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Microsoft's console customers have been along a rough ride

Many Xbox 360 fans stay steadfastly faithful to their next generation console of choice.  However, even the majority of the most die-hard fans would admit that Microsoft's quality track record left something to be desired.  The console launched with a 90 nm CPU that tended to run hot and fail -- resulting in an iconic three red LEDs ringing the power light activating, in what is known as the "Red Ring of Death" (RROD).

Microsoft set aside over $1B USD to deal with the defects and has raced to deploy its Falcon 65 nm update in 2007 in hopes of remedying the issues. 

So just how badly hit was Microsoft?  According to a recent survey by Game Informer of 5,000 readers, since the late 2005 launch of the Xbox 360, over 54.2 percent of purchasers experienced a failure.  After sending their console in for repair, a whopping 41.2 percent became acquainted with failure once again.  With 30 million consoles shipped, these numbers would indicate 16.3 million failures and 6.7 second failures.

In comparison, only 10.6 percent of Sony PS3's and 6.8 percent of Nintendo Wii's experienced failure.  And for those who sent their consoles in for repair only 14.7 percent of PS3 owners and 11 percent of Nintendo Wii owners reported failure. 

Some insist the numbers are too low.  Griffin McElroy of Joystiq, a gaming blog that has extensively chronicled the console's issues, comments, "We're not sure what future techno-utopia this poll was conducted in, but a 54.2 percent Xbox 360 failure rate sounds awfully low. Had the survey's participants been comprised entirely of Joystiq staffers, it would have been a bone-chilling 100 percent."

The survey also showed that while Sony and Nintendo completed repairs in a week or two, Microsoft took a month or more.  One bright spot was that 37.7 percent of respondents said that Microsoft's support was "very helpful".  Another promising sign for Microsoft is that only 3.8 percent vowed not to buy future Xbox's due to the failures.  Conversely, 36.4 percent bought more than one Xbox 360 to replace a failing unit.



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80% of statistics are made up
By nafhan on 8/21/2009 12:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
This survey is meaningless.

Problems are related mostly to the audience of the website:
1. Audience for that website is made up of heavy gamers who probably use their consoles much more than the "average" person, and so there consoles will fail more quickly (look up MTBF).
2. Likewise, those people are more likely to have bought a launch console, which are known to have higher failure rates.
3. All the other problems endemic to voluntary web polls (which is enough to invalidate the "scientificness" of these results in the first place).

For the survey to be meaningful, you'd at least need it span the spectrum of 360 users. The 360 does have higher failure rates than other recent consoles, but this poll is just meaningless sensationalism without listing some caveats.




"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

















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