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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 crazyblackman on 2/19/2008 3:35:01 AM , Rating: -1
Seriously...he can't wait to reach down and grab his ankles for Major Nelson again. The 360 is unofficially dead in the water. Microsoft did it again. Rumor is...already trying to beat the competition to the market again with a new console, and they will probably drop support, rather quickly, for what's doomed to be a short life cycled 360. Sony gambled on blu ray? Yeah. Ok. Sony PLANNED on winning the next-gen console and Hi-def video format war, by making a QUALITY product. Microsoft planned on milking early adopters by deceiving consumers with a knowingly defective console. But hey...some would trust MS all over again with their next "rushed to the market" console offering, even after all the Xbox 360 suffering they endured. They might as well start lubing their wanton buttocks for some more of that good ole fashioned Major Nelson lovin'. Hell...they might as well let Major Healy get some too. I give it a couple more years before the next Microsoft booty call begins.


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.


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