Red Ring of Failure
Is your Xbox 360 still working? You must be one of the lucky ones.
By Mike Smith
Over 18 million Xbox 360s have sold through since the console's launch in November 2005, but just how many of those are still working? Squaretrade, a company that specializes in providing warranty support to purchasers of electronic goods from various manufacturers, claims 16% of Xbox 360s experience a hardware failure within six to ten months after a warranty purchase.
Three out of every five failures were for the infamous "Red Ring of Death" general hardware failure error, a problem often linked to overheating.
The Xbox's figures compare poorly to competing consoles, which have a failure rate of around 3% -- and if anything, the Squaretrade figure underestimates the scale of the Xbox 360's reliability issues. It's a good bet that some buyers of Squaretrade warranties went straight to Microsoft after experiencing hardware issues and don't factor into the 16% number.
On its company blog, Squaretrade pointed out that failure rates are "certain to go up" as the machines in their study group grow older.
Microsoft is cagey about coughing up official failure rate figures, which has lead some commentators to speculate about the actual severity of the problem. Luke Plunkett, a blogger on respected games news site Kotaku, said in a recent post that if the real failure rate wasn't in the 30-40% range, he'd "wolf down humble pie until his sides split."
Plunkett's sides are likely safe. Stories of 360 owners making their way through eight or nine consoles aren't hard to find, but to its credit, Microsoft has been working with the affected individual in at least one of those cases to lessen the impact of the constant failures.
well, i found this story quite amusing as i have heard this issue before. a promoter once, offered me to take xbox 360 instead of ps 3. he said, that i could have the same features with even better price. now, i can laugh at that. i knew i could always count on sony. i have my own ps 2 since 4 yrs ago and its stll up and running. way to go....cant wait to hear more good news from sony. well, i am thinking about Wii....mario bros...