Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Xbox contributor has "red rings of death" syndrome

Here I thought I'd struck gold- and I have, sort of. Chris Pittman, who works in our online department now, said he'd love to contribute Xbox news and info to the blog....but, his Xbox is in for repairs....

Chris- If you’re like me, coming home to your favorite video game console can be one of the best ways to relieve the stress of a long day at work/school. For many Xbox 360 owners, however, starting up that system only adds to the stress. A console malfunction dubbed the “Red Ring of Death” has taken the life of thousands of Xbox 360 consoles with no end in sight.

Many 360 gamers have experienced the dreaded “Red Ring of Death” while booting Microsoft’s latest console. The problem, which is indicated by three flashing red lights on the system’s “Ring of Light,” is the result of the Xbox 360 unit overheating. At this point the console is essentially dead and must be exchanged at the store of purchase(barring warranty life), or sent off to Microsoft for repairs.

Microsoft initially stated the problem was a rare one, but changed their stance last July by extending the limited warranty on the console to 3 years. This extended warranty applies only to Xbox 360 systems that suffer the “Red Ring of Death.” Microsoft claims that repairing the consoles will cost them over $1 billion.

Many retailers, such as the popular video game store GameStop, will only offer refurbished units in exchange for a faulty Xbox 360 under store warranty. These stores simply cannot afford to replace broken 360 consoles with brand new systems.

The “Red Ring of Death” has become quite the phenomenon in the video game world. YouTube is filled with videos regarding the problem, with the majority featuring a humorous take on an otherwise disappointing situation. One of the more popular videos features a band by the name of Distended Warranty. Their song, “Red Ring of Death,” is a hilarious look at the process of sending the unit to Microsoft.

Successfully starting the Xbox 360 can be a game of its own. Be sure to take a big breath before you press that power button the next time.

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