Xbox 360 defects: an inside history of Microsoft's video game console woes

When his fourth Xbox 360 video game console died in April, Chris Szarek wasn't surprised.

The Chicopee, Mass. gamer was accustomed to the hardware failures that became known throughout the Internet as RROD, or the "red rings of death" which flash when the console becomes inoperable.

A 40-year-old photographer, Szarek was a hardcore Microsoft fan who spent more than $1,000 on his games. But each time one of his Xbox 360 consoles failed, he had to spend time convincing Microsoft's tech support that they should send him a new console. Each time he got a refurbished console as a replacement (a machine that had been returned to a repair center in Texas, fixed as much as possible, and then shipped back out). When he complained on the Internet and to the media about the shoddy product and poor customer service, people branded him a cry baby and wrote him off as a statistical anomaly. But by the spring of 2008, Szarek was vindicated. There were at least a million or two other people like him.

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chaosatom3877d ago (Edited 3877d ago )

Even after spending so much money on RROD. Microsoft still has time to snatch some exclusives and DLC.

But the said truth is that After 3 years the Warranty expires. Who is to say that it won't RROD then?

Three years may look like a lot, but if it happens, there is no reason to buy another xbox, because there will be a cheap ps3 waiting and an expensive xbox 720 compared to ps3.

360 owners will then migrate to ps3 in bulks and even Wii customers will start to realize that ps3 is a better console.

RROD is probably the main reason why it's not doing so good in Europe. Even after being so cheap.

Right now Sony is not thinking of dropping price because it's too early and the hardware is still too expensive. As more people buy hdtvs, Feb 09, then more people will see how good the ps3 is. And then ps3 would drop its price.

Xbox will still be 200, but it would be marketing the same fact during 2009. Whereas ps3 can create a ripple of effect with dropped price.

Skip_Bayless3877d ago

Chaos speaks the truth and the people who don't believe that this is gonna happen just can't admit it.

Man_of_the_year3877d ago (Edited 3877d ago )

I do agree that the RROD is a problem that will affect the 360 reputation for many and many a years. In all honesty i am on my 4th 360 as well here - well actually 2 RROD on me the 3rd had an issue with the drive not coming out but the 4th one i got never had a problem for at least a year when i sold it to a friend who still has not had a problem with it...i in turn went and bought an Elite. No problems with it yet (knock on wood) and i have had it for a year. however each time i only had to wait about 2 weeks till i got my shipment back and i never paid a cent at any time. No problems with it yet (knock on wood) and i have had it for a year.

However i think your logic, especially when you start off your argument "ah, here is the story i been looking for :)" is a little skewed....seems you were searching high and low for this 1 story...i have read worse stories regarding the 360 than this one.

I agree that when ppl start buying more HDTV's there will be more of a demand for HD movies and the PS3 is the best IMHO blu-ray player on the market - which is why i bought one.

wray773877d ago

If my 360 wrecks there's already a $199 360 waiting for my hard drive, so I can continue to enjoy my xbla games.

INehalemEXI3877d ago

RRoD is not the only problem 360s had in the early days I had 2 that scratched discs. Ive told my story enough times yet it was upsetting the second time when the 3 year extended RRoD warranty did not cover faulty optical drives.

If my 3rd ever breaks down im likely to not buy another MS console until the 720 comes out and I will wait awhile to see if theres any issues.

Megatron083877d ago

this story is just another story about the 360 by ps3 fanboy trying to make it look as bad as possible. The story makes many assumptions with zero proof or zero facts to bad it up. The fact is there is no reason to think that MS knew anything about the rrod problem when the 360 was release. Did MS lose out cause of this problem sure they did. Well it cost them goin in to the next gen ? Maybe I think tho if they are the 1st to release there system again they will still come out on top. Sell will be slower at 1st with people waiting to see how their system holds up. Then again the ps2 lost a class action law suit cause it was defective when it was release and that never slowed it down or impact the ps3's release. I dont think sony fanboy will ever let anyone forget about rrod 20 years from now they will still be talking about it

To be honest I dont think any next gen machine will have an explosion in sales when it is release. This gen seems slow then others. 3 years into and sony is still wait on all its big hits then only recent got thier 1st system seller in mgs4. FF13 is still at least a year away (it be out in us x mas 09 or summer 10) Too Human, Mass Effect and GoW all wanted to get trilogies out this gen and are all only on their 1st game (tho GoW2 be on in nov of course) I think that there will still be a lot of AAA coming out for a year or 2 for this gen after the next one is release.

outlawlife3877d ago

at least microsoft stepped up the plate and admitted the problem and offered solutions, doesn't matter if you liek it, it is a solution none the less

another company had an issue with systems last was a black box that was supposed to read blue discs, how quickly we forget these things happen, although sony was nice enough to repair my $300 system once when it was 6 months old for a small fee of $127 and being gone for a month, and it fried anyway within 5 months after that

the ps2 thrived despite the disc read errors, the bad power supplies, so why can't the 360?...because you don't own one? that is a little ridiculous

when my 360 finally died about 8 months after purchase it was replaced within about 12 days, pretty reasonable i think

whether you like it or not the replacement program that is in effect is better than most consumer electronics companies, if you don't believe my try dealing with another company over something such as a television or even worse a computer, you will be without for weeks and probably have to pay for something

the fanboyism on here is getting out of control, people need to grow up and look at reality, financially it would be a terrible idea to not recycle the 360s that did RROD and what MS does with the refurbished 360s is perfectly reasonable

if you think any other company out there doesn't practice the same thing then you are out of touch, every corporation is interested in cutting costs and they will use what they have at their disposal in anyway possible

microsoft, sony, nintendo, samsung,sharp,LG...all of them work the same and all of them are equally unfriendly whether you want to believe it or not

PirateThom3877d ago

PS2 had a failure rate of about 10%, the 360's was as high as 33% at one point.

When you consider the sheer number of PS2s against the vastly smaller number of 360s, the 360 number is pathetic.

outlawlife3877d ago

well at least you missed the entire point of what i said, i'll give you credit for that

PirateThom3877d ago

No, I perfectly understood, I just want to make clear that comparing the 360 to the PS2 doesn't work, because the 360 is way above what is considered industry acceptable standards while the PS2 wasn't.

AAACE53877d ago

Why do you love the Ps3 so much and want the 360 to fail so badly?

Does your Ps3 pay your bills? Does it tuck you in at night? Do you have romantic evenings with it? Please tell me something. Cause I don't understand how someone can have that much emotion for a piece of electronics that will be obsolete in a couple years(10 years if you want to believe that)!

I was done with the Gamecube and Ps2, 2 years before the Ps3 and Wii came out. I was done with the Xbox 1, a little bit after that, but kept it until the 360 came out! Even though we are in this gen, I am looking to the Ps4 and next xbox already!

That 3 years you are talking about... by the time that hits people will have made their decision already. So what kind of magical awakening are you expecting? You think everyone is going to look up one day and say... "You know what... the 360's a piece of sh*t.... i'm getting a Ps3!" and then droves of people are going to be on the news destroying their system and bad mouthing MS. And then MS' stock will plummet and go bankrupt leaving MS' game ambitions totally dead and the market wide open for sony to dominate?

If that's what you believe, then you must be a child! I got two words for you..."GROW UP!" Sony needs MS and MS needs Sony! And you need both of them! I explained this in another post, but you and the other raving fanboys probably won't read this far and will just disagree and take my bubbles... Yeah... I know you are one of them!

theKiller3877d ago (Edited 3877d ago )

too bad for MS, they should have fixed this problem before releasing the 360

MikeGdaGod3877d ago

this week I started a new job at a company that repairs gaming consoles. And it's a well known fact in the company that MS knew ahead of time that the console would have these problems but did nothing to fix it when they could've. They were too worried about getting their system out. We work on all systems but it staggering to see the number if 360s there. We have literally 1000s of them. And we still get new ones everyday. Elites, Halo editions, HDMI editions it doesn't matter. I knew it was bad but I had no idea it was anywhere near that.

Sarick3876d ago (Edited 3876d ago )

"If my 360 wrecks there's already a $199 360 waiting for my hard drive, so I can continue to enjoy my xbla games."

That's one reason I believe the sales numbers are so high. Some people don't care about buying a new console. When it comes to their hobby they'd buy a second or third and send the other back for repair. In this scenario we'd end up with some owners buying two or more units to avoid downtime when their console RRODs.

There isn't proof of this but if it's even slightly true the extra units sold would pad the markets install base significantly.

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 3876d ago
cemelc3877d ago (Edited 3877d ago )


Dyingduck3877d ago

"When his fourth Xbox 360 video game console died in April, Chris Szarek wasn't surprised...Each time he got a refurbished console as a replacement...That warranty program cost Microsoft up to $1.15 billion...And for a couple of months now, Sony’s PlayStation 3 has been outselling the Xbox 360 in the U.S..."

Nails it.

theKiller3877d ago

the RROD killed the 360, it destroyed its image completely!
i mean who on earth who is aware of video game consoles doesnt know about RROD?? the article is all over the internet about it!

i think 360 would have been great console and maybe the best console MS wold have ever done if it weren't for the RROD and its exclusives quality!!

360 have much more games than ps3 but how many of them is quality games? and how many good exclusives we've seen and will be on shelvs soon?? very few! in fact since mass effect we didnt see any great exclusive from 360 even mass effect wasnt how many believed it would be!

MS had their best chance in 2007, while it have much more games, some AAA games much bigger install base and the ps3 was in its worst shape it could have ever been(yet it sold more than 360), but the RROD and the too much first/third person shooter made the public believe its not better than the original xbox and even worst with its reliability!

in the end MS missed their chance because of their greed and desperation to be first in the market with a cheap console, and in the other hand ps3 was improving its image and game library and it was have fights in multiple fronts
1: playstaion network and all online things
2: price
3: format war
4: image

and i think ps3 did in all great!!

in the end i wouldnt be surprised if ps3 will sell over 100 million unit! with game library that ps3 have now and what will be coming soon and later and a price cut, ps3 will do it!!

off topic: about MS PR saying that they believe 360 will finish second. well i say thats a bold statement because ps3 is already catching to 360, now only around 5 million difference and with huge AAA games coming in the next few weeks it will decrease to 1~2 million by the end of the year, also considering 360 sales and momentum is only decreasing how can MS PR say that? who is he trying to fool?

Pain3877d ago

Thats alot of reading first thing ><.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3877d ago
IzKyD13313877d ago

people are STILL getting RRODs on a regular basis?!
what the hell, its been over a year, you'd think MS would have fixed the hardware by now.....

PirateThom3877d ago

Although a lot of people insist Microsoft have cleared the issue up, the defect rates are still abnormally high. The only difference is less people complaining because they replace it and it's not news anymore.

360 fails used to be a big deal because a lot of PS3 fans had nothing else.

Now no one cares, because the PS3 has all the good news now.

juuken3877d ago

I honestly thought the epidemic was over. o-O
Glad I changed my mind to get a Wii instead. :/

TheColbertinator3877d ago

Interesting choice Juuken.If you get a Wii,you can call yourself a Nintendo fangirl/troll and kick the asses of those who call you two chin because the Wii rapes both the PS3 and 360 in sales.

That's what I do because I have all three consoles and both PSP/DS so trolls that go up against me get EPIC FAIL points,ass raped by uber Nintendo sales numbers,and I get them in a frenzy for fun.

juuken3877d ago

Aaaah, but I'm a PS3/Wii fangirl. :D

testerg353877d ago

juuken... not a Wii! ok ok I have a Wii too, but man it REALLY sucks! There's maybe 2 or 3 games on it and that's it. Its made little kids and old people who like the whole motion sensing casual gaming stuff. Hate the 360, but dont get the Wii! :)

cemelc3877d ago (Edited 3877d ago )

Ok i got the wii, the 360(well its on its third RROD, thats why i hate M$. M$ doesnt repair the 360 in my country, so i have to pay the transport for that fail pie.e of sh.t of a cosole they sell, ill never in my life pick another M$ console i hope they fail and fail hard), and the PS3.

People dont give a chance to the wii, cos is family oriented tag.

Let me tell you i got 10 wii games that are not family oriented, and at last 2009 is looking good for the hardcore(conduit, mad world,RE2 remake, pikmin, like three rpgs, mosnter hunter 3).

Ill play metroid 3 any day of the week before halo 3 single player.

Have anyone of you play a shooter in that console? is really great it feels more inmersive, if only the wii had HD support ppl wouldnt be crying this much.

Have you played "no more heroes" that game is sick, feel great, its funny, bloody, and the controls man that thing made a world of difference, i hope some day dmc4 gets ported to the console, and youll cry how good that game could be.

Have you player manhunt???, in that game you gesture the murder itself, it was so brutal that the game had to be toned down.

How about okami the game was practically made for the system.

Its sad that so many games that come on the wii are loosing its time to shine cos hardcore are scared of the family oriented tag

Edit: my bad on the comment all fixed

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3877d ago
Skynetone3877d ago

there not happy until they get the ring of death

air13877d ago

damn juuken do you even turn your ps3 on? why you always on 360 news? i hardly see you were you belong.

any way, the rrod is fixed it's just b/s news like this that make it seem like it hasnt been fixed. im getting so board of this place it's like they never post real news just sony fanatics news to bash the 360 over something that is old and fixed.

juuken3877d ago

"damn juuken do you even turn your ps3 on? why you always on 360 news? i hardly see you were you belong."

Damn, why are most of you 360 fanboys always on PS3 news? Do you not do the same damn thing? Besides, I was going to turn on my PS3 anyway and play some games. :D

You hardly see me where I belong? I'm always on PS3 articles as well dear.

Get over yourself.

"any way, the rrod is fixed it's just b/s news like this that make it seem like it hasnt been fixed. im getting so board of this place it's like they never post real news just sony fanatics news to bash the 360 over something that is old and fixed."

Spoken like a true blind ass consumer.

So you're saying that this guy who lost 1,000 dollars in videogames/gaming console is making up some B.S?

I'm sorry but the RROD is real. Just because you've never had it, doesn't mean other people didn't. Microsoft should have recalled the 360 in the beginning and fix the problem properly instead of giving out warranties that don't do jack sh*t because they have a habit of shipping consoles out that has a chance of breaking again!


Common Sense3877d ago

the PS3's browser between games.

cemelc3877d ago (Edited 3877d ago )

I had the RROD, 3 weeks ago still waiting for my xbox to return to my country, check my tag theres a xbox live account so im not lying.( i learned to destest this console, from my xbox live 12 month card i have lost 3 month on repairs how in the world is that even possible?, or fair).