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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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By dluther on 1/13/2008 11:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While MS handled it very well, they still had to lose some customers to the PS3 and Wii because of quality problems.


There are two points made in that sentence, and I disagree with both.

1) They did not handle it well at all. Microsoft had to know something was seriously wrong with their console when the numbers started coming in about irreparable consoles. Then they stonewalled, lied, and obfuscated before eventually having to own up to some manufacturing defects.

2) I don't think Microsoft "lost" any customers to competing platforms. The PS3 is by nearly all accounts a superior console, and built like a tank. And the Wii is vastly inferior to both platforms, but has tapped into something truly astonishing with their wireless motion controllers, a point which will eventually become the stuff of legal legend as they viciously defend that market.

So why am I saying Microsoft didn't lose customers? Because of the games. There are so many great XBox 360 titles that simply aren't available on other platforms: Gears of War, Bio Shock, and Halo 3 are the ones that immediately come to mind. If those titles were available on the PS3, I think we would see a very different console sales picture.


By sxr7171 on 1/14/2008 4:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
Very true. I have all three consoles and seriously the 360 is where gaming is at (apart from the Wii of course). My PS3 literally has been sitting in a closet for the past several months since Blu-Ray movie releases aren't coming out as fast as I'd like.


By Frallan on 1/15/2008 10:00:48 AM , Rating: 2
So far I can report of one sale loss for MS.. I havn't bought one yet. Partly bc of RRoD but also bc I cant play it while my GF sleeps in the same room bc of the bloody Jet-exhaust sound it makes...


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