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.