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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Launch Day Baby!
By jamdunc on 1/13/2008 1:37:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well out of all my friends who got a launch day 360, mine is the only one still working strong. And mine was the only one to never be stood vertical.

Make of that what you will, but look after something and it looks after you!

Mind you, PGR4 has a few problems, PGR4 alone. Still trying to figure that one out.

RE: Launch Day Baby!
By Christopher1 on 1/13/2008 4:58:12 PM , Rating: 1
That's the thing that I think caused some of the problems. A DVD or CD drive is NOT meant to be used in a vertical position: that's why all desktop DVD drives are put in a horizontal position, slot-loading or tray-loading.

I always thought that was a little weird, because it went totally against the basic design knowledge that I had about DVD and really, any disc-based drive.

RE: Launch Day Baby!
By Zelvek on 1/13/2008 5:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they are designed to go ether way look at the old IBM systems that went ether way or the new slim ones by hp. If you take an optical drive apart you will see that the spindle (more of a HDD term but you get the picture) lifts up and sandwiches the disk between it and another holding device. the disk doesn't actually stay in contact with the try when it is spinning.

RE: Launch Day Baby!
By Christopher1 on 1/14/2008 1:09:00 AM , Rating: 1
That is contrary to what people like Plextor and the other drive manufacturers say.

In fact, Plextor specifically says that their drives are ONLY to be mounted in a horizontal manner, or the warranty on it is void and they will not be responsible for any damage to disks.
HP has the same thing in the legal spiel for their DVD writer drives.

I have taken a look at the old IBM systems and even back in the days of the Commodore 64, the floppy disk drives had a big warning label on them saying "Only operate in a horizontal position!"
I looked at the old CD drive I had in my Hewlett-Packard/Packard Bell computer..... Bingo - same label on it saying only to operate in a horizontal position.

You are going against the force of gravity when you turn something on it's edge, and when it comes to something like a DVD or CD drive, even though it is being held in a certain position.... given enough vibration, the holding of the DVD or CD can weaken and it can move out of place. That is how you get scratches on CD's and DVD's, a little bit of vibration and they scratch against sharp edges in the drive.

RE: Launch Day Baby!
By sxr7171 on 1/14/2008 4:49:06 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, go ahead and quote warnings from days of yore. Understand that HP sells systems with the DVD drive mounted in a horizontal position. Yes, I understand your scratching explanation and it does happen on the 360 but that's likely because MS sourced the cheapest, most noisy drives available. This isn't an issue on the Wii or in drives that clamp the disc properly. Since the 360 was designed to be used either horizontally or vertically the boneheads at MS should have chosen drives that can handle both orientations.

RE: Launch Day Baby!
By boogle on 1/14/2008 9:15:10 AM , Rating: 2
Erm, basic newtonian physics would tell you there is no difference between perfectly vertical and perfectly horizontal. Gravity isn't working against you in vertical - if it were, the disc would start spinning on its own. Half the disc is against gravity, the other have is with it - the two 'forces' cancel themselves out (equal and opposite forces).

If anything gravity has more of an affect on the horizontal because the disc is only held in the centre - the edges could bow down whereas in the vertical this is significantly less likely to happen.

The reason for horizontal-only warnings is simple. The drives are only extensively tested in horizontal because its cheaper (test once, or test twice?).

The very fact that numerous devices (including many HP!) mount discs in the vertical should be plenty of evidence that it works just as well in the vertical.

RE: Launch Day Baby!
By sxr7171 on 1/14/2008 4:44:41 AM , Rating: 2
Explain why the Wii has no problems.

RE: Launch Day Baby!
By Saywhatnow on 1/13/2008 8:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
My 360 was never stood up, and it still managed to die at the most inconvenient time possible..

Having some friends come over for a 4 player co-op halo marathon, and we decided to play some gears of war while we waited for everyone to turn up (I had never played gears on my console before)...RROD
I hear gears kills consoles more frequently than other games actually..

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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