Despite customer complaints of a greater-than-usual
percentage of Xbox 360 consoles breaking down, Microsoft still maintains that
its system’s failure rate is still within an acceptable range. In a Mercury
News blog interview with Peter Moore, VP of Microsoft’s
entertainment division, a reader who had experienced two defective Xbox 360
consoles within seven months requested a straight answer on the apparent issue
of hardware quality. The reader suggested that the failure rate is perhaps two
or three times greater than the three to five percent that Microsoft claims.
Moore responded, “I can’t comment on failure rates, because
it’s just not something – it’s a moving target. What this consumer
should worry about is the way that we’ve treated him. Y’know, things
break, and if we’ve treated him well and fixed his problem, that’s
something that we’re focused on right now. I’m not going to comment on
individual failure rates because I’m shipping in 36 countries and it’s a
The issue of failing Xbox 360 consoles is an ongoing one. In
response to an overwhelming defect rate of launch consoles, Microsoft agreed to repair all
machines manufactured in 2005 free of charge, and issue a refund for those
who already paid for repairs of launch units up until January 1, 2006.
“We’ve received a few isolated reports of consoles not
working as expected,” Microsoft previously stated in reference to launch
consoles. “The call rate is well below what you’d expect for a consumer
electronics product of this complexity. As a percentage of the total number of
Xbox 360 systems already in the field, these calls represent a very small
In late 2006, Microsoft boosted the warranty of all Xbox 360
consoles to one year,
up from the previous 90-days. Then in April 2007, Microsoft further enhanced
its warranty services by reinstating free two-way shipping for console
replacements, as well as giving paid-repair consoles a fresh one-year warranty.
For gamers who are out of warranty, however, a replacement or repair will cost
Xbox 360 customers $140 – a price that many gamers are not
afraid to express much displeasure about.