- Xbox 360 technical problems
Xbox 360 video game consoleis subject to a number of technical problems that can render it unusable. Some, but not all, of these problems are identified as "general hardware failures," and are indicated by three flashing red lights around the power button. Since its release in 2005, many articles have appeared in the media portraying the Xbox 360's relatively high failure rates. The three "flashing red lights" have been nicknamed in these articles as the " Red Ring of Death" (or "RRoD"). [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/tv_and_radio/watchdog/reports/consumer_goods/consumer_20070213.shtml|title=BBC - Consumer - TV and radio - Xbox 360|publisher= BBC|accessdate = 2007-05-03] [cite web|url=http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=25290|title=Rings of Red|publisher=GamesIndustry.biz|accessdate = 2007-05-25] [ [http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3160603 A Tale of 11 Broken Xbox 360s] ]
In fact, the console displays varying numbers of red lights to indicate different problems. One red light signifies a major hardware failure or system error [ [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/907536] ] , depending on which hardware failure or system error it is depends on how the problem can be fixed but in some cases there is no easy recovery and the console must be repaired or replaced. Two means the console is overheating and must be switched off and left to cool. Three, the infamous 'Red Ring of Death', means a general hardware failure and the console must be sent to Microsoft for repairs. All four red lights simply means that the console cannot detect its AV cable. However, there are some reports that the Xbox 360 will still work when the Red Ring of Death appears. Fact|date=October 2008
Several video game blogs, newspapers, and magazines (Such as "Wired",
Kotaku, Joystiq," The Inquirer", " GamePro", G4, and several others) reported on an interview by a Seattle PIReader Blog "Digital Joystick" with a confidential source inside Microsoft by the name "xboxfounder". It reported that this source was a team leader and key architect in the creation of the Xbox and Xbox 360 and a founding member of the Xbox team and has since left the company but maintained close ties to the remaining Xbox team. [cite web | url = http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/01/rumor-insider-r.html | title = Rumor: Insider Reveals Truth About 360 Failure Rates | last = Arendt | first = Susan | date = 2008-01-22| accessdate = 2008-02-01 | publisher = Wired ] [ [http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/digitaljoystick/archives/129866.asp Inside Source Reveal the Truth About Xbox 360 "Red Ring of Death" Failures] ]
The interviews suggest that Xbox 360 units that fail early in their life do so because of problems in the system design, parts supply, material reliability, and manufacturing issues as well as a system not tolerant to faults. These issues were alleged to be the end results of the decisions of management in Microsoft's Xbox team and inadequate testing resources prior to the console's release. Other websites claim the insider's authenticity has been confirmed. [ [http://play.tm/wire/click/1709419 Proof of Xbox 360 RRoD Insider's Authenticity] ] [ [http://kotaku.com/356499/the-original-xbox-logo-was-blue-no-surprise The Original Xbox Logo Was Blue (No Surprise)] ]
2008-09-05 VentureBeatdigital media published a follow up story titled "Xbox 360 defects: An inside history of Microsoft's video game console woes" cite web |url=http://venturebeat.com/2008/09/05/xbox-360-defects-an-inside-history-of-microsofts-video-game-console-woes/ |title=Xbox 360 defects: an inside history of Microsoft’s video game console woes |accessdate=2008-09-06 |last=Takahashi |first=Dean |authorlink=Dean Takahashi |date= 2008-09-05|work= VentureBeat|publisher= |location= |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ] [ [http://games.slashdot.org/games/08/09/06/0010219.shtml Slashdot discusses the VentureBeat article] ] . The Microsoft employee appearing in the article was later fired by Microsoft for his part in the story. [http://venturebeat.com/2008/09/12/microsoft-fires-game-test-contractor-who-talked-to-venturebeat/ Microsoft employee fired for disclosure]
In the early months after the console's launch,
Microsoftstated that the Xbox 360's failure rate was within the consumer electronics industry average of 3% to 5%. [ [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=22776 Microsoft responds to Watchdog // GamesIndustry.biz ] ] [ [http://biz.gamedaily.com/industry/feature/?id=13636 Video Game Features, PC Game Features ] ] [ [http://techdigest.tv/2007/06/xbox_360_failur.html Tech Digest: Xbox 360 failure rate as high as 30 percent? ] ] [ [http://technology.guardian.co.uk/weekly/story/0,,2091221,00.html What is the real failure rate of the Xbox 360? | Technology | The Guardian ] ] Nevertheless, Microsoft has not released their official statistics on the failure rate of the various versions of the console; the company's press relations policy is to focus on the prompt resolution of any technical problems. [cite web|url= http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/2007/05/peter_moore_interview_part_three_answers_to_readers_questions.html |title= Peter Moore interview, part three (answers to readers' questions)|publisher=MercuryNews.com|accessdate = 2007-05-07] In February 2008 an examination of 1040 Xbox 360s by SquareTradefound a 16.4% failure rate; 171 were returned under warranty as "disabled", 60% of which with general hardware failure. [cite web | url = http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/36070/98/ | title = Report: Xbox 360 failure rate above 15% | first = Mark | last = Raby | work = tgdaily.com | date = 2008-02-14| accessdate = 2008-02-14 ] [ [http://squaretradebuyerblog.typepad.com/squaretrade/2008/02/xbox-fail-rates.html SquareTrade's Report on Xbox 360 Failure Rates] ] . However SquareTrade also admits that their estimates are likely much lower than reality, due to many owners of failed consoles who are getting them repaired directly via Microsoft, they also note that the consoles were only tracked for 6-10 months, and in the longer term, many more consoles will have failed. This ties in with most other sources claiming 30%-40% failure rates, and 10% on even the more recent models. [ [http://gizmodo.com/346891/new-xbox-360-failure-rates-still-around-10-percent Rumor: New Xbox 360 Failure Rates Still Around 10 Percent? ] ]
July 5, 2007, the Vice-President of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division published an open letter recognizing the console's problems, as well as announcing a three-year warranty extension for every Xbox 360 console that experiences the "general hardware failure" indicated by three flashing red LEDs on the console. [ [http://www.xbox.com/en-ca/support/petermooreletter.htm Xbox.com | Open Letter From Peter Moore ] ] During GDC 08, Microsoft announced that the "Failure rate has officially dropped".cite web|url=http://www.thebitbag.com/2008/02/21/microsoft-blogger-breakfast-bullets/|title=Failure rate has officially dropped]
General hardware failure
When a Microsoft
Xbox 360console experiences a "general hardware" failure or "Core Digital" failure, three flashing red lights appear (known as the "Red Ring of Death") around the power button, in lieu of the four green lights indicating normal operation. Warning signs may include freeze-ups, in which the screen has strange, spontaneous graphical problems in the middle of gameplay, such as checkerboard or pinstripe patterns on the screen, the sound is frozen and changed to a strange, static-like sound, and the console only responds to pressing the power button to turn it off. The console may also say that the disc is unreadable, this may also arise from issues with the consoles power supply. These events may happen once or several times until the general hardware failure occurs, when the user attempts to turn the console on, and the three red lights are seen and the console will not function.
Some have confused General Hardware Failure with a similar looking error warning where four red lights appear, in which case the console does not detect an AV cable is plugged in. [ [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/906652/en-us Xbox 360: Four lights flash red on the Ring of Light ] ] The four lights can sometimes also be seen when power surges or very brief power outages occur while the console is running, in which the console needs to be unplugged and plugged back in again to reset the error.
In the USA, if the Xbox 360 owner does indeed have three flashing red lights, it is recommended that the owner call the local Xbox support line (1-800-4MYXBOX in the US) as quickly as possible. Upon doing so, an Xbox representative will gather the information needed to send the customer a package label by email. The customer packages his or her own Xbox and takes it and the printed out label to a shipping store, where the emailed label is exchanged for the actual package label, and it is shipped to the repair center. Within a period of 2-3 weeks, the repaired, refurbished, or in some cases, replaced 360 will be shipped back to the owner. cite web|url=http://kotaku.com/gaming/xbox-360/xbox-360-back-in-the-house-230317.php|title=Xbox 360 Back In The House|author=Brian Ashcraft|date=
January 22 2007]
One possible cause of the General Hardware Error is cold soldering. The added mass of the CSP chips (including the
GPUand CPU) resists heat flow that allows proper soldering of the lead-free solders underneath the motherboard. This causes cracking and voids in the solders themselves from prolonged constant temperature changes inside the console. Lead-free solders, however, might be the cause of this because, when properly soldered, they take on a dull appearance that professionals take as a cold solder joint in older methods, thus leading to confusion. Lead-free solders also require a greater amount of heat to solder properly when compared to older lead/tin solders. [https://www.manncorp.com/expert_04.6x_xbox_repair_station/Xbox%20360%20Repair_071207a.pdf]
Another General Hardware Failure is shown by one flashing red light, and error codes E 74, E 79, or E 71 displayed on-screen. This can occasionally be fixed by ensuring that all A/V connections are securely attached. However, this error is often a result of a hardware failure that is not consumer-serviceable. In these cases, the hardware failure is not covered by Microsoft's extended warranty. Fact|date=June 2008
NykoIntercooler has also been reported to have caused a general hardware failure in a number of consoles, as well as scorching of the power AC input.cite web|url=http://www.engadget.com/2006/10/27/nyko-intercooler-scorches-xbox-360-consoles/|title=Nyko Intercooler scorches Xbox 360 consoles?|date=2006-10-27|last=Murph|first=Darren|accessdate = 2007-08-04|publisher=Engadget] Microsoft stated that the peripheral drains too much power from the console and can cause faults to occur, and stated that consoles fitted with the peripheral will have their warranties null and void. Nyko has recently released an updated Intercooler that uses its own power source. Nyko claims this problem no longer occurs with new versions of this cooler. However, Microsoft still considers it an unlicensed add-on and will void the warranty of machines showing signs of its use. There is no data available to indicate whether Intercooler decreases the chance of hardware failure.
Microsoft publicly claims to have resolved several hardware issues via design and manufacturing changes. [
Fox News: [http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Jul20/0,4670,EarnsMicrosoft,00.html Microsoft 4Q Profit Rises 7 Percent] , 20.07.2007] Microsoft executives discussed the issues with their shareholders in their July 5 2007conference call. [ [http://microsoft.shareholder.com/webcast/MediaPresentation.asp?MediaID=26282&MediaUserID=0 Audio recording of Microsoft's Webcast for shareholders discussing the Xbox 360] ]
Xbox 360 consoles based on the "Falcon" motherboard feature a 65 nm CPU which reduces heat and has greater reliability over previous models. General hardware failure rates of the “Falcon” motherboard are rumored to be around 10%. [ [http://gizmodo.com/346891/new-xbox-360-failure-rates-still-around-10-percent New Xbox 360 Failure Rates Still Around 10 Percent?] ]
EE Timesreported that the problems may have started in the graphics chip. Microsoft designed the chip in-house to cut out the traditional ASIC vendor with the goal of hoping to save money in ASIC design costs. After the multiple product failures, Microsoft went back to an ASIC vendor and had the chip redesigned so it would dissipate less energy into heat [cite web |url=http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=208403010 |title=The truth about last year's Xbox 360 recall |author=Yoshida, Junko |publisher= EE Timesdate=2008-06-09 |accessdate=2008-06-12] [ [http://games.slashdot.org/games/08/06/10/2233228.shtml Slashdot discusses the "truth about last year's Xbox 360 recall" article] ] .
The game console heats up during use, and given enough time, the temperature inside can reach very high levels due to insufficient cooling. Because of the way the Xbox 360 is constructed, this may result in stresses building up between the delicate
ball grid array solderjoints of the CPU and GPU and the motherboard, causing them to break. The problem is exacerbated by the specific type of lead-free solder used, a type which is more brittle than the older tin/lead solder that was used in the past and the GPU's location directly underneath the DVD drive. cite web |url=http://electronics.ihs.com/news/2006/lead-free-solder.htm | title=IHS - Lead-free Solder Licensed Worldwide as EU Rules Take Effect | accessdate = August 23 |accessyear=2007 ]
German computer magazine "
c't", in an article titled "Jede dritte stirbt den Hitzetod" (every third one dies of heat), published in July 2006, blames the problems primarily on the use of the wrong type of lead-free solder, a type that when exposed to elevated temperatures for extended periods of time becomes brittle and can develop hair-line cracks that are almost irreparable.http://www.heise.de/ct/07/16/006/ The "c't" issue with the article "Jede dritte stirbt den Hitzetod" (every third one dies of heat), on page 20. A Dutch version of "c't" with the same article on page 12-13 can be found here [http://www.fnl.nl/ct/oude-nummers/nummer/toon/ct-nummer-200709/terug-naar/overzicht/] . The article itself can be downloaded here [http://www.heise.de/kiosk/archiv/ct/2007/16/020/] for €0.30] Also, according to the same article, Microsoft has created an internal account, funded with more than one billion dollars, dedicated to addressing this problem. The fund would only be fully depleted by $100 in repairs to every existing Xbox 360, or complete replacement of every third Xbox 360 ever made. [cite web|url=http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aOrvYZ2gPwZk&refer=home|title=Microsoft to Incur Xbox Cost of Up to $1.15 Billion|publisher=Bloomberg.com|accessdate = 2007-05-07] The article also revealed that representatives of the three largest Xbox 360 resellers in the world ( EB Games, Gamestopand Best Buy) claimed that the failure rate of the Xbox 360 was between 30% and 33%, and that Micromart, the largest repair shop in Britain, stopped repairing Xbox 360s because they were unable to fully repair the defective systems. Because of the nature of the problem, Micromart could only make temporary repairs, which led to many of the "repaired" systems failing again after a few weeks. At that time Micromart was receiving 2500 defective consoles per day from Britain alone.
The console's design utilizes
heatsinks, vented openings, and fans to aid in dissipation of heat, but the potential still exists for excessive heat buildup inside the console if these measures become insufficient. Users are advised not to obstruct air flow to the enclosure vents or power supply. Problems associated with overheating include reduced system performance and instability that may result in crashing or hardware failure. Xbox 360s with "Falcon" motherboards, which use the smaller device geometry 65 nm CPUs, are reportedly less susceptible to these failures Fact|date=July 2008.
According to the October 2007 issue of "The Official Xbox Magazine", there are reports that new Xbox 360 Elites and newer Premiums, as well as officially refurbished units, have larger heatsinks. It has yet to be determined how far this fix has gone in alleviating the issues.
Some third-party manufacturers have also introduced external cooling devices that attach to the console, and claim to help prevent the console from overheating. [ [http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-entertainment/nyko-xbox-360-intercooler-163790.php 3rd party fan attachment] ,
GizmodoRetrieved 2007-06-22.] However, reports indicate that some such devices can do exactly the opposite, including the attachment melting on the console itself, possibly damaging the internal microprocessors, and voiding the product warranty. Also, when the attachment is powered by the Xbox 360's power brick, it might overheat the power brick, causing even more problems. Third-party cooling devices are available which use their own power sources. [ [http://www.amazon.com/dp/customer-reviews/B000F5RW1U user feedback] ] [ [http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=223 bunniestudios.com Xbox360 RROD (Again) Note : Photos of melted connectors] ]
Almost at the same time the Xbox 360 was released in late 2005, consumers began reporting rounded scratches found on discs used in their Xbox 360 consoles. Almost two years later, in February 2007, the website "The Llamma's Adventures" investigated the matter and concluded that some Xbox 360 drives lack a mechanism to secure the disc solidly in place. [cite web|url=http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/news/Xbox-360-Game-Disc-Scratched.htm|title=XBox 360 games scratched?|accessdate = 2007-05-25] Tilting or moving consoles with these drives, when operating with a disc spinning inside, can potentially cause damage to the disc, in some cases rendering the disc unusable. [cite web|url = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQN_pz1KfMo|title = Xbox 360 scratch|publisher = YouTube|date =
2006-06-19|accessdate = 2007-04-16] Although this problem is not covered by the warranty [cite web| url=http://www.joystiq.com/2007/04/16/scratch-that-the-xbox-360-might-damage-discs-after-all/| title=Scratch that: The Xbox 360 might damage discs after all| accessdate = 2007-05-25] . Microsoft's Xbox Disc Replacement Program [cite web|url=http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox360/gameplay/discreplacement-program.htm|title=Xbox Disc Replacement Program|accessdate = 2007-12-30] will replace a limited range of scratched discs that are published in countries where the Xbox was originally sold for a $20 fee [http://download.microsoft.com/download/d/1/8/d181ee58-de70-4484-936b-0e9161ccd6b2/replacementdisc_orderform_4.pdf] , and released a list of games that qualify for replacement. [cite web|url=http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox360/gameplay/discreplacement-games.htm|title=Xbox Disc Replacement Games List|accessdate = 2007-12-30] "Halo 3 Limited Edition" was replaced at no cost until February 1, 2008according to the Xbox Disc Replacement Program's main site. Other publishers can be contacted directly for a disc exchange, but it is unclear whether they will replace discs at no cost, Electronic Artsdetails a specific program for this problem which requires the disc and original receipt, also the game must be purchased within 90 days of the request for a replacement disc, and have a charge of $20 or $25. Fact|date=June 2008
The Xbox 360 was released in the
United Statesand Canadaon November 22 2005and in early December 2005 in Europeand Japan. In December 2005, reports of unintelligible noises from the Xbox 360 were appearing on Internet message boards. [ Business Wire( December 12 2005) " [http://www.xboxsolution.com/2005/12/12/gamedr-repairs-scratched-xbox-360-discs-in-60-seconds/ GameDR] "] In response to the problem, Microsoft offered in December 2005 to replace only the " Perfect Dark Zero" video game "even if it was not the game that was scratched."Kriho, Ami. ( December 14 2005) The Stoutonia " [http://stoutonia.uwstout.edu/2005-2006/stories/051208/et_05.html Xbox 360 hard to come by, but worth it.] " (Distributed by U-WIRE).] The scratched disc problem reportedly affected only a small percentage of Xbox 360s,, however it became apparent in December 2005, through message board reports and growing media coverage, [cite web| title = http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=7651| url = http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=7651| publisher = Gamasutra| author = Carless, Simon| date = 2005-12-30| accessdate = 2008-04-20] .
Kassa’s February 2007 investigation
The Xbox 360 scratched disc problem received little media coverage in 2006; [But see, Godinez, Victor. (
March 25 2006) Dallas Morning News"Over the top: Texas Gamer with Victor Godinez - Xbox 360 troubles. Section: Guidelive; Page 2G.] however, in February 2007, the Dutch television program Kassa investigated several complaints from Dutch customers about circular scratches made in their Xbox 360 discs.nl icon Kassa. ( February 25 2007) " [http://tweakers.net/nieuws/46490/Kassa:-Xbox-360-maakt-krassen-op-schijfjes.html Kassa: Xbox 360 maakt krassen op schijfjes.] ] Some of these customers claimed that their discs became unreadable. Kassa investigation traced the problem to a design defect in which the Xbox 360 optical lens was not restrained sufficiently.Kassa ( February 24 2007) " [http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=4845052989569422444&sourceid=zeitgeist English subtitled fragment from the first Kassa broadcast about the circular scratches.] " (republished by Google Video) (accessed April 15 2007)] In asserting that Microsoft or at least its chain of suppliers were aware of this problem, Kassa noted that Microsoft's "TSST" [TSST is an abbreviation for [http://www.tsstorage.com/index_e.html Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Corporation] .] versions of the Samsung DVD-drive lack rubber cushions around the optical lens while identical Samsung drives sold for PCs "did" have these rubber cushions. Kassa also noted that the affected Xbox 360s all seem to have been produced towards the end of 2006.
Kassa’s April 2007 investigation
During the February 2007 investigation report, Kassa stated that either not all Xbox 360s without protective pads would spontaneously scratch discs, or that the complaints were from Xbox 360 users who had moved their Xbox during use, or who used an unstable setup. Here, Kassa's February 2007 investigation left open the question of whether consumers contributed to the rounded scratch problem by moving their Xbox 360 (TSST version) during the playing of a disc. [van Ballegoie, Eric. (
March 1 2007) Hardware.info. " [Scratching Xbox 360? Research into the claims that the Xbox 360 console damages discs.] "] This resulted in Kassa receiving an additional 1,000 complaints over the subsequent two months, with many customers denying the Xbox had moved when the scratching occurred, or that it had been placed in an unstable position. [nl icon NRC Handelsblad( April 12 2007) " [http://www.nrc.nl/anp/internet/article686948.ece/Bijna_duizend_klachten_over_Xbox_360 Bijna duizend klachten over Xbox 360.] "]
Prompted by consumer reaction to their February 2007 report, Kassa performed several tests with Xbox 360s from customers who claimed their Xbox had the problem. Kassa stabilized these consoles and positioned them at a location remote from contact by anyone. The results of the laboratory conditions test revealed that one of the nine tested Xbox 360s had spontaneously scratched a disc after five hours of gaming. The consoles were also tested standing upright, and the test revealed that three of the nine tested Xbox 360s significantly scratched discs. The complete investigation, with all the relevant details of the tests, was made ready to be aired in
April 14 2007. The videos (also with English subtitles) can be found here: [cite video|year = 2007|date= April 14|title = Kassa broadcast with the test|url = http://cgi.omroep.nl/cgi-bin/streams?/id/VARA/serie/VARA_101142168/VARA_101141407/bb.20070414.asf|format = asf|medium = Consumers program|publisher = VARA|location = Hilversum|time = 14:13 The videos are also distributed with English subtitles, for those that are not Dutch users can be found here (part 1) cite web|url = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQSNmpXdIfQ|title= first part of the second broadcast about the scratches, with English subtitles|publisher = YouTube|date|accessdate = 2007-04-29 and here (part 2) cite web|url= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=513I87Evjuw|title= second part of the second broadcast about the scratches, with English subtitles|publisher=YouTube|date: 2007-04-24|accessdate = 2007-04-29. Note that Kassa has produced and uploaded these video's themselves, and therefore it is not a copyright violation to reproduce these links here. They can also be found on the Kassa Website here [http://kassa.vara.nl/portal?_scr=nieuws_artikel&no=3233237] together with some press information about the case (in English). The test setup details can be found [http://kassa.vara.nl/portal?_scr=kassa_artikel&number=3227123 here] , and the complete movie of the Kassa TV program that includes the test can be found here (in Dutch) nl icon cite video|year = 2007|date= April 14|title = Kassa broadcast with the three day long tests |url = http://cgi.omroep.nl/cgi-bin/streams?/id/VARA/serie/VARA_101142168/VARA_101141407/bb.20070414.asf|format = asf|medium = Consumers program|publisher = VARA|location = Hilversum|time = 9:00] Weeks before it aired, however, Kassa solicited input from Microsoft Netherlands.
One day before the airing of the
April 14 2007show, Kassa received a response from Microsoft Netherlands stating that "as a result of regular use it is possible that scratches on discs can arise", [nl iconcite news|title=Microsoft geeft krassen Xbox 360 toe|url=http://kassa.vara.nl/portal?_scr=kassa_artikel&number=3227123|publisher= VARA (broadcaster)|date= 2007-04-14] [nl icon cite video|year = 2007|date= April 14|title = Kassa broadcast with the reply from Microsoft Netherlands|url = http://cgi.omroep.nl/cgi-bin/streams?/id/VARA/serie/VARA_101142168/VARA_101141407/bb.20070414.asf|format = asf|medium = Consumers program|publisher = VARA|location = Hilversum|time = 22:11] [nl iconcite web|url=http://tweakers.net/nieuws/47135/Microsoft-neemt-verantwoordelijkheid-voor-Xbox-krassen.html |title=Microsoft neemt verantwoordelijkheid voor Xbox-krassen] and that Microsoft Netherlands "would seek a solution for the Dutch customers with this problem". [cite news|title=Microsoft admits Xbox 360 problems|url=http://www.hardware.info/en-UK/news/ym%2BclJqawpya/Microsoft_admits_Xbox_360_problems/|publisher=Hardware.info|date= 2007-04-15] [http://www.n4g.com/xbox360/NewsCom-35218.aspx English language article about the case] Additionally, Microsoft released the following statement ten days after the show, on April 24 2007:
"Due to the fact that we did not participate in the experiment done by Kassa and have little insight into the methodology that was used, we cannot comment specifically on the outcome. While we are aware that discs can potentially be scratched through normal wear and tear, we have not received any widespread reports of the issue highlighted here. That said, it is important to us that all of our customers have the best gaming experiences possible, and these claims are obviously very concerning to us. We encourage any Xbox customer who believes that their discs have been scratched in the same manner as identified by Kassa, to contact us. We will examine the console and make appropriate repairs if necessary in order to restore the console to full working order, as well as provide customers with information on how to obtain replacement discs should they need them." [" [http://kassa.vara.nl/portal?_scr=kassa_artikel&number=3233237 Microsoft admits xbox-360 may cause scratches.] "]
Microsoft Netherlands now accepts these complaints from users (whilst within the warranty period), and offers to replace the Xbox 360 free of charge. Whether Microsoft Netherlands will also replace scratched discs is still unclear. After the official broadcast, (in a continuation of the show which can be viewed on-line, circa 28 minutes into the show) a customer is shown calling the Microsoft help-desk, who is told Microsoft will replace his Xbox 360 but is denied a promise to replace his scratched games. [http://cgi.omroep.nl/cgi-bin/streams?/tv/vara/kassa/bb.20070414-live.asf?start=0:28:20.172&end=0:31:30.885] nl icon There are reports from some other regions that Microsoft will replace scratched discs if published by Microsoft. [cite web|url=http://www.xbox.com/hu-HU/support/discreplacement/discreplacement-program.htm | title = Xbox Disc Replacement Plan]
The European Commission’s June 2007 investigation of disc scratches
June 1, 2007, European Commissioner for Consumer Protection Meglena Kuneva, after talking with the makers of "Kassa" and other Dutch consumer organizations, [cite web|url=http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/kuneva/news_en.htm|title=Meglena Kuneva talks with "kassa" about xbox scratching problems|accessdate = 2007-06-01] announced that the European Commissionwould investigate the Xbox scratching problems, and would ask Microsoft for an Xbox replacement program for the whole of Europe. She expected Microsoft’s answer within a week. [nl iconcite web|url=http://www.nos.nl/nos/artikelen/2007/06/art000001C7A434544BF090.html|title=European Commission investigating Xbox scratching problems|accessdate = 2007-06-01] Informal sources now say that Microsoft’s response was to deny the problem exists, stating that "the users are to blame". [cite web|url=http://www.mcvuk.com/news/27467/Xbox-Scratched-discs-are-not-down-to-360|title=Microsoft tells Kuneva that users are to blame|accessdate = 2007-06-13] But Meglena Kuneva did not react to that response, and half a year later (January 2008) the EC’s (Meglena Kuneva’s) news site [http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/kuneva/news_en.htm] was still silent about Microsoft’s response, or about the result of the investigation.
A man who claims Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 scratches game discs has sued the company, saying the consoles are "negligently designed and manufactured." In the lawsuit filed on
July 9, 2007, in a Florida federal court, Jorge Brouwer says Microsoft has received thousands of complaints but has not replaced all scratched discs. The lawsuit seeks class-action status. [cite web|url=http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/07/10/business/NA-FIN-US-Microsoft-Xbox-Lawsuit.php | title = Florida man sues Microsoft for disc scratching problem]
The Law Firms of THKO in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Wasserman, Comden, and Casselman, LLP of Los Angeles, California; and Stritmatter, Kessler, Whelan, Coluccio of Seattle, Washington are investigating consumer complaints regarding the Xbox 360. WCC, THKO and SKWC have filed lawsuits in the United States District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle on behalf of a proposed nationwide class of consumers who have suffered scratched game discs while using their Xbox 360. The lawsuit seeks class certification and reimbursement for consumers for the cost of games damaged by the console; reimbursement for consumers who have paid a $20 fee to Microsoft Corporation under a limited disc replacement program offered on ten Microsoft games; repair of consoles free of charge to prevent further disc scratching; and/or reimbursement for consumers who have paid for an aftermarket repair solution. [ http://www.wcclaw.com/CM/ClassActions/X-Box-360-Investigation.asp Website of WWC and SKWC with a form you can fill out for the class action suit]
Affected consumers are highly encouraged to fill out the [http://www.wcclaw.com/CM/ClassActions/X-Box-360-Investigation.asp Xbox 360 Investigation form] from WCC and SKWC.
November 2006 update: Technical issues
An update patch released on
November 1 2006was reported to "brick" consoles, rendering them useless. [cite web|url=http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061208-8381.html|title=Xbox 360 update "bricking" consoles|accessdate = 2007-05-25] [http://www.majornelson.com/archive/2006/11/01/having-an-issue-with-the-fall-update.aspx Acknowledgment of the update problem by a Microsoft employee] The most obvious issue occurs after the installation of the patch, after which the console immediately reboots and shows an error message. Usually, error code E71 is shown during or directly after the booting animation.
In response to the November 2006 update error that "bricked" his console, Mr. Kevin Ray of California has filed a
class actionlawsuit against Microsoft in Washington federal court in early December of 2006. [cite web|url=http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/08/0614215|title=Microsoft Sued Over Fall Update Issues|accessdate = 2007-05-25] The lawsuit seeks $5 million in damages and the free repair of any console rendered unusable by the update. This will be the second such lawsuit filed against Microsoft, the first having been filed in December of 2005, shortly after the 360's launch.
Many believe it was the HD Resolution update that may have caused the console to become 'bricked', as the firmware needed to access the graphics card to allow the
Xbox 360to produce images at 1080p, when it was previously only capable of producing 1080iimages. Fact|date=June 2008
Following Microsoft's announcement in December 2006 that it would extend the Xbox 360 warranty to a full year, from the previous 90 days, Kevin Ray's attorney, [http://www.chitwoodlaw.com/people/view_profile.php?id=18 Darren Kaplan] confirmed to the Seattle Post Intelligencer that the lawsuit had been resolved under confidential terms. [ Bishop, Todd. " [http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/119383.asp Microsoft resolves lawsuit over Xbox Fall Update] ", Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog, The Seattle Post Intelligencer]
In mid 2007,
technologyand gaming blogs began reporting about new problems with the Xbox 360 losing video output. Quilty Harper, Conrad. [http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/24/xbox-360-owners-reporting-blank-video-output-issue/ Xbox 360 owners reporting blank video output issue] , Engadget( June 24, 2007). Retrieved on July 13, 2008.] Macarthy, Andrew. [http://www.gamersquad.com/category/Xbox-360/Xbox-360-crisis-Users-complain-of-video-failure!/ Another Xbox 360 crisis? Users complain of video failure!] , [http://www.gamersquad.com/ GamerSquad] ( June 26, 2007). Retrieved on July 13, 2008.] The problems are characterized by a blank or staticy video output with a proper functioning audio output and no flashing red lights on the console. The complete video failure is sometimes preceded by other graphical glitches such as an irregular saturation of green and/or red colors. Threads on Xbox.com forums suggest the problem may be widespread. [Hellecaster99 et al. [http://forums.xbox.com/13392007/ShowPost.aspx no video but i have audio] , [http://forums.xbox.com/ Xbox Forums] ( June 22, 2007). Retrieved on July 13, 2008.] [aenimiac et al. [http://forums.xbox.com/17637229/ShowPost.aspx XBOX 360 video output problem] , [http://forums.xbox.com/ Xbox Forums] ( November 11, 2007). Retrieved on July 13, 2008.] However, since the issue does not display the three flashing red lights indicative of general hardware failure, it is not covered under Microsoft's extended three year warranty.
Xbox 360disc trays may also get jammed; resulting in a disc tray that will not stay closed or will not open. When the disc tray will not stay closed, even manually closing it results in it not reading the disc, and popping back open again. [ [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/906935 When you try to eject a disc, the disc drive does not open on your Xbox 360 console ] ] [ [http://support.microsoft.com/kb/907590 Your Xbox 360 console disc tray will not close ] ] Recent videos on the internet claim that cleaning the rubber bandinside the DVD player fixes the disc tray problem with a high success rate.Fact|date=August 2008 Also In some case's it has been reported that when a game disk is entered into the disktray and closed, the console reads the disk and begins to play. Sometimes the game will randomly turn off and appear back at the main dashboard. At the bottom it will say opening but when you look at the concel the disk tray will be closed and the green light flash indicating the disktray is opening, but still remains closed, also no error will be shown on screen. In this case calling Microsoftis recommended and a repair is wise if this is constant. Some people tackle this problem by opening up there Xbox 360 and finding the problem themselves. Those who do report a small magnet that holds the disk in place, loose or not connected. They simpily glue this back on, but it is better not to open the Xbox 360 as the warranty may become invaild once opened, therefore future repairs may be denied and a fee may be placed.
Unplayable Disc Error
The "Unplayable Disc" error has also been heavily reported. The error appears to be limited to the Hitachi CD/DVD ROM drives that replaced the earlier Toshiba drives. The error message is preceded by a loud series of grinding noises and the system returning to the dashboard. From that point forward, any disc that is put in the unit will result in the "Unplayable Disc" error. In the majority of cases, this error is caused by the adhesive that holds a small magnetic washer heating up and allowing the washer to affix its self to the metal top of the drive. After this occurs, the system can no longer spin the disk as necessary. Numerous fixes are available on the internet, but all involve opening the console box. Opening the console will result in the unit's warranty being voided. [ [http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox360/resources/warranty.htm Xbox.com | System Use - Xbox 360 Product Warranty ] ] Microsoft will fix the error for a fee. Included in the repair fee is one additional year of warranty coverage. [ [http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/systemuse/xbox360/resources/postservicewarranty.htm Xbox.com | System Setup - Xbox 360 Post Service Warranty ] ] [ [http://www.fixya.com/search/p166458-microsoft_xbox_360_console/unplayable_disc/page-4 Microsoft Xbox 360 Console unplayable disc ] ]
With every warranty repair,
Microsoftcompensates the customer for the loss of the use of the console by providing them with a 1 month Xbox Livegold subscription card to be used on existing or new Xbox Live accounts. [cite web|url=http://kotaku.com/gaming/warranty/repaired-xbox-360-comes-with-freebie-295026.php|title=Repaired Xbox 360 Comes with Freebie|publisher= Kotaku|date=2007-08-30|accessdate=2008-04-23]
Microsoft's extension of the warranty to three years only covers the "red ring of death" general hardware failure, not error E74 or other such errors featuring only one flashing red light on the ring piece indicator, or video errors not accompanied with the "red ring of death".
Out of warranty repair service is available for a price, which comes with a one year warranty. All repairs provide a one year warranty from the date of repair, or continuation of the original warranty (whichever is longer). [ [http://www.gamespot.com/news/6163599.html Microsoft extends Xbox 360 warranty - News at GameSpot ] ] [ [http://news.com.com/2100-1014_3-6195058.html Microsoft to extend Xbox 360 warranty, take $1 billion hit | CNET News.com ] ] [ [http://www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/WireStory?id=3350155&page=1 ABC News: Microsoft Mish
* [http://www.xbox.com/support Microsoft Xbox Support]
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