The truth about the Xbox 360

The infamous Xbox 360 "red ring of death" (indicating a failed unit) has caused Microsoft - and its customers - untold pain in the three years since the console's launch in 2005, and cost it $1.15bn (£738m) last year. Microsoft has never said publicly why the console was plagued with faults: it seems that poor production quality was at the heart of the failures - an all-round problem with no single cause except impatience on the company's part as it tried to become the leader in videogame consoles.

It was an ambitious attack. Microsoft's engineers started working on the Xbox 360 at least a year after Sony's engineers began work on the PlayStation 3, yet wound up shipping a year earlier. With the first Xbox, the company lost $3.7bn (£2.3bn) over four years, mostly because costs of the box - particularly its hard drive - were too high. Bill Gates didn't really care about the losses; that was simply the ante for getting into an exciting new business. But Steve Ballmer, who took over from Gates as chief executive during the first generation, really wanted the Xbox business to be profitable second time around.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
HighDefinition3417d ago (Edited 3417d ago )

It`s sh!t quality, w/ good games. But the NO HDD and DVD hurts it`s longevity. IF MS wasn`t making so much off of XBL, they **probaly** would have quit by now.


thor3417d ago (Edited 3417d ago )

It's not just RROD. RROD gets flung around a lot on the web, but of the people I know personally, I don't know one who has got the RROD. But every 360 owner I know has had their disks scratched to pieces by their 360. It's a shoddy piece of hardware all round.

Designed with perhaps more thought to gaming than the PS3 though. But shoddily built from its decent component parts.


I mean that it was designed with a PC architecture, unified RAM and a (slightly) better graphics card than the PS3. Easier to develop for. The PS3 made _some_ better decisions with regard to standard HDD and some other things, but on the whole, the 360 is easier to develop great looking games for.

Also, the 360's OS was designed with things like cross-game messaging and chat from the start, and games were built around those limitations. With the PS3, these features are being patched in later but are restricted by the games that all have to be able to still run. E.g. in-game XMB is still slow.

MURKERR3417d ago (Edited 3417d ago )

how many times would you put up with a car or girlfriend that broke down that much?

@ thor..if 360 was built with gaming in mind more than ps3 why dvd9?, why no wifi? why no bluetooth for headsets?why download limits for GAMES? ridiculous comment

earwax3417d ago (Edited 3417d ago )

Why can't you get over THAT fact? and face it, that the reason the 360 lived thru that is because it has GREAT games. I had it TWICE myself, did I enjoy it? NO however could I wait to get my system back? no . November is almost going to put me in the poor house with all the great games out this month.

Elven63417d ago

Murrker: if 360 was built with gaming in mind more than ps3 why dvd9?, why no wifi? why no bluetooth for headsets?why download for GAMES? ridiculous comment

Err since when was Bluetooth a gaming necessity? Plus the 360 is able to download games, ever heard of XBLA, Xbox Originals, and Tomb Raider: Anniversary? Wifi is convenient but it's not good for gaming.

I agree with the DVD 9 comment, Microsoft could have easily chucked a HD DVD drive into the unit and still meet ship date.

MURKERR3417d ago (Edited 3417d ago )

who said neccesity?

my points aids a gamers playing experience...thats something built with gaming in mind

there is a cap on size limits for games and the braid developer vented his frustrations on it,and as for bluetooth using a bluetooth headset the official one with the mute while online is the bomb

3417d ago
INehalemEXI3417d ago (Edited 3417d ago )

I agree Thor I never had a unit go RRoD on me but I had 2 units that did scratch discs.

except for that part about it being built more for gaming then the ps3 that is not true imo. It was just built with a traditional chipset with a few modifications to bolster it. While the Ps3 was built for gaming its chipset and tech was advanced to carry it further into the future gaming was always in mind just because it can play HD movies does not mean sony forgot what they where building.

@ arrrgh I spent like $9 on a bluetooth headset a long time ago....You don't have to get the official one. Wireless is worth it too, but I do think they should have included headsets in PS3 SKU's like 360's do.

Gue13417d ago (Edited 3417d ago )

not exactly i thinks it's because of the price because if you compare it to the other consoles the freaking X360 is even cheaper than the Wii!

then why is not destroying the PS3 that cost almost the triple? the PS3 is still outselling it in japan and in a couple of more territories.

now do you still think that it is because of the games? then what is maintaining the PS3 sell rates? the games? because it couldn't be the price... right now the X360 and PS3 are getting the same amount of games. that excuse about "the PS3 doesn't have games" is long dead by now.

edit: i have 5 friends with x360 and all their x360's suffered the RRoD. the funny thing is that they went and bought another because they say that the PS3 is still too expensive!

BTW where i live is a pain in the *** to send the freaking Xbox to MS...

Ju3417d ago (Edited 3417d ago )

@argh, quote:

"The yield was typically only around 70% - far short of the target - until May 2007."

Still a 30% defect rate - until 2007 (!), maybe not return rate, but average yield should be around 98%. So 30% didn't even leave the factory. Bad, real bad...

These 15% in returns are still bad, though. I mean this was reported "early this year" (that's 3M units ?).

What surprised me, that they added the HDD and Wireless controllers later. Didn't know that.

The PS3 isn't outselling anything. It sells solid, though. I still can't believe, that MS will get away with that same bullsh!t again. While I appreciate competition, just putting money to play is not what I'd favor. Let the quality speak, and I am all ears.

ceedubya93417d ago

For one thing, you have to remember that the 360 has not ALWAYS been cheaper than the Wii. Its been above that price point until they did their price cuts.

The main reasons why 360 hasn't blown away the PS3 aren't too difficult to see. First, the Playstation brand is a lot stronger than the Xbox brand. The Xbox brand is still growing, and the PS3 has been able to live off of the successes of the PS1 and PS2 despite its higher price point. People know what Playstation is, and have for years. Wouldn't you trust that more initially than what could be considered still a young upstart?

You also have to keep in mind that Sony has made some major price cuts and hardware cuts in order to get the PS3 down to the price it has now, which is not that much more expensive the the Pro 360. Do you think the console would be anywhere near the 360 if it was still holding closer to that 600 dollar price tag it came out with? Without those sacrifices, it would be safe to assume that the PS3 would have been going nowhere fast.

So you have to wonder, with the hardware problems, if games and price are not the reason the 360 has done well, then what is?

pocketaces113417d ago


body just bought one played 3 days in a row probably 5 hrs a day on GOW2 and RROD. Microsoft is $HIT

My brother in law lived with 2 other guys each with a X-box 2 of them were replaced TWICE one 3 TIMES.

It should have NEVER happened it's unbeleavable it did the whole company should be boycoted but THEY DON'T care because everyone goes out and buys more of their products

MURKERR3417d ago (Edited 3417d ago )

if 360 was really built for gaming in mind more than the ps3 WHY NO HARDDRIVE IN EVERY CONSOLE?

callahan093416d ago (Edited 3416d ago )

Truth is, people are blind as bats. And there are fanboys.

I absolutely despise the over-arching experience I've had with my Xbox 360. I've had 4 systems. My original, which broke & got replaced, the replacement of which broke and was replaced, and then when that one broke and it wasn't RROD they refused to deal with it, so being the irresponsibly obsessive gamer that I am, I just forked down 400 bucks and bought another 360 altogether. If you're curious why 400, it's because the only unit in stock at that time was the over-priced Halo 3 "limited edition/ugly ass green" version (which included nothing special to make it worth 50 bucks more than the Pro version, but cost 50 bucks more anyway).

I also don't like having to pay for the basic ability to play games online. I never utilize whatever bells and whistles it might have that the PSN doesn't support on the PS3 system, but I have to pay for the basic ability of playing online that you can do for free over on the PS3? It sucks, there's no two ways about that, and anybody who think they're not being ripped off on Xbox Live is blind, plain and simple. Really spend some time with Resistance 2, Warhawk, Call of Duty 4, or whatever on the PS3 and compare your experience to CoD4, Halo 3, or Gears of War 2 on the 360, and tell me you're not able to have a similar and just as smooth and pleasant of an online experience on both consoles, but one's free and the other isn't.

Anyway, I've digressed far enough along from my original point, which is that Microsoft has gotten away with it because of fanboyism and blindness of consumers. I fall into the blindness thing, supporting them with my almighty dollar despite how they've inconvenienced me: I just keep coming back for more, apparantly.

My brother, on the other hand, is an example of the fanboyism approach. He refuses to buy a PS3 because he's an "Xbox guy" as he puts it. He complains that they charge for Xbox Live, he complains that he bought the HD-DVD add-on and Microsoft did absolutely nothing to support the format (and rightly so... why sell the hardware device if you're willing to give literally ZERO support towards keeping the software format living?).

And most importantly, he complains that his system has broken multiple times on him, and (just like me in what I would say is not coincidental, but common course) his most recent is NOT the RROD, and therefore they refuse to acknlowedge his problem and won't accept it for free replacement or repair.

The company are bunch of cut-throats and liars and they don't give a damn about their consumers, they only care about doing the bare minimum to prevent lengthy and expensive lawsuits. But that's besides the point, again.

My brother refuses to get a PS3, he's just going to stick with 360 like it's the only place he can find quality gaming (even though it clearly isn't), because of his blind fanboyism for a company and product that has failed him, inconvenienced him, and screwed him time and time again.

I have a 360 and I'm enjoying Gears of War 2 and Fable 2 and other games for it, but if my current system fails and they refuse to replace it again, they will not see another dollar of mine being spent on Xbox 360 products, that's for damn sure. The PS3, as well, has enough quality content on it that I don't have enough time in the days to play all of the great games available across both platforms, and if it comes down to it, being a solely Playstation 3 gamer will be just fine and provide me with more than enough entertainment, because AS IT STANDS, I've been screwed and inconvienced by Microsoft, and not by Sony, so I'm willing to throw my eggs in Sony's basket at this point. They're the underdog in this generation, and they don't deserve to be, because they've got a nice machine with a lot of good features and software, and they've been listening to their customers and trying to give them all that they ask for.

Anyway, I make my own judgment call as far as what company is treating me with more respect and giving me more of what I want versus the hassles they're causing me as their customer, and from my perspective Sony made up for a lot of their mistakes from last generation, where Microsoft is taking pages from Sony's PS2 playbook and pissing off people like me in the process. It's a shame that it worked for the PS2 and it's working again for the 360. I'd love it if people would open their eyes and realize that they are supporting unethical business practices and really hurting themselves and the industry in the process.

Oner3416d ago

Excellent post callahan09 ~ bubbles for you (but not for your brother, lol). Mind if I ask how old you and your brother are? This is not meant as disrespect but it sounds like he is probably quite young with that kind of mentality. Did he ever have a PS2? Has he even given the PS3 a try to make him be so evidently biased? I just don't get it...I mean what is the big deal with at least being a multiplatform gamer? Especially after the amount of headache he has endured with M$'s appalling practices that he admittedly acknowledges!

callahan093416d ago

Thanks for the positive response. I'm 24 and my brother is 28, actually. He never had a PS2... oddly enough, he started out the last generation with a Gamecube, and then moved on to Xbox after Halo 2 came out, then got a 360 when that came out. We shared an original Playstation when we were younger.

Anyway, he was hanging out over at my place this past weekend and I let him try out Resistance 2. He liked it, but he kept acting antsy to try out Gears of War 2, and when I asked him why he was doesn't just get a PS3 instead of getting an Xbox 360 Arcade (he's going to put his current hard drive in it), and continue paying for Xbox Live despite all of his complaints about the 360 failure and charges for playing online, he says "I just prefer the Xbox controller."

Whatever, you know, I let him play some of my favorite PS3 games, but he just doesn't want to "get used" to the Playstation controller that he hasn't used more than a few times in the past few years. I tried. I'd really like to see him get a PS3 someday because playing online with him made Halo 3 much more fun when that came out, and it could be really cool to play some Resistance 2 with him over the PSN.

GIJeff3416d ago

You dont have to use an expensive bluetooth headset with the ps3, you can use the pseye OR ANY usb headset.

Oner3416d ago

Wow that's a flip callahan09! 28 years old and wont enjoy great games because of a controller? I myself don't particularly like the 360 controller but I just use it, no biggie...but if may suggest there are possible options where you can use the 360's controller (or similar) on the PS3

1) Make or buy a modded one with a PS3 controller built inside a 360's case ~

2) buy a controller that has an adjustable layout which is similar in size/shape to the 360's controller (you would need an PS2->PS3 adapter too) ~

3) Try using a PC controller on the PS3 that is similar to the 360 ~ or

The last 2 you would not get the SixAxiS ability but for the most part it wouldn't matter.

prunchess3416d ago

Great post. bubbles for ye!

IdleLeeSiuLung3416d ago

I for one think that there is no excuse in knowingly releasing a faulty product and just makes bad business sense. This brings up the second question, would it make sense for a company to release a console they know will have to be replaced at a huge cost? For any company, profit and money speaks.... If there is doubt trace it back to the money.

So did MS knowling release a faulty console, maybe, but it doesn't make business or financial sense. I believe there is a lot of truth to the story and other parts made to sensationalize the story. So take it with a grain of salt.

MS is a software company after all, with no experience in making hardware (other than mice/keyboards), let alone a console. I expect the next console from MS to be rock solid! After a billion dollars in charges, I think the company would put it on top of their list of things to fix!

prunchess3416d ago

MS are truly going to pay through the nose for releasing the 360 knowing full well that it was riddled with faults. Then in turn mounting a campaign to hide these problems.

There are already 2 class action suits being brought against MS in California over the 360 (disk drive and RROD). This is just the start.

I read the posts from those gamers that have yet to experience the RROD. Well you are extremely lucky. I have yet to meet a regular gamer (here in Ireland) that plays daily, that owns a 360 who hasn’t had to send his back to MS due to RROD or for a repair of some kind.

IdleLeeSiuLung3413d ago

I play my 360 almost daily, at least 3-4 times if not more a week on lenght and for over a year now, I have not had a single problem. Works like a charm. My cousin has had his (the older console design prior to Falcon) and his only problem is disc read errors, probably cause he and his friends play it daily at lenght and he leaves it on with a disc in it running not playing for hours on time.....

There is no doubt there is a problem with 360, but the people iwht a problem will be more vocal.

+ Show (19) more repliesLast reply 3413d ago
ultimolu3417d ago

In the words of my nutty Math teacher once again, I say..."That's no good."

No FanS Land3417d ago

that's what happens when you start production of your console 69 days prior to its launch. meaning if i'm not mistaken 13th of september to coincide with nov. 22 0f 2005.

also consider the sh*tty 60mm overspinning fans.

Elven63417d ago

I believe Sony started production later than that, don't have the exact date but thats why the launch stock was ridiculous.

Danja3416d ago

The PS3 launch numbers was hampered becauses of the shortage of Blu Ray laser diodes...

3417d ago
BlackTar1873417d ago

I could not be happier with what there helping do this generation on pushing sony with that said.

The 360 is a terrible peice of equipment in every sense of the word. I could only imagine if these MS natural due process of products now a days was better how much differnt the frontlines would be .

sretlaw3416d ago

Yea, but then the 360 would have been launched much later. THIS IS THE POINT, M$ rushed the production of the 360 to beat out on Sony, not to get the consumers their "game on" earlier. If they cared about the gamers, then they wouldn't have rushed a near defective product.

BlackTar1873416d ago

I guess I just see gaming differnt then alot of people. I love games and games only the system does not matter to me sure I prefer the quality of the ps3 over the 360 but thats it the good games come on all systems so thats all i care. And once again with that said i also am very discouraged by shotty euipment and just dont understand the american (Im american california) way of just acting like it doesnt exist or the hate. I miss when games where made and played by people out of love and a good game was good no matter what system people didnt run around spewing hate over and over and over again. its the new generation that are ruing stuff the give me nowwwwwww nowwwww moreeeee moreeee sooonnnnner chhheapppppper garbage. Hell i used to play games thru a card machine.

GIJeff3416d ago

is the pinto of consoles...

thewhoopimen3416d ago

The 360 isn't a near defective product if repair rates are estimated at 15-16.4%. Anything over 3% is considered defective by industry standards.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3416d ago