Crazy Expectations of a Console That Didn’t Deserve Its Third Chance to Fail

If you never saw Crazy People, a 1990 film starring Dudley Moore, I highly recommend it. Basically, an advertising agency is taken over by the insane, who decide that honesty—the anathema of marketing—is now the best policy. Volvos are sold as "boxy, but they're good." Another stunt offers "a free plant for fat slobs." And a poster featuring an attractive couple frolicking on the beach invites the viewer to "Come in the Bahamas."

The kicker to the whole movie is a brilliant fake ad for Sony, in which a smug Japanese man declares that their products are better because shorter Asian engineers are closer to the circuitry, while "caucasians are just too damn tall." Twenty-two years and three Xbox 360 failures later, I'm thinking maybe that movie was on to something

By Owen Good

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dedicatedtogamers2081d ago

It still boggles my mind how Microsoft basically got off scott-free with its fanbase with the 360's hardware failures (let alone Microsoft's blatant shift to "soccer mom gaming" with the Kinect).

But people will always defend something when they're way too emotionally invested into it.

LiquidSword932080d ago

Emotional investment shouldn't coincide with ignorance.

360ICE2080d ago

On the plus side 360 does do a lot of things very correctly. Xbox Live has been flawless from the start, and 360 got off to a very good start with Gears of War. And of course Halo 3 kind of continued that momentum. It's also always been a little bit cheaper than the PS3, which is probably an advantage around christmas. And for some weeeeird reason Kinect was a commercial success. I like kinect, but hey, it's a web-cam 2.0.

However, I think if PlayStation 3 launched earlier, and had games like Uncharted on the table from the begninning, things would have been very different. Still possible that 360 will end up with the most sales though.

Aloren2080d ago (Edited 2080d ago )

"However, I think if PlayStation 3 launched earlier, and had games like Uncharted on the table from the begninning, things would have been very different. Still possible that 360 will end up with the most sales though."

I doubt uncharted DF would have pushed that many sales. But thinking about it, had the PS3 launched when it did at 400 without BluRay instead of 600, the 360 would have been taken over a long time ago. It's kinda ironical that the one thing that was supposed to make the PS3 the console of choice ended up being what stopped it from crushing the competition... imo anyway.

360ICE2080d ago

Hehe, first of all I meant to write "still possible that PS3 will end up with most sales", even though it's absolutely likely for 360 as well.

I think Uncharted would have pushed very many sales, if it was to go up against Gears of War from the beginning. The game is better looking, more fluid in many ways and in my opinion better than Gears of War. Gears of war on its side sold had a huge attachment rate to 360 and undoubtedly sold many consoles and introduced many to the next generation. So yeah, it would have meant a lot for PS3 to set something up against that right of the bat.

And of course PS3 would have smahsed 360 if it had launched at 400, but it didn't, and most likely couldn't .And Blu-Ray is a huge part of the PS3 experience, and helped sell many PS3s too, so I'm glad they kept that in there.

Jason_Tanner2080d ago

Regardless of what the 360 does correctly, the first and most important thing it should do is actually work when you press the power button.

On top of that you have morons that are willing to look past that huge problem and still support paying to play online and in some cases pay twice to use services like Netflix.

Xbox 360 fanboys are just geniuses. Stand up and defend a company that doesn't give two sh-ts about you and then defend a console that you pay to play online but won't turn on. Brilliant.

nukeitall2080d ago (Edited 2080d ago )

MS got away with it, because of two things:

a) despite the Xbox 360 short comings, it made other killer features you can't live without

b) the competition isn't bringing it to the table

That said, sure the tray isn't sexy and the older models were loud, but it never really bothered me. In fact, I kind of prefer the tray, because the DVD disc isn't as sturdy as BR. Slot loading makes me feel like the DVD would get scratches.

The noise is virtually eliminated if you install the game, which I always do to preserve the optical drive.

The new Xbox 360 Slim works wonders though, and all the other complaints are trivial.

However, using a clunky interface and waiting for lengthy updates pisses me off as I might have 30-45 minutes to play and I don't want to spend 15 of them waiting.

AusRogo2080d ago

Just curious, what features does it have that you 'can't live without'?

nukeitall2080d ago (Edited 2080d ago )


Well, "can't live without" might have been over the top, but my point is that there are other features you care more about than the fact that it has a tray. Most consumers don't care about little things like that if they have something else they use far more often.

Case in point, do you care more about the external power brick or the fact that you first login to the PS3 and then again to the PSN with a cluncky interface?

Some of the things I like about my Xbox is XBL, cross game chat, party chat, and the plethora of apps. I watch relatively (to gaming) a lot of movies/shows and having Kinect is a must. "Xbox Pause"!

More importantly though than the features themselves are actually the ease of use of the Xbox, which is arguably it's best selling point in my opinion.

I believe the PS3 has unbelievable value compared to the competition not only from the price to what you get, but also to many of the exclusive games released, but is hampered by many poor user design choices. The hardware is top notch, but the software design is not up to snuff.

ZoyosJD2080d ago (Edited 2080d ago )

"first login to the PS3 and then again to the PSN"

"the features themselves are actually the ease of use of the Xbox"


I can grab my PS3 controller, hit the PS button and then the system turns on, the TV turns on, and the system logs in to my my user account and PSN with my personal background all automatically.

Any movie or game I put in the system starts automatically as long as I'm not doing something it would interrupt. My controller turns off after 5 min of non-use.

My PS3 silently turns on every day at 4:00a.m. to check for updates, and automatically downloads any, followed by automatically syncing my trophies, and uploading all my altered game saves to the cloud.

My new 750GB Hybrid HDD loads games as fast, if not faster than the BD drive. And I've got a lot of digital games through PS+.

The best part is that these are all options that can be changed to match your gaming style, preferences, and household.

ChunkyLover532080d ago (Edited 2080d ago )

I wouldn't say Microsoft got off scott free, as fanboys and hater's still bring it up on a daily basis.

Also, by 2010 we should have seen an Xbox 360 successor, had it been a typical 5 year cycle. The core gamer that was going to buy an Xbox 360 had already bought one, Microsoft needed to do something to stay relevant and so they came out with Kinect, Sony attempted to capture some of those "soccer moms" by releasing Move, it just wasn't as well received.

I'd actually say that Microsoft is putting out more core titles this year than the competition.

Also, this was a troll filled article if I've ever seen one.

I had a launch Xbox 360 that never had an issue, bought a slim when those came out and still haven't had an issue with either of them. In fact, aren't the Xbox 360s consoles the most reliable console this generation? I remember seeing an article where half a million people were polled and said they felt the Xbox 360 was more reliable.

I also own over 200 Xbox 360 games and I've been an XBL Gold member for 8 years this November.

MikeMyers2080d ago

"It still boggles my mind how Microsoft basically got off scott-free"

Not sure how they got off scott-free when it cost them more than 1 billion dollars to deal with the RROD situation.

I know one thing is for sure, if I buy the next Xbox that's coming out it won't be right away.

GarandShooter2080d ago

The textbook definition of taking something out of context. If you're going to take a partial quote, at least include enough to retain the spirit.

'It still boggles my mind how Microsoft basically got off scott-free with its fanbase'

'With its fanbase' is a pretty critical part of the quote. Nowhere did he imply it didn't cost MS money.

jd6662080d ago

More than 1 BILLION DOLLARS spent on a problem that the 360 fanboys still reckon never really existed?

MikeMyers2080d ago

GarandShooter, they still didn't get off scott-free. There were plenty of articles talking about it and gamers finally had a voice since Microsoft tried to push it under the carpet early on. So not only did it cost Microsoft financially but it also upset a lot of consumers.

They curbed it a bit by extending the warranty to 3 years but that only included the RROD, not anything else. They got bad publicity, had over a 1 billion dollar fund to deal with it and lost some consumers in the process. That's hardly getting of scott-free. Even myself i'm hesitant on buying their next system right away and I imagine i'm not alone. I am part of that fanbase he speaks of. When you start questioning the quality of their products that comes at a cost. It also forced Microsoft to totally redesign the system and that too came at a cost.

A portion of their fanbase questioned the quality of the system, because essentially the early adopters were used as guinea pigs, and they will carry that apprehension going into the next generation as well. That's hardly getting off scott-free.

GarandShooter2080d ago

Mike, mainstream media coverage of RRoD was minimal to non-existent. I saw no television or newspaper coverage. In fact, if I didn't frequent gaming sites, I would have been completely unaware.

The affect on the fanbase has been minimal as well. The number of units sold and fervent fans speaks to that. There's a lot of factors that play into that including one's game library, gamerscore (yeah, some people do care about that), friends, etc. You've got to give props to MS for making it more palatable for some people to deal with RRoD than jump ship.

Monetarily, they didn't get off scot-free, agreed, but no one was claiming they did. I don't think it had nearly the impact on their fanbase that you do and will again point to the number of units sold as evidence. I would also not underestimate the adage 'it's not how you start, it's how you finish'. Reliability at the end of the lifecycle will have a greater impact on next-gen launch sales.

Guess we'll just have to and see.

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r1sh122080d ago

MS did the only thing they could, extended warranty and free repair.
Ive had 2 xbox 360's, one flashed a red light once, I restarted it and all was fine. I decided to sell it and purchased the black slim 250gb version.
Havent really had any issues to be honest.

I will say the network connectivity issues are usually to do with the router more than anything else.
Strict NAT is down to the router, I had the issue a couple times on my xbox which were randomly fixed then my PS3 ended up the same.
I just gave each of them static IP addresses and all was fixed :)

3-4-52080d ago

Because they addressed the issue, took care of it for free, and that was that.

They didn't tell us it would be fixed like sony and then say nothing for 6 years.

BitbyDeath2080d ago (Edited 2080d ago )

What's the 6 year Sony issue to which you are referring?

Also MS didn't own up to the RROD as being an issue for over a year. At first they said it was within industry standards of 3-5% and then later claimed the consumers were at fault for bringing on the RROD.

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InTheLab2080d ago


I've only owned one 360 which died several times. The hardest thing in the world to do was to sell off the 70 games I owned and not buy another poorly made console. It's tough walking away from all of those games, all of my gaming friends, 6+ months of Live left in my sub, over $400 in accessories like wifi/headsets/controllers, and a ton of DLC that I will never see again.

I REFUSE to give MS any more money. I shouldn't have to. I understand that electronics fail. But I've never seen anything like the 360 or the people that stand by such a poorly made console.

The Xbox 360 is the worst console in gaming history. Some people won't like my saying that, but those same people drudge along buying 2 and 3 of them and pretend like that is normal. It's not. MS built a cheap console built with spit and bubble gum and I was stupid enough to buy one...but not stupid enough to buy another.

Now, when I say worst console, I'm not talking about the software. The 360 has one of the strongest libraries in gaming but all of those awesome games mean nothing when you lose your console for weeks at best, forever at worst. It's downright shameful that everyone I know that owns a 360 has had it die on them. Bad luck? Not when it's EVERYONE YOU KNOW...meanwhile, my PS3 and Wii are still going stong.

I remember it like yesterday. 3 days before Christmas(2010), my 360 tanked for the 2nd time while installing the second disc of Forza 3 ultimate. At least it was kind enough to die before I spent more money on Xbox games. I got the thing fixed again and it tanked for the last time while playing Just Cause.

You never forget the games that killed your 360..

Now, I'm sure I'll get bombed here and labeled a fanboy for speaking to my own experience with the console, but whatever. If i cared what others thought, I'd make a Facebook account...

The_Klank2080d ago

I had a Very similar experience, except I did get a second one.... which also quit on me half way through Alan Wake, haven't played a 360 since, with a shelf load of games just sitting there.

I refuse to get another one and definitely wont be getting whatever Microsoft put out for the next gen at launch for fear of them repeating the same mistakes.

Anon19742080d ago

I'm on my 4th 360 console but I stopped playing on it years ago with very rare exceptions because I have little faith that this console will last as the one MS shipped me was older than the one it replaced.

I spent the extra $70 and got an extra 2 years on top of the 3 year warranty, but my experiences as an early adopter were terrible. My first 360 died just over the original 90 day warranty, the second died after it's full year warranty but before the warranty was extended to 3 years so both times I had to pay MS $170 for repairs. Eventually that was refunded back to me when the warranty was extended, but even that was like pulling teeth as MS claimed they had no record of my previous two repairs and the process of proving it to them was a nightmare of being put on hold for hours, hung up on, transferred endlessly, etc...

Part of MS's problem with console replacement was they didn't fix the problem, they just sent you a refurbished console that had already died on someone else and shockingly were prone to dying again. When you talk to people who had their 360's replaced, it's not uncommon to hear of multiple failures once the first one went.

That kind of experience will change your gaming habits pretty damn quick and without a doubt, I'll be holding off purchasing MS's new Xbox until I'm convinced the hardware is sound. I feel a bit foolish even considering buying the new hardware after what I experienced with the 360 but I'm a gamer first and foremost, and last gen the Xbox was by far my favourite console.

I'm willing to forgive MS's and the 360's blunders this gen, but I'll certainly be cautious before entering into a MS product next gen. I spent over $1000 on the Xbox 360, accessories, XBL, etc (not even counting games) and I'm left with a console I got a couple of years out of before being forced to switch to a gaming console I could rely on. I won't make that mistake again.

wages of sin2080d ago

Worst console ever? (hardware wise)

You obviously are too young to remember the horrible issues the PS1 and PS2 had. The difference is there wasn't an internet and Sony made you pay.

Talk about inflated numbers, how many PS2's were purchased to replace broken ones? I know I had three of them and at least as many PS1's.

Many of you may have started gaming this generation but as far as hardware history goes, it's not even close. Nintendo having the best track record.

InTheLab2080d ago

I'm old enough to have started gaming before gaming had a name. I also own every major console and the only one that failed was the 360.

As for the DREs of the ps2 and original...there's a such thing as an acceptable failure rate and both were well below that point. The reason why you think it was as bad as rrod is because of the shear number of ps2s that were sold. So of course the number of defective ps2s were probably higher than the 360s but only due to the huge number of consoles being sold.

So the 360 had around 25m sold at the hight of rrod with more than half that number being defective. They didn't solve the problem until the slim dropped years later with over 45m the 360 and ps2 have similar numbers despite one shipping twice as many consoles as the other.

Simply being around at the time is not enough and the world didn't start with the advent of the net. GI..Gamepro..EGM. that's how we spread news back in the day along with word of mouth. I speak from experience because I was there..

Not old enough? My Calico Vision still fires up dude..

Lvl_up_gamer2080d ago

@ InTheLab

I agree with you that there is such a thing as "acceptable failure rate" with electronics, but you are out of your mind if you think the PS1 and PS2 had "acceptable" failure rates.

PS1 was well known for heat issues. You had to turn the PS1 up side down to read the disc and that was only the beginning issues leading up to the inevitable system breakdown. I went through 3 PS1's and each only had a 3 month warranty.

As for the PS2's, I had 2 PS2's and like you say, there were issues with the DRE's. However, you seem to be forgetting that Sony was sued because of their faulty PS2 units.


"An unknown number of early PS2 models suffered from problems reading DVD discs; subsequently, a class action lawsuit was filed against Sony. Sony agreed to provide free repair or replacement for the faulty consoles and continued to do so until February 2005."

Class action lawsuits don't usually occur where the company has to completely change their policy's over an "acceptable failure rate".

You say you have been around long enough before gaming had a name and owned every major console yet think the PS1 and PS2 had "acceptable failure rates"?

I don't think you were as in touch with gaming and it's history as you proclaim to be.

Dms20122080d ago ShowReplies(1)
r1sh122080d ago (Edited 2080d ago )

I doubt anyone would call you a fanboy, but youve just had bad luck. Its infuriating when that happens, the bad experience will make you want to run away from the xbox.

I would completely disagree (i havent given you a disagree) about the xbox 360 being the worst gaming console, you have come to that conclusion due to your experiences, mine have been good so I like my 360.

InTheLab2080d ago

I guess it really is a matter of perspective, but if I were to be as objective as possible, I'd still have trouble getting past the multitude of problems that afflicted early 360 models.

The guy above brought up DRE from the PS2 days and that's actually a good point that reminded me that RRoD is not the only issue with the 360. It also has DRE and several other deficiencies on top of RRoD...

Right out of the box, the early model 360s are insanely loud consoles. I thought for sure I damaged mine on the way home from GS but as it turns out, it's a shared issue for most 360s aside from the elite(which is still kinda loud) and the slim( which is the greatest redesign ever).

Now, I'm not talking strictly about failures, but some of the cosmetic features of the console were out right terrible design decisions. Even Nintendo had the presence of mind to ditch the disc tray. The power brick is still a thing for some reason. Infra red controllers with batteries. No wifi pre slim.

The 360 is just a poorly designed console in my opinion but if you add the failures and RRoD, you end up with the worst console in history. The Slim may have helped some but not for the other 15-20m of us that did not upgrade and really shouldn't have to.

But it wasn't all bad thanks to the software. I had a wonderful 3 years playing almost exclusively on Live and I've made quite a few real life friends thanks to Gears (one of my bosses actually talked me into buying a 360 for Gears) and H3. XBLA is fantastic and so are Achievements. I really cut my online gaming teeth on over Live during those three years and I try to remember all of that....but..

Even taking away my negative experience at the end, I still can't ignore the fact that many people out there had a similar experience, so you can't simply wash away the 360's flaws because it hasn't (hopefully never) happened to you.

The original Xbox was far superior to the 360 in design in my opinion. Massive HDD on top of removable mem cards, music instals, add free Live, and the thing was built like a tank...but still looked cool with that massive X and green hue. Add that to the superior performance that surpassed both the Gamecube and PS2...

In comparison to that, the early 360 was shockingly bad..

r1sh122079d ago

Pretty much agree again, many many users experienced the same issues, I think at certain points MS eventually realised replacing RROD consoles with Refurbs was just costing more money, and eventually they replaced with 'fresh builds'.
It was rushed to market there is not disputing that, my old fat xbox sounded like a vacuum cleaner until game installs were introduced.
Since game installs the fat xbox was pretty quiet,
the slim is soo much better, but MS should have done something about it from the early stages.

THE EARLY 360 was pretty terrible and Im glad I purchased the arcade version (got a free 120gb HD).
I did the same with my PS3, I didnt buy it at launch. The reason why I do that is to see what sort of issues arise during early adoption.

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grayfoxx8812080d ago

I'm on my third 360. I had to send my current one in for repair as well. I got it back two weeks later, only to find cosmetic damage to the machine that wasn't there when I had shipped it in. The kicker? Not one customer rep could tell me what was wrong with my console, or what had been fixed. Once this machine goes, I'm done with MS. I shouldn't have to buy three of the same console within a six year period.

grayfoxx8812080d ago

How could I possibly be getting any disagrees? What are you disagreeing with? The fact that I'm on my third machine? Or maybe you fanboys think I need to buy a few more consoles from Microsoft. Some people on here are incredibly blind with brand loyalty.

jd6662080d ago

It's ludicrous that Microsoft released the 360 with a massive failure rate just so they could get it out before PS3 and ripped off A LOT of parents who bought them for their kids and those same kids aggressively defend Microsoft like it's their child or something!! It's laughable!!

SandwichHammock2080d ago

You, in my opinion, have hit the nail on the head. Before people get their panties in a bunch, this exact same thing happens with PS3, Wii, DS, PSP...albeit without the premature failure fact. Yes, there are numerous including myself, gamers that are older and have jobs and buy their own kit and app. But alot of it is still young people getting their things through parents/relatives through actual gifts and/or cash. And its these people that are patterned into a brand and will defend it for life. My company of choice is Sony, but by no means do I defend them if they f*ck up. They have alot of Xs on their scorecard in my book (ie. the "removal" of PS2 backwards compatibility, all while reselling PS2 classics on PSN) but they are still my preferred source of most of my gaming because their gaming culture resonates with me more. At least they havn't held back gaming by monopolizing APIs to kill of openGL in the late 90s early 2000s (I understand openGL is not dead by any means, but in gaming it pretty much is). But if you got by intranetz rulez, then I'm a fanboy.

I think a great example of this right now is what's happening with the WiiU. Nintendo fans have such a hard time accepting that its a current gen console or that the majority of its tablet controller features can also be done on another console. Who's to say, or not say for that matter, that alot of these people fall into the "got a Wii for his/her 7th year Christmas/kwanzaa/Hannukah, and now 6 years later is getting a WiiU". How can you argue (on the internet from all places) with a person like that?! They think that their sh*t is da "sh*T!" because that is all they have access to.

but then again I'm just another comment in the sea, so what do I know ;)

Dms20122080d ago

They replaced pretty much every RROD 360. And there is the fact that we dislike Sony fanboys so much that we would rather buy a busted console. I personally can't stand any of you, ever since the Dreamcast days.

grayfoxx8812080d ago

And you know that Microsoft replaced all these broken consoles how? They didn't replace any of my machines, and I had two that RROD. They wanted $100 from me in order for each machine to be fixed. Some of the consoles that were sent in for repair just had heat sinks drilled into the console, which later had to be sent it for a second repair. You would rather buy a busted console because you dislike another platform? That's probably one of the most ignorant comments I've read.

rainslacker2080d ago

The fact that you allow your buying habits be influenced by some fanboys says a lot about you. Especially since fanboys make up a very small minority of the game playing matter which side you root for.

CalvinKlein2080d ago

you seem to be aggressively attacking the 360 because you love the ps3 sooo much, kinda like the 360 was a kid who gave your kid a bloody nose on the playground(or maybe I should say the 360 is the kid that gave you a bloody nose on the playground because you are probably 7 for getting butthurt about what others spend money on).

jd6662080d ago

Sorry but I won't get into a debate with a child who uses words like 'butthurt' RUN ALONG

DEATHxTHExKIDx2080d ago

I have had my launch 360 since 05 in 08 it got RROD so I sent it in(extended warranty).Just recently this year its started to over heat, but I am getting it fixed. I just want it to last till the next Xbox. So I can say I only had to buy 1 360 and it lasted a whole generation.

However Microsoft better not release faulty hardware when the next Xbox launches.

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