The Xbox 360 is known as a somewhat finicky console, prone to SCDS (Sudden Console Death Syndrome)--the Red Eye of Death. Microsoft has never directly addressed the issue of why 360s tend to burn out rather often, but as with all high end electronics, heat is the most likely cause. Shortly after the 360 launch, peripheral designer Nyko had the Intercooler 360 (review) on the market. Nyko's approach to keeping the 360 alive was based upon strapping three extra cooling fans on the 360's rear vent. We reviewed the product well, however, over the past year there have been a few cases of the Intercooler, which is powered by passing through the 360's power cord, short-circuiting and welding itself to the 360, effectively killing the console.
Nyko has acknowledged the issue, noting that it is a rare occurrence, and has offered to replace any 360s broken as a result. The short-circuiting issue, however, inspired various other peripheral designers to develop alternative cooling solutions powered via USB. The newest is the rather loftily titled "The Cooler" from Pelican.