Print 80 comment(s) - last by cmdrdredd.. on Jan 18 at 9:37 PM

Bill Gates says Xbox 360 reliability will go from zero to hero

For the current generation of gaming consoles, the Xbox 360 has several reputations. On the positive side, the Xbox 360 is the undisputed leader of online service and multiplayer, but on the negative side, it also holds a track record of being fairly unreliable.

At one point, up to one-third of all Xbox 360 consoles experienced the hardware failure popularly known as the Red Ring of Death, which rendered the console unusable.

In response to the apparent hardware design flaw, Microsoft in June 2007 introduced a revised cooling design with heatpipe and heatsink to cool the GPU. New “Falcon” hardware that would include 65nm chip technology, which was later found to apply only to the CPU, landed in stores last Fall. Hardware to integrate a 65nm GPU, codenamed “Jasper,” isn’t due until this August.

While many from Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division have spoken on the Xbox 360’s reliability record, Bill Gates was mostly removed from commenting on the issue – until now. Speaking in a BBC Video interview, Gates revealed that it’s now Microsoft’s goal to make the Xbox 360 “the most reliable” console on the market.

“Well, we certainly had to apologize to our uses about a number of boxes that had to be replaced,” said Gates. “We did that for free for all of those people, we've gotten a lot of positive feedback about the way we handled it.”

“We've got incredible reliability on the new work we've done,” he continued. “Our commitment is that it will be the most reliable video game box out there. People really love the Xbox because of the content, but we've got to make sure that the hardware never stands in the way of that.”

To cover owners of older Xbox 360 hardware that may still be vulnerable to the Red Ring of Death, Microsoft in July 2007 extended its warranty to cover the specific hardware failure for three years from purchase.

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By peternelson on 1/13/2008 1:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still on my FIRST PS3 ;-) But I will concede that the DVD reading laser in early Sony PS2 was not so reliable.

It's good Microsoft realised there was a problem and made improvements.

Reliability concerns measurements like MTBF (mean time between failure) and MTTR (Mean time to repair).

So if your X360 dies not only can you not play today, but you have to wait while you ship it back and wait for the replacement, not very desirable.

The new model is improved, but I'd say in lifecycle analysis we need to wait longer before saying they are perfect and will not fail prematurely (after warranty).

Many people waited for X360 to improve, now there is a promised future improvement and people may delay purchase to next holiday season.

I'm sure it's Bill Gates intention to make X360 very reliable (it's costing him millions of dollars in returns and repairs, and lost game sales), but then every CEO would likely want their own product to be reliable so that is an unsurprising comment.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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