The red rings of death. That's how the blinking red lights that surround the power button on Microsoft's Xbox 360 have come to be called, and it's the most feared sight a console owner could see. Basically, it means your console is done working for the foreseeable future. These lights seemed to be an all too common occurrence in the weeks following the Xbox 360 launch in November 2005, so much so that IGN received hundreds of complaints of faulty systems with a laundry list of problems, most notably overheating, disc-scratching and outright system failure. These complaints tapered off in recent months for a few reasons: Microsoft has made improvements in the manufacturing process; a high number of these problems were caused by the user and not Microsoft, specifically not keeping the console properly ventilated and moving the console while it is on; and, finally, there weren't very many consoles to go around after the initial batch at launch. Microsoft maintained from launch to today that the return rate of defective consoles falls well with the accepted rate for new consumer hardware products of between three to five percent. If that's true, then it's an impressive number since the Xbox 360 is the most complicated console with around 1,700 parts. Problems, like with all pieces of electronics, are to be expected.
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