Report Claims 16% Failure Rate for Xbox 360; Microsoft Experiencing Hardware Shortage

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Electronics warranty dealer SquareTrade has estimated the Xbox 360 hardware failure rate around 16%, 1UP reports.

In a sample of over a thousand warranties sold to Xbox 360 owners, the company found that 16.4% of users experienced hardware failure, with some 60% of that number attributed to the infamous "red ring of death."

In response to hardware failure rates—which Microsoft estimates around 3%—Microsoft recently expanded their out-of-box warranty to three years from date of sale. "It is reasonable to believe these failure rates will increase over time since the Xbox 360 failure issues tend to increase with prolonged use where overheating appears the main culprit," said SquareTrade CEO Steve Abernethy.

But widespread reports of the red ring and hardware failure hasn't stymied consumer demand for the Xbox 360, which Microsoft says is in short supply in the United States due to a failure to anticipate strong post-holiday demand.

Microsoft games marketing VP Jeff Bell said that the shortage may have an adverse effect on Xbox 360 sales figures. "You could say we misjudged demand," Bell told Reuters. "We're literally out of stock in many stores... It may cause the overall industry number to be down a little bit."

Bell said that while the shortage may carry into February, manufacturing should catch up with demand in the spring.

From The Chatty

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    February 14, 2008 12:06 PM

    that's funny because my 360 just broke this weekend after 15 months.... wait that's not funny at all :(

    with all the "exclusives" that I play being released to PC, I'm considering selling that shit for a PS3 (once its fixed)

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      February 14, 2008 12:08 PM

      I'd like for my 360 to die now actually.

      Do the three red rings show up when the dvd drive fails, or is it limited only to the overheating and the soldering joints breaking?

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        February 14, 2008 12:16 PM

        Three red rings are for "general hardware failure", don't think dvd drive failure will trigger that one.

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          February 14, 2008 12:35 PM

          My first 360 stop reading discs.

          No red rings -- it just wouldn't read any media.

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          February 14, 2008 12:35 PM

          any failure the 360 has will result in red rings, even not plugging in the AV cables can force an error. if you google up '360 error codes' you'll see the 8,000 different points of failure in the console, and they all give off the RROD.

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            February 14, 2008 1:02 PM

            There are different combinations of lights. When 3 of them light up its covered by warranty and is the one being discussed here.

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            February 14, 2008 1:16 PM

            Except disc read errors.

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        February 14, 2008 12:58 PM

        i dunno i didn't even get a RROD. mine simply stopped outputting video :(

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        February 14, 2008 1:28 PM

        If you really want your 360 to die (games are freezing and such and there's no RRoD yet), wrap it in a ton of blankets and run it for 3 days straight. That should do the trick.

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          February 14, 2008 2:09 PM

          too much work.

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          February 14, 2008 2:26 PM

          it seems absolutely insane that the system would even keep running. Doesn't the 360 have any kind of safety precaution?

          A desktop would shut down if it overheated, and you'd have to turn it back on manually.

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            February 14, 2008 2:34 PM

            I'm sure it does but hardware still fails. PC hardware fails for plenty of reasons.