Print 59 comment(s) - last by lexluthermiest.. on Feb 20 at 5:48 PM

Majority of all Xbox 360 failures are from Red Ring of Death

The vulnerability of the Xbox 360 to a hardware failure known as the Red Ring of Death is a well publicized matter. Last summer, amidst a flurry of reports from Xbox 360 owners, DailyTech exposed retailers’ estimates that up to 33 percent of Xbox 360 consoles experience hardware failures within the first year of ownership.

Electronics and appliances warranty company SquareTrade now claims that it found a 16.4 percent normal-use failure rate on the Xbox 360. The figure, if true, shows that Microsoft has steadily improved the reliability of its console considerably – though still not up to the level of general acceptability.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates expressed earlier this year his aim for the Xbox 360 to be the most reliable console on the market. “We've got incredible reliability on the new work we've done,” he said. “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.”

According to SquareTrade, 60 percent of all Xbox 360 service calls were about the Red Ring of Death, which Microsoft refers to as “three flashing red lights.” In response to widespread reports of the console’s susceptibility to that particular error, Microsoft extended its warranty to cover the specific hardware failure for three years from purchase.

The remaining 40 percent were composed to hard drive failures, disc drive malfunctions, disc read errors and others. Such defects are, however, are covered only by the console’s current one year warranty (which the original report incorrectly states is 90-days).

In response to SquareTrade’s report, Microsoft spokesman Joe DiMiero told IGN, “Microsoft does not comment on hardware failure rates [emphasis by Microsoft], nor do we comment on speculation. We have not seen the report, and are unfamiliar with the agency that filed it. Based on the enthusiast community's feedback yesterday, the methodology of this report is suspect.”

A supposed anonymous Microsoft insider blamed the Xbox 360’s fragility on the company’s initial negligence on quality assurance, saying that the project was “under resourced” in test, quality, manufacturing, and supplier management. “There just weren't enough people to do the job that needed to be done. The leadership in many of those areas was also lopsided in essential skills and experience. But I hear they are really trying to staff up now based on what has happened, and how cheap staff is compared to a couple of billion in cost of quality,” the source wrote in an email.

Microsoft has gradually introduced new hardware revisions in hopes of solving the Red Ring of Death flaw. June 2007 saw 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. The GPU’s shrink to 65nm GPU, codenamed Jasper, isn’t due until this August.

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By daftrok on 2/18/2008 4:14:08 PM , Rating: -1
...but your uncle molested you in the process.

By mdogs444 on 2/18/2008 4:16:27 PM , Rating: 2
Christopher1, is that you?

By daftrok on 2/18/2008 4:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
No this is conebone69.

By theapparition on 2/19/2008 7:31:53 AM , Rating: 2
No, that's his uncle.

By therealnickdanger on 2/18/2008 4:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
... but somehow the massive library of great games and enormous online library of content helps you get through it all and enjoy your life.

By Hiawa23 on 2/18/2008 4:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
It's a shame MS was so scared of Sony & the PS3 that they rushed the 360s to market, I think partly knowing about some of the issues, but they were going to get the console out no matter what in 05. I have an 11/3/05 manufactured unit that I bought 11/22/05, & has done nothing but work flawlessly. When I was on vacation it got played 10hours straight for 5 days in a row with no issues, so I think I got a good one, but I have an extended warranty so if it goes, I will use that or just buy another one. Atleast they are trying to correct the problem, but this shouldn't happen in the first place. I hope they get it corrected cause the 360 & it's software is great, hate for them to lose out because consumers don't believe in the stability of the console.

By Gyres01 on 2/18/2008 5:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
Finally a new topic to get my mind off the BD - HD DVD.

By Belard on 2/18/2008 7:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft gambled to get the 360 to market ASAP since they lost to the PS2. The bigger the head-start, the more damage they would and DID do to the PS3. To have missed the 2005 Christmas season - it would have hurt their sales. Lets say the 360 came out 6 months later... some people would have waited for the PS3 to compare consoles and the number of games wouldn't have been so great.

But as you see... 33% and 16% failure rates is very high. And as posted above - the heat from the CPU/GPU can be a leading cause of drive failures... which is also a bit on high side.

By sweetsauce on 2/18/2008 10:16:54 PM , Rating: 2
It baffles me how people praise sony for putting blu in their system, then condemn microsoft for bringing their system out early. Both were strategic business decisions that obviously paid off. Sony effectively threw away any chance they had to overtake the 360 in the US by pricing their system so high. Microsoft, on the other hand, gambled by releasing the 360 early and knowing the risk of system failures. That gamble allowed microsoft to build an user base thats impossible to deny. Top it off with the fact that any quality game made for it sells over 1 million copies guaranteed and theres no doubt it was the right BUSINESS decision for them. They had to get developer support, or the 360 would die prematurely like the dreamcast did. Does it suck for the consumer, hell yes. Will it affect me getting their next system when it comes out, hell no.

By BansheeX on 2/19/2008 12:02:00 AM , Rating: 2
They had to get developer support, or the 360 would die prematurely like the dreamcast did.

Well, I'm glad you've got your hole all lubed and ready for next gen. I guess now we can expect to see this become standard practice if the consumer thinks it's necessary for his choice to release prematurely with lawnmower last-gen drives in order to get the jump on the userbase and subsequent developers. Thanks!

By sweetsauce on 2/19/2008 11:10:17 AM , Rating: 2
No need to rush into next gen since they are already handing sony their ass on this generation. Saying the 360 is dead in the water only proves how stupid and blind you are, but its expected from a sony fanboy. Look at some sale statistics buddy, microsoft has scoreboard over sony in every possible statistic, including the most important one SOFTWARE SALES. But you're right, im sure ubisoft and ea are halting all production on the 360 as we speak since you claim it is dead in the water.

Sony may have planned on winning this next-gen console race, but guess what, toshiba planned on winning the format war. Planning and executing are different. The best business decision microsoft made was releasing the 360 as is for launch. If you could pry your mouth off of sony's ass for 5 minutes you would see im right. Pretty sad that all you sony fanboys have to harp on is hardware failure on the 360. PS3 was supposed to usher in the second coming of jesus with the almighty cell chip, but all it did was solidify developer support for the 360. Good job sony, job well done. Good luck with that 10 year life cycle on the ps3. Im sure you'll be enjoying resistance 4 and uncharted 3 while im playing microsoft's next console.

PS. I've had my 360 since launch, not one problem. So i couldn't care less what the statistics for failure are since they don't apply to me. If yours fails sucks for you. Would be nice if microsoft fixed them for free. Oh wait, they do fix it for free. Sony fixed the problems with my ps and its cd-rom by advising me to turn the system over play it upside down. For my ps2 problems i was offered a $85 repair for something that was their fault.

By robinthakur on 2/19/2008 5:59:54 AM , Rating: 1
Well logically when Sony put BD in the PS3, although its expensive, the buyer (us remember?) wins because its an added feature. When Microsoft rushes a console to market which then turns out to have a major design flaw crippling upto 33% of all its consoles (which we know of) to clobber the competition and screws the buyer (read the fanboys, i.e. you) you applaud them.

Its an unconventional means of building brand loyalty but hey if it seems to work! I will be very hesitant on buying their new Xbox. For one, I would worry that a company which has not recalled a previously defective product would think its ok to do the same again. Secondly, they didn't honour their promises on backwards compatibility and if they drop the 360 the way they abandoned the Xbox overnight, its going to annoy alot of people. It must be really tempting for MS right now to see off Sony with a new Xbox. After all, PC gamers who the Xbox has cannaballized, upgrade every other year so what stopping them buying a new console, new accessories, new games, new carry bags etc...mmmm. What with the current 360 winding down now all the major games have been released already and all performace the system is capable of has been seen pretty much already.

By Squilliam on 2/19/2008 9:09:55 AM , Rating: 2
But P.C Gamers get better toys! :)

I have all 3 systems, yet I still bought 30 games for my P.C vs about 15 for the consoles in the last two years.

We get the next iteration of GPU's later this year, that will mean two full refreshes since the consoles were released and I gotta admit! My 7900gtx is getting a lil slow, hehe. I'll sell my Xbox or PS3 (maybe both! Crossfire gets expensive!) to pay for my new GPU(S) methinks.

This is me looking forward to Farcry/Crysis @ 1920/1080 very high @60FPS. >>>>SMILE<<<<

P.C gaming is alive and well, 14% of the market+whatever digital downloads, is quite comparible to PS3 game market share for instance.

By wolfpack1825 on 2/19/2008 3:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like everyone must think the xbox360 is dead. WOW you can't buy them in the USA right now. Hmmmm and a PS3 has availibility everywhere, who is winning? LOL,1697,2260394...

By Zark74 on 2/19/2008 8:39:14 PM , Rating: 2
XBOX360 RROD at GDC08 today, Microsoft own demo model

By Squilliam on 2/20/2008 3:52:41 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt that there will be anything definative until we see the results of the GTAIV release. How much is that exclsive content worth for the Xbox?

Microsoft probably has a price cut up its' sleeve as well. When these two factors hit the table, it will be possible to say with much higher accuracy how the Xbox will do for the rest of its' life-time.

Until then, everybody STFU about one months' worth of data, not enough to establish any trends.

For the record, im a P.C gamer by heart. But I have all three consoles and a P.C sharing my HD TV

By lexluthermiester on 2/20/2008 5:47:28 PM , Rating: 1
MS is having manufacturing issues. Sony isn't. I disagree with the statement that the 360 is dead, but it does look like it has one foot in the grave. Nintendo is cleaning house and they show no signs of stopping. Try finding a Wii on store shelves. Not going to happen. Nintendo is selling them as fast as they can make them. Sony is doing well with the PSP slim and PS3.

The reason 360 is a little hard to find is because MS isn't making very many, not because demand is high.

And the little article on extremetech is just MS PR try to make things look better than they are.

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