Saturday, February 16, 2008

Red ring redux

The column this week featured the story of my horrible luck with the Xbox 360. Many people have suffered through the dreaded "Red Ring of Death," even though Microsoft has claimed that the malfunction rate is under 5%. A new report from warranty company SquareTrade provides some interesting new figures on the rate of the consoles failure.

The findings were a 16.4% failure rate of Xbox 360 systems, versus a roughly 3% rate for the Sony PlayStation 3 or the Nintendo Wii with sample sizes in the high hundreds. The well-known "Red Ring of Death" error accounted for about 60% of those hardware failures, and thus most system-breaking problems are covered by Microsoft's extended warranty plan.

The full article can be read here. 16.4% still seems a bit low to me, but does show a significant increase over Microsoft's figure. It's obvious at this point that the machine needs to be better equipped to handle the intense heat that the console generates. Hopefully the company dips into the "We want to buy Yahoo" fund to take care of their faithful gamers.

I promise to post some game impressions as soon as my working (*crosses fingers*) 360 returns from Microsoft's repair center. We might even see a surprise or two from the Game Developers Conference this week.


Chad said...

While this is frustrating news to those like me who own a 360 and have had the console replaced (three for myself,)the replacement consoles being shipped come with the new architecture. Less overheating, smaller components, etc...

I question this company's figures unless we get to see the methodology that led to this percentage.

Dan Whisenhunt said...

Glad I never got on the Xbox bandwagon myself. To me, Microsoft has always viewed video games as another way to pay the bills.

I take comfort knowing many of the Xbox exclusives will eventually land on my PC.

Takean said...

...Um, isn't that what Sony does too? Sony is known for making electronics...and not for games...until their success with the PS1. How is Microsoft any different? Other than the fact ppl tend to hate them just as ppl tend to hate Jeff Gordon...but not sure why. They all race...they all make money. What works is what works.

I take it then that I'm no better than Microsoft because I veiw my job and creativeness as a way to pay my bills.....

Dan Whisenhunt said...

You have a point- I guess what I'm saying is people more closely associate Microsoft with its OS than they do Sony with its brand of electronics. It's not like Sony ever held a monopoly on Walk-man's or least, not that I'm aware of.

I think the perception is Microsoft doesn't treat gaming as seriously as its competitors.

Takean said...

"I think the perception is Microsoft doesn't treat gaming as seriously as its competitors."

That I can agree with. I think in the end though...ppl have their favorites. I love the 360...but there are games on the ps3 that makes me wish I had it as well. Thankfully, there are plenty of PC games that neither have that I can safely say..."I'm glad I have a super computer".

The biggest help Sony did for the ps3 though was to drop the price. Had they not done it...I'm afraid it would still be falling behind.

Too bad I can't afford one still :(