back to article Microsoft extends Red-Ring-of-Death cover to fresh Xbox fault

Just as Microsoft had recovered from the Xbox 360's notorious "Red Ring of Death" fiasco another big hardware error has begun slaughtering its boxes. The Xbox 360 "E74 error" has become enough of a problem that Microsoft is now covering it under the console's extended three-year warranty reserved for RRoD failures. Redmond is …

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Not Exactly New

E74 is not exactly a new error. I paid €70-odd for Microsoft to fix an E74 error about 18 months ago. Was very frustrating having to pay that just after they'd extended the warranty to 3 years for the 3-red-light issue, especially given that the UK's Sale of Goods Act should probably have forced the retailer (Amazon) to fix/replace it for me...

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

"After investigating the issue, we have determined that the E74 error message can indicate...."

Didn't they program the damn thing? There should be no investigation, the error code should be documented from when they programed it.

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These things really are shit...

...aren't they? I mean, has there ever been a console this shoddily made?

The PS3, as you mentioned, is a lovely piece of kit. Feels very solid, runs very well, has lots of features and toys. Personally, I think it's worth the extra money simply for the reliability, certainly for that combined with the extra kit.

All I've heard from my 360 owning compatriots is "it's too noisy, and the bloody thing's constantly on the verge of death."

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Xbox still hasn't turned a profit after 4 years

By the expedients of an extra billion dollar one time write-off for the red ring, the allocation of 5 billion dollars a year of expenses to `'corporate-level activity" instead of spreading it across actual business divisions, MS claim Xbox is making a profit, but without the accounting smoke and mirrors it's still just billions of Windows and Office revenues buying console market share.

What happens when ARM/Linux/OS X/open source finally make Wintel & MS Office irrelevant to consumers over the next 18 months?

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Death Wish

When was the last time Microsloth got something right? Maybe their paranoia has progressed to dementia. It really is amazing that any company this slipshod can continue to exist.

Paris...because we know she's reliable.

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Silver badge

Hardly news

Microsoft sell a shoddy product; beat their comparable rival by selling dirt cheap.

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@ sleepy

Gosh, you're optimistic aren't you? I expect ARM/Linux will slowly erode the bottom end of the netbook market, but I'd be surprised if Microsoft are irrelevant by October 2010.

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Gates Horns

MS made some great hardware ..

a bit OT, however ..

MS precision 2 joysticks, in fact the whole line from Sidewinder were more durable than others .. still use a Precision 2 on a Win98SE machine for old flight sims

in that case it seemed crazy for MS to make most of thier own branded, well made controllers incompatable with WinXP .. I suppose the division wasn't making the 40% margins MS was used to .. but I can't imagine they were losing money, and there was alot of good will being created in the gaming communities that MSGames (PC) had a large stake in

doing Xbox, IMO, was a bad move .. better to have competed with the Windows PC platform against consoles, then to have created internal competition against the PC gaming platform

and think about it .. if MS had thrown that kind of money at great game development, they might be the ones pulling off what Blizzard did with WoW .. or instead of Flight Simulator / CFS divisions dying, they could have had the success of the Maddox C.1 IL-2 series

irony also .. that Xbox competes on price, where MS feels no need to compete on software price despite the shitte product there

Billg .. because he knew when to bail .. has his stash of Pre 2s I'm sure

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I wonder...

...if the lack of issues with the PS3 is mostly down to the simple fact that there are fuck all decent games for it and as such no-one is using them? Or it could be that the amazing media player it is, people have found out that when they buy a proper Blu Ray player that upscales wells, can Bitstream audio etc... that actually there really isn't much point in having a Ps3 - unless of course you don't actually want a George Foreman grill, but do want something that looks like one, gets as hot as one and when the fans kick in (often) is as loud as one....

Mines the one with the Xbox 360 (2 RRoD down) and the Wii in the corner....

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Silver badge

re: (Untitled) AC

"can indicate" is the right phraseology. All the software can tell is that it can't get proper communications with some chip.

There are many things that could be broken: It could be the chip itself, power to the chip, a soldering joint, a broken track, some other chip corrupting the bus,.....

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Silver badge

Maybe Microsoft should take this "testing" thing seriously?

From the looks of it they really don't care much. Unfortunately, with hardware products, a "patch Tuesday" is a bit difficult to do. The "other" vendor who DOES make hardware (based in Cupertino, CA) learned the lesson long ago. Being "cheap" doesn't help when you need to spend the money five times.

Oh, well. Lesson learned (by the customer, NOT the vendor!).

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The 360 is a great console

The 360 is a great console. The games for it are excellent. I have had one ring of death problem in three years and the unit was swapped by the retailer, this was 18 months ago.

To those people wanting to know if any other console has been as badly built I would say the original playstation would fit the bill. I had 5 dead playstation consoles, my launch PS2 was good and I traded it for the 360.

I hope MS have learned from this as I have had a great deal of fun with the 360 and would like them to continue in the console market.

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PS3 reliability

I don't personally know that many people with PS3s, but all the people I do know who own them have suffered from drive failure problems (hard drive and/or blu-ray) and Sony's return policy isn't a patch on the Microsoft one. (probably only because there hasn't been a huge PR uproar over the failures)

Doesn't look like it's all flowers, smiles, and unicorns on either side of the fence from here. The most reliable is probably the Wii, but that's mainly because it's older more well refined, lower-specced tech.

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Stop

Oh please, get off the bandwagon, it's already overflowing

Not every anti-Microsoft geek hates the XBox... I'm a pragmatist: I don't agree with MS' corporate and OS user policies. They overprice their software and it's just not good enough. However, their XBox teams have got it right, and because they're largely left to be the masters of their own kingdom they're like Microsoft hardware - there's an unwavering fanbase and the gear is more often than not pretty darn good.

We have a 360 in our house. Not the Elite, just the regular one with a 60Gb drive. It's used for five/six hours every day at least, seven days a week. Set up on top of a PS2 (which also still gets used!) and it's not gone wrong, ever.

We also use it to play TV shows, stream media over uPnP etc. I know the PS3 can do all this, but the XBox is 1) cheaper, 2) XBL 'just works' (even I paid £30 for a gold account, and it's not even my XBox!) and their online content is really nice. Plus, they've had just enough 'coups' in terms of first-to-XBox releases to retain their market share.

RRoD would piss me off horrendously, but it's not happened to our box yet. And in the meantime, it just does what you want it to with no mess, no fuss. It Just Works. If you buy a PS3, it's a serious investment. A 360 is almost a throwaway investment these days, and that adds to its appeal. Who gives a monkeys if it breaks, you can just get another one free from MS. Plus their online community has a sorta 'feel' to it which the PS3 hasn't really held a candle to... It's a nice gizmo/gadget, but to be honest I'd feel a bit of buyer's remorse if I'd bought one. It'd probably just sit idle or crunching Genes@Home or SETI stuff most of the time, and my PC can already do that.

And @ Greg - the 360 isn't a shoddily made machine. The first gens were a bit crap, just like pretty much any console. But don't you avoid first gens of any hardware to avoid the bugs? Any sensible geek does. My N64 was an absolute class console back in t' day, but I had no end of problems with it. (blowing on cart contacts anybody?)

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Hahahahahaha

Crazy that people still buy those things, yep they are cheap but the real investment is made in games and what happens when MS drops the 360 like the steaming turd it is just like the 1st xbox.

2 gens deep and yet to make a profit is asking alot to have a 3rd crack at it and in the end they are buying the market, but the market is fickle and wii is the tasty new flavour. It cheeses of all the 360 fanbois so much that a kids toy rulz supreme, but at the end of the day a great game isn't graphics it's gameplay and imersion

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Dex

@Andrew Gillard

Purchases on Amazon aren't covered by the Sales of Good Act but are covered by the Distant Selling Regulations.

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re: B3vil: PS3 Reliability

There has been a fair few reports of faulty PS3's on the PS3 forum (but nothing like the 360 failure rate), but unlike MS where it can take 6 weeks to get a 360 fixed, one phone call to Sony usually gets a replacement to your door for a straight swap within 48 hrs.

That seems a much better policy than the 360 one?

The only reports I've heard of people waiting longer (and even then they aren't waiting as long as I waited for my 360 to be fixed) are when people with the original 60GB PS3 wanted theirs replaced with another 60GB (PS2 computability) and Sony were waiting on supplies. Sony then gave them the choice of waiting, or having the newer version within 48 hrs.

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MJI
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Flame

Another PS3 here

Had it around 18 months, gets lots of use - never a problem.

As to games, there are plenty.

Rachet and Clank, Motorstorm, Drakes Fortune - all exclusives, all good.

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A couple of things:

Swanny: If Microsoft were to drop Xbox 360 support tomorrow, there would still be enough games in existence right now to keep me going for a couple of years. Not that I'm a one-console hosehold, of course.

Dex: Amazon are covered by the SoGA *and* the DSR.

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Stop

On the PS3....

I've been through three of them in the space of a year. Every single one either bricked, or returned with a video or sound issue.

I've had one XBox failure, on the (supposedly RROD-Proof) 360 Elite in that time. I'm not so sold on this supposed reliability of the Sony console any more than I am on the XBox.

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Paris Hilton

Why it's called the 360?

Because when people see it they will turn 360 degrees and moonwalk away

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Unhappy

On number 4 so far...

One complete video fail (no RRoD, just no picture), one failed DVD drive and one E74. Impressed with the repair service though - all fixed under warranty and returned within two weeks from Germany. Must be costing them a packet - the UPS bloke said he spends half his time delivering them.

The PS3? It's collecting dust on a shelf. Sony have really lost it somehow - especially when previously exclusive Sony titles like Tekken are now coming to the 360.

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Alert

@ B3vil

Nintendo's kit is pretty much as hard as nails - and has been since the Gameboy/Super NES days.

They appreciated that not everyone has hundreds of pounds to fork out to play games and know that most people will cart their consoles around. Hell, I know my Super NES survived a fall (read throw) from a second floor window and out onto concrete. The case came off but it still worked.

Can the same be said for the PSone and all the newcomers?

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Happy

@Andrew Gillard, Dex

go here,

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cons_int/safe_shop/guarantees/index_en.htm

to see your rights re consumer items.

You possibly shouldnt have had to pay if it failed with 2 years.

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Stop

@b3vil & Mackenzie

@b3vil : "but all the people I do know who own them have suffered from drive failure problems (hard drive and/or blu-ray)"

Well I for 1 have had no problems thanks. It's never even crashed playing DVDs, Blu-rays or games.

@Mackenzie. You can set bitstreaming audio on PS3 under "Settings->BD/DVD Settings->BD/DVD Audio Output Format(HDMI)" and "Settings->BD/DVD Settings->BD Audio Output Format (Optical)". I only have a 42" Bravia TV, but the PS3s upscaling seems to work fine, although to be honest the Bravia does such a good job displaying SD content. I just spent 40 minutes reading comparative reviews of PS3 vs more expensive standalone DVD/BD players to check my own conclusions, I haven't found any so far that don't rate the PS3 very highly. Perhaps your views are based on much earlier firmware? Fortunately the firmware gets updated on a regular basis, I believe prior to version 1.90 it didn't upscale at all.

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Anonymous Coward

@B3vil

Weird... everyone I know who owns a PS3 (myself included) haven't had a single problem. This includes one previous RRoD victim who switched to a PS3

Hardware wise, the only thing which annoys me about my PS3 is the crap wifi connection (recently moved house and changed broadband provider and got a new wifi router so it's not that). Odd thing is that no one else I know seems to have the same problem.

Software wise the PS3 has all the games I want except for the downloadable content for GTA IV. Sony really dropped the ball in allowing MS to get away with that exclusivity.

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@Christopher

Actually, I went hunting for the original spec PS3 because in the European releases it had the best kit. Got hold of one second hand and it runs absolutely solid as a rock. I expect first releases of software to be a bit crap, especially from Microsoft, but it's only MS hardware that has ever let me down on the first revision. My original MDA III, Athena, iAudio X5, PS2, etc, etc have had no hardware problems at all. None. Zip. Nil. Nada. Well, unless you count the time I knelt on my X5, but that's hardly iAudio's fault.

All four of my Sony consoles (PS1, 2, 3 and PSP) have been absolutely rock solid since the day I bought them, and I think all of them were second hand, too. Not saying that the PS1 and PS2 didn't have some hardware issues - I'm no fanboy - but they weren't nearly as bad as the 360's, and I've had no problems with Sony kit at all. On the flip side of the coin, all the 360s I've ever seen have died at some point, and last night my original X-box started making some odd noises, too...

Which I really don't want it to do, because I'm having way too much fun on Destroy All Humans right now! ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Before you say anything, i have both consoles

"by most accounts, runs as solid as a rock (albeit an enormous and expensive one)."

Actually the PS3 has its share of issues , but they get ignored as only the 360 fanboys shout about them, with the 360 both the sony fanboys AND the MS haters shout at them so they get more bad press (they have some hardware issues, they had some cooling issues due to the fans not getting rid of dust, they have firmware issues, they also have firmware breaking consoles which isn't covered under there own warrenty (even tho you have to install the firmware to play the later games, if it breaks your console, you pay for the repairs))

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@Swanny

So, the latest PS3 incarnation can play how many PS2 games then?

And to the same tune, the Xbox 360 can play how many original Xbox games?

Interesting argument you make as it appears you slate the Xbox but then rightly point out yet another plus point it has over the Piece of Shit 3.

Genius.

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Anonymous Coward

@Dex

They're covered by both IIRC

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Thumb Up

Not just xbox

If you look at their forums there have been plenty of PS3 teething troubles but Sony quietly and efficiently swaps broken boxes for new kit so everyone stays quietly happy....

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Bronze badge

well well

even though the hardware is shite

Gotta give it to them for actually admiting they made mistakes and then do something about it !

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re: Why it's called the 360?

So it makes them dance, first a pirouette, then a moonwalk up to it and away?

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@Phil

My experience with the 360 was quite the opposite. One phonecall, on Sunday morning no-less, and it was picked up and returned within 2 days, all at Microsoft's expense. This was one of the earlier failures, maybe their standards have dropped since due to the cost of it all.

The people with PS3 failures (and my own experience with a PS2 failure) have ended up having to make calls to Sony to ask where there machines are because they're taking so long.

I'm no MS fan (I wouldn't mind seeing them burn in the pits of hell) but my experience with the xbox returns process was fantastic, I was so impressed I would almost be willing to write it off as a non-issue. The only other company I've ever dealt with (and this was a long time ago) where the service was quite so impressive was Creative, who were willing to ship out a replacement part the same day, without requiring any return of the broken hardware, or even proof that it was broken. They're a shadow of their former self now tho.

I guess it's a case of 'your experience may vary'

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@AC PS3 wifi problems

I too thought the PS3 wifi seemed crap so I connected it up using a devolo homeplug network. Then later, out of interest I tried a wifi laptop in the same position as the PS3. It turns out my lounge has two really bad wifi dead spots - everywhere else in the lounge has a great signal!

If you do hook it up using a powerline network don't whatever you do use those piece of sh*t Advent powerline ethernet products from PC world (as if an enlightened reg reader would!)

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Boffin

@Shaun Rodger & @Janimal

@Shaun Rodger: Would serious look at where you have the thing placed! 3?!?!? This is unprecedented! Try not to throw beer at it when you lose ;o)

@Janimal

Agreed. Although not with the Advent statement. Have had the 200mbs installed since they first came out and it 'just runs'. One of the simplist pieces of kit I've ever used - just hate the price of them!

Back to the article: I for one think it's good, at least, that MS actually notify the user of the impending death. My PS3 'softly' bombed on GTA4 and Motorstorm - took about an hour for each to find out why and what to do. Having a screen pop up and say "This thing is having it's swan song, right here, right now" is genius. I had squeaky bum syndrome for the GTA one!

Having said all that, I still have to say that the PS3 does what i want it to do (plays games, and never gone wrong), and the Xbox does what i want it to do (again, plays games, but the old one did RROD, Elite is solid). They both do what they need to do - end of. Saying one is shittier than the other is just foolhardy - and fanboi-ish, but "boys will be boys" with their cock waving ;o) All this crap about one having shittier games is just foolhardy - and fanboi-ish, but "boys will be boys" with their cock waving ;o) ... ooo.. dejavu...

Peace

(Still trying to flog the HD-DVD drive... Land fill ahoy!)

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Go

@Erik Aamot

Curious, my Sidewinder Force Feedback 2, possibly one of the best things MS ever did runs fine on Vista, and indeed did on 98SE, 2000 and XP. The software app won't run, but then you don't need it anyway!

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IT Angle

all 3 consoles

PS3 going strong after a year and a bit.

Wii had problems reading Super Smash Bros game - different type of disk and nintendo fixed it even after it was nearly two years old. Bad point - it took them 11 yes 11 weeks.

Xbox arcade - sold as far to noisy and Im not paying for live. (Little / no dedicated servers)

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@dropped snes comment

The SNES was all solid state, the Playstation etc aren't- they've got moving parts, fans, lenses, etc.

All consoles should go solid state once again! It rocked!

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@AC 07.36

Reviews are as always subjective.... when the PS3 first came out, it was raved about as quality for BR and upscaled DVD... now you can get BR players for £120 that have significantly improved DVD upscaling and a sharper picture for BR.

If you're happy with it, then great.... i for one wasn't so moved on and bought a proper BR unit.

As for audio, maybe i should have clarified further... you cannot Bitstream HD Audio (namely True HD, DTS-MA) over HDMI for decoding in a suitable amplifier... you are left having the player decode the audio and send it LPCM over HDMI, thus requiring a suitable AV amplifier to be able to handle LPCM in order to get proper audio - this as a result limits your amplifier choices and also the ability to post process and finely tune to your environment... again for many people this may suffice, for people with a bit more interest this is rubbish. As a result many people resort to using optical for audio or ignoring the HD codecs - which is removing a significant chunk of the BR experience.

For me the PS3 is the typical, jack of all trades, master of none.... as a result i have a few boxes under my TV but overall get a better experience all round....

As usual though, the fanboys battle.... :)

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@alex

Either you have been lucky regarding the Advent powerline ethernet or I was very unlucky!

I had six of the 200mbs and also bought two 200mbs units for my mum. Her's stopped working and were replaced afer 6 months, now her network has died again, I haven't had the chance to get over there to fix it so it might not be the Advents that failed this time.

of the 6 I bought for myself, four simply stopped working within a year. The two I bought as a pair failed within 3 days of each other. The other two just stopped randomly & never worked again.

I make that an 80% failure rate.

When I switched to the devolo 200mbs I was also suprised to find I get much better performance from them. With the Advents I found I couldn't play HD content across the network which I have no problem with since dumping the advents.

Sorry for going so far off-topic everyone. I'll stop now :/

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Linux

Darn, got to be nice to M$

I'm pretty pleased that MS are being grown-up about this and admitted a fault and, more importantly, doing something positive about it. And kudos to El Reg in spreading this piece of good news.

My own (well used) '360 went RROD about two months ago. Filed a call and got a printable UPS label within about 10 minutes. Boxed it up and sent it off and got the replacement back within 7 days, along with a nice letter of apology and a months free XBox Live.

Best of all the replacement mobo and DVD have now made the system run a lot cooler, a little bit quicker to boot up, and a heck of a lot quieter. Jeez, this is now at least as quiet as the old PS2 maybe even quieter. So I'm a very pleased '360 owner.

I hate being complimentary about Ballmer-Corp, but I can't see much to complain about in the way I was dealt with.

@AC 08:45 "Why it's called the 360? ... Because when people see it they will turn 360 degrees and moonwalk away ". Actually if you turn 360 degrees you end up facing what you were looking at previously. So if you turned 360 and then "moonwalked" you'd end up walking into the 360! Just hope you didn't have a DVD in the drive when you knocked it over, otherwise it'll get scratched (I know this from experience - one of my kids gouged my copy of Guitar Hero:WT this way).

Penguin icon because I'm a Linux fan. :)

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repair all consoles

well i repair all major consoles, and here's what ive found so far

the Wii well these things are propper little troopers and really we only get disk read errors from them, this is a simple matter of stripping down, and using some cleaner on the lazer lense, the amount of wii's we get in is only around .5%, the h/w inside is of moderate to good quality.

the ps3 well few issues. The major fault that we get with these are again disk read errors, again strip down clean the lense and your on your way. Recently we have also been getting sound but no pic issues, but this usually the result of a botched sys update, so a flash of the sys rom, and format of the hdd and they up and running. Also there is a small amount of hdd failures, but this is a simple fix of getting a 2.5 sata hdd and slotting it into the ps3, and most times we use this fix as an opportunity to upgrade the cmr's ps3 to 400gb. the ps3 accounts for about 1-3% of our repaired consoles, and the h/w inside including therm managemnt is good to excelent quality, (excetpt for 1 early variant of the bluray which a small percentage fails completly)

Xbox 360, sucks through teeth, 3 red lights, 1 red light (e74/ e76) cheap and untested lead free solder used, and this combined with the 360 VERY poor thermal management just compounds those issues. Disk read errors, usually as the result of bricked dvd drives,scratching disks (which is fixed using 2p worth of rubber pads) hdd failures, sound but no pic, pic but no sound, e71 (south bridge shafted), e-net errors, controller connection errors, random freezing, power issues and so many more its hard to remember them all. 360's make up at least 95% of our repairs, and the h/w quality inside the 360 is terrible at best.

To wrap up Microshaft pushed the 360 out early to get a hold on the next gen market. It appears that they followed their software model of push it out early and fix with updates, somethign that you definately cant do with hardware.

Both sony and nintendo delayed the release of their consoles to ensure that the durability testing was thourghly carried out (this mainly has to do with the lead free solder that all manufactures had to switch to).

The 360 suffers from systamatic failures and like i said above it is supprising that they had the cheek to push it out untested. Yes the ps3 is more expensive, but you are paying for quality, and in the next couple of years we will be seeing games developers taking full advantage of the tech of the ps3 and even now the falicy of no good games on the ps3 is a moot subject. Also if you do a direct comparison between similar speced 360 and ps3 (hd opti drive, wifi, large hdd) you will find that the cost of the ps3 is not that much more then a similar speced 360, plus you dont have to pay to play online games with the ps3.

The Wii, well these little things just sit in the corner and behave themselves.

I am not a fanboy of microshaft, sony or nintendo, i am a gamer. I have had almost all major consoles that have been released from the atari 2600 to all 3 next gen consoles.

As a gamer it is easy to reconise that Nintendo has the most amount of respect for their customer base, and microshaft has the least, and has treated all 360 owners as beta testers for the 360 console, and even after the 3 major revisions of the 360 (zyphor, jasper, and falcon chipsets), they have still failed to get it right, and with them having to dump so much cash into the damage control of their substandard consoles it is doubtfull that they will ever get it right. Fingers crossed the 720 will not be a bag of nails, but im not holding my breath, after all the 360 is the 2nd console released by Microshaft to have major isues.

And to all you fanboys out there, dont, be a fanboy of gaming and of quality, dont let misguided brand loyality blind you. If you do not personally have a console you have no real right to comment about it. Open your eyes and speak from experiance, and above all have fun and happy gaming!

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Thumb Up

Hmmmm

Most of the consoles have moving parts (ie hard disks, CD/DVD/BR drives) and can fail at the drop of a hat (literally if the hat was fairly heavy and was dropped on the casing).

Even the smallest of vibration can kill a hard disk or make it degrade slowly, we know this from PC's so why should consoles be any different?

I have a 360 Elite and am very happy with it. My mates have PS3's and a few of them wish they'd gone for 360's.

However, there's not much between the two and I'm sure both are prone to hardware failures, there's more 360's in use out there and they've been around longer and because of the MS haters, stories like this get blown out of proportion.

If MS let the XBox team developed a simple, powerful OS, I'm sure they'd have come up with something much better than Vista, something that worked on less powerful hardware.

I'm proud of my 360 and wouldn't change it for the world right now. Of course nothing has gone wrong with it so I have no experience of support/warranty but as an IT engineer, I've rarely had to call Microsoft for OS/App issues so hopefully I'll have the same experience with my XBox.

I'm sure that in comparison, hardware failures, OS failures and errors are more common on Windows PCs as opposed to the 360's. At least it can be fixed and under the warranty which is more than can be said for many electrical appliances these days like dishwashers, washing machines etc!

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Staying out of the console word wars.....

....but, "Hopefully, Microsoft learns its lesson here and will spend a little more on parts in the future to save millions of dollars in repairs".....

You mean, like they spend a bit more on developing a stable, secure application/OS in order to save millions of dollars paying for people to fix/patch them over the coming years?

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Alien

E74

I actually had this message on my elite a month ago. Within ten minutes I had the UPS label to send off and within a week I had my Xbox back. Best customer service I've had in a while. It was the first issue I've had with the console.

My Xbox is the only console that I play these days down to one simple fact. Quality of games. I'm sure the PS3 has now most of the games but when I came to upgrade to the next gen of consoles the Xbox range was better.

On the whole 360 moonwalk dillema. 360 would indeed leave you facing in the direction you started but a moonwalk goes backwards?

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Silver badge

Trying to keep costs down?

Having worked for a company whose only interest was reducing and reducing the cost of the hardware (for a prod run of < 10k - insane but true), it gets to a point where the bean counters force quality down the toilet. But of course they are not the ones who have to cough the dosh for all the repairs. Oh, that's a different department, nothing to do with us etc - look how cheap we made it - Hurrah! Our department makes a big profit now!!! Where's my bonus?

That and the forced introduction of lead free solder means everything is more unreliable.

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@Thomas

I didn't say that MS itself will be irrelevant in 18 months, just that their cash cows in the consumer market (Windows & Office - already heavily discounted to stay dominant) may be, leaving just their corporate market stronghold. The point being that MS may have to stop subsidizing one or more of their hoped-for future cash cows: Xbox, Zune, Windows Mobile, Live Search, Vista etc.

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Unhappy

No Xbox for Me

I never got a message from my Xbox 360 and after delicate use with lots of ventilation I got the RRoD cold. And after 2 RRoDs the video just went blank with sound. But after squeezing it while doing the towel trick it was good again for about a week. I went Spain for Xmas and came back home and boom it's dead. I tried calling MSFT and they said it wasn't covered. So I looked online for ways to fix it and I found some sites, but now that pretty much did it. Now all I have left is a Playstation 3 which is wicked but I do miss Orange Box on Xbox 360. I have a Nintendo Wii that I got for my Bday but it just sits there unless I'm really bored or drunk and I play Wii sports batting challenge.

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