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Microsoft Sued Over Scratched Xbox 360 Discs

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the so-the-doctor-says-don't-go-like-that dept.

XBox (Games) 133

Xbm360 writes "Microsoft has been sued by Jorge Brouwer from the US who claims that Xbox 360s scratched his game discs, making them unusable. 'Some gamers speculate that moving the console between vertical and horizontal positions while a disc is spinning inside could cause the scratching. Microsoft warns against such actions with a sticker placed on new consoles, and Brouwer said in the lawsuit that Microsoft's customer service representatives asked him if he had tilted the console. He said he had not. The lawsuit also cites investigations of similar consumer complaints conducted by a Dutch television program, which found that one of nine consoles tested scratched a disc after five hours of play.'"

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133 comments

Imagery (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19826235)

Why do I get the image of Steve Ballmer sitting next to a stack of SpongeBob SquarePants XBox360 game discs with a pocket knife and a bottle of Jack Daniels laughing maniacally as he scratches each disc one by one, packages them back up & puts them in the "toys for underprivileged children" charity box?

Simple (2, Informative)

Zenephis (1119217) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827781)

Here is a pretty simple fix [llamma.com] in case anyone is brave enough to try. Also there is a movie link that shows the degree of the scratches. Be aware, the page is a visual disaster on the eyes. You have been warned.

Re:Simple (1)

bdjacobson (1094909) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829911)

Here is a pretty simple fix [llamma.com] in case anyone is brave enough to try. Also there is a movie link that shows the degree of the scratches.

Be aware, the page is a visual disaster on the eyes. You have been warned.
Who hasn't played with a gyroscope? I feel no pity for these people with scratched discs. It's called rotational inertia.

speculate!?! (1, Funny)

ZachMG (1122511) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826249)

ok even barely bumping the thing will scratch them and its takin this long for someone to sue? Wow, oh and did anyone ever sue about the overheating thing? I know a couple of people that have had disks melted and one that actually had a 360 burst into flames.

Re:speculate!?! (2, Funny)

jimbogun (869443) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826521)

According to http://news.com.com/Man+sues+Microsoft+over+allege d+Xbox+360+glitch/2100-1043_3-5982759.html?tag=nl [com.com] this Reuters Story on CNET, which no longer exists, someone is suing over the overheating.This article has a little more info.http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Microsoft_sued_du e_to_case_of_Xbox_360s_overheating [wikinews.org]

Re:speculate!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19826543)

I know a couple of people that have had disks melted and one that actually had a 360 burst into flames.

You know a lot of people who have 360's. I don't know 1 person who does.

Re:speculate!?! (2, Interesting)

camperslo (704715) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826791)

There is also the issue of hot running hardware still being more likely to fail prematurely (but beyond even an extended warranty) due to the heat causing, among other things, increased thermal-cycling cracks in solder connections and deterioration of electrolytic capacitors over time.

Even an extended (3 year) warranty doesn't adequately address the problem since the hardware out there after 3 years will still have reduced value due to a shorter than normal lifetime. And those getting some relief by an extended warranty still aren't compensated for their wasted time and suffering.
Users should ALL be given replacements with the defective (excessively hot) DESIGN fixed.
It would seem the fixed units are those with 65 nm CPUs and improved optical drives.

I've read reports of newer units not having the excessive optical-drive noise present in the earlier units.
Perhaps the noisy drives were the ones damaging the discs. Anyone with a noisy drive would probably be well advised to demand a replacement.

Beyond replacing the original defective hardware, users ought to get something for their suffering.
It doesn't seem likely they'd get cash back, but perhaps a free game could work?

don't mind the grinding noise little boy, it's just the sound of power

Re:speculate!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19828709)

Hmm. You know, if we based launch dates on when a manufacturer actually gets the console hardware right... the Wii and PS3 would've been launched when they were, but the 360 would still be unlaunched, waiting up for that 65nm chip redesign.

If you also decide that the real launch date should also include well ironed out firmware, then the PS3 camp would've launched at firmware revision 1.80 a couple months ago. But it'd still have beaten the 360 to market.

It sucks that MS cares so little about putting out decent hardware. My friend has a 360, and has vowed it'll be his last.

Disc Return? (5, Insightful)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826257)

One thing I have never understood is why anybody who sells their shit on optical media doesn't institute a return program for scratched discs. You give me a scratched disc (with a holographic seal of authenticity) and I'll replace it free. Given that the disc itself is cheap to produce (unlike floppy disks), this should ensure TOTAL consumer happiness. In fact, they could even (if possible) clean and sell mildly scratched discs as refurbished/pre-owned and make a profit out of this whole cycle.

Cheers!

Re:Disc Return? (-1, Troll)

toofast (20646) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826365)

Take care of your stuff. Disc scratches are normal wear and tear (except if the machine scratches them, but that's a defective product).

If you buy a car, is it reasonable to expect a brand new car if you return the old, scratched one?

Re:Disc Return? (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826433)

No, but it is reasonable to expect warranty service in case the car malfunctions beyond what would be considered normal wear and tear - as is the case with a console scratching the games beyond usability.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826913)

yes, that's precisely the sort of damage that a warranty is supposed to cover and not ordinary wear & tear. If you've been using the disc for 5 years and it wears out, that's ordinary wear and tear, if you use it for 5 hours and a huge gouge appears in it, that's extraordinary damage and what you would expect a free replacement for. Or it's what I'd expect a free replacement for - I'd be happy to pay for materials and P&P if the damage was just from ordinary usage.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826443)

Take care of your stuff. Disc scratches are normal wear and tear (except if the machine scratches them, but that's a defective product).
RTFA, that's what the complaint is about: the XBOX 360 IS scratching the discs...

Re:Disc Return? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829513)

He doesn't even have to RTFA, it's right in the summary. We have here someone too lazy to read anything beyond the page title, apparently.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826473)

A simple replacement program would do worlds of good. e.g. The ability to trade in the disk + a small processing fee (say, $5) for a new copy of just the optical disc. This wouldn't be all that different from vehicle extended warranties, which are intended to insure the life of your vehicle beyond the manufacturer's warranty.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826675)

I know they had that for Jedi Knight the original, that's exactly how much I paid with my disc (have to return the original, broken one, in this case in two pieces) and $5 and they would send you a new one.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826925)

Yeah, it was pretty common back in the days of floppy disks. It doesn't surprise me that a few companies extended the practice to early CD games. Unfortunately, the console folks tend to think of their media as indestructible for some reason or another. That was more or less true back in the days of cartridges, but it's sure as heck isn't true with optical discs.

Yet Nintendo still prints their "backups are not necessary nor authorized" warning in the manuals. (I imagine that the other console makers print something similar.) That's great. Tell it to a used copy of FZero GX I got that had no visible damage to the disc yet wouldn't function in a Gamecube or Wii.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826487)

So what are you paying for: a Disc or the Data rights for 1 copy?

Depending on your answer, that is my reason to "pirate".

Re:Disc Return? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826869)

It's not a black OR white question. You are paying for both: the data rights (license/development costs/etc) and the media (manufacturing costs of the disc, box, shipping, etc).

The question is, why can't we get replacement media for free/very cheap?

Re:Disc Return? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19826911)

See, the thing is, if you are paying for both, then your rights should overlap as a Union, not their rights overlapping yours as an Exclusion.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827661)

The costs also don't cover a single thing. Let's say a game costs 50$. Maybe 45$ is for the license/etc, the other 5$ is for the media.

You should have the right to get a replacement disc for 5$ since the license/etc is already paid for.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826499)

Yes. If actually making the car costs less that 1% of the price it is selling for and if it is not a consumable good. Seldom do people actually buy the same CD/DVD over and over because they scratched the one they had. And companies do not rely on this for their profitability. And the added marketing boost might actually make it worth it all.

Cheers!

Re:Disc Return? (1)

bri2000 (931484) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826561)

Hardly. But software companies make a big thing out of how they're selling us the data, and a license to use the data (which is not expressed to be a license to use the data until such time, if any, as the media on which that data is provided becomes unusable), rather than the media itself. Given that these companies also implement copy protection making it very difficult to make casual back-ups (which, I would argue, is the only way to really "take care of your stuff" in this context) I think, in all the circumstances, it's perfectly reasonable for them to provide a new disc at cost in the event that a customer's disc ceases to function.

Re:Disc Return? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19826699)

Am I the only person in the world whose discs are ALL in perfect shape despite YEARS and YEARS of use?

It might help if people quit dropping them on filthy gritty surfaces, grinding them around, using them as coasters and "cleaning" them with scuff pads.

I mean, for fuck sake, they come in a case, put them back when your finished.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827057)

Are you channeling Jack Valenti?

That was his argument about the "license" v. "media" argument... and how the MPAA/RIAA justifies their lack of a media exchange policy.

Re:Disc Return? (5, Insightful)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827247)

"If you buy a car, is it reasonable to expect a brand new car if you return the old, scratched one?"

That argument doesn't hold water to me. We're talking about two very different things.

1. You scratch a car, it is still drivable. In fact, a scratch or even a dent or ding will not stop you from using the car as intended. A scratch on a DVD, however, can render it useless.

2. A car costs a lot of money. The material cost, labor cost, transportation cost are all extremely high. The cost of actually manufacturing a DVD is so low, it's trivial. I'm not talking about R&D for game design, package art, etc. Just the disk.

3. According to the game companies, we aren't buying a disk or a game. We're buying a license to use the ip contained on the disk. And, according to the license and associated DRM, there are several things we aren't allowed to do, like make backup copies, copy to a hard drive, whatever. Since we have already paid for a license, and are thus allowed to use the IP, why should we be required to pay the same premium again just for replacement media?

4. The material of a CD/DVD is flimsy. If content companies are serious about not wanting to allow backups and not offering free or at-cost replacement for damaged media, then they should make the media sturdy enough to not get damaged easily.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828227)

If I buy a car and blow the fuel injectors by running dry or putting something stupid in the tank, I expect to be able to buy new fuel injectors (or have them repaired), not be forced to buy an entirely new car . . .

hawk

Re:Disc Return? (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828691)

You're really missing his point though. Physical property and intellectual property are two completely separate concepts.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829193)

3. According to the game companies, we aren't buying a disk or a game. We're buying a license to use the ip contained on the disk. And, according to the license and associated DRM, there are several things we aren't allowed to do, like make backup copies, copy to a hard drive, whatever. Since we have already paid for a license, and are thus allowed to use the IP, why should we be required to pay the same premium again just for replacement media?

Or in other words, with a car you're allowed to make as many copies as you want (aside from the fact that it's physically impossible since Star Trek replicators don't exist). If one were instead buying a license to use a car (such as with services like Flexcar [wikipedia.org]), then heck yes he should expect a relacement copy!

Re:Disc Return? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827423)

Yes but I would naturally be able to make a backup copy of my game if not for extra meddling by the vendor to prevent such.

If the dealership welds my hood shut so I can't do maintenance (then has congress declare any attempts to cut through the welds illegal), and the car breaks down because I couldn't change the oil, you're damn right I should be able to take it back and get a new one.

Re:Disc Return? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19826501)

The simple answer is because setting up a program like that costs money. A corporation's legal obligation is to maximize shareholder value. Voluntarily setting up programs like you suggest goes directly against this obligation. Only after being sued (and thus deflating shareholder value) will a company institute something like this.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826565)

Actually, I have been thinking about this for the longest time (every time I buy a CD for my car that does not play burnt discs). It might actually be profitable if you use it as an additional selling point. Consumer satisfaction improves and that counts for something. Maybe the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD war can be resolved if either Sony or MS introduces this concept?

If they do, you saw it here first!!

Cheers!

Re:Disc Return? (5, Informative)

figleaf (672550) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826545)

Microsoft does exchange scratched discs for games published by Microsoft. Some other companies has similar schemes.
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox36 0/gameplay/discreplacement-program.htm [xbox.com]

Re:Disc Return? (2, Insightful)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827303)

Have you checked the list of games?

        * Crackdown(TM)
        * Fuzion Frenzy 2
        * Gears Of War®
        * Halo® 2
        * Kameo(TM): Elements of Power(TM)
        * Ninety Nine Nights(TM)
        * Perfect Dark Zero(TM)
        * Project Gotham Racing® 3
        * Viva Piñata(TM)
        * Xbox Live® Arcade Unplugged Vol. 1

That's it, that's all of em. But what if I like Lost Planet? I'm sure the 360's library is MUCH larger than 10 titles :-p. I want a 360, but the horror stories just keep coming!

Re:Disc Return? (2, Insightful)

eison (56778) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827693)

So if Microsoft's defective product scratches a game I have paid $60+ for, I can pay another $20 to replace the game? Which their defective product will then scratch again?
And you think this is a reasoanble solution?

If the disk exchange was free, maybe you would have a point.

Re:Disc Return? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19827875)

1. disc scratches can be trivial to fix. I use Mother's California Gold car wax. I expect the one tin I bought to serve the needs of myself and 10 generations of my decendants.

2. Blame angular momentum. Tilt something spinning expect gyroscopic forces to kick your ass. Who the fuck juggles their xbox while playing a game anyway?

3. if it really is the xbox, don't call to replace the game call to replace the xbox and game. You may have to go the extra mile with this including making a webcam movie with no cuts of the xbox scratching something like a cheap CDR. Why? People fucking lie. They lie all the time. About what they did, about what they didn't do. People being inveterate unappologetic liars and thieves make honesty a less rewarding proposition. Next time you catch someone in a small lie, or failing of complete honesty, hold them accountable, but not too much or no one will want to be around you. In reality, a dishonest world is what we've collectively chosen to live in. This is an inevitable result.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829203)

The tilt thing keeps coming up. First, that could have been solved by microsoft with $.02 rubber pads, like it has been others on the net, but lets forget that for the moment. I bought a 360 a few days ago, brand new, and it has already put two hairline concentric circle scratches around the center of the disc and both have already had read errors. Needless to say I returned the system. But here's the main point: I had already read about disc scratching problems caused by moving the system so I made sure to put mine in the horizontal position and put it within a solid entertainment system with good ventilation. I have the wireless controllers, so it was not from any yanking on the cords. The only time I ever touched the system while it was running was to press (lightly!) the eject button to change out games.

Pay for their defective merchandise ??? (1)

dahdahdah (999584) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829405)

I don't think i should have to pay 1 penny to replace disks that are damaged BY my 360.. They charge $20 for MS game replacement disks, and don't offer any links to other publishers for replacements of non-MS 360 games.

Re:Disc Return? (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826651)

That used to be policy way (way) back in the day.

Hell, in the days before the internet publishers would send patches out on floppy discs for free (as well they should). Getting your media replaced was as easy as sending the discs back to the publisher with a return address. A week or two later and you were back in business.

Forget optical media, if your copy is legit, the publisher should replace it at cost regardless of what kind of media it is or what's on it. DVD, CD, BD, ROM it doesn't matter. You paid for your license you don't need another.

Re:Disc Return? Screw that. Disc backups. (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827403)

I was thinking the same thing - those damned key diskettes for the Commodore 64 and the like. They were more annoying than the booklets where you had to find word 8 of paragraph 3 on page 45 of the included adventurer's journal. At least you could photocopy the booklet at your parents' workplaces. :)

As for discs, I'd much prefer the ability to make a backup of the damned thing. But, no, no one would ever want to do that for any reason other than to pirate. No, no reason for legitimate backups at all according to the Slashdot anti-pirating gestapo. Forget children who don't know how to handle media properly (yet) or consoles that scratch the discs. They never occur. Nope. Backups are for pirates. { roll eyes }

Re:Disc Return? Screw that. Disc backups. (2, Funny)

Kuukai (865890) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828585)

No, no reason for legitimate backups at all according to the Slashdot anti-pirating gestapo.
Are you from Bizarro Slashdot?

Back it up (5, Insightful)

Kawolski (939414) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826267)

You know, a scratched disc wouldn't be such a problem if he had simply made a backup of the disc. Oh wait...

Re:Back it up (0)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827549)

Where have you been? Don't you know that even wanting to make a backup of media that you legally own means that you're a pirate-wannabe? If being on Slashdot has taught you anything, it should be that the mere mention of legitimate archives of optical media is grounds for suspicion and torment by the IP Protection Evangelist Death Squad(TM), a division of the BSA, MPAA, and RIAA. BAD! If you could afford to buy the game once, you should be able to afford to buy it two, three, or four times until you learn to protect your discs in a vacuum-sealed case when not in use and you learn to not blame manufacturers for defects in their hardware! BAD! Everyone who backs up an optical disc also needs to walk around with an eyepatch, peg leg, and parrot! Avast, ye scurvy backup fiend!

Oh, damn. I have to clean this sarcasm off my keyboard now. This will take weeks.

Re:Back it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19827599)

Yeah, and it is too bad they don't allow people to do this. It is even worse that it is technically illegal to do this with movies. I bought a used copy of a movie last night which I considered in average condition, knowing that my PC could read it even if my DVD player won't. The first thing I did when I got home? I placed it in the PC and made an uncompressed image on the drive. Now, I just need to bust out a dual-layer disc and burn my backup. Too bad I technically had to break the law to do something I should be allowed to do.

It's not illegal, damnit (2, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827685)

When can we get this through to people?

You are allowed to break encryption to make a backup. You can even get help from somebody else. Of course, that somebody else will ahve to go to jail, because helping someone else break the encryption is illegal - but being helped is not. Think of it as making abortion legal, but wording the law so that anybody who performs them for someone else, or sells the supplies and instruments necessary to do so, or provides instruction in such a procedure goes to jail. You can always use a coathanger, a flashlight, and guess - so that preserves your rights, doesn't it?

Halo 2 Was Pathetic (1)

JeremyBanks (1036532) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826351)

My worst experience was with Halo 2 disks. Between myself and two friends, we had five disks die on us, all with a visible ring showing up in the same place on the disk. Why we put up with it and didn't bitch at MS I can't remember...

Re:Halo 2 Was Pathetic (1)

EtoilePB (1087031) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826465)

I worked for GameStop when the 360 launched and it was only about a week before the first wave of lucky customers started bringing us disks with those crazy gouge rings. (To which we said, "Sorry, but we have nothing to do with that damage. Call Microsoft.") So that was what, November 2005? You're not the only one who's amazed it took this long for a lawsuit.

Re:Halo 2 Was Pathetic (3, Funny)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826527)

Why we put up with it and didn't bitch at MS I can't remember...
Because you played Halo 2. The thing is rife with pro-MS subliminal messages. The fact that you can't remember why you let them off the hook only proves how effective it is.

Little known secret... (4, Funny)

Fx.Dr (915071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826481)

The 360 reads its discs with phonograph needles. It's a real bitch winding that sucker up, too.

Why sue? (3, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826529)

Why not first try demanding that MS replace the disc? The idea of suing over such a thing sounds kind of silly. Yeah, if they refuse to replace it, I guess you could try suing them. That certainly doesn't sound cheaper than buying a new disc. Why would you want to inflict a lawsuit on yourself? If it really pisses you off that bad, stop using the Xbox 360.

Re:Why sue? (1)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826669)

According to TFA, he did and they offered to replace them for a 20 dollar fee. He obviously refused and sued them for 5 million in damages instead.

Re:Why sue? (1)

Holy69 (938902) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826671)

The main reason why I believe they are suing is due to the fact that the Xbox 360 is apparently improperly designed, thus this is not only a case about replacing the discs but providing the consumer with a properly functioning system. So we can go give us new discs, we get them, then 5 hours of game play go by and once again bad disks. Whats funny is I can almost guarantee that he brought the 360 from vertical to horizontal causing the damage in the first place.

Re:Why sue? (2, Interesting)

APLowman (968256) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826857)

Whats funny is I can almost guarantee that he brought the 360 from vertical to horizontal causing the damage in the first place.

What's funny is that you don't know what you are talking about. I really hate it when people assume that just because they haven't had a problem then nobody has. I personally have gone through 8 copies of Guitar Hero 2 which I bought a scratch warranty on after the first one went ($10 at Gamestop). Each copy has the same scratch and the system is always horizontal. I read somewhere the issue was due to a lack of optical head restriction and that the head reading the disc actually rises too high and scratches the disk. This has nothing to do with moving the consle.

Re:Why sue? (2, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827127)

The main reason why I believe they are suing is due to the fact that the Xbox 360 is apparently improperly designed, thus this is not only a case about replacing the discs but providing the consumer with a properly functioning system.

If their product sucks that bad, why keep using it? Send it back and demand your money back, and use something that doesn't suck. This guy isn't going to get $5 million -- instead he's going to end up thousands of dollars in the hole. If he thinks he's going to send some kind of message, whether he actually wins or not, then he's a fruitcake. You'd have just about as much success teaching Satan some table manners.

Re:Why sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19827649)

Do you work for Microsoft, pclminion (145572)? You sure seem intent on dissuading Slashdot's commentators from getting on board with a lawsuit that can only benefit Slashdot commentators in general, but seems poised to hurt Microsoft in a significant financial manner. Microsoft is already losing gobs of money on its video game consoles division (and has been since inception). With generally warranty problems plaguing the 360 (see that article about the 360 returned 11+ times before a reliable working unit arrived), the revelation that Microsoft cuts corners by buying cheap defective optical disc drives for its 360's is really going to hurt Microsoft. I guess Microsoft could have kept this quiet. If Microsoft had only refunded the person's money who was hurt by Microsoft's defective product, Microsoft would not be in this litigation mess today. That's Microsoft's fault. Not the victims of Microsoft's defective product fault.

I fully support going after Microsoft for this product defect. Just because Microsoft is big (and the consent decree is going to expire in November) does not mean Microsoft can get away with this.

Re:Why sue? (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828469)

I fully support going after Microsoft for this product defect. Just because Microsoft is big (and the consent decree is going to expire in November) does not mean Microsoft can get away with this.

So sue to have them fix the flaw and replace the systems of the affected users. Or have them refund the purchase price. Do you actually think MS designed the thing this way on purpose? Does their testing suck? Yeah, apparently. So why purchase at all from a company like that?

I have a feeling you are trolling me, though.

Re:Why sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19828401)

I dunno about that... Satan has perfectly good table manners, which he chooses to use or not depending on whether it will gain him an advantage against you or not...

I think you'd have been better off saying "getting Satan to stop being evil..." instead.

Re:Why sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19828877)

I don't see how he can force them to give him a "properly functioning system." The 360 is what it is. If he's unhappy with what it is, the most he can expect is a refund, and maybe the costs of the damaged disks.

Re:Why sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19826703)

He did try demanding that MS replace the disk. They wanted $20 to replace 2, which is the cost of a couple of bargain bin games, anyway. I understand you want to make assumptions in order to post early, but the fact that he has sued I think requires the assumption that he did try speaking to MS first. Learn how to assume correctly or RTFA. (Note: It will be much easier to RTFA, it was in the first paragraph after all)

Re:Why sue? (1)

Hellpop (451893) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826821)

Brouwer said his Xbox 360 scratched two games, "Gears of War" and "Madden NFL 07," and that Microsoft offered to replace them for a $20 (14.63) fee. He is seeking more than $5 million (3.66 million) in damages, according to the court filing.

"As your lawyer, I advise you to sue for $5 million over two damaged games that would retail for $120 in mint condition."
  What a maroon! Why even take a case like this? How about asking for your money back for the discs and/or the console if you're so displeased? This goes beyond excessive... I could see this having some balls if say, the x-box killed his dog and stole his wife, but 2 scratched games??? Lets all pitch in and buy this wastrel the 2 games just to shut him up.

The lawsuit also cites investigations of similar consumer complaints conducted by a Dutch television program, which found that one of nine consoles tested scratched a disc after five hours of play.
Oh, this sounds professional. I always trust investigations done in countries where the testers can smoke all the doobs they want. Makes sense to me. "Hey, let me use that disc to roll one Hansel!"

Glass Houses and What Their Denizens Should Not Do (1)

chefmonkey (140671) | more than 6 years ago | (#19830833)

I'm confused. Are you using "maroon" as a verb? Or did you mean the color maroon? I mean, really, the only part of speech that fits your usage at all is an old slang term applied to escaped slaves in the Americas, but I don't see how that applies to the topic at hand...

Re:Why sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19827361)

Why not first try demanding that MS replace the disc?
RTA. They did ask Microsoft for replacement discs. Microsoft said, "No."

The idea of suing over such a thing sounds kind of silly.
If a defective product repeatedly destroys the discs you must have to use that product, and the manufacturer won't acknowledge the defect, replace the discs, or replace the product, it does not sound silly at all to bring a lawsuit.

Yeah, if they refuse to replace it, I guess you could try suing them.
Exactly what is going on here. Again, RTA.

That certainly doesn't sound cheaper than buying a new disc.
You expect the victim of Microsoft's defective product to spend more money and give Microsoft more revenue via licensing fees to (temporarily) rectify a problem caused by Microsoft?

Why would you want to inflict a lawsuit on yourself?
I think the goal is to inflict a lawsuit on Microsoft for selling a defective product that destroys discs.

If it really pisses you off that bad, stop using the Xbox 360.
Why do you think the litigant is still using the Xbox 360? It seems Microsoft's product is defective and that Microsoft has yet to acknowledge this or refund the money and pay full restitution to all of the victims of Microsoft defective product. I am glad someone is making sure manufacturers in general do not think they can get away with screwing their customers in the marketplace, no matter how big the manufacturer. Class action lawsuits are great. Blaming the victim, as you seem to want to do, is lame.

Re:Why sue? (2, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828513)

Class action lawsuits are great. Blaming the victim, as you seem to want to do, is lame.

I'm not blaming anybody. This guy is getting screwed by Microsoft -- why would I blame him? But when's the last time YOU sued because you bought a crappy product? Who the fuck does that? What MOST people do is stop buying from the crappy manufacturer and move on to something else.

To me this just seems like whining. "Whaa, I bought from Microsoft and their shit sucks!" Yeah well, who didn't know that?

We're not going to squish MS out of existence with $5 mill. lawsuits. We CAN crush them by refusing to buy their shit.

I'm glad I'm not the only one (1)

KrazeeEyezKilla (955150) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826713)

I'm glad this is at least a known issue with 360s now. It doesnt seem to be an issue with some games that you only play for a few hours but the games that I have played for very long periods of time on my 360 both have gotten big cracks coming from the center of the disc. One of my friends has had to purchase several copies of Oblivion for this reason.

What tests can be done to provie it? (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826741)

So how does one prove this? If I call and say my XYZ disc is scratched because of the 360 how can I prove it was the machine scratching it from normal use vs. the machine being moved when running vs. the guy scratching it himself?

I mean if every game he puts in scratches then ya very easy to prove and he deserves to win (however not the 5 million that's insane, get some new free discs and money to cover court costs). However if it's random or just once because maybe the DVD media was manufactured wrong or whatever other reason how would you go about proving it?

Re:What tests can be done to provie it? (1)

n0dna (939092) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827533)

One obvious giveaway is that when people scratch Discs through wear and tear (abuse) the scratches tend to appear at random on the surface, and usually in substantial numbers.

When a drive scratches a disc, it usually does so in a circular pattern. You'd see it sometimes in old CD-Roms that would open the tray when you hit the button, regardless of whether the disc had spun down or not, and the disc would still be spinning while laying on the surface of the tray.

You'd have a hard time _accidentally_ duplicating a scratch in a smooth arc or in a circle.

I wonder if it's a question of heat warping the disc slightly, causing something in the drive to come into contact with it. I used to have a cdrom that would run so hot that CDR discs would come out with the outside edge actually "curled up" slightly. They'd flatten back out fairly quickly if you left them out of the drive with no permanent damage. Since they curled up, they'd eventually have read errors and tracking issues, but I'd imagine if they warped unevenly or the edge pulled down, you'd see some similar marks on the disks.

mod me down, but... (2, Interesting)

starbuckr0x (1073378) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826743)

Did MS even offer to replace this man's games? We live in a sad world when people start suing over their video games. Legal action should only be used as a last resort. There are bigger fish to fry out there (i.e. HMOs) over more serious matters. Crap like this doesn't deserve a day in court.

Re:mod me down, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19827621)

Yes, mod this it down. RFTA!

Re:mod me down, but... (2, Interesting)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829311)

I bought a 360 days ago, kept it horizontal, never bumped it while it was running, and called microsoft support about some hairline concentric circle scratches it was putting into my games (and resulting in read errors). What did I hear? *I* had to *pay* *them* $20 for a new copy of the game my system messed up, and I was screwed on the 3rd party title I had. What am I supposed to even do with such a replacement if they won't replace my console? Put it in and let it get scratched *again*? Obviously I returned my console at the store. But what am I supposed to do, buy a new one and potentially let it do the same thing, *knowing* that they won't take any responsibility for it? What can I really do but sue?

Holly shit is that advice *really* necessary? (3, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#19826817)

'Some gamers speculate that moving the console between vertical and horizontal positions while a disc is spinning inside could cause the scratching.

USA, the land of the obvious... is it *really* necessary to add a warning label of "DO NOT SHAKE THE CONSOLE WHILE PLAYING"??? I wonder what happens if you move your DVD player while it is playing a movie? or what about that Blender! whoooo! lets grab and shake the fucking thing while making a tasty tomato salsa!!

Now, aside of that, I am completely on the side of the guy, if the disks gets scratched after 5 hours of normal useage, then I hope they sue the hell out of Microsoft (or Sony or any other company). Sure, they are all exigent against personal backups, but then they should be held accountable for these kinds of actions. And, the fact that Microsoft has a replacement program for /their/ games does not matter as it is independent of the /other/ games or DVDs (does the X360 plays film DVDs?)...

Re:Holly shit is that advice *really* necessary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19827551)

is it *really* necessary to add a warning label of "DO NOT SHAKE THE CONSOLE WHILE PLAYING"???

Given that it's not intrinsic to the CD design (witness the portable CD players that people jog with), perhaps so. Maybe if walkman players destroyed their discs if they jiggled for the past decade, people wouldn't expect that a console would act differently.

It's not like every person in the country has enough physics knowledge to understand what a gyroscope does.

Re:Holly shit is that advice *really* necessary? (2, Insightful)

Discgolferusa (711112) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828049)

yeah.... Sometimes I'm scared to live here too knowing that crazies like Michael Moore are roaming around. :)

belligerant carnivore salsa (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828283)

>or what about that Blender! whoooo! lets grab and shake the
>thing while making a tasty tomato salsa!!

Hey, I think the blade's stuck on that tomato!

I'll get it . . .

Re:Holly shit is that advice *really* necessary? (1, Informative)

gauauu (649169) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829067)

After watching Sycko now I am very afraid to live in the USA. How can you live there?

Because real life and Michael Moore's documentary aren't really the same thing.

In that case, PSP is defective by design (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829117)

is it *really* necessary to add a warning label of "DO NOT SHAKE THE CONSOLE WHILE PLAYING"??? I wonder what happens if you move your DVD player while it is playing a movie?
On the other hand, what happens if your car hits a bump while your portable DVD player [about.com] is playing a movie? Or what happens if you move your PSP while it is playing a UMD movie or game?

Re:Holly shit is that advice *really* necessary? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829359)

USA, the land of the obvious... is it *really* necessary to add a warning label of "DO NOT SHAKE THE CONSOLE WHILE PLAYING"???

Hey, it works for portable CD players. It works for automobile CD players. It works for (spinning-disc based) iPods. It works for the hard drive in my laptop*. Why shouldn't people expect any spinning-disc drive to be well-designed enough to withstand the minor shocks of being moved around?

It seems to me that we (as a society) have become conditioned to have lower and lower expectations for the quality of goods we buy, especially when those goods are electronic. I don't know why this has happened, but we need to fucking snap out of it and start demanding quality again!

(*My laptop has no optical drive, and has an accelerometer that parks the HD head when it senses a shock)

xbox 360 scratches discs on power up and vertical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19826991)

The xbox360 will scratch discs if its vertical and power cycled. My EA/FIFA 2006 disc is badly scratch up because of this. The xbox360 would crash, I'd power cycle it, and when the disc spun up, you could hear it making an unusual noise. This only happens if the system is vertical!! What seems to happen is the disc "slips" downwards slightly and is then abused when the 360 powers back up. I've also noticed that NOT ALL xbox 360 discs are prone to this. Seems that if the discs are thin, they are more prone to this problem, EA discs in particular.

The xbox360 is far from the most robust hardware platform, I'm on xbox360 number 5! It seems that microsoft can't make hardware any better than they can make software. Here is a list of broken xbox360s, and trust me, I'd much rather have had one that worked from day 1, as I live about an hour away from the nearest Best Buy!

1. Dec 2006, xbox 360 would crash trying to display software update progress bar, was straight out of the box. Returned to store.
2. Dec 2006, xbox 360 replacement worked great, played test drive unlimited for 4 hours, got 3 rings of death. Returned to store.
3. Dec 2006 - May 2006, third xbox 360, working good, hours of fun. Powered up one day, disc made a noise and then 3 rings. Replacement warranty.
4. May 2006, forth xbox 360 with coupon, added 120GB drive so it was easier to return, 2 weeks then froze while playing any game. Returned to store.
5. June 2006, new xbox360, different Best Buy store, had 3 prong grounded power supply, has worked fine so far!

This thing sits on top of my entertainment center, nothing around it, perfect airflow. No kids messing with it etc. I wonder how many more will I go through???

MS backlash. (1, Troll)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827083)

Are we going to start that anytime soon. Slashdot seems to be such MS fan boys... when it comes to video games. We seem to be crucifying Sony for their Hubris shouldn't we be doing the same to MS for their arrogance in selling crappy hardware? A estimated 30% fail rate for a consumer electronic device is pretty shoddy (30% is estimated cost of replacements that MS has budgeted for). MS is already evil, already anti-consumer, and slashdot gives them a pass because?

Re:MS backlash. (2, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827431)

Are you kidding? Slashdot is very firmly Nintendo fanboys. This is a site that hates MS but has to give credit to MS for making a good console with great online service. Yeah, the failure rate is unacceptable...and if MS didn't admit it, Slashdot would call them out. But they did admit it and said they would replace them for free for 3 years. That is really standing behind your product.

Slashdot also hates Sony for the various evil things they have done. The difference is while MS appears to be trying to please their consumers, Sony comes off as arrogant and uncaring. They are trying hard to turn that around, but they did a lot of damage already.

Of course, this is Slashdot and most people in the world don't really care about any of this. They just don't see any games that make them want to get a PS3. The Wii and 360 do have some good exclusive games and a cheaper price, thus they are selling better.

Re:MS backlash. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#19830909)

There are only 2 players in the HD console market: MS and Sony. Nintendo has decided not to play that game (an understandable descision and i wish them well but people with a large HDTV rig aren't going to want a Wii as thier main console).

Sony aren't liked any more than MS by the /. crowd (rootkit scandal anyone) and atm MS are offering the only reasonally priced HD capable console.

P.S. Afaict the only reason MS are in the console market at all is because sony were threatening to attack the PC market through thier consoles first with the PS2 linux kit (which never caught on but was a threat of things to come) then with the PS3's built in linux support (though they bottled out of loading linux onto the PS3 from the factory at the last minuite).

360 DVD drive has a faulty design... (4, Insightful)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827427)

If you watched the TV clip from Dutch television you would know that the 360's optical drive is missing the bumper pads that surround the laser lens and protect discs from scratching by the lens assembly itself, a common safety feature that is present on every other optical drive ever made. Why Microsoft or the drive manufacturer's chose to omit this common optical drive design feature is a bit of a mystery to me, but it is not simply a problem with gamers moving the console while the drive is in operation (although that obviously has to be the cause in at least a few cases). 360 forums are filled with complaints from customers that have had to replace some games two or three times where they have done nothing adverse to the either the console or the discs.

Perhaps Microsoft has absolutely no control over the issue insofar as it is entirely the fault of the drive manufacturer, so we may want to give MS a bit of slack on the issue. Still, MS has to be aware of the problem and you would think that they would insist that all drives be manufactured with bumper pads.

Re:360 DVD drive has a faulty design... (1)

guidotheenforcer (1124641) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827813)

360 forums are filled with complaints from customers that have had to replace some games two or three times where they have done nothing adverse to the either the console or the discs.
My GHII disc scratched when I went to add another controller to the usb port and slightly bumped the console. I tried to have it buffed out twice and it wouldn't work, so I took it back to the store. So while I haven't had a problem when it was just sitting there, I shouldn't have a problem when I just bump the box...

Yeah, I agree... (2, Informative)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 6 years ago | (#19827945)

Yeah, I agree. I have bumped the hell out of my laptop on occasion while burning a DVD and not only did the disc not scratch but the burn completed successfully. Thanks to missing bumper pads, it seems even the slightest of bumps or a game disc that is the tiniest bit out of tolerance could cause a devastating scratch. Hell, the bumper pads can't cost more than a fraction of a penny so I don't see a significant savings here for the drive manufacturer. It just doesn't make sense why the drives are manufactured this way.

Re:360 DVD drive has a faulty design... (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828683)

Why Microsoft or the drive manufacturer's chose to omit this common optical drive design feature is a bit of a mystery to me, but it is not simply a problem with gamers moving the console while the drive is in operation (although that obviously has to be the cause in at least a few cases).


They're guilty of shaving fractions of a cent here, fractions of a cent there on the BOM of the units. Those partial pennies add up when you're talking about a unit count starting at .5 million and up. They shaved it in that place because they're gambling that nobody would disrupt the machine while it's in operation- which is a garbage assumption. Without those damper/blocker pads, the disk is pretty much free-floating and can bump up against any old thing in the drive when the machine is disturbed in any way-period. Doesn't matter if you're moving it horizontal or vertical- that's just the dead-certain way to scratch the hell out of the disc. It's negligence and a very, very poor design that can damage much more than the Microsoft published discs.

This has happened to me too - repeatedly (2, Interesting)

dahdahdah (999584) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828129)

My 360 has been horizontal and stationary since the day i bought it, and my disks have never been anywhere but their boxes and the dvd drive in the 360 - yet both Tiger Woods and Halo 2 have been damaged by the 360 drive.. i bought and used a disk repair machine, and had success "refinishing" the surface - but the manufacturer says to use it no more than 5 times on a dvd - and Tiger's about to undergo its fourth repair, This lawsuit was the first i'd heard of anyone else experiencing this issue (as i had little hope of convincing MS that the drive was faulty), but now, i'm interested in seeing how many others have been bitten by this "feature".. maybe enough to make it a "class action" ?

Sony MS in this regard. amazing! (3, Insightful)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828697)

I had a similar problem happen to me with my Playstation2, and Sony was amazingly helpful. Yes, it's true! Probably the best customer service experience I've ever had, and on an out-of-warranty PS2, no less! TWICE!

I had my PS2 start leaving nasty scratch rings on game discs, making them unplayable. I called Sony customer service, and they said (in a nutshell) that if the PS2 is eating discs, they'll repair it for free (even if the machine is out of warranty) AND cut you a check for the damaged games (full retail, even years later, and even if they weren't Sony-published games!) if you send in the games with the console. This took place in Spring 2003, more than 2 years after I bought the PS2. Everything worked like they said: I had the console back in less than a week, and a check a few weeks later.

Then, this happened a SECOND time, about a year later (2004 sometime). Same response: send in the PS2 with the damaged games, free repair+check for damaged games, and it worked like a charm. Before I sent it in, I even told Sony that I just noticed whoever repaired the machine the first time had forgotten to put a new "warranty void if removed" sticker on the PS2 case, and they said it was no problem.

I just can't believe how helpful they were in repairing my out-of-warranty stuff, the second time of which didn't even have the "warranty void if removed" sticker. Just good service, minimal muss and fuss, and I didn't even have to lie to the rep to get service. Huzzah!

Re:Sony [greater than symbol] MS in this regard. (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828861)

Stupid tag filter ate my subject line, should have been:

Sony [greater than symbol] MS in this regard. amazing!

Costs (2, Funny)

Renraku (518261) | more than 6 years ago | (#19828827)

Obviously they aren't doing anything about it. Not offering to repair consoles that are scratching games. Dragging their feet with replacements. You know. The usual service offered by Microsoft.

They have plenty to learn to be actually successful in the console market. Its not like the PC market. People in the console market expect to be taken care of. Try getting a refund for Windows just because it caused your hardware to burst into flames.

Getting a lot of scratched disks from Blockbuster (2, Insightful)

rachit (163465) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829205)

In the past year or so, the amount of unplayable, scratched DVD discs i receive from blockbuster online has risen dramatically. I wonder if the Xbox360 has anything to do with this.

360 Not Just 4 Games (2, Interesting)

Way2Random (1126841) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829371)

Important to keep in mind that the 360 is not just a game console. If the 360 is damaging DVDs how does that return policy on M$ game DVDs cover people that use their 360 as their exclusive DVD player. It also raises a question on the new HD DVD player for the 360. Has any1 checked that drive? If it is marketed as a DVD player which it is then if it is responsible for damaging those disks if is not functioning as intended or as advertised.

Reminds me of the early days of cds (1)

CPE1704TKS (995414) | more than 6 years ago | (#19829493)

I got a Sony CD player when CDs first came out, in the early 80s. The thing that held up the CD in the CD tray was actually 3 little columns that held the cd basically in the middle of the data area, instead of how it is today where its a thin ridge that holds it by the very outside edge.

Needless to say it after a bunch of listens (I only had about 3 cds for several years because each cd was about $25, which in those days translates to about $50 in today's money) there were scratches on the cds right where those columns held the cd. Brilliant!

Anecdotes (0)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 6 years ago | (#19830093)

Out the dozen or so people that I know that own 360s there have been some dead ones, but not a single person has ever mentioned a scratched disc. This seems to be blown out of proportion.

Investigated by Dutch tv program (1)

Xbm360 (1123655) | more than 6 years ago | (#19831143)

Like I mentioned in the original article I submitted; http://www.hdtvinfo.eu/news/game-consoles/lawsuit- against-microsoft-about-scratched-xbox-360-discs.h tml/ [hdtvinfo.eu] the Dutch tv program Kassa already did investigate this matter a while ago & they found many units which scratched the game discs. This is hard evidence!
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