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back to article MS showcases Red Ring of Death Xbox 360 at expo

Microsoft executives will be a little red-faced today after an Xbox 360 on display at this year’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco contracted the infamous ‘Red Ring of Death’ disease. Can't see the video? Download Flash Player from Adobe.com The console was set-up as a demo unit in an area dedicated to …

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Another reason to feel smug

For avoiding any MS product like the plague (where possible.. stupid work..)

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Gates Horns

M$oft should really stick to what they know....

.....making top quality Operating Systems..

.....with top easy to figure out STOP (or RROD) error messages .......

Wait one sec typing this has caused an illegal operation....

I stand seriously corrected

/Just get my coat

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Oh Sweet Irony!

Sweet Swet Irony!

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Anonymous Coward

What is The Registers problem?

Whilst the 360 has had RROD problems in the past, how do we know this console isn't an old V1 console that was prone to the problem? We need a camera shot of the back of the failed system if this is really to be newsworthy.

The Register as always is dressing this up as something it's not. The RROD problem is long resolved in the V2 consoles that have been out ages now and frankly with a high failure rate on the original consoles a mere 16% failure rate is nothing and goes to show how well the V2 version of the console has done to bring the error rate down, which given time it'll continue to do so.

Whilst reporting on HD-DVD's death is appreciated, the extreme to which The Register is taking it to with multiple stories a week is getting a little tiresome.

One has to ask the question, is The Reg. biased towards the PS3 or Wii? When you look at the facts the 360 is still well ahead of the PS3, it's got far more, higher quality online content (downloadable movies, games etc.) and far more games as well as having the best software sales pointing to a massively strong library of games.

As the console, whilst not as much of a success as the Wii in terms of units shifted (but still as much of a success in terms of software shifted) is clearly still doing extremely well in the marketplace, why does The Reg. consistently only talk about it in a negative light? The staff here are supposed to be professional journalists, so surely they should be capable of pointing out basic points such as the fact the 16% failure rate is a good reflection on the quality of new systems in bringing the original much higher rate down!

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Stop

re: What is The Registers problem?

thou shalt never use professional journalists and the reg in the same sentence.

it's just not right

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Happy

do i have to say anything

Viva le PS3.....

@anon coward.

The story was first broken this morning by GamesIndustry.biz so The Reg isn't showing biased... face it the 360 is shit hardware, always was and always will be.

Yes the 360 has more games, it was also released 18 months before the PS3...

I have xb360 fanboi friends who are on their 5th console, due to failures... me i'm on still on my 1st PS3, bought on the day of release and played all the time by either myself, my wife or my kids..

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Gates Horns

Proof that ALL 360's are STILL prone to this..

Whilst Microsoft will pretend the hardware issues are resolved, anyone that communicates with real people in the real world will know the 360 is still extremely unreliable, even on latest units.

Whilst reliability of the falcon units is better, it's still nowhere near enough, as the root causes are caused by lack of airflow, and too much heat generation from the GPU. Neither of these issues have been resolved (the GPU is still 90nm and the case it unchanged).

You will only see major improvements in 360 reliability when Microsoft move to a 65nm GPU (next year), or redesign the case. There was talk of fitting laptop drives, to improve airflow in the case, but Microsoft poo poo'd that because of the increased cost.

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Coat

re: What is The Registers problem?

LOL, this guy is seriously deluded. Has he had a knock on the head recently?

The PS3 has far better content, and the 360 really is a bag of crap.

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Happy

16% failure rate is nothing?

What? Come on A.C. You don't really believe that a failure rate of almost 1 in 6 is acceptable, surely? (100/16=6.25) You're beginning to sound like a FANBOY!!

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Happy

@ Anonymous Coward

I guess we now know what Billy G is doing with all his free time :)

Seriously though - This is the Register - They post pics of giant BSOD's and we laugh because it's funny. If M$ decided to use a V1 console to demo their hardware, then they're clearly more stupid than we think.

Seriously - this is funny - either laugh, or go get a sense of humour transplant.

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Sam

Microtoss staffer alert (AC)

"Whilst the 360 has had RROD problems in the past, how do we know this console isn't an old V1 console that was prone to the problem?"

Why would anyone with half a brain risk exhibiting an older version of something known to be prone to these errors?

Oh, wait...

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16% is a problem when the competition is at 3%

The problem is that having a 16% when your competitors are hovering around 3% is bad PR and shows inherent design issues compared to the competition.

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Bronze badge

PS3 too

The PS3 gets regular slaggings from El Reg too, so I don't think you can say they pick on the XBox.

The number of failures also seems pretty high.

I am a PS3 owner but I have to say in general what I've seen of the XBox looks OK. My choice was more down to avoiding anything else MS after spending a lot of my working life fighting with it's OS on the desktop. I think it's fair to say that the XBox is a lot better than XP or Vista though.

On the other hand to say that the XBox has got better on-line content is a bit out of date.

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Gates Horns

Anonymous Coward = Microsoft Executive

Thanks for that, I'm sure that Microsoft Executives sit out in their offices preparing statements like this to post Anonymously. Sheesh!

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Happy

That's FUNNY!

Not the article, the quote "a mere 16% failure rate".

I'm glad Boeing and Airbus don't find that level of fault acceptable!

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Gates Horns

RRoD not fixed

I'm a member of a very large forum of 360 owners and I can assue you that the RRoD issue has NOT been fixed. The newer Elite and Falcon models fail just like the old ones.

However, the 360 and LIVE is like crack. People who cannot get repairs are just buying a new 360 and carrying on playing. Members on their 3rd or 4th console are not uncommon, the worst I know of is 11!

Evil Bill pic because I'm addicted.

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Tom

AC needs A.C

Chill your boots fanboi! Think you'll need an extended H3 session tonight to lose some of that agro! And BTW, company expos normaly role out new kit per demo to avoid this problem (you know, the point of an expo is to impress and show off, so old kit would be misdenomer) this will not be a V1 console, idiot.

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Embarrassing

Wow, Microsoft *really* have eggs on their face now. They should hang their heads in shame, get out of the market like yesterday, and kiss the PS3's ass. All because - hahahahahagetthisit'ssofunnyican'tstoplaughing - one of their own demo machines broke down and someone saw it. </sarcasmwhichamericanswontget>

Shit happens. Although yes I will concede it's slightly amusing.

Get over it.

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Et tu Falcon?

Ya know, Microsoft is unlikely to place anything other than their latest and greatest on display at the GDC, so this was likely a Falcon system at least. The red ring of death shows no partiality, it is an equal opportunity system failure.

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Stop

@What is The Registers problem?

"with a high failure rate on the original consoles a mere 16% failure rate is nothing"

A "mere" 16% == Nothing.

Total Bollocks!

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Anonymous Coward

It's funny because...

It's not as if the PS3 doesn't keel over in the display cases at Best Buy and the likes also, there are plenty of PS3s that just can't handle the heat inside those display cases.

What's also ironic is that some are suggesting the new hardware iteration hasn't resolved the issue. No doubt they were the same people suggesting the 33% failure rate months ago was true.

If they agree to both these points, they're failing to account for the 17% increase in reliability that has occurred in that period. Either one of those points is true, or none are true, whichever you choose it's clear that Microsoft has resolved the issue, 33% down to 16% is a big increase in reliability. As the old V1 consoles prone to the RROD problem die off reliability will continue to improve on the track it has now, in fact in another 6months, following current trends in reliability improvements it would suggest that the 360 is going to be at the industry average.

I'm not sure why Mark is spouting the usual lies, oh wait yes I am sure it's because he works for Sony or similar and that's what he always does every time The Reg post a 360/HD-DVD article. But anyhow, let's correct his lies anyway. The 360's GPU actually went 65nm in the Elite, it wasn't until the proper v2 consoles that the CPU went 65nm as well, so it's 65nm through and through, it now runs cooler and quieter than the PS3. Unlike a fanboy I will happily accept that the 360 has had major faults in it's past, but to suggest it has faults now? That's just outright lying. It's as baseless as saying the PS3 has a 40% failure rate or something equally unfounded. The fact is the V2 360s are at least as reliable as the PS3s and are certainly running cooler and quieter, you only have to put them side by side to see the proof of that. This isn't to say the new version of the Cell that's coming wont also become cooler and quieter to match the 360 when it eventually comes out of course.

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Heart

I got my Xbox 360 for Christmas...

I love it...

I don't mind failure rate as long as Microsoft will stand by and make accomodations.

- Jason

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Dead Vulture

History will tell you...

...that failure rates are not the be-all and end-all of a product's success.

The Commodore 64, for example, originally had horrific failure rates. As many as 30% of them were defective out of the box, not counting ones that later burned down the house (I'm not joking) or died later.

However, that didn't stop it from becoming the most successful computer model ever made, nor did it stop Commodore from annihilating the competition (several computer companies were driven out of business by the Commodore 64, although that was largely due to Jack Tramiel's aggressive pricing regime - combined with Commodore's vertical integration).

Don't knock the Xbox 360 so quickly. Sony still has a while to go before it can even promise its developers the concept of profitability - and with both Microsoft and Nintendo having a huge market share between them, things do not look good for Sony.

You simply don't know what is around the corner, either - with the Xbox 360 now about 2 years old, a successor can't be that far away. Sony will have a battle on its hands with the PS3, which will look decidely second-rate in a year or two, compared to contemporary technology of the time.

Oliver.

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Anonymous Coward

cable not connected?

I think that its the wrong segments lit up on that machine for the RRoD. I belive that set of segments might indicate the video or power cable are not plugged in correctly.

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Gates Horns

MUCH higher than 16%

Turns out the higher figure is true.

SquareTrade only handle a proportion of warranties, yet the percentage number was calculated from ENTIRE Xbox sales.

See what they did there?

If SquareTrade handle 50% of Xbox warranties, then it doubles the number they quote.

Sounds like someone has been caught manipulating figures.

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Unhappy

16% failure rate... more like 130%

I have about 10 friends I can think of that own XBOXs 360s including me. All of us have had to send it back at least once, and three of us have had to send it in twice.

I'd kill for only a 16% failure rate on my 360.

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Alert

16% is rubbish

I post annonymously only because I will potentially get someone into trouble if my name appears... A good friend of mine works for one of the returns handling centres for the 360 and MS only count the first console from any user that fails as a failure.

The fact that there are 1000's and 1000's of people in the UK alone who have had to return the replacement of the replacement (with some owners onto their fifth machine!), is completely discounted from that 16%. It is the same all across Europe.

MS won't comment on how they calculate the failure rate. This is why.

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Jobs Horns

@ AC

"Whilst the 360 has had RROD problems in the past, how do we know this console isn't an old V1 console that was prone to the problem?"

OK, let's look at this from a PR standpoint: We're going to a game developers' conference, and our hardware is going to be showcased in front of developers who are critical to our business success; developers from all over the world; so we want all of our gear to be QAed six ways from Sunday. No screwups, because this is the place where the Press is going to be. Remember Windows 95 and the Bill Gates demonstration of the BSOD? *None* *of* *that*! You got it?

Now, let's assume that it is, in fact, an old V1 console. That says quite a lot about the QA process at Microsoft, doesn't it? And not a single word of what it has to say is good.

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Pirate

don't be a silly anon

@anon

cable not connected...

clutching at straws?? wise up!!

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Oh, and @ Oliver Jones

"several computer companies were driven out of business by the Commodore 64, although that was largely due to Jack Tramiel's aggressive pricing regime"

Yes, and when the Amiga came along, they continued that practice, selling the Amiga at a loss - apparently they thought they could make it up on volume.

That worked well, didn't it?

Microsoft can afford to stand behind their hardware, and replace the failed machines (they did the "right thing" by extending warranties when the V1 consoles starting dropping like flies). What MS *can't* afford is alienation of game developers.

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"The PS3 has far better content, and the 360 really is a bag of crap."

Wow, fanboy alert. That's the trouble with Sony-land (Europe), too many blind fanboys who can't see beyond the ends of their SIXAXIS to what other platforms have to offer.

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@Morely Dotes

"Yes, and when the Amiga came along, they continued that practice, selling the Amiga at a loss - apparently they thought they could make it up on volume.

That worked well, didn't it?"

Yeah- it did, for quite a long time. Practically everyone I know had an Amiga, Mac or Archimedies long before they had a PC, because PC's were just useless. Most of them (probably 70%) had an Amiga. You couldn't do anything with the PC with just DOS, and Windows 3.1 really didn't help all that much.

The mistake Commodore made with Amiga (after being really quite sucessful for over 5 years) was placing them firmly as a games machine. As computers started finding there way into offices Commodore desperatly tried to rebrand some of their machines as buisness models, but the damage was done. The public saw the Amiga, with all it's pretty graphics, as a games machine, and the boring display of a PC as a buisness machine.

Who knows where we'd be now if the Amiga had given itself a more buisness based market position? All I know is that my Amiga 1200 with the 030 50MHz accelerator including the FPU and all the other nice little bits FAR outperformed a Pentium II at 10 times the clock speed.

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@AC

"The PS3 has far better content, and the 360 really is a bag of crap."

That's maybe a little strong admitedly.

However I just looked now, and the prices add up as such:

XBOX 360 Elite : £279.99

PS3 40GB : £279.99

To be completley fair, considering they are the same price:

The PS3 has a Bluray drive builtin, the XBOX has a optional £130 add on USB, now defunct HD-DVD drive.

The PS3 easily accepts twin HDMI ports, straight in the back of the machine. The XBOX has recently come up with a HDMI cable, but thats with the XBOX end as a non HDMI plug, so you have to use Microsofts cable.

The PS3 is about twice the processing power of the 360 (They might not have laerned exactly how to use it all at the same time yet, but they will)

The XBox 360 has a slightly better online service, available for £40 a year (ish). The PS3 has a very nearly as good online service for free.

Most of the modern games that anyone cares about are on both platforms. If you want Halo 3 get a 360, if you want Gran Turismo 5 get a PS3.

When I weigh it all up, the PS3 is just better value. Even when it was £100 more expensive, it was still better value. It's really rather up to each person to decide. It seems to be more of a social statement than a hardware choice these days.

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Coat

Clearly AC above

That makes the US Microsoft-Land.

I'll get my EU-made Sony (TM) coat.

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Paris Hilton

Great strategy

It's always been microsoft's strategy to sell a quickly put-together piece of entertainment and sell it as quickly as possible and then make another one (which is what the first one should have been) and boast on the improvements over the first.

No!! lol .. the new xbox shouldn't be about how it doesn't crash and burn like the old one! It's supposed to be about having newer and cooler things.

It's the difference between saying "Hey I got the new xbox.. it's supposed to have a lower rate of failure than the old one" and "hey the new PS3 has this new feature that the PS2 never had"

Get the idea there... plus the sega megadrive never had these problems :)

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Coat

RRoD?

any minute now some predictable eejit is going to make a really obvious "red ring of death? - i've had that after a dodgy chicken vindaloo.." remark.

... but thankfully it ain't gonna be me.

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Gates Horns

Xbox 360 or PS3

Amazing. Just the other day I was chatting with my brother about which console to buy, Xbox 360 or PS3. My brother suggested the PS3, but I was thinking of switching despite the rocky past of the last model. I've been a play station user so far. This just made my mind up. PS3 it is.

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Ed

Heh

"me i'm on still on my 1st PS3, bought on the day of release and played all the time by either myself, my wife or my kids.."

Yeah, how's it going playing those same three games over and over?

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Stop

Re: It's funny because...

.Either one of those points is true, or none are true, whichever you choose it's clear that Microsoft has resolved the issue, 33% down to 16% is a big increase in reliability.'

Oh thats alright then Microsoft has fixed the reliability problems then as its now down from 1 in 3 to 1 in 6 failure rate...

What a load of twaddle, do you actually read what you write before posting such garbage. If I spend 300 ukp on a console is fair that I am expected get a 1 in 6 failure rate ????

Why should a console be any different from a TV, DVD player etc..

Microsoft should be prosecuted for selling substandard equipment however the problem is Fanbois people like you who continue to find these acceptable figures

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RRoD

Hm... why does this look so ... familiar?? Except 10 years ago it was Win95 (or 98?) and a BSoD. And with Billy G up there!

I'm still saving my dosh for the PS3...

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Happy

It's already commented, but...

"a mere 16% failure rate is nothing"

I'm still laughing, I really, really am. Thanks for cheering me up with that one!

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Unhappy

arguments over consoles

Stop it! I hate it when you fight! Aren't we all supposed to all be gamers here? Can't we just get along?

* runs crying to bedroom, slams door *

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Happy

Ok so the point of

not fixing it is to get people with a mental problem to buy another makes sense to me.

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Alert

Failure rates and multi-purchasers.

I wonder what the real re-purchase rate among 360 owners is? I mean we've all read blog posts from folks who have had multiple RROD failures, and probably almost as many posts from people who claim they have purchase a second, or even third, system just to have a spare in case of failure.

Really and truly, I wonder just how many of all those 360s sold are in the hands of owners who have already purchased one and are on a second or third due to failures.

For those who think that 16% failure isn't so bad, try this on for size. If you take a 6 chamber revolver and load a single cartridge into it and spin the chambers around to randomize the location of the cartridge. Now, who wants to put that gun to their head and pull that trigger? I mean, 16% isn't that bad, right? Riiiiiiggghhhtt......!

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I love the way.....

.....that some people open up their mouth and swallow any figures or "facts" that are spurted out to them by company press releases, rather like a cheap hooker would swallow your load. (I refer to one of the AC's mainly)

A couple seem to insist that the RROD issue is fixed, because Microsoft said so!. Sure, it may have improved, but a failure rate of 16% is still around FIVE TIMES that of their competition.

Shame, as I would have bought one if everyone I knew who had one hadn't already had theirs fail at least once.

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Paris Hilton

Off to bed?

Based on the post timings, it looks like some of you guys really need to get to sleep earlier. All this late night gaming (well, I presume it's gaming, or is it just 'joystick' abuse?) is making you all grumpy!

Paris, cos she'd (probably) be able to 'cure' you of your "LIVE" addiction.

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Don't these people know the first rule of computer demos?

Never EVER leave a machine unattended where the public can see it. It doesn't matter HOW reliable the hardware or software is, or whether its a PC, console or DVD recorder. If you leave an abacus out unattended at a trade show, the beads will fall off. You should always have a PFY there to "accidentally" trip over the cables.

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Coat

Lucky One

It seems I am one of th luckiest people on earth. Bought an Xbox360, on day of release, it sits in a cabinet with all my other Hi-fi equipment and has never gone wrong.

Is it that I am really that lucky, or is it that I don't spend FAR too much time on it that I become anti-social and forget how to communicate with people.

There's a whole wide world out there folks, go and experience it, and then your xbox will continue working when you only use it for 2 hours a day instead of 10 (and then leaving it on overnight to prove a point)!!!!

I'll get my coat...and go outside with the real people!

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Happy

@ed

3 games...... fraid not, currently 10 and rising...

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Summary

I own both a Xbox360 and PS3 so feel fairly confident I can present a view not biased by fanboy principles. Here's my quick overview:

1. I don't know anyone who owns a Xbox360 that hasn't broken.

2. They repair them very promptly and recompense you for the inconvenience.

3. They tell you what went wrong and what they've done.

4. They wont tell you why it went wrong and don't want to know. If you tell them it occurred when you tried to use Halo 3 they will not record the information.

5. Repairs are made with refurbished parts which can lead to multiple repairs (friend now on console number 5!)

Overall good performance and I'm very happy with my experiences so far even though I've had to send it off for repairs.

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