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Microsoft Acknowledges 360 Issues, Extends Warranty to 3 Years

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the red-rings-of-awesome dept.

XBox (Games) 205

RamblinLonghorn writes "Microsoft has announced that they are extending the warranty for all Xbox 360s to 3 years. This appears to be entirely retroactive and that 'those who have already paid for such repair charges can expect reimbursement checks for the amount of their console repair.' It seems as though Microsoft is accepting the blame for the hardware malfunctions, but it is worth noting that this warranty modification only applies in the 'Red Rings of Death' situation."

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205 comments

Still, they break. (0, Flamebait)

Karganeth (1017580) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759231)

I wouldn't want the hassle of having to send my console away for it to be repaired. I'd rather buy a quality console first time around.

Re:Still, they break. (2, Insightful)

ObiWanStevobi (1030352) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759333)

Perhaps offtopic, but...
They don't appear to repair 360s. I had a DVD drive failure and I got back a new console in just a couple days. Being in MN and sending it to Texas, there is no way they even had time to look at it to see what the problem was, they just send out a new one as soon a one comes in. Although I was very happy there was so little down time, I can't help but wonder why they would shell out a new console for what is likely a $15 repair. Even with labor, costs can't be that high. In my experience, disk drives don't seem to last much more than 3 years, if they are paying for a new console for every drive that fails in three years time, they are going to lose alot of money.

Re:Still, they break. (5, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759375)

They dont shell out a new console, they ship you a refurbed unit.

Give them a CC# and they'll cross ship (send your refurbed unit out right now, before they recieve your return).

Then they fix yours, and put it in the pool to be sent to someone else.

It's how RMA's work.

Re:Still, they break. (3, Interesting)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761239)

Because of DRM issues they stopped doing that a while ago. Now they make an effort to return your repaired box to you. If it's broken beyond repair, only then do you get a refurb.

Re:Still, they break. (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759405)

Are you nuts? You have three choices, nintendo, which is completely different to the others, so the choice is gonna be on other things than reliability (I don't care how stable it is if it isn't fun for me, no purpose), xbox, which isn't good for reliability (not bad either though) is the midrange console, possibly even the safe option and when something does go wrong they are prompt to take it back and fix it, and finally the sony PS3, which isnt known for reliability either, and again is quite a large step up. With those big a differences, I don't think reliability should be an issue in you buying a console, as reliability still is good in all of them, even if it varies a little we're talking about small degrees. Secondly if you claim reliability is most important cos what's the use if it doesn't work- things get fixed, on the whole quite well, and what's the point of a console if it doesn't do what I want it to do in the first place, reliably useless is still useless.

Four choices (4, Insightful)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759569)

> You have three choices, nintendo ... xbox ... and finally the sony PS3,

You forgot one. There is the PS2 as well. It's a decent, fun system and you can still buy games for it. It's not to be totally ignored just yet.

Re:Still, they break. (2, Funny)

rbgaynor (537968) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759589)

It would appear from the size of this charge to earnings ($1billion+) that the XBox reliability is considerably worse than average. Microsoft even called it "an unacceptable number of repairs to Xbox 360 consoles," marketing-speak for "Houston, we have a problem."

Re:Still, they break. (2, Informative)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759793)

The only specific PS3 failure I've read about is where some guy put tape over the vent holes to "keep dust out."

Not that they don't happen, the widely quoted figures I've seen, Wii and PS3 failure rate was about 1%, compared to 30% for the 360.

Re:Still, they break. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759873)

The story where that info came from stated the PS3 and Wii are less than 1 percent. Big difference. That would mean that 1 in 100 systems fail which is easily an order or magnitude or two too high.

The Wii does seem to have slight higher failure rate than the PS3 with a fair number of people getting GPU failures with speckles/garbage on the screen. Still fairly rare.

Also the 360 appears to effectively have a 100 percent failure rate with the motherboard bending and popping the chip connectors. It is just a matter of how long it takes and right now it appears to be around 25-40 percent of 360 owners have reached that point.

Re:Still, they break. (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761111)

less than 1 percent...That would mean... 1 in 100...
Um. actually that would mean less than 1 in 100. That could be as low as say 1 in 1000, or 1 in 10000, or even 1 in a million.

Re:Still, they break. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19761199)

No, someone stated the PS3 and Wii failure rates were around 1 percent which is very inaccurate.

They are significantly less than 1 percent.

Re:Still, they break. (1, Insightful)

master0ne (655374) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759409)

Eveything breaks... its a fact of life, from the space shuttle to the keyboard you typed your comment on... it all will eventually break. While the 360 did and may still continue to have quality control issues, its how the company handles the situation from that point thats importand, and recently MS have really impressed me with the way the handle most of the issues (with a few noted exceptions which any large company will have). Although they tried to supress the fact that they were having issues, they have now admited it, and in good faith. They extended the warranty to show good faith, not because they were obligated to, or had to.... infact many companys have problematic products still on shelves and refuse to service or extend the warranty once the issue becomes known... Just be glad you can get it fixed is what im trying to say here....


Hand some people free apples (free extended warranty), and they'll complain they havent been cored and seeded yet....

Re:Still, they break. (5, Insightful)

rbgaynor (537968) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759655)

Quality control / reliability is the issue. How they handle it is at best damage control. The most they can hope for is people thinking "They really screwed the pooch there, but at least they agreed to adopt the puppies." As for stepping up with the warranty did they really step up or is this a preemptive step to avoid a large (and expensive) class action lawsuit.

Little to do with a lawsuit. (1)

Panzergheist (609926) | more than 6 years ago | (#19763079)

To be honest, I'm somehow certain that this has far less to do with any possible class action lawsuit, and far more to do with the potential for disgruntled gamers jumping ship to Sony. That, I believe, is what would make Microsoft stay awake at night. They didn't do much of anything until gamers started posting online, "F@$# it! I'm getting a PS3!"

And that matches Microsoft's past behavior in every market that they eventually come to dominate. They don't act upon problems until there are customer rumblings of using alternatives.

Re:Still, they break. (4, Insightful)

Darby (84953) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760363)

MS have really impressed me with the way the handle most of the issues (with a few noted exceptions which any large company will have). Although they tried to supress the fact that they were having issues, they have now admited it, and in good faith. They extended the warranty to show good faith, not because they were obligated to, or had to....

If they initially lied about the issue and worked to cover it up, then *nothing* they subsequently do can be considered "in good faith".
They tried to scam people, got caught over a massive design failure, and are now doing damage control.

Good faith would have been noticing the issue first and working to ameliorate the damage they caused.
Going into damage control mode after being caught lying is not in any way "good faith".

It's amazing the shit people will willingly lap up these days. Truly bizarre.

Re:Still, they break. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760455)

Yep, Microsoft knew about the defective 360 hardware before the system hit the shelves. There were pictures or stories of 360s sitting dead in store displays in the months leading up the system's launch.

If you are one of the existing Xbox owners you really have no choice but to stay the course and pretend everything is going well. You spent the last decade or so telling everyone you know that Nintendo was gay and for little kids and that you hate Sony with a passion and would never buy one of their consoles.

Re:Still, they break. (0, Flamebait)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760639)

You are a moron. All consumer electronics have a failure rate. And that rate goes to 100% as time goes on. I guess you should buy nothing.

Re:Still, they break. (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761377)

All consumer electronics have a failure rate. And that rate goes to 100% as time goes on.
It's a matter of how quickly that rate becomes 100%. I would say supporting a company that makes products with a high failure rate would make you the moron.

MS?? (1)

jriding (1076733) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759255)

They actually admitted to anything that was considered wrong from their part?

Re:MS?? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759645)

Probably realized they were getting dangerously close to a class action lawsuit which would've been much more expensive.

Re:MS?? (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19762279)

I think that tells you just how bad the situation is. I'd like to see their numbers on how many 360s have come up dead as well as how much it's costing them to do all these replacements.

I'd like a 360 (2, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759267)

I'd like a 360. I really would. There are games I'd like to play (PGR3, Dead Rising, some others), as well as games coming out I'd like to play (Rock Band and many others). But I keep hearing about failures. I know people who are on at least their 3rd 360. I've seen the estimations recently putting the failure rates as high as ~30% (which, even if is off by 5x is quite high). If you combine that with the noise the things make, I'm hesitant to buy one. I keep waiting for a re-spin of the silicon (moving to a smaller process should help with the heat/noise issues).

The Elite might have got me but instead of pushing the models down, they just put the Elite on top with a new higher price point.

Re:I'd like a 360 (2, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759359)

I haven't had a lot of problems with mine, except that Forza 2 won't play. I've tried four different brand new copies of it and about 98% of the time, the XBOX 360 tries to play it as if it were a DVD and not a game. I literally have to reboot the XBOX about 40 times every time I want to play, before it finally works. Mind you, my 48+ other XBOX 360 games are just fine in it.

What's weird is when I called a month ago for help with the game (no solutions, they were baffled), it turned out my XBOX had another year of coverage on it... the first year expires in ten days, but they said my expiration for warranty was actually in 2008. I wonder if it was because of this.

Also, I wonder what this means for people who paid the $60 extra for a warranty? Microsoft gave something like a one year warranty with the console and for another $60, you could get a second year (I think). So I wonder if those people will actually get four years, now?

And if your product is failing so often that it's impacting your actual *game* sales (who's going to buy games when their console is broken?), maybe you should just replace everyone's console with a good one. Otherwise it's like having a Pinto and saying "this car is going to explode -- we won't replace it now, but if it blows up in a year, we will replace it then".

Re:I'd like a 360 (2, Interesting)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19762299)

Of course you're assuming that they actually have good consoles. Given that just about everyone I meet with a 360 is on at least their third I'm not so sure that they're even capable of producing enough "good" ones for everyone who already owns one. Leave it to microsoft to bring windows-quality to hardware.

Re:I'd like a 360 (1)

ObiWanStevobi (1030352) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759449)

I had a DVD drive go out, but no other problems. Considering the hours into the machine, It's no less reliable than any computer. Out everyone I know that has one, I'm the only one that has sent one back. IMO, the seem as reliable as any computer. Disk drives fail eventually, I'm not more sure of anything other than death and taxes. I haven't seen or personally heard of any other problems with them.
But you are correct, they can be quite noisy and and do put out a great deal of heat. As far North as I am, I've just considered it a bonus. It's like a space heater than gives me countless hours of entertainment as well.

Re:I'd like a 360 (1)

bastion_xx (233612) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759855)

I bought the 360 when it first came out in November 2004. Red ring of death in Feb of 2007. I was dreading sending it back for repair, but decided to ask Costco what my options were. They said bring it back in to any store and get a full refund.

So I bought a new package deal, swapped out all the components, and everyone is happy. It's a hard return policy to beat, and is especially handy when dealing with electronic goods (sans TV's, computers and I think cameras, where the return policy is now 90 days).

Okay, back to Forza 2!

Re:I'd like a 360 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19761201)

I'm the first of my friends to get a 360. Mine died in a week, took it back, got a new one, and damn, best game system I ever bought. Xbox live is dope beyond belief. Dead Rising is pretty good, but it's probably one of the worst titles I own. As much fun as it was, Gears of War and Crackdown just crush it. It's actually surprisingly good as a media center extender. I was shocked at how nothing it was to set up and get working immediately. My Vista Ultimate laptop detected it immediately when I turned it on, and 5 minutes later the process was done and the media library was building. The only hiccup was it reset a couple of firewall settings, which again were nothing to undo. Then between media downloads off xbox live and free demos, or free multiplayer games from intern programs, hell a person could probably be happy with an xbox live gold account and holding off on buying any games. I even love the free game Hexic that comes with it.

But Gears and Crackdown have my friends saving up for HD TVs so they can justify moving to 360. What's really sick is all the really good games look like the might be coming out this year. And now I'm more or less worry free for 3 years. Booya.

Red rings of death (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759271)

...and for those of us who have no idea wtf the "red rings of death are", see here [teamxbox.com]

(Posted anonymously to avoid karma whoring)

Bravo Microsoft (4, Insightful)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759283)

I'm not normally a fan of MS, nor do I own a 360, but this is a great move by Microsoft - and not something they NEEDED to do. They could have just fixed the problems and made it a year or so but by extending this to a three year warranty (retroactive) they are going to save a lot of people money.

Companies like GameStop who sell extended warranties though might not be happy since I certainly wouldn't buy one now that MS is backing their system up for 3 years.

Re:Bravo Microsoft (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759431)

Bravo???

Microsoft rushes to market the most poorly designed console in history.
Stonewalls on the insane failure rate for two years.
Makes 360 owners go through hell each and every time their 360 dies yet again.
Leaves people with disc scratching drives in the lurch.
And finally is forced to somewhat admit the problem and fork up a billion dollars.

Yeah, 'bravo' Microsoft...

So if you are one of the poor sods who actually bought a 360 you are still looking at your console dieing from a few weeks to few months over and over again. What a complete joke of a company and system.

Re:Bravo Microsoft (2, Insightful)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759535)

Do I think they screwed up and should have done this a long time ago? Sure. Would it have been better if they kept stonewalling and never admitted an issue - or if they did only agree to fix within the year? Absolutely not. They screwed up for a while and are fixing the problem now. If you don't believe that they will also fix the root cause of the hardware now - with a three year commitment to have working systems for their customers, then you're crazy.

A three year warranty in the electronics industry, even after the fact, is EXTREMELY rare, without paying extra up front (or a monthly fee for many cell phone companies/vendors).

They could have done a LOT less and most customers (since Sony this generation is sucking hard and the Wii still doesn't have enough games - especially the type most XBox 360 owners want) would have had to suck it up and deal. They instead changed their policy and are now giving a three year warranty, none of which they are being forced to do.

Re:Bravo Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19761729)

WTF are you smoking? Most electronics have 5-7 years warranty on them. It's only after the PCs become popular, and started racheting down the warranties, and you poor SOBs bought into it. Look at hard drives. They used to be 5 year warranties. Then now 3, and now, 1. And you poor SOBs all go "wow, such wonderful warranty, more than 90 days!!!"

Dumbing down of America indeed.

Re:Bravo Microsoft (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761823)

Most electronics have 5-7 years warranty on them.

Like what? Not my cell phone. Not my GPS watch. Not my clock radio.

Re:Bravo Microsoft (2, Interesting)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 6 years ago | (#19762667)

Every thing in Norway does, and lots of other countries in Europe too... :)

My cellphone has 5 years warranty ;)
My TV has got 5 years warranty ;)
My PS3 has got 5 years warranty ;)
My etc...

This does not apply for parts that are worn out because of heavy use like batteries in laptops and mobile phones (1 year warranty on batteries) or lasers in PS2s, but for anything else "supposed to last for 5 years or more" there is a 5 year warranty against production error.

In other words... Microsoft would've had to fix the "ring of death" units in Norway for free even though they hadn't extended this warranty, unless they can prove it is the users fault and not theirs.
One of the reasons why everything is more expensive here? Might be :) But at least it covers our asses :)

Re:Bravo Microsoft (1, Flamebait)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#19762343)

I don't think anyone at microsoft cares. They have enough money to replace every 360 they sell every three months until they discontinue the thing and still have tons of cash in the bank. Three years from now they'll be selling xbox 720 (also rushed to market and broken) so this warranty should be expiring right around the time the system does.

Do you honestly think that microsoft is in the game console business to make money or a quality product? They might employ a few people who would like to make quality products, but its really all about lock-in. This is what happened when they realized that the dedicated "set-top box" wasn't going to fly and that what was going to work was the game console as living room entertainment convergence device. If you think xbox is about anything other than extending the windows monopoly you're not only nuts but very, very stupid.

Re:Bravo Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759607)

And finally is forced to somewhat admit the problem and fork up a billion dollars.

Close. They aren't forking over a billion dollars, they are claiming a write-off of a billion dollars, probably because the want to shift profits out of last quarter. Then when they need to boost profits, they say it really only costs 1/2 billion, and bingo! 1/2 billion in profits gets added to any quarter they like.

Re:Bravo Microsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760129)

So were you one of the people "bravoing" Nintendo when they fucked up some firmware updates and rendered a bunch of consoles useless, but then offered exchanges fairly quickly? If so, fuck off hypocrite.

Re:Bravo Microsoft (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 6 years ago | (#19762273)

The original playstation had widespread problems with heat. As in having to prop up the edges on books to let air circulate underneath. It was easy to tell when it was overheating, because video cut-scenes would stutter. Eventually many of the overheating machines did fail. So quite a large percentage of owners had to buy a new one. The only good news was by then a new one only cost $129 or $99.

Bravo??? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759587)

I'm not saying that 3year warranty would be a bad thing, but seriously... Has there been any *good* on this year (or two) long episode. M$ should have acted a long time ago, and what they did was only unevitable since 360 users had been driven to point M$ was close to be massively sued..

Re:Bravo Microsoft (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759683)

360s were constantly failing in demo and media/press review units a least a couple months before the system hit the shelves. Microsoft has know the system was defective by design even earlier.

And YET they decided to go right ahead and ship a fundamentally defect piece of hardware.

How can ANYONE in ANYWAY defend that utterly despicable action.

Re:Bravo Microsoft (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760965)

Extending the warranty is great, but how about actually fixing the problem?
Supposedly the problem is that the heat isn't disipated properly, which leads to internal parts being warped (ever so slightly), which severs/loosens connections. It's time to fix the damn problem! Move to 65nm chips (which I hear produce less heat). I really want an Xbox360, but I don't have time to put up with a broken unit, even with a 3-year warranty. Fix the problem, get the defect rate down to ~5%, and I'm in! :)

Re:Bravo Microsoft (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#19762297)

Im fairly sure that Microsoft would have sold an extra 3 to 5 million consoles at least if that problem had been fixed promptly... So there must be one -hell- of a reason they didn't. I'm quite curious what it is, but considering the rep Microsoft is getting on this one, and how many lost sales they are eating (not counting how many publishers are a bit annoyed at this and may decide not to to invest in the 360), something's up...

Microsoft NEEDED to do this? No. (5, Interesting)

avoisin (105703) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761093)

I work for a high tech company that makes expensive hardware, far pricier than the xbox, and I've come to understand a lot more about the cost of warranties from the supplier end. Extending warranties is essentially a loss for the the manufacturer - you're essentially betting when what you made will fail. That's weighed against the cost of making more durable components and the cost that a customer would not buy your product in the first place.

When the 360 first came out, someone made a decision that beyond one year it would cost the company too much to repair the consoles relative to the increased sales than would be had by having a longer warranty. They also had to take into account the bad publicity that could (and did) occur.

I'll be pure engineer here - someone at Microsoft redid the formula, given the knowledge of failures that have happened since release. This time around, the math said that enough future sales would be lost to outweigh the cost of extending the warranty. It's really that simple. It's also interesting to note here that they didn't make it a lifetime warranty (20 years or something). They probably ran that formula too, and decided that the math tips the other way if you let it last forever.

So did they NEED to do this? If by need you mean "saving face", then no. Being the retrospective hero doesn't help anything, only in the sense that it might affect future sales.

Re:Bravo Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19762477)

yeah Bravo, sure!!? LOOOL - ROFL

They start seeing the sales figures plummeting and videos on youtube where X360s are crashed on the floor and replaced by PS3s... time to start worrying (1 year late)

GameStop doesn't want to compete on warranty business : they just want their customer to be happy, be able to play and buy extra-accessories and games!?!
Fixing a *consequence* of the crap x360 design, that's warranty - but fixing the source of the problem is more urgent (even too late?!)

Well... (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759291)

It's not surprising. <retorical>What is it with all the new consoles having so many hardware problems?</retorical> Oh yeah... the bling $$$ bling.

Heh. My NES / SNES still work fine ~15 years later. Hell, even my SMS is fine!

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759361)

What is it with all the new consoles having so many hardware problems?...Heh. My NES / SNES still work fine ~15 years later.

Because there was no Internet back then* for you to hear about isolated cases of hardware failure. If someone's NES burned up, he went back to Woolworth's or whatever they had back then, got a new one and complained to his buddies. Now, consoles come out and the most freakish problems (hurling your Wiimote through the TV screen, for example) gets spread worldwide.

* Yes, I know that there actually was an Internet back then, with at least 11 users.

Re:Well... (2, Interesting)

WMD_88 (843388) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759901)

Your NES still works fine? Lucky you. Most NES units have faulty cart connectors, due to a design defect. Mine is near impossible to fire up...the best solution I found so far is to insert the cart, press down all the way, and then wedge a Game Boy Pocket (?!?!) in between, holding it all the way down. Press Power, then Reset.
The SNES has no such problems and very well should last until now, at least.

Re:Well... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760125)

I've had success in maintaining/repairing NES systems by taking them apart and unbending and cleaning the contacts that are supposed to contact the cartridge so that they get a firm, clean contact between system and cartridge. Your mileage may vary, but pretty much all NES systems I've seen are pretty easily repairable and will work correctly with a few repairs and cleaning.

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

despisethesun (880261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761461)

That was actually the reason behind the redesigned NES that came out towards the end of the console's life (that and milking it for everything it was worth). The original Famicom and the NES 2 were top-loaded and didn't suffer the same problems.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19762479)

Mine is near impossible to fire up...the best solution I found so far is to insert the cart, press down all the way, and then wedge a Game Boy Pocket (?!?!) in between, holding it all the way down. Press Power, then Reset.

That is the dirtiest hack I've ever heard of. Well done.

Re:Well... (2)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760671)

So does my Sony Walkman...what's your point? Disc readers are a lot more fragile...should be fairly obvious.

A $1 BILLION DOLLAR cost? (4, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759317)

Assuming they just do full replace and junk, and pay full retail price, that is >2.5 MILLION failed X-Boxes in the next 2 years. Assuming each repair costs Microsoft only $200, they are budgeting for 5 MILLION failed x-boxen!

With only 11 million X-boxen shipped, that 33% failure rate is sounding like an UNDERCOUNT!

Re:A $1 BILLION DOLLAR cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759523)

Oh jeez oh man

That post hurt my head

Re:A $1 BILLION DOLLAR cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759619)

"Assuming they just do full replace and junk"... "Assuming each repair costs Microsoft only $200"

So you think it costs MS only $200 to build and ship a 360? A year ago they were taking a loss on each 360 sold (at $400-$500). You can't possibly think the price has come down THAT much.

Also remember the parts may get cheaper, but the labour doesn't.

Re:A $1 BILLION DOLLAR cost? (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19762649)

I sm sure that it is just more creative accounting. $250 million in real costs, $750 million in manufactured expenses, all deducted from the tax bill. At the end of the day, this recall may actually prove to be a profit center, courtesy of the american tax payer.

An Utter Train Wreck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759363)

Being forced to admit to over a billion dollars worth of repairs for defective consoles just days before E3. Ouch!

So if you are one of the diehard Xbox fanbase, this gen you are looking at:

* Botched backwards compatibility
* A 30-40 percent failure rate
* Disc scratching
* 50 dollars a year to play games online
* No dedicated servers
* Crappy graphics - Halo 3 and Forza 2 - YEECH!
* Noisy as hell
* Can't handle 1080p for real games
* Smaller than last gen storage format - only 7 gigs of space versus 8 gigs last gen
* Ripoff peripheral prices
* No BluRay playback for 1080p HD movies

So now if you were dumb enough to go out and waste money on a third party warranty you now have wasted a bunch of money for nothing. The disc scratching problem is still unfixed and you still have to pay for the fixes yourself - this move by Microsoft is only for the overheating/motherboard problem.

Microsoft was already burning through cash at a faster rate than the first Xbox mess where they racked up 5 billion in losses. Now they are adding 1.1 billion on top of the current losses and that is just for right now and doesn't address the other hardware problems people are having.

Do we laugh or cry at Microsoft's seven year long train wreck called the Xbox?

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (2, Interesting)

RamblinLonghorn (1074873) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759481)

And yet it still outsells its market competitor

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759561)

BZZZTTTT!!!

The 360 is selling significantly slower than the first Xbox. It is dead in Japan. It is dead in Europe. At it's current rate the 360 won't even make the same worldwide installed base as the first Xbox.

Wait, let me guess, you get your console sales news from teamxbox and vgcharts! Heh, what a tool...

The 360 is selling almost entirely to the very same diehard Xbox crowd in the US as last gen. The rest of the gaming world continues to not give a shit about the 360 or shiny green garbage like Halo.

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (1)

RamblinLonghorn (1074873) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759719)

I know I'm feeding a troll, but I'm bored, so here you go.

If by your logic, sales equals how the "gaming world" feels about the Xbox 360, what does this say about the PS3? Can you give less than a shit about something? In the last available figures (May 07), NPD has Xbox outselling PS3 by 2 to 1; the Wii outsells it by 4 to 1. This is NPD by the way; A non-biased, market research group.

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759925)

I would be curious to see some links backing up either your or the parent's claims about sales success/failure. Just saying "It's out selling the competitor" or "The 360 is selling significantly slower than the first Xbox. It is dead in Japan. It is dead in Europe. At it's current rate the 360 won't even make the same worldwide installed base as the first Xbox." doesn't really prove anything. Give us some actual traceable figures...

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (1)

RamblinLonghorn (1074873) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760093)

Ok Gamasutra reporting the NPD numbers for May [gamasutra.com]

May's NPD tally comes to 338,000 Wii, 155,000 Xbox, and 82,000 PS3.

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760367)

The most amazing thing to me is that according to these figures the PlayStation 2 sold 188,000 units during May So the old gen PlayStation outsells the nextgen Xbox 360 and the PS3.

Top selling hardware for may is:

DS 423,000
Wii 338,000
PSP 221,000
PS2 188,000
Xbox 155,000
PS3 82,000
GBA 80,000

Even funnier. Handhelds are more popular then the big nextgen wonders.

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (1)

RamblinLonghorn (1074873) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760513)

Point taken. I think the PS2 outselling the PS3 is still the greatest evidence that Sony priced themselves out of competition.

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19760663)

You have to be joking!

Sony is selling their seven year old system at faster rate than Microsoft is in the Xbox's strongest market. All the games people are going out to buy for the PS2 will run on their PS3s, all the franchises they are buying at a faster rate than the 360 are getting next gen sequels on the PS3. Developers who seven to eight years ago started working on PS2 engines are still being able to leverage that technology they created years ago in the giant and still expanding PS2 market.

PS3 component prices are in a freefall as anyone who reads the manufacturing press knows for things like the blue laser diodes in the BluRay drive. Sony has made it clear that manufacturing prices for the PS3 are on target to reach break even at the one year point just like they did with the PS2.

The PS3 is selling at a rate that is right between the first Playstation and PS2...

Sorry, but trying to spin the amazing PS2 sales as anything but extraordinarily positive for Sony is just silly.

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (2, Informative)

RamblinLonghorn (1074873) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760939)

The PS3 is selling at a rate that is right between the first Playstation and PS2..

That would be fine and dandy, if the market was a static, fixed, number of customers. 82,000 units in a month in todays market stinks. I agree with you that the PS3 is a marvelous piece of technology. The games look beautiful, and a few of them are probably pretty fun. It may even catch on and get back into competitiveness, but in my opinion, based on the NPD numbers and daily press stories, I wouldn't bet on it.

All the games people are going out to buy for the PS2 will run on their PS3s, all the franchises they are buying at a faster rate than the 360 are getting next gen sequels on the PS3. Developers who seven to eight years ago started working on PS2 engines are still being able to leverage that technology they created years ago in the giant and still expanding PS2 market.

Which means they (consumers and developers) will not be spending their money on PS3 related products. Just by looking at the wii versus gamecube, you can see an advantage in not having two product lines in the same market. The Wii is near enough in price to the Gamecube, that it is easy to justify shelling out the extra $150 or so to get the wii. Developers, who shunned the wii for the most part, now see the success of the Wii (in large part due to pricing and timing) and are scrambling to divert money to wii related projects. Unless you expect the ps2 to be there in another 7 years, and the NPD numbers show the PS2 under 200,000 for the first time since initial launch, you have to get the consumers and developers on the newer technology.

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760309)

Nope, its not outselling the wii. It has a higher marketshare due to a year more on shelves, but at this rate it'll be gone by years end.

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (1)

RamblinLonghorn (1074873) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760549)

You're right of course, I just pit Sony and Microsoft against each other because that's what this particular AC is thinking about.

Re:An Utter Train Wreck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759987)

"* A 30-40 percent failure rate"

This is incorrect. You really shouldn't battle propoganda with propoganda.

They Still Haven't Fixed the Problem (0, Flamebait)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759367)

Even the new 360 Elite model is getting RRoD at what seems like the same rate. Microsoft blew it big time, it's good they are extending the warranty but it would be better if they fixed the root problem too.

Re:They Still Haven't Fixed the Problem (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759577)

Indeed. Im sure Microsoft would have quite a bigger market share if it wasn't for the hardware issues. I know I personally really want to play current and upcoming 360 games, but I hate dealing with customer services and repairs with a passion, so I'm not touching one until its semi-reliable. I doubt I'm the only one thinking that way.

Re:They Still Haven't Fixed the Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759621)

"Indeed. Im sure Microsoft would have quite a bigger market share if it wasn't for the hardware issues. "

Uh, no.

The only thing the amazingly crappy 360 hardware has done is keep a fairly small percentage of existing Xbox owners from buying a 360. Both Europe and Japan don't give a crap about the system regardless of how poorly designed and manufactured it is.

Re:They Still Haven't Fixed the Problem (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761535)

The fact that the 360 is number 1 in North America must burn your anonymous bunghole something fierce, since it prompts you to post silly flames over and over. Sorry dude.

what about 4-red lights? (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759421)

The 360 in my apt has 4 lights lit. It used to be 3, but it's since decided to light the 4th after I attempted the towel trick to fix it (the towel trick worked once, but the second time, it didn't work at all, and shortly after that, the 4th LED lit).

We'll have to call MS when I get home to see if that's covered.

with any luck, they'll cover it and we wont' have to shell out 150$

Re:what about 4-red lights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759579)

4 red lights means the AV connector isn't in completely.

Re:what about 4-red lights? (2, Funny)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760243)

I attempted the towel trick to fix it

The only "trick" is burning out the temperature sensors so it runs the fans faster without burning out anything else. You'd be better off just hotwiring the fans direct to the 12 volt supply so it can't attempt to moderate the fan speed.

Seriously, towel trick? You get the "I'm desperate and not too smart" award. I invented it today. Just for you.

Re:what about 4-red lights? (1)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760437)

I know what it does.

When MS wants $150 that I don't have to repair the thing, it's worth a shot. It did fix it the first time for about 2 weeks (the unit has been out of the 1-year warranty for about 6 months).

Especially when a friend of mine did it and his 360 has been working fine ever since... it sucks it worked for him, who could've easily afforded fixing the device.

Re:what about 4-red lights? (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761587)

No cuz then MS will figure out that you opened the fucker, and they won't repair it. OTOH, they regularly replace overheated Xboxes.

this is amazing! (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759429)

Its amazing when any big company willingly does something like this (without a class action, intense media coverage, etc). What is more amazing is its microsoft doing it. Guess they figure they can't afford to look bad at any level in such a high heat console war.

Re:this is amazing! (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761407)

It's not really that amazing... I can only assume that Microsoft have figured out that there will be a lot of repercussions of _not_ doing it (class action?), and have crunched the numbers and have figured out this is the best way forward.

The same situation has happened quite a few times previously, and i've often thought to myself that if the company in question had done something like this at the start, rather than waiting for a whole lot of bad press and legal costs, they would have saved themselves a lot of trouble.

Props for Owning Up (1)

ironwill96 (736883) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759435)

Regardless of your opinion of Microsoft, they have continually impressed me with their willingness (eventual) to own up to issues with the console and extend the warranty retro-actively. I just can't see Sony doing the same thing in this situation. I feel good knowing that if I get the red rings of death (my friend already had one bout with it), that they will pay for it since my console will still be good for several more years now.

Re:Props for Owning Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759513)

"I just can't see Sony doing the same thing in this situation."

Yes, shitty Sony really fucked over gamers by taking the time and resources to design an amazingly reliable and silent console that doesn't require an giant Ghost Busters power supply and doesn't scratch discs or sound like a jet engine.

Why or why can't more console companies be like Microsoft and make complete SHIT hardware that they are forced to admit to two years after putting gamers through hell?

You fucking loser. The gaming world is laughing our asses off at YOU PATHETIC XBOX FANBOYS.

Re:Props for Owning Up (1)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759843)

You know, you've made about 1000 comments in 360/PS3 related articles, why don't you just get an account?

Re:Props for Owning Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19761379)

Sony, or, at least its computer division, does own up; my laptop, a Vaio S150, suffered from a faulty motherboard that affected a large number of S150s, and it quit after I had had it for 20 months. Sony acknowledged the problem and extended the 1-year warranties on affected S150s to two years, and fixed it for free.

Now, if only the damn thing took standard laptop DDR SO-DIMMs instead of MicroDIMMs, for which 1GB sticks cost ~$260 apiece. Ew.

I can see it now... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19759591)

Microsoft officially apologizing for Vista and offering XP licenses to those unhappy with it. Meanwhile, they work on a new OS that will actually run on modern hardware.

not that bad (1)

shlepp (796599) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759729)

Im still running my launch console, and its nice now that i have and even longer warranty on my 360. I had already purchased a 1-year extended warranty through Microsoft (as i got mine from Zellers), so now the additional 3 years is kind of a good thing, i still have 2 years left then i guess. I had a 2 red light error once and I just unplugged everything for a few min and hooked it back up and running flawless since, Though i do regularly clean my 360 but blowing compressed air into the vents and use the vacuum hose up against the vents to pull out and dust/dust bunnies that may be lurking, seems to work quite well as my 360 is actually very quiet (my PC is WAY louder with my 7 case fans). I dont plan on buying an elite either. I know quite a few people have had theirs die, and i guess that does suck to some degree, Im still happy with my choice of console, as the other 2 choices still have shit all for actual blockbuster titles.

Re:not that bad (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759905)

my 360 is actually very quiet (my PC is WAY louder with my 7 case fans)
I'm sure what you're saying is valid, and I'm glad you're happy with your purchase. This line made me laugh though. Your PC has 7 case fans, which has to make it abnormally loud for a PC (my PC only has 3 case fans, and that's if you include the power supply fan as a "case fan"). This is like saying my car runs amazingly quiet because it isn't as loud as a 747.

Re:not that bad (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760413)

I think using a domestic vacuum cleaner on electronics is a bad idea, I've heard they generate a bit of static electricity...

Re:not that bad (1)

shlepp (796599) | more than 6 years ago | (#19760625)

Ive been using my shopvac to clean my PC's for ages, you just don't get close to the actual electronics, back when i owned a PS2 i had disc read error's sometimes due to dust in the drive and when i called Sony the rep on the phone actually suggested to use a vacuum on the drive when its open rather than compressed air because the compressed air will move the dust around more rather than get it out of the drive, and this method worked.

4th 360 Here (1)

whodunnit (238223) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759871)

First one died within 8 hours of purchase, RRoD. 2nd one died 8 months later RRoD, 3rd one died 6 months after that, cd drive crapped out.

Best Buy covered all 3 death's but the third one required me to blow 60 bucks on a new "Protection Racket".

So I'm covered for any more RRod's for 2 more years.. and my "Protection Racket" will cover me for at least one more dvd drive failure.

I refuse to spend any more on this system, so my only question left is how many more I'll have die on me before I'm out of freebies.

Re:4th 360 Here (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761089)

3rd one here. My first two I exchanged before they all out died, but they were both getting disc read errors regularly after only a couple of weeks. I couldn't play for 2 hours without a disc read error requiring me to reboot and had slow loading (in Oblivion the normally 1-2 second at most loading times that just say 'loading area' or whatever would take 30+ seconds, full loading screens 2-3 minutes at times) and jumpy video any time the disc had to be read.

Another friend of mine is on his 4th one for the same issues.

Another friend is also on his 3rd. Started out like mine, eventually wouldn't read any discs so he sent it in for repair. Got it back and got RRoD within a week. Sent it in again and got a refurb back.

I love the games on my 360 but damn, these things are crap. I'll probably pick up the improved model after they drop in price in a year or two as I really don't expect the current one to last more than a few years.

Re:4th 360 Here (1)

Ren.Tamek (898017) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761469)

I think the real question is how many times are you going to let your electronics break before you demand a refund? Consumer rights are behind you on this one. Remember, capitalism doesn't work if you don't vote with your wallet, and vendors are going to keep fobbing you off with crap until you either move to a competitor, or stop buying the product completely. I'm not saying thats why every Microsoft product is so shoddy in at least one major area, but it's probably why every Microsoft product is still shoddy, even after months or years of sales and complaints.

WoW!!! That is a LOT of breakage... (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 6 years ago | (#19759891)

Using their financial numbers as to the cost of extending the warranty to 3 years, MS themselves anticipates a full 3.8 million COMPLETE NEW replacement Xbox 360's to have to send out. That gives you an idea as to the failure rate they are seeing. This is at the current FULL RETAIL cost of the system and not using only repair costs. If it only costs $100 to repair, that would mean an anticipated 11.5 million failures during the 3 year warranty period.

this is awesome (1)

Satanboy (253169) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761053)

I'm so glad I didn't buy that warranty extension.

I wonder how those that paid 150 bucks for the extended warranty from different companies feel about this?

What if you already paid for the MS warranty? (2, Interesting)

pozitron969 (539857) | more than 6 years ago | (#19761415)

Is there any information about customers who have purchased an extended warranty from MS? (as I did after a RRoD prompted a replacement, and my 1 year retroactive warranty was about to expire) Any guesses as if that part of the "repair costs" that they indicated would be refundable?

Re:What if you already paid for the MS warranty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19763171)

Not to encourage you to RTFSummary or anything, but I'm informed that you'll be getting a check.

lucky me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19762349)

i got my xbox in feb 06, and have not had any problems with it. i guess i'm just lucky.

Question (2, Interesting)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 6 years ago | (#19763051)

I've recently had problems with the USB ports on my PS3, but Sony won't touch it for free since I no longer have my receipt (nevermind that it's impossible for the warranty to have expired by now; I guess the policy saves them some money). So with Microsoft retroactively extending the warranty like this, what happens to those people who voided their warranty, thinking that it was expired?
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