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 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.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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