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Microsoft Extends Xbox 360 Warranty To E74 Errors

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the step-in-the-right-direction dept.

XBox (Games) 142

Last month we discussed reports that Xbox 360 consoles were experiencing an increased number of "E74" errors. Now, Microsoft has announced that they're extending the three-year warranty originally designated for "general hardware failures" (read: Red Ring of Death) to include E74 repairs as well. From the support page post: "... we are aware that a very small percentage of our customers have reported receiving an error that displays 'E74' on their screen. After investigating the issue, we have determined that the E74 error message can indicate the general hardware failure that is associated with three flashing red lights error on the console. ... Microsoft will refund to customers the amount paid for an out of warranty repair due to a general hardware failure associated with the E74 error message."

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GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

WindowsXP_Pro (1532859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583171)

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GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the fi (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583233)

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Pinto of console (4, Informative)

rarel (697734) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583237)

This has got to be the Ford Pinto of consoles. I can't believe people are still spending their hard-earned cash on such a badly designed piece of go-se.

It's one thing to understand your console may be bricked at some point during its lifetime, but when you know it will, and it could very much be when you open the box...

Warranty or not, I don't get it. The whole 360 mess is a shame of epic proportions.

Re:Pinto of console (5, Informative)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583273)

Most of my friends are 360 owners. 10, maybe 15 people, in person.

I'm pretty sure that every single one of them, with the exception of one of of them, have had to send their 360's back for repairs.

Multiple times.

The people I know that have PS3s (about 7) have never had to send their system in for repair. Nor have the people that own Wii's (about 5).

Microsoft may have the most market penetration, but I have to wonder how much its costing them to replace 80% of the original 360's with new hardware.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583469)

Replacing ~8 million consoles? I have no idea how much that cost! =P Can anyone here do the math?

Re:Pinto of console (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583491)

I think we're missing a pretty important factor: production cost.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584261)

at this point, they may be making a slight profit on the 360, but they originally sold it at a loss. So you could estimate it costs them the retail price (which varies due 10 or so different configurations).

Re:Pinto of console (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27585095)

What, it costs them hundreds of dollars to make each one? Why? What's the expensive bit? The power supply? CPU? Perhaps you're adding up the amount it cost to design and test the code and divvy that up amongst the number of units sold? (It would certainly make the first box sold very expensive).

Re:Pinto of console (1)

DrScotsman (857078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583537)

Microsoft may have the most market penetration...

Under what definition of 'market penetration' possibly puts the Xbox 360 above the Wii? I mean I think more sales, the faster rate of sales, and just about every other statistic (your gran has one) is a bit more real evidence than the sample size that is your friends.

Re:Pinto of console (3, Interesting)

V50 (248015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583587)

I own all three consoles, and, interestingly, only my Wii has had to be sent in for repair. My PS3 had a small issue with filesystem corruption, but that was easily fixed with the recovery menu (with no data loss, I may add.)

Oddly enough, my 360 (green Halo 3 edition) has been the only system of mine to never have had a problem. Certainly, my experience is an exception though, I know far more people who have had their 360s RROD than anything else.

Actually, I'm the only person I know who has ever had a problem with their Wii. The laser got stuck and wouldn't go up all the way. It could only read Gamecube discs, and Wii games up until the laser had to move.

To be fair, Microsoft has been reasonably good about fixing 360s, and it's cost them quite a bit. I do wonder if MS partially anticipated this, and accepted it in order to get the 360 out a year early.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27586053)

I had a problem with my Wii too (sounds like something I should be saying to my doctor, but I digress), the laser got dirty or something and stopped playing Super Smash Bros Brawl (because it's 2 layer, I think). After searching on the internet for likely causes I discovered that it's a fairly common problem. Well, it's what USED to be called a "fairly common" problem before the XBox360 redefined "fairly common" to mean "almost everyone".

Nintendo is good about fixing it though.

Re:Pinto of console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583777)

... I'm pretty sure that every single one of them, with the exception of one of of them ...

You sure it wasn't two of them?!

Re:Pinto of console (0)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583907)

Most of my friends are 360 owners. 10, maybe 15 people, in person.

I have 31 gamer friends:

31 have PCs (4 have more than one gaming PC too)
6 have 360s
14 have a Wii
2 have a PS3

Re:Pinto of console (4, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584185)

I have no friends:

:(

Re:Pinto of console (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584615)

Me neither, but at least I can play with my Wii...

Re:Pinto of console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27584705)

Me neither, but at least I can play with my Wii...

Playing with your "Wii" is a replacement to not having girlfriends. Replacing friends needs a PC.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

teko_teko (653164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587411)

I have no friends:

:(

Perhaps you should join Twitter... [youtube.com]

Re:Pinto of console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27584625)

Come on.. be honest.. you just stood out in the street and held a survey of passers by didn't ya. ;)

Re:Pinto of console (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584759)

When my friend bought his the first 12 he got did not work out of the box.

Re:Pinto of console (0)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27586129)

I call troll.

I've had a 360 console since launch, and it runs perfectly to this day - never repaired.

I had the red ring of death once, it said something not so informative on the screen. I powered off, waited a few minutes, and powered it back on and haven't had any issues since.

I bet that your friends neglect or abuse their consoles. If you look in the manual, it says that you aren't supposed to use the console for extended periods of time (which is something like 3 or 4 hours), set them on carpet, enclose them inside cabinets etc etc. Everyone knows these units heat up...mitigate it.

You also say that all, minus one, have sent their consoles in more than once? Unreal! They should learn to do something differently if they expect different results.

Re:Pinto of console (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27586993)

I don't know that heavy use == abuse (at least it shouldn't), but you do have a point.
I had my 360 for two years, in a cabinet (with spacers underneath so it could breathe, but no real air flow). Casual use, maybe 2-3 hour sessions 2-3 times a week.
Then I went & got Fallout 3 and COD4. Fried it in a month.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587355)

I call troll.

I've had a 360 console since launch, and it runs perfectly to this day - never repaired.

Somehow, your anecdotal evidence is better than his? How about mine? Of the people I know, I'm the only one who hasn't had to send in their 360--and mine doesn't work perfectly, either, as the eject button is really flaky (I have a remote that I use to eject).

I bet that your friends neglect or abuse their consoles. If you look in the manual, it says that you aren't supposed to use the console for extended periods of time (which is something like 3 or 4 hours), set them on carpet, enclose them inside cabinets etc etc. Everyone knows these units heat up...mitigate it.

You call him troll, then accuse all his friends of being console abusers. And, I'm sorry, if playing a console for more than 4 hours at a time is overuse, then the 360 is a really embarrassing console. Especially when you consider the PS3 survived a sauna [ps3vault.com] .

Re:Pinto of console (2, Funny)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587577)

Hmm, yeah, your one data point means that everyone reporting 360 issues must be trolling. Thanks for pointing that out to us.

You should have gotten that message to Microsoft sooner though -- before they allocated $3 billion in extended warranty repairs to resolve this fabricated non-issue.

--Jeremy

Re:Pinto of console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27586919)

The only penetration I've seen is that of Xbox owners.

Also, I know two people who had similar-to-blue screen of death errors with their PS3's.

Does anyone remember when consoles worked?
Those were good times.

Re:Pinto of console (5, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583441)

The reason why people are still buying 360s is because it has the games. Of the three consoles, the 360 has, for the moment, the best all round coverage of genres and styles to satisfy most people who consider themselves to be gamers. The PS3 is slowly making up lost ground here, with a few genuinely excellent exclusives like Valkyria Chronicles, but right now, it has no racing game to match Forza 2, no Western RPGs to match Mass Effect and no Japanese RPGs to match Lost Odyssey. Gran Turismo 5 and Final Fantasy XIII will probably go some way to closing those gaps, but neither is due for imminent release.

But yes, the hardware situation is pretty dire. My 360 red-ringed on me the other week, just outside of the 3 year warrenty. I didn't make a big fuss out of this, as I'd been considering buying an Elite anyway. But what really did frustrate me is how, for a console known for catastrophic rates of hardware failure, the process of transferring all of your content to a new console is still an absolute pain in the backside. You either send off... via *snail mail* to Microsoft for a transfer kit, or you transfer your Xbox Live account manually, redownload your XBLA games via the most hideous, user-unfriendly interface imaginable and then try to transfer your saves by swapping back and forward between hard disks and using a memory card. Except that some games have restrictions on their saves that don't let them be moved to a memory card (presumably to prevent people from cheating in *single player games* by downloading saves off the net).

A couple of changes are badly needed here - first, a simple, one-button "redownload all of my previously purchased content" option on the Xbox Live interface. Second, a complete lifting on any restrictions regarding the copying and transfer of save games. Oh, and while you're at it MS, add an online form for requesting the free transfer kits. Because they way you do it at the moment, one might almost get the impression that you were actively trying to discourage people from sending off for them.

Re:Pinto of console (5, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583487)

You get screwed by buying a flakey console that has died on you outside of warranty, and you punish the company that screwed you over by... buying another console?

Get a third party RROD fix kit and see if that works, chip the box at the same time so you can make backups of your games in case the machine decides to shred them (as some have)... And complain, no company who sells you sub standard products should be rewarded with another purchase to replace the original failed product.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583527)

Meh, the original had seen a lot of use and, as I say, I'd been pretty close to deciding to go for an Elite anyway. The 3 years warrenty on the new one should comfortably carry me over into the next console generation.

Back in the last generation, I had 2 Gamecubes die on me (one just suddenly refused to go past the initial splash screen, the other had that little flippy-lid-thingy torn off by an overenthusiastic 8 year old who was visiting over Christmas). Having to replace dead consoles isn't actually a new or uncommon experience.

The console I live in dread of any failure on is my PS3. This is a US 60 gig model which I imported to the UK pretty soon after they launched. As an early model, this has full PS2 back compatibility, which I make extensive use of to play my imported US PS2 games. As far as I'm aware, these are now pretty much irreplacable.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27585591)

This is correct. I bought my 60GB model just as the 80 came out, and it went tits up (Im one of the very few) It wouldnt read anything. The little bubble would look like it was trying, but nothing would load.

Long and short, i brought it back to walmart and wanted a replacement 60GB model, well... i had apparently bought the last one, with no new shipments of them in.

I settled for an 80GB model with Motorstorm at no extra cost. WINNAR!!!!

Re:Pinto of console (1)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587079)

The 3 years warrenty on the new one should comfortably carry me over into the next console generation.

Personally, carrying me over into the next console generation isn't good enough. I want my systems to last until, at the very least, emulators are good enough to replace it. It's not like I'm going to stop playing the current games just because new ones come out.

Back in the last generation, I had 2 Gamecubes die on me...Having to replace dead console isn't actually a new or uncommon experience.

I've never had to replace a console. I still have my genesis in working condition. I have an old friend that still has the same Atari 2600 I used to play at his house when we were kids, and it's in perfect working condition. I do know multiple people who got the RROD with their xbox 360's, but the 360 really is the exception, not the rule.

That's not to say I think other consoles never break. I'm not even saying you shouldn't buy another one. If you have fun playing your 360 games, then the cost you'd pay for not playing those games anymore is greater than the cost you pay for replacing the console. I'm just saying failing consoles should be an extremely rare occurrence, and we really shouldn't just start accepting that as normal in the same way we used to accept that computers crashing 5 times a day was normal behavior back in the Windows 9x days.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584703)

And write off the investment in games he's already made? In many cases, that investment is significantly higher than the cost of the console itself.

And yes, the 360 is pretty shoddy hardware, especially the cooling design, but at least it's cheap. I could buy a new 360 every single year, and it would still work out cheaper than the money I used to spend on my gaming PC keeping it up to date.

A friend of mine had graphical glitches on his original gen before it finally red ringed out of warranty - he's tried the 3rd party xclamp kits, plus reheating to remelt the solder, but it's only a partial repair - he's had to resort to running the DVD drive outside the case and ziptying a 120mm fan directly on the GPU heatsink to stop it falling over.

Re:Pinto of console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27584097)

That was perhaps true a year ago (and then only because Microsoft launched early, which ironically caused RROD).

Today PS3 has better games than the Xbox360. Particularly the exclusives.

I would offer up Drakes Fortune, Resistance2, Killzone2, MGS4, MotorstormPR, LBP (and plenty more) over ANYTHING the Xbox has to offer.

Re:Pinto of console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27585551)

In the UK I would return the out of warranty product to the store and demand a replacement or repair. The XBox was clearly deffective when you bought it as there is a well known design flaw. In the UK you have a legal right to return faulty products for repair or replacement even beyond the warranty period.

You would need to put up a fight and get an understanding of the law but I think you would win.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27585893)

Under other circumstances, I might have. But with the Elite now temptingly cheap (and the 20 gig HD size of the old one starting to feel painful) I honestly just decided that the cost of buying a new one was easily outweighed by the time and effort required to get a replacement. Back in my student days, when I had more free time and far less cash, I may have felt differently.

Re:Pinto of console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27586223)

My elite, Manufactored(Aug 08) E74'd so that won't save you. You need a jasper which is only shipped with the Xbox Arcades.
Then you have to check the power socket for the slit in the top tab.

I would avoid any xbox live updates unless you have the jasper. Mine was flawless until I updated to the new XBE (Xbox experience). It's got some bugs that ms issn't acknowledging.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

adunstan (1409073) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583665)

Out of all of my friends that own a next-gen console, I was the one that waited and got mine late. Being a primarily PC Gamer I wasn't too interested in another console.

In the end I decided to get a 360 because it is what most of my friends owned. Yes, I had heard about the problems that plagued it, but I just wanted enjoy games with my friends, and only 1 of them owned a PS3.

Now, out of all my friends and I that went with a 360, mine has been the only one that hasn't yet needed to be sent out for repair, ironically, mine probably gets used the most too, and it is nearly past its 3 year RRoD warranty.

Luck? I don't know, but I know that even if it did break, I have had tons of fun with it and enjoyed many games and the online stuff has been awesome. Would I have had as much fun with the PS3? I don't know, I have a Wii and that hardly ever gets used.

Re:Pinto of console (3, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583839)

I know there's probably not much point saying this to you seeing as you've decided to troll about the console without seeming to have actually ever owned one, but when it comes to I find it's still the better console for the games I like (I have a Wii and also a PS3 as well now - I finally caved despite the lack of price drop).

When repairs are free and fast I don't see the big deal, yeah we shouldn't have to be without our consoles for a couple of days, but it's still the console I find that I keep going back to regardless and I figured I'd rather be without a console I enjoy for a few days now and then but keep playing it a ton when I do have it than it is to have something like the Wii sat gathering dust because you can only play so many party games, and a lot of the other games simply aren't as good on the Wii (FPS games, arcade games for example).

The PS3 is a more solid piece of hardware for sure, but I've only had it a few months now and have long completed all the games I wanted to play on it (MGS4 etc.). The PS3 would have more longevity for me if I didn't also have a 360 because of the cross-platform games, but I'd rather buy them on the 360 due to often getting the option of better DLC, getting Live integration and achievements etc.

Bitch all you want about the fact the console fails, the fact it inconveniences you for maybe a few days in 2 to 3 years is really not a big deal when it keeps you coming back the rest of the time.

It's for this reason that Microsoft will continue to keep increasing it's lead on the PS3 at least.

FWIW, I've had my 360 since 2006, prior to the v2 consoles I had to get mine replaced due to the RROD issue 3 times, but here in the UK it was in statutory warranty each time so I could just return it to the shop, get it replaced there and then and come home with a brand new console with fresh new controllers. I've not had to get a replacement since the v2 consoles and I've not even heard of this E74 error so I'd wage a bet the majority of problems are resolved now judging from personal experience and that of friends with 360s. It was a pain having to get the licenses for my DLC transferred back then but that's a process you can do now automatically (meaning you can move content to a different console now if you wish). When I did have to phone up though I was given 3200 MS points each time which was nice. Effectively the failure left me with a net gain when the only inconvenience was a 10 minute journey to the retailer for a swap over and a quick phone call to an MS free phone number in the worst case. In all honesty, personally, and I mean personally, due to the experience I've had I'm not even sure I'd have been happier if my consoles hadn't failed - I'd have worn controllers and would be down about £80 worth of Microsoft points.

I'm not totally defending the failures and I realise in other countries where consumer laws are less helpful meaning you actually have to send the console away it must be more of a pain but I really find the hardware failures a relatively minor fault when you look at it objectively. I've not found having downtime with the console any worse than say paying for an MMO subscription and having the servers bugger up for a few days (or weeks in the case of the old European Dark Age of Camelot servers), I've also not found it any worse than having to deal with crippling DRM on PC games which has prevented me playing some of them despite being legitimately purchased when I've wanted to.

The thing is, despite the failures, the 360 is still the best console for many. It doesn't have the following of the Wii but it still has a hefty userbase and is increasing it's lead week on week on the PS3 quite well right now. For me, right now, the 360 and the DS are definitely my two favourite gaming systems.

Re:Pinto of console (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583999)

It's because of faggots like you that we can't do anything about global warming. You are way too used to this dirty economy where replacing a unit three times is seen as okay as long as it doesn't inconvenience you for too long.

But you've just made more trash we don't know what to do with.

Sorry but I wouldn't be able to enjoy a game console made by a convicted monopolist that doesn't care if it's trashing the environment with all the faulty hardware because they "had" to get their crap out before everyone else.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27586277)

Do you have any idea how refurbishing works?

Re:Pinto of console (1)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584417)

The plural of anecdote isn't data, despite this thread setting out to prove otherwise - but between myself and 2 friends I'm aware of 6 or 7 xboxen that haven't failed once, the oldest of which dates back to about 2 months after launch. I've also been gaming since I were a nipper and other than vaguely missing Gran Turismo I've never felt the need to run out and buy a PS3 or wii. Keeping GTA PS-exclusive would probably have got me buying one though.

Re:Pinto of console (0)

rarel (697734) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584445)

You're right I don't own one. And it's not because I don't want to. I'd love to get an Elite, honestly. I just won't buy one, because I refuse to pay for bad hardware. If I play, I play with friends that own one. Let them pay the price.

The fact is, regardless of the quality of games, you had your console fail 3 times in three years. Consoles are supposed to be like, I don't know, the VCRs of gaming. Easy, no sweat, literally plug and play. Such a failure rate is simply unacceptable, and the behavior of gamers like you is precisely why Microsoft doesn't bother making it right.

Not that they have a spotless track record anyway.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27585359)

"You're right I don't own one. And it's not because I don't want to. I'd love to get an Elite, honestly. I just won't buy one, because I refuse to pay for bad hardware."

That's fair enough if that argument is cited in a balanced context of not wanting other consoles. The problem is a lot of people cite bad hardware as a bigger issue than say a lack of games, which is silly. Bad hardware, when there's a proper replacement process in existence I feel is less of an issue than problems that plague the other gaming platforms (i.e. DRM on PCs, lack of longevity with the Wii, lack of games with the PS3). All systems have issues and I think this is probably one of the most minor due to the infrequency of it affecting the user when the rest of the time (which is by far the vast majority of the time) it's a good system.

I'd argue if you're going to ignore the 360 because of the infrequent (really, they are in the grand scheme of things) hardware issues then there's probably not a suitable gaming system out there for you at all because the others have equally large issues albeit in other areas.

The only other reason I suppose is if you have some kind of moral belief that bad hardware is a problem worth boycotting over because of the waste or so on that it causes which is in itself a fair point that I don't totally even disagree with.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27585971)

I'd argue if you're going to ignore the 360 because of the infrequent (really, they are in the grand scheme of things) hardware issues then there's probably not a suitable gaming system out there for you at all because the others have equally large issues albeit in other areas.

Like what other areas? The PS3 gets nearly every game that the 360 does, and it has a built-in Bluray player and a fine crop of exclusives. Yes, the graphics are marginally better on the 360 version most of the time. If you can tell without pathologically examining screenshots online, then get a 360. 360 does have better DLC for some titles, like Fallout 3 and GTA IV, but that's not enough for me.

I just can't bring myself to spend $300 on a system that I know will fail someday. I've owned everything from Atari 2600 to Playstation 3, including most of the SEGA, Nintendo, and Sony consoles, and I have NEVER had a console fail on me, besides the original Game Boy. I don't believe in rewarding poor design with my money, no matter how generous the warranty. One of my friends knows the thermal engineer for Xbox360. As soon as he got the mandate that the system had to be in stores by Christmas 2005, he quit and said "don't put my name on this." He didn't want his career ruined by the poor design.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27586539)

Bitch all you want about the fact the console fails, the fact it inconveniences you for maybe a few days in 2 to 3 years is really not a big deal when it keeps you coming back the rest of the time.

Well, Microsoft's never really competed on quality before. They just work on being the lowest-cost provider, and it's worked out pretty well. You might be right. For me, $200 is a bit more than I want to pay for something 'disposable', but there's no denying they've sold a bunch of 360s.

the 360 is... increasing it's lead week on week on the PS3 quite well right now

When you look at the actual sales slopes [gamedaily.com] , and count the fact that a significant number of 360 sales are people buying a new console 'cause their old one died out of warranty or for issues that aren't covered by the warranty extension, that doesn't seem to be the case. The 360 has a significant head start, but it seems to basically be maintaining its lead rather than pulling further ahead.

Those replacement sales are good for MS, of course. Not so good for 360 users, though. But the business model seems to be working; we'll see if that's good for consumers down the road.

Re:Pinto of console (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27584033)

It's what you get when you have a software company try and make hardware.

4 years in, and it's a big a turd as the day it launched.

I laugh when I see Xbox fanboys saying how expensive the PS3 is, and then having to put up with cheap crap that fails all the time, clearly the irony is lost on their simple trailer-trash brains.

Re:Pinto of console (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587241)

This has got to be the Ford Pinto of consoles. I can't believe people are still spending their hard-earned cash on such a badly designed piece of go-se.
The thing is that the alternatives have thier problems too, the wii doesn't do HD and is generally targetting at kids/casual gamers. The PS3 is nice (I have one) but it's FAR more expensive than the xbox 360 (looking at game.co.uk one of the major retailers over here the base model 360 is less than half the price of the base model PS3)

So for the gamer who wants up to date 3D games like GTA4 and doesn't care about media center type features or any of the PS3 exclusive games the 360 looks pretty attractive.

They Forgot To Add.... (3, Informative)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583243)

"The repair procedure will deprive you of your overpriced gaming console for more than two weeks which, though you legally paid for and own, you are not allowed to unscrew and open in order to clean out the excessive amount of obfuscated legal BS that came with the interior of your purchase. Have a nice day...."

Re:They Forgot To Add.... (1)

Imagix (695350) | more than 5 years ago | (#27585861)

Two weeks? My RRoD took them 2 months. First their online system lost my repair request. Then I called them and got the email that says my repair's been registered, but never got the shipping label to send them my unit. Then we arranged to have them ship me a box, which didn't arrive. Then a second box which finally did arrive.

Legendary MS reliability (1)

spankyofoz (445751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583245)

5+ years old, and they still haven't ironed out the bugs, erm I mean features.

GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (-1, Troll)

WindowsXP_Pro (1532859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583255)

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Another 2 Billion? (2, Funny)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583321)

It cost 2 Billion to cover the RROD, how much to cover E74??
As a SHAREHOLDER I am very angry. What are we, a piggy bank?

Re:Another 2 Billion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583327)

As a shareholder, I have to say: Fuck the shareholders. Putting customers last is a surefire way to kill a business.

See: Circuit City

Re:Another 2 Billion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583329)

what if u r a shareholder and also own the console

would u be angry or happy??

Re:Another 2 Billion? (1)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583351)

I am doubly angry!
I own the declining stock
I own the defective console (on number 4)
Each time I send out a RROD I see my dividend going up in smoke.

Re:Another 2 Billion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583519)

I own the declining stock
I own the defective console (on number 4)

Hahaha, fail fail fail.

Re:Another 2 Billion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583369)

if you can't see value in ensuring your customers have faith in your brand, not just for this generation but for future generations of consoles as well, let alone the value in ensuring your consumers can keep on consuming games and peripherals for your console then business isn't really your strong point.

Microsoft brought a console out because of Sony's huge lead in console gaming and the fears that people would stop gaming on Windows PCs, Xbox failing means more than just the profitability of their Xbox division.

Re:Another 2 Billion? (0)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583485)

I never said that. Those are your words.
I stated my anger at the losses incurred
due to shoddy product.
You're looking for an argument that doesn't exist.
I detect a butthurt RROD 360 owner. Join the crowd,
I'm right there next to you.

Re:Another 2 Billion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27584247)

So what would your almighty solution be?

When all is said and done, the hardware has shipped faulty, there is no secret option 3 'travel back in time and make it not faulty' and to their credit, these faults are far fewer than the launch batches were but faults do still occur and this is not a Microsoft specific issue.

You were upset about the extended warranty, not that the consoles were failing outside of their warranty. My point was just that it was the best decision out of two bad options, I dare say that without this extended warranty, the xbox would die, people just don't have faith in the hardware and the extended warranty is the safety net.

Re:Another 2 Billion? (1)

tb3 (313150) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584801)

You know what they say, a billion here, a billion there, and soon you're talking about real money.

It was never more true than for Microsoft.

Re:Another 2 Billion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27584915)

So what fiscal year are they hiding these costs in?

They can then pretend to be profitable next year..

free money?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583365)

is it possible to make fake receipts for the repairs and get money from microsoft??

The E74 error was kb article (3, Informative)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583375)

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/941377 [microsoft.com]
Only cause listed: "This problem occurs when the Xbox 360 console experiences a general hardware failure."
So the original warranty covers general hardware failures and Microsofts kb article acknowledges E74 as a general hardware failure.

So aren't they simply covering this under warranty because they have to?

Re:The E74 error was kb article (5, Insightful)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583401)

This was always covered in consoles under one year warranty.
After that you were SOL
By increasing it to 3 years, they triple their liability
and costs.
Please think before you type.

Re:The E74 error was kb article (3, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583507)

By releasing a console with such a high instance of problems compared to all the closest competitors they have already increased their repair burden, increasing the warranty period to 3 years just made it even worse.
Does anyone have figures for the relative failure rates of consoles from Sony/Nintendo and their associated repair costs?

Re:The E74 error was kb article (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584521)

From googling: less than 1% for the PS3 and Wii. The older 360 models had a failure rate of 30% and the newer ones 16%. I assume the figures are after one year, it wasn't generally stated.

Re:The E74 error was kb article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27586969)

Both the others are well below 1% (1% being the worst quoted numbers).

The Wii is generally very reliable (because it's basically a gamecube).

The early PS3's can be troublesome of abused (dusty/smoky), but later units are much better.

I wouldn't be surprised if both the PS3 and Wii are less than 1 in 1000.

Re:The E74 error was kb article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583535)

By increasing it to 3 years, they cover their asses.

Fixed it for you.

Re:The E74 error was kb article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27585127)

By increasing it to 3 years, they triple their liability and costs.

You've made an awful lot of assumptions about the failure curve over time there.
Please think before you type.

Re:The E74 error was kb article (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583695)

So aren't they simply covering this under warranty because they have to?

All companies normally carry out testing and quality assurance on all products they manufacture. By using fairly simple and some not so simple statistical analysis a company can determine the reliability and thus possible failure rate of a product over time. Once an acceptable failure rate is determined then the potential failure and subsequent replacement or repair of a product is actually factored into the total cost of that product to the customer over the so called warranty period, which can be anything from 12 months (most of the world) to lifetime which could be something that is very difficult to destroy.

When you look at electronic components a 1% or less failure rate over the life of that product's warranty period is normally acceptable and can result in a profitable product for the company. Once failure rates go up within a warranty period the company can loose credibility and even make losses.

It is possible for the consumer to get what is called an extended warranty however you have to pay for this. It must be realised that no insurance company would offer an extended warranty if the product had more than 5% failure rate although this does depend on what the insurance company deems an acceptable failure rate over the extension period since the longer the extended period the greater the chance of failure. Over time all products will suffer 100% failure rate however all manufacturers try to make that time as long as possible since it makes for good business sense.

I have read that Microsoft considers 10% failure over a one year period is the industry standard. This is totally wrong, less than 1% (depends on the product and country) is acceptable and less than 0.1% is preferable since that will result in less returns and more profits for the company. Basically Microsoft has adopted their so called software standard of ship early and we will fix it later, however software is radically different to hardware and customers do notice this. What is amazing is that people put up with this in the US but if Microsoft doesn't get a handle on this quickly they are going to loose credibility if they have not already and this will hurt them badly.

Re:The E74 error was kb article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583859)

Here's the actual page on the xbox website that outlines the new policy.

http://support.xbox.com/support/en/us/nxe/kb.aspx?ID=969905&lcid=1033&category=hardware

So basically Microsoft is saying that E74 and the red rings are related (HA) and so therefore the E74 is covered under the 3 year- red ring warranty. Nice move Microsoft.

Re:The E74 error was kb article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27584195)

So aren't they simply covering this under warranty because they have to?

They could have lied about E74 being a hardware failure...

Sale of Goods act (4, Interesting)

DrScotsman (857078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583583)

At least for us Brits, it's time we stopped relying on these warranties and go back to the good ol' Sale of Goods act, where goods must last "a reasonable length of time" and the liability is with the retailer. My brother keeps bringing his consoles back to GAME, and they just give him a new one except the hard drive (annoyingly meaning he has to be signed in to live to use content downloaded on a previous Xbox, but IIRC MS don't always give you your exact console back). Quick and easy. If enough people do this, it will eventually become infeasible for many retailers to actually stock the Xbox, and THEN Microsoft may actually do something.

Okay that's wishful thinking and isn't going to happen, but considering it's usually a lot easier and quicker to take it back to the retailer than send it to MS, you should do it anyway.

Re:Sale of Goods act (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584021)

I guess that retailers tend to have a different opinion on that one.

Re:Sale of Goods act (2, Informative)

Crizp (216129) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584165)

We have something like that in Norway. An item is generally under one year warranty from the manufacturer (some items like washing machines come with a three-year warranty) but in cases where the product is "supposed to last longer" than the warranty you can demand to have it fixed for free -- mention the consumer ombudsman when talking to the company. Like a TV - if it fritzes after a year and two months, you CAN get it fixed for nothing still.

Re:Sale of Goods act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27585141)

That's part of european customer protection legislation. Any warranty given by the manufacturer is purely voluntary, the consumer has a contract with a seller, who has to provide 2 years of warranty, where he's supposed to cover defects that were present when the item was sold. At least for the first 6 months, the seller has to prove that the defect was not present, for the remaining 18 months, the EC member country can decide weather or not to reverse this (and make the 18 following months mostly worthless for the consumer, as is the case in germany.

Re:Sale of Goods act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27585303)

(BTW, Norway isn't part of the EU.)

Re:Sale of Goods act (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584477)

If enough people do this, it will eventually become infeasible for many retailers to actually stock the Xbox, and THEN Microsoft may actually do something.

Perhaps they'll follow our American model of paying to have the law changed in their favor.

Re:Sale of Goods act (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584671)

You may want to tell him to use this site [xbox.com] to transfer his licences, so he no longer has to be signed in.

Re:Sale of Goods act (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27585259)

This is exactly what I did and as you say they just give you a new one.

Regarding your brother having to sign in, that can be fixed. You can either phone up MS and get them to shift the licenses and complain so that they give you some MS points as an apology or you can do it yourself without the complaint on xbox.com

The retailers don't lose out when you return it to them, they just return it to Microsoft and claim back off of them. As such there's no real loss for the retailer in accepting returns and offering replacements.

Re:Sale of Goods act (1)

DrScotsman (857078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27586479)

The retailers don't lose out when you return it to them, they just return it to Microsoft and claim back off of them. As such there's no real loss for the retailer in accepting returns and offering replacements.

While Microsoft would reimburse the retailer for the actual console, I imagine that just like when you're taking the faulty 360 back to the retailer you don't get reimbursed for travel costs (except very rarely), there will be some kind of overhead cost for the retailer that Microsoft is not reimbursing them for. On an individual basis that loss might be small, or as you said not a "real loss", but it might become massive when you consider how many defective consoles there are.

No good examples are coming to my mind...how about that a big store would have so many returns that they'd need someone to spend 30 minutes each day filling out all the paperwork required to return it.

Also the Sales of Goods act may give the consumers more protection from the retailer over a faulty console than whatever company law gives the retailer protection from Microsoft, hence some percentage of consoles may not be claimable for the retailer.

Re:Sale of Goods act (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27586619)

I think the reason we get ripped off in Britain is partly to cover these costs. I think they make enough profit to be able to factor the costs you mention in and then some on top compared to other countries who get everything cheaper so although you're right it may take a cut out of what they could potentially make, they still make more off UK consumers per console than almost anywhere else in the world even in such a scenario.

Hmm interesting. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27583711)

I'm looking forward to reading the fair and objective comments about this story.

Biggest thing that bugs me (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583813)

Is the fact that it is so damn noisy. The fan is bad enough but the fact I will be watching a video from my computer and the drive is spinning. WTF is that for?

Re:Biggest thing that bugs me (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27583847)

Is the fact that it is so damn noisy. The fan is bad enough but the fact I will be watching a video from my computer and the drive is spinning. WTF is that for?

It's to give you the xbox experience.

Re:Biggest thing that bugs me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27584133)

That's not the drive. It's the generator for the three lights.

I just got this error on Friday (1)

Laser_iCE (1125271) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584103)

Sucks that I have to wait for the box to come in over the long weekend. Funny, mine was a month within its year warranty anyway, so I was lucky either way, but I think it's funny that it clunked out so close to the warranty expiration date.

Ummm....I thought they stopped sending coffin's? (1)

wernox1987 (1362105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584203)

I thought I read somewhere MS stopped sending coffins in the US? FWIW, I own all three, the Wii died once and took about 6 weeks to get replaced. It was kind of a suprise because we never really use the thing. The 360 died twice, once was a 2 week replacement and the other was due to a power supply failure. The people at the call center weren't much help in troubleshooting that. The PS3 has never been repaired, but it's really just a blue-ray player for us. The 360 gets by far the most use. Best online community and best games hands down.

Re:Ummm....I thought they stopped sending coffin's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27587499)

when mine died 3 months ago, they claimed that they still send the boxes, but they prefer not, and that it is faster for everyone to just get your own box (which is true).

MS doesn't know their own error codes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27584401)

It seems like they have an error code and had no idea what it meant until enough people started complaining about it.

Missed the boat (1)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27584791)

I've officially missed the warranty boat. I picked up my 360 on 1/1/2006 and have not had a problem with it. It is the only console I own and it acts as my main DVD player as well. It is consistenly used and has not faltered. I'm not sure what the difference is, because everyone I know is either on their 3rd or 4th replacement.

They think it has something to do with the woodgrain faceplate.

I would be interested to know how many people HAVE NOT had a problem with this console? They're usually the least likely to speak up.

Re:Missed the boat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27585437)

I just had mine break with standard rrod 3 months after the warranty expired. There is a 100% failure rate your time is coming.

Re:Missed the boat (1)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27586877)

Mine made it 2 years and 5 months before the RROD last month. I was actually pretty happy about it, since the timing of my purchase made it seem like I had one of the more problematic batches, so I was hoping it would crap out before the warranty expired. Factor in that the console they returned to me was far far quieter than the one I sent in, and that this isn't really the time of year for blockbuster game releases and I'd say it actually worked out pretty well for me.

Too much spit in eyes... I'm... a.. consumer.. (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27585423)

Does this mean I get my $100 back from when my 360 broke two weeks after the warranty expired and I had to get it replaced?

It is the owners fault... (1)

Daravon (848487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27585609)

The sticker on the side clearly said to only use E85.

Microsoft gets new tasteful "brown ring of death" (0)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27585625)

Microsoft has discounted the entry-level Doesn't-Do-Much Xbox 360 to $200 from Friday, $50 cheaper than the Nintendo Wii. (This will translate to a GBP250 price point in the UK.)

"We are thrilled to be the first next-generation console on the market with a big 'Microsoft' logo on it to reach $199, a price that invites everyone to enjoy Xbox 360," said Aaron Greenberg, marketing marketer for Xbox. He says this will cause a "smash and grab" mentality amongst consumers. "And not 'grab and smash' as they throw it out the window when it gets a red ring of death or E74 error [today.com] again."

The models that actually play anything worth playing will, of course, stay at $300 and $400. "But history shows that more than 75 percent of all console sales happen after the price falls below the $200 mark. Which would be the PS2, PSP and DSi ... uh, forget I said that."

Greenberg assures consumers that the new cheap Xbox 360s will not be refurbished red ring of death casualties. "Not all of them. Honest. However, twenty Xbox lifts every morning will be much better exercise than Wii Fit."

Microsoft Japan is already actually paying people to take the machines, with little success. "We hope more people will be able to enjoy Xbox 360," said marketing marketer Takashi Sensui, "and we can stop enjoying quite so many of them. We also have this fine pile of HD-DVD drives ... Wait! Come back!"

Greenberg further assured consumers that "the Xbox 360 will kick the PS3's ass every way from Friday, you wait and see." Nintendo were unable to comment in time for this story as they were still too busy trying to make Wiis fast enough to keep them in the shops.

Re:Microsoft gets new tasteful "brown ring of deat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27587257)

"the Xbox 360 will kick the PS3's ass every way from Friday, you wait and see."

Well, that one is easy, cause that's what is happening.

Re:Microsoft gets new tasteful "brown ring of deat (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587573)

umm over here in the uk right now (prices from game.co.uk and rounded to the nearest pound) the xbox 360 ranges from £130-£210 depending on model, the PS3 is £300 and the wii is £179

The base model xbox 360 has been cheaper than the wii over here for some time afaict.

Re:Microsoft gets new tasteful "brown ring of deat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27587619)

Did Microsoft rape your dog?

Also, you need more humour in your whining. As it stands, that was the least funny thing I have read all day.

What you wanted to know about Xbox designing. (1)

nohear_t (551965) | more than 5 years ago | (#27586487)

Microsoft really made a mess with the XBox 360 for a number of reasons: - Poor hardware designers - Poor mechanical designers - Poor choice of hardware / component placement - Lack of experience in designing ASICs - and a lot of others. If you have a hardware or PCB design background you would understand. Here are the reasons: 1. Having said that, if you crack open an XBox the first thing you notice is these huge bulk caps of 4700uF each (about 10+ of them) across their power planes. Is there so much noise in that unit you need that many huge caps? Apparently so! 2. If you remove the heatsinks, you find both ASICs have an exposed die. There is almost little or no thermal paste between the die and heatink. What they are missing is a heat spreader/lid which should be glued to the processor/gpu but no, that would have cost them an extra dollar or so. Since both ASICs have thermal diodes inside them once a critical temperature is reached, the unit stops working with a thermal alarm --> possible E74 3. Poor choice of heatsink mechanicals. They hired a bunch of monkeys to spec out their mechanicals. The X-clamp was the worst choice ever since is caused boards to warp, ASICS to lose connectivity due to cracking BGA solder balls when the temperature went up. 4. Poor feedback from their contract manufacturure who built and assembled the PCB and hardware. The people working on the assembly lines at the CM in Mexico don't provide feedback enough to the designers. If they noticed a lot of units were failing with thermal alarms or poor soldering (poor yields for that matter) they should have told the hardware engineers. Eventually, someone on the hardware team clued in and the heatsinks were changed and the x-clamps vanished and were bolted down instead. 5. Use of lead free solder. Why they chose to use a lead-free solder process is beyond me. The thickness of the PCB is already thin and they have to use extremely high heat to solder the ASICs down to the circuit board. Coupled with the terrible heatsink design/implementation you get a thermal differential on the circuit board causing it to flex. When the XBox is on and it heats up thats what you get, the circuit board warps and some of the solder balls crack because the lead free solder is brittle especially at high temperatures. 6. Microsoft learned first hand they stank at ASIC design. The tried to design the processor and gpu inhouse and learned very quickly they were terrible at it. After a horrible first run, they decided to hand that over to a design shop who knew what they were doing. However, they still need to learn how to package ASICs properly. The most common issue is with heat, and you all have read the RROD fix using the towel. Which is a poor mans attempt to solder an ASIC that has 1200 solder balls. In short, you restrict the XBoxs airflow while it is on, allow it to heatup in an attempt to get the solder to go into re-flow while the temperature of the circuit board climbs beyond 150 degrees while everything is running. Mind you the components inside aren't even rated to operate reliably at those temperatures. So even if that fix works for you, you have just cut the life time of your unit in half or less because you caused damage to all the components inside by allowing them to operate well beyond their rated maximums. So if your unit operates when its been off for a long time and dies shortly after being turned on, congrats you have soldering problems on the key ASICs. Take it back to the store and tell them its a manufacturing defect because it is! Microsoft sends it back to the CM and they strip it down and run it through the machine that solders the ASICs down using hot air or a confined infra-red source nozzle.

Re:What you wanted to know about Xbox designing. (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587591)

You really made a mess with the your post for a number of reasons: - Sentence fragments - No formatting - Poor choice of worsd / - Lack of experience at posting legible text to a website - and a lot of others. If you have a literate background you would understand.

Fixed! (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587611)

Got mine back last week from repair, which was less than two weeks total. Came with a one-month Xbox Live card. No charges at all. Much quieter, too.

My system was out of warranty, had three red lights, and had been opened on an attempted repair by me.

Having been very dissillusioned, Microsoft has now somewhat redeemed itself.

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