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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 kelmon on 1/14/2008 6:55:59 AM , Rating: 2
I am entirely in agreement with you. The 360 was clearly an attempt to get to market a product that would compete with the PlayStation 3 before the PS3 arrived and that quality just wasn't as important at the time. I'm sorry but the attitude of release then fix does not sit well with me as a consumer and it is for this reason alone that I will never, ever, buy a 360 no matter how good the games are.

While I consider myself a "dyed in the wool" Mac owner I honestly have nothing against Microsoft, particularly when it comes to hardware since it is usually excellent. Microsoft is very welcome to try again with the successor to the 360 (should they decide to make one) and I'll happily consider it without bias. However, I do expect a quality product and not a rush job. I will not buy something that has a high probability of failure combined with an expected long period of time to repair the problem.

Basically, this action is too little, too late...


By just4U on 1/14/2008 12:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
If BIll GATES want's to make promises on the XBOX so be it... Here is what I suggest to Bill. When the next Xbox is ready to launch offer one helluva warranty on it.

One year in my opinion is not enough for a $500 piece of hardware. I'd like to see 3-5. Give that and even I'll buy the next gen Xbox (I don't currently own a console)

If Evga, XfX, and BFG can offer lifetime warranties on their cards then Microsoft can offer a kicker for warranties... I'd then be sold on it and pull the trigger.


By kelmon on 1/15/2008 3:19:33 AM , Rating: 2
...or, for preference, test the damned design before release and get it right!

A good warranty is always welcome, of course, but reports of high volumes of system failures will put me off buying one again regardless. It's nice to know that I can get my system repaired but the point is that it shouldn't have to be repaired in the first place. I've owned many consoles over the years and never once has one failed and that's the way it should be. Testing a design for problems isn't rocket science. It's not as if the 360 suffers from a problem that only impacts a few systems that would make detecting the flaw difficult - it impacted about 33% of systems!

As noted in my earlier post, I take offense to being sold a flawed product. Microsoft MUST have known that these problems existed before they launched the system (either that or they didn't even bother to test it) and that's what really annoys me.


By Frallan on 1/15/2008 10:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
True - Computer parts in a DIY computer are allowed to behave a bit. A readily built system is allowed to be somewhat slower and underperforming but not allowed to have quirks. A Console should just be bought and then work, work and keep on working. If i have to return a console for repair I will be mightily pissed off and seriously concider not buying products from the company again. (Happened with Gigabyte 5 yrs ago and I still havn't concidered buying a Gigabyte product since)


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