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Red ring of death -- Image courtesy XBOXIC
Microsoft to offer free repairs for XBOX 360s manufactured before January 1; checks to be mailed to customers who have already paid

Well here's a bit of good news for XBOX 360 customers who've seen their console go up in smoke within the past year. For customers whose XBOX 360 console was manufactured before 01/01/2006, you are now eligible to receive free repairs should your console need attention. Customers who have already paid for repairs will receive checks in the mail within 5-8 weeks to cover their costs.

Confirmation of Microsoft's change of heart was first reported on the official XBOX Forum. A number of forums posters have confirmed the news and say that Microsoft is due to make an official announcement today with all details.

For those of you who have an XBOX 360 manufactured after January 1, I give you my condolences. This news comes just a day after Microsoft announced the Japanese due date for its XBOX 360 HD DVD drive and that it would add 1080p support to the XBOX 360 via an upcoming software update.

Update 9/22/06: Here's an official statement from Microsoft concerning XBOX 360 repairs:

As part of our standard and ongoing process of analyzing repair data, we recently noticed a higher than usual number of units coming in for repair. Upon further investigation, it was further discovered that the bulk of the units were isolated to a group that was part of the initial manufacturing run of the console. Returns for repair are coming in for a variety reasons and it's a higher rate than we are satisfied with. We've made the decision to comp repairs for consoles manufactured before January 1, 2006, and provide refunds to the small group of customers who have already paid for repairs.




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