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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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RE: If they had just got it right in the first place!
By Ard on 1/13/2008 3:17:03 PM , Rating: 0
Sorry to rain on your parade, fanboy, but Falcon/Zephyr has done very little to combat the RRoD. Why? Because RRoD is largely a GPU problem and Falcon/Zephyr is a CPU shrink. In either case, 15-20% is still WAY too high for any sane individual.

By Zelvek on 1/13/2008 4:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the RRoD is basically the general error code for any failure of the 360, just like FRAG was on the xbox so even a failed power brick will cause it. The common GPU RRoD is a combination of things and not just a hot GPU, although cooling is the common factor.

1. poor cooling (especially for the GPU)
2. poor quality solder (thank you green peace for making us use environmentally friendly and useless solder)
3. poor quality retention brackets

The poor cooling can warp the PCB this coupled with poor retention of the GPU causes the contacts of the GPU to disconnect from the PCB. The other cause is from the poor temperature threshold of the solder that was used this causes the solder to crack overtime (this is why the towel trick works its sort of like a cold solder)

The new systems have beefed up the cooling replaced the poor quality solder and epoxied the CPU and GPU to the PCB. So it would seem that they have tackled all the issues.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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