS3. The article doesn't list much, but read the replies.

Yes, many 1st generation electronic products have issues, and could be considered "buggy".

RE: Sux to be you
By blazeoptimus on 9/8/2008 1:30:52 PM , Rating: 3
As a general rule though, these issues were far smaller in scope and could be fixed much easier. Also, they were immediately acknowledged. It took Microsoft 1.5(give or take a few months) years to "officially" recognize the issues it was having. Mostly its just sad that Microsoft made a will full decision to put profits ahead of customer satisfaction. This is a worrisome trend for the company.

RE: Sux to be you
By afkrotch on 9/9/2008 3:05:08 AM , Rating: 2
The biggest fault with the Wii was ppl chucking them into their TV. A few days later, Nintendo was shipping out new wrist straps. There was never anything big about the PS3. Then of course, there's the standard production mistakes. No company can produce 100% trouble free off the line.

360 was purely flawed before it even hit the production line. Then of course, add in the standard faults during the actual production.

Any problems that Nintendo or Sony came into, they fixed instantaneously. Microsoft, denied over and over again. It took a lawsuit and multiple articles to get them to do what? Not fix the problem, only provide a 3 year warranty and give refunds. Another like year later and we received a band-aid fix. We still haven't gotten a actual full fix yet.

ATI the blame ... not likely.
By SunAngel on 9/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: ATI the blame ... not likely.
By JustTom on 9/8/2008 11:47:10 AM , Rating: 5
You can crap out on design and manufacturing and still make money ... why? ... when you price something 50% higher than the cost to bring it to market even three returns doesn't cost you to lose money.

Interesting, except for the fact that MS lost money on each and every 360.

RE: ATI the blame ... not likely.
By Bigjee on 9/8/2008 12:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yes they lost money but if you've read the article properly; the profits were still higher than the losses. That's why MS did what it did. Its a business first and fore most hence customer satisfaction is secondary as long as the money keeps coming in. It's when the money stops that MS would/did take action and fixed their cooling setup in the 360. Either way, I think for future/longevity purposes I'm going with a PS3 at least they took their time designing the machine as opposed to launching a product with a design flaw. But I will admit the majority of developers are on MS. And PS did lose some of its exclusive titles during the next gen. console battle.

By zombiexl on 9/8/2008 2:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
Either way, I think for future/longevity purposes I'm going with a PS3 at least they took their time designing the machine as opposed to launching a product with a design flaw.

Thats good, except of 3 people i know (including myself) who own a PS3. Only one has not been sent in for service. I think there are design flaws with both systems.

My 360 and PS have both been serviced and they have plenty of airflow. My Wii on the otherhand only had to be serviced after my son dropped it about 4 feet.

RE: ATI the blame ... not likely.
By SunAngel on 9/8/2008 1:06:42 PM , Rating: 1
... and how long do you expect Microsoft to continue losing money on each and every console? Do you feel at some point the loss each and every console will turn into profit on each and every console? Do you also feel if Microsoft never turns a profit on the console they will make another console and also lose money on each and every console made and sold?

Did you understand my original comment? Were you able to comprehend that eventually manufacturing would compensate for the design flaws? In fixing the RRoD issue, what did Microsoft do? Did they change the design? (No.) What did they change? (They changed components and beefed up the joints.) Does this constitute a design change? (No.) Did Microsoft have to start from scratch and redesign the console. (No.) Anyways, how expensive is it to design a console now-a-days? $1 Million? $5 Million? $25 Million? More than $25 Million?! Now, is it easier to understand how you can "crap out" on design and manufacturing (while beating your competition to market) and still make money?

RE: ATI the blame ... not likely.
By BladeVenom on 9/8/2008 1:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
The worst thing is that they don't see it as a serious problem, and will do the same shoddy job next generation to be first out with a new console.

By SunAngel on 9/8/2008 2:05:54 PM , Rating: 1
... hey, you can't only blame Microsoft. Damn near everyone electronics designer and manufacturer is doing the exact same thing. The credit you have to give Microsoft is once they were caught at their game they acknowleged it without a class-action lawsuit. There are several current manufacturers of electronics that are not fessing up... and guess what? ... class-action lawsuits are threatening them. But, even after the unfavorable lawsuit they will still have made money. Moral is ... design and manufacturing doesn't mean a hill-of-beans. The brandname will net you more dollars per sale than features. (Being a long-time patron of DailyTech I'm surprised that has never crossed your mind. - How long have you been asking for a comment edit button? - But you keep returing to the site anyways? Why? Certainly not because you've adapted to not having and edit button, surely.)

RE: ATI the blame ... not likely.
By robinthakur on 9/9/2008 6:38:59 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, your lengthy string of questions can be summed up in one ignorant statement (Assuming you don't work for Microsoft)

"I am happy as a consumer to be lied to and sold a knowingly defective product in good faith and am well aware that in buying said defective console, I am helping Microsoft achieve its stated business aims and build a market share, and that's just fine."

The whole sordid incident smacks of a cynicism and big-business mentality which was pleasantly lacking in the consoles industry before Microsoft got involved. Even the very act of rushing the Xbox 360 to market artificially accelerated the obsolescence of the PS2 and Gamecube, not to mention killing the original Xbox stone dead and harmed the whole industry. Can you imagine Nintendo behaving in this way? Piont of fact, can you imagine ANY other industry allowing this to happen?

As a consumer and not a Microsoft shareholder/employee, I'm outraged, frankly, that a respectable company like Microsoft could behave in such away and that at some point a manager or somebody in a position of authority didn't say "Forget building a market/mind share. If this failure rate is duplicated in the home it will do active damage to our market share and future prospects."

Unfortunately nobody did, and we have the present crazy situation, unprecedented on consoles, where now its even seen as acceptable to release known defective hardware onto the market in the full knowledge that the faithful masses such as yourself will be quite willing to buy another, should it break out of warranty. Nobody outside of Microsoft knows whether the problem has been fixed categorically. It is very regrettable that consumers have continued buying the Xbox360 as it sends the message that quality control and reliability are unimportant in a product with a 5-7 year lifespan. I'm not bothered about Microsoft's profitability on the Xbox or the individual weak 'justifications' for why their design was deficient, I just know that as consumers we have been roundly mistreated. If they aren't successful in gaming, and can't turn a profit, they should just get out of the market.

RE: ATI the blame ... not likely.
By jojo29 on 9/9/2008 10:53:09 AM , Rating: 2
The whole sordid incident smacks of a cynicism and big-business mentality which was pleasantly lacking in the consoles industry before Microsoft got involved.

This can be anymore truthful. Ever since Microsoft entered the Gaming Industry, it has brought the big-business corporate mentality MS is known for, and that is not a good thing. The thing is, Microsoft has the money throw around, and people hate to see people throw their money around instead of earn their way into the industry.

Now the sad thing is, gaming companies are by no means the most profitable and every game that is developed is a huge risk. MS has money to throw around, maybe not for an exclusive, but for a me too "multi-platform" title, and of course the publishers/developers are all for it. Square-Enix was the last hope, and they sold their company's soul..Now, remember, S-E left Nintendo for a MEDIUM ( CD ) which they felt would show off their game better. This time around, it stinks of pure greed.

I sense a great change in the gaming industry is coming. But not what you would expect. I'm by no means an expert, but from how i've seen the industry grow ( granted ive only been gaming since Sega Master System/Nintendo Entertainment System days, missed out on Atari's Age ) it was growing awesome, innovation was in full gear, then the Microsoft entered, i dont mind a 3rd console, its just that Microsoft business practices can only hurt the industry. And to my point. I feel that a market crash like in the 80s or something similiar is coming, but in terms of innovation.

I have hope for the industry. I feel that in gaming creativity and innovation is king, and right now, Playstation 3 is the place to go for that first and foremost.

RE: ATI the blame ... not likely.
By mmntech on 9/8/2008 12:06:05 PM , Rating: 1
Anybody who knows anything about computers knew that ATI's X1 series ran vary hot. The same applies to the Xenon processor. The 90nm PowerPCs ran vary hot as well. Now add three cores into the equation and bump the clocks up to 3.2ghz. They couldn't honestly have expected that small aluminum heatsinks and two wimpy 70mm fans would be enough. Microsoft may have been selling the consoles at a loss, but they still cut a lot of corners on the early 360s. Thankfully the RRoD problems have largely been solved by the die shrinks but it's a little too late for a lot of 360 owner who got burned, literally.

RE: ATI the blame ... not likely.
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2008 12:19:16 PM , Rating: 2
The 360's CPU is not a PowerPC processor like that found in an Apple. It is a much poorer designed in-order core based off the Power architecture. While I'm sure it by no means runs cool, the two processors are not directly comparable.

By FITCamaro on 9/8/2008 12:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
I should say, like those which used to be found in an Apple.

By omnicronx on 9/8/2008 2:53:19 PM , Rating: 4
The 360's xenos GPU was also not like the processors found in any ati card. They were specifically made for the 360, and were ahead of any GPU at the time of creation, and did not run as hot as retail ati gpus.

You can't blame ATI for poor soldering jobs. I still have my original release xbox 360, probably because I opened mine up and released a bit of the pressure that the clamps on the bottom where making. I have personally opened up an xbox 360 to find that the PCB had warped so far from the gpu that the heatsync was no longer touching the board.. Thats puts the blame on MS.. and nobody else..

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