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Xbox 360 Failure Rate Is 54.2%

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the that-seems-a-bit-high dept.

XBox (Games) 607

Colonel Korn writes "The Seattle PI Blog is reporting that a soon to be published Game Informer survey finally shows the failure rate of XBOX 360s: 54%! The survey also shows the rates of failure for the PS3 (11%) and Wii (7%). Impressively, only 4% of respondents said they wouldn't buy a new 360 because of hardware failures."

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Missing Details (2, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134185)

I submitted this [slashdot.org] a couple days ago but it looks like they went with a shorter summary submitted today. Here's my summary:

"According to the print edition of Game Informer, 5,000 surveyed people said the XBox 360 fails over half the time [consumerist.com] . The same survey found failure rates of 10.6% for Sony's PS3 and 6.8% on Nintendo's Wii. Microsoft trounced the competition with over five times the next highest failure rate. The article also notes that the survey revealed a skew to the numbers as the Xbox's were the most used consoles: 'Results said 40.3 percent of 360 owners use the console three to five hours a day, compared to 37 percent of PS3 owners. Meanwhile, the plurality of Wii owners (41.4 percent) play their consoles less than an hour a day.' Even worse news for Microsoft is that only 3.8% said they would buy another Xbox (due to failures) and the survey found they had rather shoddy customer service."

So it should be noted that a potential skew is that from the surveyed five thousand, Xbox users play their console more than Wii or PS3 users. While this certainly wouldn't explain the skewed percentages, it indicates the consoles are in higher use causing potentially more wear and tear.

But yeah, bad indicator for Microsoft and this new information actually caused me to wait to buy an Xbox 360 at the new reduced price. I think the 3.8% figure of repeat business is a good indicator that a lot of people agree.

Off-topic musing: It's interesting this Game Informer dead tree article has such virtual world implications yet the original source [gameinformer.com] chose for it to be only released in their print edition and not on their site. Has GI always done this? An indication of things to come or a death knell for its readership?

Re:Missing Details (1, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134261)

Even worse news for Microsoft is that only 3.8% said they would buy another Xbox (due to failures) and the survey found they had rather shoddy customer service.

Is the worse news for Microsoft the fact that even when burned customers continue to buy the console, or that they have crappy customer service?

Re:Missing Details (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134293)

Seeing as how heat is the predominate cause of these machines giving up the ghost (whether it be heat killing components, heat changes warping solder, or cheap solder being affected by predictable heat), it would be interesting to compare the failure rate of small form factor computers, laptops, or pre-built gaming computers.

We've all known for a long time what happens when you let a computer run for 3 years and let the case fans get caked up...

Which is it? (1)

Shane112358 (1532293) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134307)

"Even worse news for Microsoft is that only 3.8% said they would buy another Xbox" vs. "Impressively, only 4% of respondents said they wouldn't buy a new 360 because of hardware failures."

Re:Which is it? (2, Informative)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134363)

From the Article:

"Just 3.8 percent of respondents said they wouldn't buy another Xbox because of system failures, according to Game Informer. And 36.4 percent of people who had an Xbox 360 fail have purchased more than one Xbox."

Re:Which is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134407)

RTFA:

"Regardless of everything above, people still love their Xbox 360s. Just 3.8 percent of respondents said they wouldn't buy another Xbox because of system failures, according to Game Informer. And 36.4 percent of people who had an Xbox 360 fail have purchased more than one Xbox."

Re:Which is it? (1)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134605)

There's this thing they invented recently, when working with fractions it's real useful... it's called rounding. Really great stuff, makes life a lot easier.

Re:Which is it? (4, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134769)

You fail at reading comprehension. These two statements:

"Even worse news for Microsoft is that only 3.8% said they would buy another Xbox"

"Impressively, only 4% of respondents said they wouldn't buy a new 360 because of hardware failures."

..mean the opposite of each other. It's not about 3.8% vs 4%, it's about whether the 4% of people would or would not buy another console.

Re:Missing Details (-1, Troll)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134339)

Note the giant typo in the slashdot summary versus eldavojohn's (emphasis added). From Slashdot:

only 4% of respondents said they wouldn't buy a new 360 because of hardware failures.

From eldavojohn

only 3.8% said they would buy another Xbox

This is a pretty significant difference, and owing to Slashdot's frequent editorial errors, I'd say trust eldavojohn.

Re:Missing Details (5, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134465)

Note the giant typo in the slashdot summary versus eldavojohn's (emphasis added). From Slashdot:

only 4% of respondents said they wouldn't buy a new 360 because of hardware failures.

From eldavojohn

only 3.8% said they would buy another Xbox

This is a pretty significant difference, and owing to Slashdot's frequent editorial errors, I'd say trust eldavojohn.

Or you could RTFA! My summary is correct.

"Regardless of everything above, people still love their Xbox 360s. Just 3.8 percent of respondents said they wouldn't buy another Xbox because of system failures, according to Game Informer. And 36.4 percent of people who had an Xbox 360 fail have purchased more than one Xbox."

Re:Missing Details (-1, Flamebait)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134703)

This thread is a clusterfuck. Posting to undo my +1 mod to Silentknyght. Eldavajohn is an idiot.

Too bad Taco wont just delete this whole thread.

Re:Missing Details (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134805)

I think it's just been the lesser of two evils. The Wii has it's target market, and that's fine. It targets a lot of people who were previously not into gaming and is selling great. Lots of people who liked games before that like it too, but there's no denying that for the more "traditional" types video games, the Xbox360 and PS3 are the platforms to look at. Thing is the base line Xbox360 has always ran between 50% and 70% of the cost of the base line PS3. So they sell more, there are more games for them, etc. You can also almost afford to replace a 360 once for the cost of a single PS3 (this has gotten better now though with the drop to $299 on the PS3 - I may look at buying one now rather than a standalone bluray player, which I've been wanting for while anyways).

Does it suck that they fail so much? Yeah, but it's the best of limited options right now.

I'd also be interested in (and this may be in TFA) the failure rate of the newer hardware revisions. Early 360's had a known issue where it could heat to the point of the GPU becoming loose (due to solder melting IIRC). From what I heard this problem was fixed in later releases.

Re:Missing Details (4, Funny)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134467)

Note the giant typo in the slashdot summary versus eldavojohn's (emphasis added). From Slashdot:

only 4% of respondents said they wouldn't buy a new 360 because of hardware failures.

From eldavojohn

only 3.8% said they would buy another Xbox

This is a pretty significant difference, and owing to Slashdot's frequent editorial errors, I'd say trust eldavojohn.

Nix that. I didn't RTFA. The slashdot summary is correct. Who knew?

Re:Missing Details (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134499)

This is a pretty significant difference, and owing to Slashdot's frequent editorial errors, I'd say trust eldavojohn.

And I'm going to assume that eldavojohn is mistaken. If only there were some published reference we could consult to clear this up...

Re:Missing Details (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134583)

Don't get your hopes up. From the article:

Regardless of everything above, people still love their Xbox 360s. Just 3.8 percent of respondents said they wouldn't buy another Xbox because of system failures, according to Game Informer. And 36.4 percent of people who had an Xbox 360 fail have purchased more than one Xbox.

Re:Missing Details (5, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134355)

Even worse news for Microsoft is that only 3.8% said they would buy another Xbox (due to failures) and the survey found they had rather shoddy customer service."

But yeah, bad indicator for Microsoft and this new information actually caused me to wait to buy an Xbox 360 at the new reduced price. I think the 3.8% figure of repeat business is a good indicator that a lot of people agree.

You made a little mistake with one of your details. The article says that only 3.8% of people would NOT buy another xbox due to hardware failures. That's GREAT news for Microsoft - the message is that people love the 360 regardless of failure. I find that surprising and just downright weird, but that's what the respondents said. It might be that this is a result of how they asked their question, however. If they said "Have hardware failures of Xboxes led you to decide not to buy a new Xbox?" and they might have asked that of all 5000, not just the Xbox owners. In that case, all the people who never even wanted an Xbox wouldn't answer yes. For all we know, 3.8% of respondents said that hardware failure made them decide not to buy an Xbox but only 10% ever considered buying an Xbox in the first place.

Re:Missing Details (5, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134557)

I think that mostly has to do with the fact that
a)Very little console competition (3 major players + two handheld units) and

b)huge sunk costs. your xbox goes belly up. do you a) buy all your games all over again for PS3/Wii? buy new drums/guitars for guitar hero/rock band etc? buy 3 new wireless controllers for the new console? or b) buy a new/used/refurb 360 and keep playing?
 
If you think about it, the average player probably has $300 in sunk costs in 360-specific accessories or games that they'd have to rebuy.

Re:Missing Details (4, Informative)

maharb (1534501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134723)

I would be willing to be even more than 300 on average. Rockband and a couple of other games plus extra controllers puts you easily above that mark.

The Wii is the worst though. The first day of owning a Wii you end up spending more on controllers and games than the console cost.

Re:Missing Details (2, Interesting)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134683)

are you all forgetting that MS will send you a new XBOX if yours breaks?

They came clean (after a while) with the ring of death, and said that they would replace XBOX's within warranty that had the issues.

As long as your XBOX is within warranty, you can just ship it to MS and get a new one without buying a new one.

Maybe that 3.8% is of the group that had it long enough to be out of warranty and thus had to buy a new one when it failed.

Re:Missing Details (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134913)

The article says that only 3.8% of people would NOT buy another xbox due to hardware failures. That's GREAT news for Microsoft - the message is that people love the 360 regardless of failure.

The article says "Just 3.8 percent of respondents said they wouldn't buy another Xbox because of system failures". It does _not_ say "96.2 percent of respondents said they would buy another Xbox despite the system failures".

Another way of phrasing this without contradicting the figures presented in the article would be "Just 3.8 percent of respondents said that system failures were the reason they would not by another Xbox. 62.3% said that poor customer service influenced this decision and 28.6% said that the X Box 360 'Sucked the sweat off a dead man's back' although their lips could be seen forming entirely different words."

Re:Missing Details (2, Informative)

Reapman (740286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134385)

Yeah but the difference they noted between the PS3 and 360 for playability was 3%, while the difference in failure rate is about 40%. That's huge.

I don't think it's news to anyone that the 360's hardware has horrible reliability issues, but it's interesting to see the numbers. Shame really that people allow microsoft to get away with this. If my PS3 or PC died as often as some of my friends 360s I would have given up long ago.

Re:Missing Details (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134807)

Heh... There's a certain expectancy of robustness there with a console (Or, rather, there SHOULD be... ;-) ) and that's just not there and mostly hasn't with either iteration of an X-Box.

I suspect that the crowd's doing the "ooh...shiny" thing and putting up with the unreliable things because "it has the most titles". Sadly, most of the stuff on the X-Box is drek- and the bulk of the stuff I'm interested in has a version for PS3, Wii, or both. I wouldn't buy the 360 based on it's current track record of failures in the field- to be honest, it's not a consideration as much for who's selling it as the failure rates, but either consdieration's enough to scotch the deal in my books.

Re:Missing Details (4, Informative)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134403)

But yeah, bad indicator for Microsoft and this new information actually caused me to wait to buy an Xbox 360 at the new reduced price. I think the 3.8% figure of repeat business is a good indicator that a lot of people agree.

Whoa, horsie! You've got that backwards.

Regardless of everything above, people still love their Xbox 360s. Just 3.8 percent of respondents said they wouldn't buy another Xbox because of system failures, according to Game Informer.

So even though only 37.7% found the customer service 'very helpful' (how many found it to be 'helpful'?), 96.2% still would buy another XBox.

That said, these are also lifetime numbers. I would be very surprised if the failure rate of the remaining consoles in households is still 50%, or even anywhere close.

Re:Missing Details (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134405)

Perhaps because your summary says

Even worse news for Microsoft is that only 3.8% said they would buy another Xbox (due to failures) and the survey found they had rather shoddy customer service.

While the accepted submission says:

Impressively, only 4% of respondents said they wouldn't buy a new 360 because of hardware failures.

This casts an entirely different light on peoples' willingness to support shoddy manufacturing from MS. Note, I own a 360, for almost 3 years now, it has failed RRODed once and I play all the games off the HDD now except for Halo 3, which suffers from performance issues.

I would like to know if people were asked whether they played mainly downloadable games or games installed to the HDD with regards to all three consoles.

Re:Missing Details (2, Interesting)

I.M.O.G. (811163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134433)

Even worse news for Microsoft is that only 3.8% said they would buy another Xbox (due to failures) and the survey found they had rather shoddy customer service."

EldavoJohn - the summary Slashdot posted here states 4% wouldn't buy a new Xbox due to failure rates.

Your summary states that only 4% would buy a new Xbox due to the failure rates

I think the posted summary is correct. What gives?

Re:Missing Details (3, Interesting)

Millennium (2451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134439)

So it should be noted that a potential skew is that from the surveyed five thousand, Xbox users play their console more than Wii or PS3 users. While this certainly wouldn't explain the skewed percentages, it indicates the consoles are in higher use causing potentially more wear and tear.

One might indeed think this at first glance, but there's a problem with it. What actually fails most of the time on 360s -the cause of the infamous Red Ring of Death- is the graphics card, which isn't a moving part. Because of that, the concept of wear and tear doesn't apply to it, yet it fails before the wear and tear on the console's moving parts ever becomes a factor. Thus, while your statistic might be interesting if true, it isn't relevant.

The study was poorly done anyway, not so much because of the methods as the measurement used: lifetime failure rates, which will over time hit 100% on any console it's applied to. A more useful approach would have been to study how many consoles failed within specific time periods after purchase: 0-6 months, 7-12 months, 13-18 months, and so on. However, while this particular set of numbers is pretty meaningless, it doesn't change what we already knew: that the 360's failure rate is abysmally high.

Re:Missing Details (1, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134457)

I submitted this a couple days ago but it looks like they went with someone who doesn't completely fail at basic reading comprehension.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Missing Details (2, Informative)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134533)

Well, there's your problem. Your summary sucks and was inaccurate. So I guess sometimes the editors do read submissions! Go Slashdot! 3.8% said they wouldn't buy another xbox after all the problems. That's pretty impressive. You had it backwards.

Flawed Statistically (4, Insightful)

denton420 (1235028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134651)

Readers of Game Informer are obviously heavier users of their XBOX360s than the average owner who is casual and does not read any gaming magazines.

When you want to use statistics you have to use a truly random sample if you want your results to be interpreted as valuable.

What we have here is known as a sample of convenience. It was easy for Game Informer to simply poll its loyal readers rather than get a truly random sample of XBOX360 owners.

Might as well ask people at the STD clinic if they have ever had an STD, then extrapolate these results to an entire campus or area. (Yes , unbelievably this has been done before... lol)

Re:Flawed Statistically (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134829)

But do casual players really play their Wii for more than an hour a day, every day? That seems to defeat the purpose of the label "casual" at that point.

Re:Flawed Statistically (3, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134865)

Exactly. It's also a volunteer poll, meaning only those who took the time to complete it are counted. Those with a console failure are much more likely to fill out the poll. I'm pretty sure the PS3 failure rate isn't 10% either.

The 4% is very misleading (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134681)

There is an important word in there that can easily be missed, "another". The survey is of current Xbox owners asking about another purchase. The numbers could very well be 50% wont buy because they dont have the money, 46% wont buy because they dont want two of them, and 4% wont buy because they are worried about failures.

In order for an accurate number, they should have surveyed the public and only taken samples from those that were already thinking about buying a console.

Re:Missing Details (3, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134771)

So it should be noted that a potential skew is that from the surveyed five thousand, Xbox users play their console more than Wii or PS3 users. While this certainly wouldn't explain the skewed percentages, it indicates the consoles are in higher use causing potentially more wear and tear.

More critically, these results are from a survey and as far as I can tell, the magazine has made little to no effort to account for self-selection bias. That makes this figure pretty much worthless. For those who don't know, self-selection bias is, in this instance, the fact that people who have had failed consoles are more likely to respond to a survey about console failures, than those who have no problems. Thus the sample is not actually representative.

The smoking gun is that the failure rate in this report, for the PS3 is above 10%. Previous reports have put the PS3 failure rate at less than 1%, in which case these numbers are out by an order of magnitude or more.

Re:Missing Details (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134777)

I just decided from the anecdotal evidence of 2/3rds of my friends that own Xbox360s got a RRoD that this thing was no good. It has good games and features I'd be interested in but my confidence in their product is shot. I am waiting for the next gen of consoles I guess.

Re:Missing Details (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134787)

Xbox users play their console more than Wii or PS3 users

My computer is on 24/7. It hasn't failed yet. I expect the same performance out of a game console. 50% failure is unacceptable any way you slice it, and is the reason I have not, and will not buy an Xbox360.

Re:Missing Details (5, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134969)

That's just nonsense. Seriously. Maybe you're too young to remember the NES, SNES or Genesis (or older consoles still), but I'm sure many slashdotters are not: who can forget throwing

I'm 27 and I've got a 5-year-old son who is still playing my NES. My brother and I played the hell out of it when we were kids - everything from ripped cables to over-mashed buttons on the controllers. But the console and the controllers still work (with a little electrical tape and cartridge fiddling). I've never heard of an NES failing. I had mine crash once or twice while being left on overnight so we could continue in the morning (no 'save' feature in game), but that's about it!

Now, I can somewhat understand if the failures are due to optical or hard drive failures. Sorta. But 54%? I can see 20% in the first year, sure. But 54% is absurd, especially when you consider that the other game systems (Wii, PS2) have the same device types - and the Wii is likely played by the more abusive "child" player set. (Were they audited in this survey?)

Leave it to Microsoft (4)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134215)

To combine the expandability of a game console with the reliability of a PC stuffed with chinese manufactured expansion cards!

Re:Leave it to Microsoft (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134341)

Chinese manufactured products are only a problem if you're not enforcing the "produce the parts to the specified quality or I'll go elsewhere" clause in the contract. The problem is MS' mentality toward quality not the origin of the parts. If MS wanted to enforce a quality standard on Chinese corps I doubt they would jeopardise a contract with a buyer in these quantities just like everyone else.

Warranty (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134227)

Suddenly I am really glad I bought that extended warranty.

Re:Warranty (2, Interesting)

dstyle5 (702493) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134627)

You bought an extended warranty? Hopefully you didn't pay very much for it. The 360 has a three 3 year warranty for RRoD and E74 failures, which is what most failures are.

Last month my 2.5 year old 360 started freezing intermittently, but wouldn't red ring. I had to keep playing games and letting it die until it would finally red ring every time I started it. Its brutal that you have to do that in order to qualify for a replacement 360, but at least it only took 9 days from the day I shipped it to receive my replacement. If my 360 dies after the 3 year warranty is up I would rather spend the warranty money on a new 360 that runs cooler, draws less power, etc.

I shudder to think what the warranty process was like a few months after the 360 was released, which is why I would never buy a launch Playstation or Xbox. My 5 Nintendo based systems have never failed once (Well the NES can be a bit of pain sometimes, ha ha).

-5 Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134273)

Of course the failure rate is 54.2% percent...

Microsoft is made of FAIL, so they're giving it away free with every XBOX 360 purchase.

PS> Yes, I only wrote

So Microsoft could have... (5, Funny)

sarkeizen (106737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134275)

Focused significantly more on quality control and then simply shipped every second 360 casing with packing peanuts and achieved the same result?

Why no Xbox 360 Slim? (0, Offtopic)

stillnotelf (1476907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134311)

Sony took the time to trim down the expensive PS3 for the cheaper (for them and us) PS3 slim - why has Microsoft not done the same and done a hardware refresh of the 360? Surely it would give them a chance to take care of the RROD problems!

Re:Why no Xbox 360 Slim? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134539)

It's already slim compared to the old ps3 =P

Re:Why no Xbox 360 Slim? (3, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134919)

The PS3 integrates the PSU, and isn't that large. Now it integrates the PSU and is smaller.

The 360 is an abomination in the world of consumer electronics, less reliable than Panaphonic and Matsashitty and Shoney knock-off brands.

But because it was a little cheaper, the fanboys will rush to covet it. Even as they rue their HD-DVD player purchase, the Plug-n-Charge kit, the Wireless dongle, ... and then you get the RROD, which for my 360 owning friends, has occurred always just as they got the big game they had been looking forward to for ages.

Admittedly if the hardware didn't have such appalling reliability, there wouldn't be a problem, I think more people would own them than they do right now. It's taken three years for the PS3 to become reasonable in terms of price, firmware and game library, I'm impressed they sold over 20m of the expensive model. Still, it is a device that was engineered better, despite that weak GPU they stuck in quite late in the design cycle.

And the Wii, well, it doesn't get played much, but if there's more than one person around it's what is being played.

Re:Why no Xbox 360 Slim? (3, Funny)

Inakizombie (1081219) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134607)

Actually MS has released later revisions of the 360 that fix a lot of the problems with the first gen consoles. I've had a 360 for years now and other than a PSU failure and the HD-DVD drive cutting in and out, I've had no problems. And this is a first gen.

Re:Why no Xbox 360 Slim? (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134933)

Uh... You'd count in that 54% of failures, then. Doesn't matter that they got it fixed- it shipped failing on you.

Now we just need to know (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134313)

Now we just need to know how often people play their consoles. I have a Wii. I bought it because it looked fun and it wasn't overprices. Now, I'm not and avid gamer. I only play maybe 1 or 2 hours every couple of weeks. At such low usage, I would be surprised if the thing didn't last for 20 years. Many people I know with Wii's fall into this same category. Contrast that with XBox, where I think many more people are avid gamers, and would use their machines much more. A higher failure rate would be expected. Probably not this much more of a failure rate, but a higher one none the less. Also, take into account the fact that MS will replace your broken unit with a refurb, and that most people who get a replacement unit, will put the unit back in the exact same spot, with poor ventilation and cooling that the previous one was at, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Re:Now we just need to know (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Struct (660658) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134541)

I don't have an XBox, but I do have a PS3. I wouldn't say I play it a whole lot, but it's in a fairly small cabinet in my entertainment center, and we close the glass door when we're not using it. So every once in a while, my wife leaves the remote on the coffee table overnight, and somehow, the cat frequently managed to step on the remote, which for some idiotic reason powers up the PS3. I think at least on 10-20 occasions, it has sat in the cabinet with the door closed all night long. In the morning, it's literally like an oven in the cabinet, and the fans are screaming so loud you can hear them almost through the whole house.

I don't say this because I'm proud of how the poor thing gets treated, but I'll admit I'm amazed every time it happens that it still functions at all. By all rights, it should be dead dozens of times over. I don't have an XBox 360, so I can't really make any comparisons, but the PS3 I have in my entertainment center is no fragile piece of machinery.

Re:Now we just need to know (1)

GeekOutNewYork (1366843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134655)

The Game Informer survey included this info. From my copy of the magazine: "Perhaps the Wii has suffered fewer hardware failures among our readers due to the fact that it isn't played as often. The majority of Wii owners (41.4%) said they play their Wii less than an hour a day on average, as compared with the Xbox 360 (three to five hours: 40.3%) and PS3 owners (three to five hours: 37%)." A little bit of suspect reasoning there -- 41.4% isn't a majority (I guess they meant plurality) and their "less play time = less failure" theory doesn't hold much water given the PS3 play time being similar to 360 with a much lower failure rate. Still, those are the numbers they provided.

Usage stats are irrelevant (100% is standard) (3, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134721)

"Now we just need to know how often people play their consoles."

Pray tell, why? A gaming console is merely a dedicated computer. Millions of servers run constantly for years without failing. If the typical failure rate was anywhere near this for a given companies' server, laptop, or desktop computers they would quickly lose market share, yet many people run those at near 100% uptime. Such a number is absurd regardless of usage statistics. Luckily for M$, their customers have come to expect failures and consider them to be a natural and inevitable consequence of the computing experience, and they don't bat an eyelash. It's sad really.

Re:Now we just need to know (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134903)

I've read that one of the most common failures is caused by heat warping the motherboard, breaking the solder connecting the GPU. It's something that shouldn't happen even after years of continuous use.

I wouldn't be so quick to blame the user either. This is a mass produced home entertainment device targeted at Joe Shmoe. Not designing it with a large tolerance for poor thermal conditions would be idiotic.

Re:Now we just need to know (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134971)

My Wii gets abused about as much as the PS3 does...no problems so far...(Now watch, it'll up and die on me now... >:-) )

The failure rates are more due to hardware choices than about usage from what I've seen though. MS chose poorly early on- just like they did with the X-Box.

Re:Now we just need to know (2, Insightful)

Noway2 (942022) | more than 4 years ago | (#29135043)

My wife and I are both avid gamers and we have both an Xbox360 and a PS3. In actuality, this is my second Xbox, as the first one did fail after very long and hard played life of several thousand hours, including games like Saint's Row which was known to be hard on the machine. My personal opinion is that the Xbox has been a very reliable machine and I am very happy with it. By way of comparison, I have had a very poor experience with the reliability of the PS3, which cost me twice as much. The PS3 had about 100 hours on it and the hard drive failed. I replaced it with a laptop hard drive and got it working again. After about 20 more hours of gameplay, the blue ray laser diode fried. Sony will want $150 to repair it. So to compare, I spent about $600 USD on two xbox units that have a combinded total of several thousand hours of play versus $750 on a PS3 that has about 120 hours and will require another $150 to get it working again.
If this xbox were to die, I would buy another one. I am considering throwing the PS3 in the trash.

SOP for M$ (1)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134327)

Impressively, only 4% of respondents said they wouldn't buy a new 360 because of hardware failures."

Obviously, only 4% of the respondents have never talked to a frustrated RROD 360 owner.

Re:SOP for M$ (2)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134429)

I don't see what's so "frustrating" about the RROD. I had one of the first batch 360s, and didn't get the ring until 2 years later. Sent the console in for repair, had it back in under a week. Didn't cost me anything to fix, and haven't had problems since.

And this is with it getting plenty of use as a DVD player and media streaming box as well. It's not like I just have it sitting around unused.

Re:SOP for M$ (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134603)

Obviously, only 4% of the respondents have never talked to a frustrated RROD 360 owner.

Actually it sounds like 50% of their respondents were RROD 360 owners.

Mine died and I don't fall into the 4% that cares. Microsoft sent me a box. I dropped it off on the way to work. They sent it back to me 2 weeks later. It was less hastle than changing the oil in my car.

Microsoft overall has done an excellent job taking care of their customers. Inconvenient? Yes. Worth the inconvenience? Most definitely.

Re:SOP for M$ (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134735)

Uh, many of these people were the ones who had RROD failures. You can read and write, now try to comprehend.

Wow, shocking news (1, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134333)

In fact, a Game Informer survey of 5,000 readers found that the Xbox 360 has an astounding 54.2 percent failure rate. That means 54.2 percent of Xbox 360 consoles fail in one way or another.

So what you are saying is that 54.2 percent of people who submit a voluntary survey want to bitch and moan about how their Xbox got a RROD in some way or another (never mind the quantity of people who downright abuse the thing by sealing it in a TV console cabinet with no circulation and proceed to play Halo 3 for 10 hours straight).

It turns out that 75% of statistics can't be trusted at all. Oh, and 80% of the time, it works every time.

Re:Wow, shocking news (4, Insightful)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134495)

But the 54.2% failure rate is controlled by the failure rate for other consoles in the same survey. You claim that being sealed in cabinets killed a large number of Xbox360s. Presumably the same should be true of PS3s, but their failure rate is almost exactly a fifth that of the 360. This survey is just further evidence that Microsoft have extremely poor quality control WRT the Xbox.

Re:Wow, shocking news (1, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134635)

There are so many things that taint this survey. How many of them are telling the truth? Maybe GI is the magazine to go to if you love the PS3/Wii and hate the 360. Maybe the 360 is played a lot more than the other consoles. Maybe 360 owners are dumb and don't understand how ventilation is important. Maybe they are comparing MS's failure rate on the earlier version to all versions of the other consoles. There are too many variables not pinned down to take this survey seriously. We already know the 360 has an unreasonable amount of failures. This survey doesn't really tell us anything new or significant.

Re:Wow, shocking news (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134757)

No, there is no control provided by the other response rates.
Go learn what a selection bias is and report back. This survey is meaningless.

Re:Wow, shocking news (1, Flamebait)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134833)

You need to learn what 'control' is in scientific terms. You can't 'control' your way out of a non-representative sample. The failure rate for PS3s in this survey is 10 times higher than other published figures (reports have the actual PS3 failure rate at around 1%, which is in-line with normal manufacturing expectations).

Re:Wow, shocking news (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134545)

It's also not entirely clear to me what is and isn't a failure. My PS3 for example, somewhat frequently has pixel lines (where one point of a model isn't position correctly and causes a giant spike to be sticking out) and less often (and only on EA games so who knows whose fault it is) has lock-ups. Also, sometimes when I start up a game there will be no sound, restarting the game takes care of it but it's still annoying.

I don't want to send it in because you're not guaranteed to get the same console back and I have one of the originals with backwards compatibility (that I actually use) and Linux (which the newest PS3 will not support). Not to mention the repair costs almost as much as a new system all together.

Re:Wow, shocking news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134631)

You mean people think of it like their dvd player or every other console ever made? How dare they! Seriously, I have had game consoles in a tv cabinet for years. I always kept room around them and left the door open when it's in use. I still have a working sega genesis/cd/32x, snes, nes, n64, and wii. I can tell you the sega has seen 5+ hours of gaming on many occasions without incident.

Why must you blame the user. Sure, some are idiots and close it in. I doubt 54% did that.

Re:Wow, shocking news (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134637)

So just out of curiosity, if 54% of the people in the voluntary survey wanted to bitch and moan, why would the reported rates of failure of the PS3 and Wii be 11% and 7%, respectively? Do Sony and Nintendo customers like to bitch less?

I'm not a console gamer in anyway way shape or form. Yet, even I have heard about the Xbox 360 problems like the red light of death. Show me another product model that you can recall off the top of your head as a real lemon. Usually that type of thing is reserved for things like cars (Ford Pinto or Exploder), or OSes (WinMe) that have failure rates above and beyond normal consumer electronics. Also, given that Microsoft is losing money on its Xbox division, this is not inconsistent with a higher than normal return rate.

Re:Wow, shocking news (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134949)

"(never mind the quantity of people who downright abuse the thing by sealing it in a TV console cabinet with no circulation and proceed to play Halo 3 for 10 hours straight)."

  1. This is called a "use case", and Sony, Ninteno, Sega, and M$ all know this will happen. It is up to the engineer to know how his/her product will be used and design accordingly. Everyone else pulled it off just fine. M$ is the only company with anywhere near 50 percent failure rates.
  2. I've said it elsewhere, but it bears repeating: 100% up time for computer systems is so acheivable it is standard. Everyone does it. (OK 99.x%) The percentage of use time is 100% irrelevant.

The quoted failure rate is wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134357)

The 54.2% rate calculation was performed on an Xbox 360 which has a failure in the floating-point unit which itself failed before completing the calculation.

The correct failure rate is 108.4%.

Impressive? (3, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134365)

Impressively, only 4% of respondents said they wouldn't buy a new 360 because of hardware failures.

You mean "appallingly" right? Talk about low standards.

Re:Impressive? (2, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134571)

No. Because the use of the word "Impressively" in that context shows author bias, which means that for whatever little weight this had. Close to none to start with, has none now.

huh? (0)

omgarthas (1372603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134369)

Those stats are useless without more data such as "hours played before first failure" etc etc..., maybe XBOX-360 users play with their console 10 hours a day while Wii ones barely 10 minutes before they go /yawn... making the first ones more prone to fail...just my two cents

sounds low (4, Funny)

Tim4444 (1122173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134389)

I think that's lower than some of Microsoft's other products. Redmond must be celebrating...

RROD is all about heat (0)

PetriBORG (518266) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134399)

The whole issue is all about heat, I've bought my Xbox 360 right after xmas the year it was released and have had very few issues with it. I personally believe it is because I've always used it up-right and the power supply well ventilated. The only issue I had w/ it at all is when I accidentally knocked it over and wrecked my COD5 disk recently.

Re:RROD is all about heat (1)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134719)

If you're suggesting the reason behind my 4 returns, 3 under warranty, were due to poor ventilation, you're incorrect. My thermostat is set to 68F despite complaints from the GF and my 360 sits in open air ps and console. Only 2 of my returns where due to ROD, the preeminent heating/manufacturing issue with the 360. I don't know about upright useage either, I've heard enough complaints about that as well.

Is it partly the user's fault? (1)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134423)

I own a 360 and in the year I've had it I've had no problems. However, I know a few people who also have them and the people with consoles that RROD have had the problem happen twice or more whereas everyone else has had no problems. I can understand that the problem is mostly on Microsoft's back but if it's the same people whose consoles are breaking then surely they're doing something to it that's creating problems?

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134489)

These failure rates seem awful high. In the last 20 years I have had 2 consoles fail. One was a NES and the other was a SNES. The NES had the usual problem where the cartridge connector wore out, and the SNES mostly worked but would occasionally crash if it got too warm. I bought another SNES and it works fine. The other consoles I own are:

Saturn - still works
Dreamcast - still works
Gameboy color - still works
Gameboy advance - still works
PS1 - still works
N64 - still works
Gamecube - still works
Wii - still works

Well doh (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134519)

If my Wii failed, I'd get a new one too. Why? Because I got all the controllers, the games, the wii board (which is failing BTW, but also been in heavy use) and that put together is quite a bit compared to the Wii itself. I would consider it a pretty big negative mark when looking to buy the next generation though.

and the conversation (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134525)

at the boardroom is the one thing on my mind.

Engineer: very few, say less than 5% of people say they will refuse to buy an XBox due to its failure rate

Ballmer: so what is the failure rate?

Engineer: uh, more than 50%...

Ballmer: So....we're boiling a frog it seems?

Engineer: we may as well be vaporizing a frog. it neither knows, nor cares.

Silly slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134543)

Everyone knows that 0.54!=0.88818.

problems due to unreasonable design (2)

alanshot (541117) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134559)

These are the same fanbois that bitch that a PROPERLY engineered device is too big, too ugly, etc.

Honestly, from all I have seen and read, the xbox is just in too small of a case. its all heat related issues. Trouble is as consumers, if they made it a little bigger, gave it larger fans, better cooling vents, etc.* we'd be up in arms that "its too bulky. if I wanted something this big I'd buy a computer!" but wait boys and girls, it IS a computer; its just a uni-tasker as my hero Alton Brown would say.

So the cut goes both ways. Never let Marketing have too much say in product design; Give them too much leeway and they'll F it up.

*or M$ owned up to the failed heat paste and corrected it. Trouble is thanks to lawyering, if they actually DID the right thing and admitted a design fault the'd be sued into oblivion becuase they sold a crap device. Instead they just say "nothing to see here... move along. Here's a free repair!" and appease the masses.

Re:problems due to unreasonable design (3, Insightful)

Petersko (564140) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134917)

"Trouble is thanks to lawyering, if they actually DID the right thing and admitted a design fault the'd be sued into oblivion becuase they sold a crap device."

What the hell are you talking about? It's an entertainment console, not a pacemaker. Their liability ends at repairing the consoles - which they have, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

On what grounds could they possibly be "sued into oblivion"? It's not burning down houses or causing incorrect medical diagnoses.

"Instead they just say "nothing to see here... move along. Here's a free repair!" and appease the masses."

I would call that "owning up to the problem". In fact, so would most people. Let's face it - the reason that owners of defective units would buy another one is because Microsoft clearly stood behind their product.

We'll see whether or not Sony will do the same if the PS3 Blu-ray drive failure rates keep climbing.

Lemon Laws? (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134621)

At what point does the FTC have to become involved in something like this? Microsoft is knowingly selling a defective piece of equipment -- at what point does this become against the law? IANAL but I would be interested in hearing from someone more knowledgeable than I on this issue (which is not saying much as I know next to nothing of these sorts of laws).

Re:Lemon Laws? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134797)

Meh I doubt they will, they have a rather reasonable program to replace broken 360s for 3 years. Then there's also the fact the MS has the most powerful lawyer force on the planet only surpassed by IBM's Nazgul.

Re:Lemon Laws? (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134957)

Since they're replacing the failed units, and under an extended warranty based on the increased rate of several failure modes, I would guess when MS stops honoring warranties.

But are they getting better? (3, Insightful)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134659)

Microsoft has made the CPU smaller and redesigned the power supply over the last couple of years, has that helped at all? I picked up my first 360 last Christmas, and it's been working fine, but the RROD is always on the back of my mind.

This site is so full of XBOTs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134699)

This is fucking disgusting....
A cheap ass product that has >50% failure and yet fangirls are having their panties in a bunch...

Buy a PS3 fucking morons...

Trick to sell more consoles (0)

space_jake (687452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134729)

The high failure rate is just there to boost their consoles sales numbers. Good thing they sell them at a profit.

Strange (2)

terrence.donnelly (1144137) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134731)

Never had a problem with mine. When I worked for Geek Squad I did see a lot of them coming in with problems though. Seem to have gotten better over time. Didn't Microsoft extend their manufacturer's warranty to account for this? At least they're not turning their backs to the situation.

You don't buy a 360, you lease it. (2, Interesting)

SparkleMotion88 (1013083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134751)

My 3rd XBox 360 went bad a couple of months ago, and this is the first one that died outside of warranty. I had the option of paying $100 to have Microsoft "repair" it (presumably making it work again, but leaving the flaws that caused it to slowly die in the first place), or I could spend $200 on a new XBox 360 Arcade (which replaces all the parts that are actually broken) and get a fresh 3 year warranty. I chose to buy a new unit, because when you buy a 360, that warranty is the most valuable part of the package. As I see it, I'm not buying the hardware, I'm paying for a 3 year lease on the hardware. I suppose another benefit of buying a brand new unit is that the newer 360 consoles should have less heat-related problems than the originals. So who knows, maybe this one will last a little longer.

Oddly, the only reason I bought a 360 in the first place was because the DVD drive on my original XBox went bad, and I wanted to get a new console and continue playing my original XBox games. Before that, I only bought a new console when I wanted to upgrade to the latest technology. These days, I only buy a new console to replace a broken one (like the PS2 I bought the first time I had to send my 360 in for service).

Less than 4% said they would buy another 360? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29134793)

Well obviously, who needs 2 xbox's? That's just needless excess!

I wonder how many of their total shipped units (4, Insightful)

joeflies (529536) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134837)

are actually replacements of an existing unit instead of new purchases. In other words, I believe the total is 30M units shipped to date. How many of those units are distinct owners, and how many are replacement boxes?

A large portion of the failed units are simply repaired, but many are repalced. In fact, I'm sure that there are quite a few people who don't bother with the warranty and buy new units (I know many who have).

Vaporized Frogs FTW!!! (1)

Pewpdaddy (1364159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134937)

I personally toasted 2 360's then after getting one replaced I sold it and it fried once more. More over of the 9 or so people that I know personally with 360's 7 of us have shipped them back more than once...... At least Microsoft is holding true to their name in the computing industry. Big phat turds the lot of them. =]

I call BS (5, Insightful)

s31523 (926314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29134997)

According to this 5000 respondent survey the failure rate is 54.2%, but the article points out that over 30 million consoles have been sold. I would place little confidence in the 5000 person survey. Who knows what this survey consisted of, was it a simple cookie-based web browser poll where the same person can vote over and over again? Do you really think retailers would put up with 1 out of 2 people returning the XBOX they bought there? And honestly using a blanket percentage for failure rate is just plain ol misleading. We need to know the Mean-Time-Before-Fail figure to really get a handle on the quality. So, I call BS on this whole thing.
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