Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Is your Xbox 360 failing?

According to several published reports, gamers are having a hard time with some XBox 360 units.

Tech Digest reports that a survey of retailers shows as many as 30 percent of all 360s sold are being returned for repair. Microsoft claims the 360 is well within the industry fail rate of three to five percent.

Last year, Game Daily Biz quoted an insider from Electronic Arts saying the failure rate was 10 times higher than Microsoft was quoting. The source claimed that of the 300 consoles EA had received, 30 to 50 percent of them had failed.

In February 2005, Microsoft recalled power cords on 14.1 million Xbox consoles worldwide, following reports of injuries due to defective electrical components that could cause fire hazards.

Today, gamers are still saying the heat generated by the unit -- especially when certain games trigger all three CPUs for use at the same time -- is melting chip connectors, and when they send the unit back to Microsoft for repair, when it's out of warranty, the repair charges are into the three digits.

There's a website dedicated to discussing failed 360s and it's full of consumers upset at paying as much as $140 to repair a unit that costs $399.

Are any of you suffering from defective 360s or seen the three red blinking lights around your green power light? Wanted to hear some stories out there.


Anonymous said...

Langston, great column. Yes, I have been through five (5!) 360s. Just upgraded to Elite and no issues. But the first four all fried. Three had the three red lights and just quit. I went through Msoft support a gazillion times.

Clayj said...

I've had two 360s fail on me, after 6 months and after 1 year. In each case, they were covered under warranty and it cost me nothing to have them replaced/repaired. My Elite is working perfectly so far.

Just FYI, though, some 360s have now been seen with improved heat sinks and cooling systems... it appears that Microsoft has found that a lot of failures are due to overheating. It will be interesting to see if these improved 360s have any problems.

Anthony said...

I am on my 4th xbox 360,, from all the research that I have done, the problem lies in the original batch which can easily overheat.

I fought tooth and nail with Microsoft about one of my consoles that crashed immediately after a mandatory update. It wasn't until the BBB got involved that they settled and just let me pay shipping for a new 360

Anonymous said...

LW, I have had 3 360s and one Elite go bad. I gave up and got a PS3. It's a better unit, runs cooler and also can sit as the center of my home theater, especially since i'm about to get a Sony 1080P LCD to go with it.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to read reports by consumers, come to THE website for reports of defective xbox 360s

Anonymous said...

I've had ONE blow on me boys...just one...sent it on to microsoft last week so we'll see how these new and improved 'heat sinks do...as for you guys buying 4 and 5 boxes...what!? Did you think you just ran into a streak of bad luck? thats why microsoft hasnt done anything major to fix it...why should they? ppl keep buying the broken ones!

RowdyRoddy said...

I'm still running a Day 1 XBOX 360 with no problems.

Maybe it's because of how I have it sitting vertically on a flat board on the floor next to the TV with at least 2 inches of clearance between it and the set.

It definitely seems that the people having them fail are most likely seeing overheating issues, so my setup is probably keeping mine good since it has plenty of ventilation.

$panese said...

I have not seen the quote/unquote RING OF DEATH, not as of yet. I have a system about 6 months after launch. I have given it plenty of breathing room so that it does not end up smothered like Benoit's 7 yr old. I have experienced some minor faults with slowdown, unable to automatically sign-in to xbl, slow friends list (only have 7 on there), slow gamer cards, etc. Even though it has not broken, I am still upset with buying a product with a quite high price tag ($580 after game, wireless adaptor) only to sit back and have the robitussin ready. What microsoft does at this point to fix THEIR problem is going to affect whether I buy another one of their systems in the future. Oh and in closing, 5 systems people? You got to be out of your mind! If you can't get it right after the 2nd one, better yet the 3rd, retire. Its never going to work out for you. Save your grrr for the quote/unquote NEXT GEN.

Anonymous said...

I am on my 3rd XBOX 360. The first one, my kid hit the DVD drive when it was open and threw the thing off track. I called the service center and my unit was one month over the warranty period. Therefore, I had to pay $140 + shipping and handling to send it to a repair center. They in turn send my a refurbished unit that worked for about a month until I got the 3-red light ring of death. This time when I called the service center, the guy was happy to tell me that my refurbished unit was still under warranty and I wouldn't have to pay a thing. Then they sent me another refurbished unit. I am just waiting for this one to die with some of the noises that comes out of this thing.

Anonymous said...

I've had 3 xbox 360's fail.

What some of the respondents need to understand is that we are not going out and buying another xbox. We ship it to MS and they ship a refurbished unit. That's probably part of the problem.

As for where it is situated, mine were vertical, on a well ventilated shelf, with plenty of clearance (6+ inches).

I've been more disappointed with Microsoft service than with the failed machines. For a 'next gen' console, I'd give it a C on quality (though the online service would get an A). Customer service gets an F, though.

rowdyroddy said...

Big news on this front:


GAME EATER said...

I haven't had any problems with mine...and i have had it for like 4 month.

Free Online Games

$panese said...

I have no problem going out and buying the Elite now. 3 years is better than the 2 Circuit City hit me up for. Impressive on Microsofts part.

Anonymous said...


Even after My very first xbox 360 Launch console crashed, 3 RED LIGHTS OF DEATH,

Even after I started this website right away when I found out Microsoft was selling defective game consoles and trying to charge us to fix them way back in early 2006,

Even after I have received 3 defective REFURBS from the INEPT REFURB CENTER IN MC ALLEN TEXAS,

Even after I have been all over the internet, all over the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Protection Agency, the Federal Trade Commission and tons of News Groups, Forums and

Even After spending COUNTLESS HOURS ON THE TELEPHONE WITH TECHNICAL SUPPORT AT MIDCROSOFT explaining about all the pieces of crapy they keep sending me,

Even after Microsoft changes the warranty for the xbox 360 fron 90 days to 1 year,


Even after all the hell I have been through with this $400.00 Microsoft Game console,


I am truly amazed at how LOW Microsoft can go.

They care so little about their consumers that they do not even care enough to make sure a customer who has already had 3 or 4 defective xbox 360s would atleast get 1, brand new working xbox 360 with the latest updates in hardware.

Yeah, right, Imagine that. Microsoft actually caring about their customers.

Let me ask you a question:

If you Say, I will go and fix someone's xbox 360, and do not.


You Actually do, fix someone's xbox 360, and do not talk about it.

Which is better?

Microsoft talks a lot about Most having a wonderful experience, and they talk a lot about how the satisfaction of the customer is priority 1, but the records show they don't give a flying shi^ about those of us who have spent money on ther test box, the xbox 360.

Signed... Owner of xbox360defective.com

And, the person who just now received another
July 7, 2007

E said...

I bought a re-ferb and have had it for 1 year problem free. I saved money by not buying new and headaches I see!

$panese said...

Owner of 360defective, I understand where you are going on that issue. Yeah, they definitely have a problem but they aren't really admitting up to it. I just traded in my premium for an elite over the weekend and i must say that the elite runs wayyy better than my premium did but thats because my premium was on its death bed. They say they know what the problem is but they wont state it pubicly yet which makes me think they are still in doubt as to what is causing these issues. I dont agree with any statistic they put out because regardless of how many people have an issue, the number far exceeds what it should be on a $400+ system. As mentioned before, if I somehow end up with more than 2 broken systems, it will be the end for microsoft gaming products for me.

Anonymous said...

I shipped my console back to Microsoft end of June 2007/Early July. They received it one day after they started their extended warrenty and then told me the time for repair had doubled. I asked them to simply ship me a replacement like they do for everyone anyways, and they said I would just have to wait. I told them that they failed to provide a service I had paid for (Live), and they said they would only give me back 1 month of Live Gold. I told them they were holding MY property for over a month and expected me to take a financial hit. Once i get mine back, I am trading it in for a PS3. ALLL of my Games and accessories, plus the system, I don't care if I have to pay more to get a PS3, with one controller, and 1 game - It would be worth it. Why would anyone ship a system back more than once? If you ask me, once is one time too many. IN addition, there is a 30% fail rate, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was higher, and there were just idiots going out and buying new systems instead of getting them repaired.

Anonymous said...

I got the 3RROD & requested for repairs online, I got the box from UPS 3 days later. I quickly sent my 360 back today thru UPS but a little concerned having read a lot of bad stories. I learned that sometimes they install a modified cooling system to SOME units but not all. I'm planning to get a PS3 instead, at least it's more reliable.

Vic .H. said...

i have had my 360 for about 3 months now and it was doing fine, until i woke up and the 3 red lights were on it.but my problem seems to be different than what others are talking about.my three red lights only come for like 5 seconds after i turn off my 360 by taking out the cord, not the power button.but it does freeze up, i also get abou 3 hours of play with 1 hour breaks in between when most people say it wont even start.and it doesnt blink at all.someone please help!!!

Anonymous said...

i dont have that problem i have the one were it just glows one red light also know as e74 but yeah i shipped it off 1 week ago and it says that they havent recived it yet i think thats pretty gay to me to see on xbox.com that they havent recived it yet but hopefully when i get it back it doesnt frie

Mr. S said...

what all of you talked about was vary helpful and it will help me make my disunion wether to get an
XBox 360 or an Ps3.

muebles cantabria said...

Very useful piece of writing, much thanks for your post.