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XBox (Games)

Xbox Warranty To Cost $1 Billion, Customer Good Will 158

Posted by Zonk
from the pricey-proposition dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Financial Times reports that Microsoft will take a charge against profits of more than $1bn as it tries to limit the potential damage to its videogames business from a design flaw in the Xbox 360 games console leading to units failing." It's bigger even than that, though. Early this week the news was about Xbox Live's growth, but since yesterday the headlines have taken a turn. Peter Moore has admitted the company is shy of their goal, some 400,000 units short of the 12 million Xboxes they'd planned to ship. These facts combined have made for some grim questions, including the San Jose Merc's Nooch asking why you'd want to buy an Xbox in the first place.
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Xbox Warranty To Cost $1 Billion, Customer Good Will

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  • If they would've just done a quality job in the first place, they wouldn't have to be spending the money now. They're probably regretting getting the console out fast now
    • Yeah, but you don't understand: they couldn't afford to save money.
    • by tgd (2822)
      For what its worth Microsoft is not the only company to get bit by the switchover to no-lead solder that Europe forced on manufacturers.

      I'm glad they're going to refund my $140, though. I hope the one I recently got lasts longer than the last three.
    • i really dont think they're regretting it. They still beat sony to the punch and stole most of the (high def) videogame market. made quite some nice $$$ in the process.

      They knew full well of the heating problem and all that prior to releasing. but its like the motto : better ask forgiveness than permission.

      Whats important is catching the user base and that they did. The $1b expense is not gonna hit them so hard in the long run.
    • I am curious to see what they will do for the people like myself, who bought the console on launch day, and got the 3 ring death after the 1 year warranty expired. Instead of sending it in and paying $140 to have them fix it, I opened the box up and removed the X bracket on the CPU, and clamped down the heatsink with 4 screws. Turned the system on without the fans running, let it overheat a bit, and tightened down the heatsink, unwarping the MB and reconnecting the pins that had 'warped' out. Has worked pe
    • Re:Well... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Brickwall (985910) on Friday July 06, 2007 @01:22PM (#19769875)
      Just saw an interview with Robbie Bach, president of the entertainment division of MS, on CNBC. Even though the original sales estimate was 13-15 million units, they are not going to meet the downgraded target of 12 million units; 11.6 million seems to be the upper estimate.

      Bach did not deny the warranty costs; however, he countered that the number of games per console for Xbox was higher than for any other system, and that even though MS is projected to lose another $315 million this year, he insists the system will be profitable "next year".

      Meanwhile, on a personal note, my daughters (10 and 13) got a Wii system last week. They couldn't be happier, and frankly, neither could I. The system is quite amazing to use, and the games are not the "bang bang kill kill" stuff that seem to permeate the Xbox/PS3 world. And, while picking up a copy of Super Mario party pack at Wal-Mart Wednesday, four people approached the clerk asking if there were any Wii systems available. "No", "No", "No", and "No" were her replies. Meanwhile, stacks of Xbox's and PS-3's teetered ominously in the background..

  • Good move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nbvb (32836) on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:36AM (#19766429) Journal
    I'm not a Microsoft fan - not by a longshot (I've never - NEVER - used Windows at home. Went from DOS to OS/2 to Mac OS X. But I digress...)

    Anyway, this is a great decision on their part. It's nice to see that they acknowledge the problem and are willing to stand behind their product. Nothing negative about that. And they're going to reimburse people who've previously had the repairs done.

    This is a good thing, and I'll applaud them for doing the Right Thing (tm).

    Not that I'd buy an XBox (hell, all I have in the house is an Intellivision and a Dreamcast...), but it's still good to see them do what's right.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Araxen (561411)
      It's a good decision on the part, but they had to make this decision otherwise a Class-action Lawsuit was going to come sooner rather than later now.

      This still doesn't address the fact that the 360 has a faulty design! I don't know about anyone else but every console system(pretty much anything to hit the market) I have owned is still working today minus an Atari Jaguar. I expect when I buy a system for it to work the life of the console on the market. The Xbox 360 is going to be around more than the 3 year
    • by rtb61 (674572)
      I would be wrong to say that M$ acknowledged the problem, it is far more correct to say they recanted on the lies they have been telling about the xbox360 since it's release including false advertising for which they should be held accountable. Together with the warranty should be a public apology to all the customers who suffered problems, who were lied too and whose problems were not fixed.

      All of this for what was a basic design flaw by some idiot trying to shave cents of a unit they stupidly enough has

      • by Dutch Gun (899105)

        Together with the warranty should be a public apology to all the customers who suffered problems, who were lied too and whose problems were not fixed.

        You mean like:

        If we have let any of you down in the experience you have had with your Xbox 360, we sincerely apologize. We are taking responsibility and are making these changes to ensure that every Xbox 360 owner continues to have a great experience.

        http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/13876/Microsoft-Exte nds-Xbox-360-Warranty-to-Three-Years/ [teamxbox.com]

        • by rtb61 (674572)
          Public is not a page buried in a web site. Public is just the same as the way they advertised no faults, in newspapers, on the radio and on the TV, a full retraction.
          • by Dutch Gun (899105)

            Public is not a page buried in a web site. Public is just the same as the way they advertised no faults, in newspapers, on the radio and on the TV, a full retraction.
            That's a nice re-definition of the word 'public'. You've inspired me to change my sig.
  • If only... (Score:1, Funny)

    by niceone (992278) *
    If only releasing faulty software would cost them $1billion each time. Ah, I can dream...
    • That'd be great! That way they could only do it 29 more times before they ran out of their cash on hand!
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Well, they still have to pay programmers to fix the problems. Although they are slow to fix some bugs, they are still paying people a hell of a lot of money to fix all the mistakes they've made with their software. It's been shown that programming stuff right the first time is way cheaper than having to go back and fix it later.
  • Why Buy A 360? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Zonk (12082) * Works for Slashdot on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:41AM (#19766495) Homepage Journal
    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Nooch here. That's a really extreme viewpoint to take. Yes, these technical issues are pretty bad; I myself have returned my 360, though I only had to do it once before I got one that seems solid.

    That said, dismissing an entire console because of technical issues is pretty crass to me. Not only have there been several wholly worthwhile titles released for the system already (Crackdown, Overlord, plus tons of multi-system releases), but this summer, fall and next spring bear an avalanche of awesomeness. Bioshock, Mass Effect, that Halo thing, Two Worlds ...

    I guess I understand where he's coming from, but I feel reluctant to dismiss great games so casually. Ultimately, it all comes down to the games, and the 360 has some really great offerings.
    • by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:48AM (#19766585) Journal
      Yeah, good point, Zonk. I just hate when people are sensationalistic and biased about reporting gaming news. I'm glad you're doing your part to keep that kind of thing from happening.
    • by DarkJC (810888)
      Yes, it does come down to the games, no doubt about it. I've been considering a 360 for a long time now because of the games. And you know what? Microsoft would've made a 360 sale by now if it weren't for this pretty terrible issue. I don't want to buy a 360 and have to put up with shipping it back and waiting a month later because of bad design. I don't want to live in fear of wondering when I'll get the hardware failure or wondering if I can safely move it without it scratching disks.

      So I'm waiting until
    • by iainl (136759)
      It's a bit of both, really. The widespread reports of poor reliability have cost them sales to people whose whole argument behind getting a console in the first place is for it to 'just work'. Coming out and pretty much confirming that the situation is as bad as rumour suggests probably doesn't help too much.

      But on the other hand, this is a great way to buy back some of the goodwill they lost with existing owners. And when the long-awaited die shrink occurs that will hopefully help get more people on board
    • by Itchyeyes (908311)
      I have to disagree with him as well. Claiming that there's no reason to own a 360 because of technical issues shows that he completely misunderstands why people buy consoles. It's all about the games, always has been, always will be. And contrary to what Nooch seems to think, the Xbox 360 and it's predecessor offer far more than just Halo in that department.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by despisethesun (880261)
        A large percentage of those games are coming out for PC and PS3 as well, so technical issues are a valid reason not to buy a 360. People don't buy consoles just for the games, they buy them because it's supposed to be a hassle-free gaming experience. No wondering if you have the right video card for the game you just bought, no settings to muck around with to get the best framerate, no upgrade treadmill (or at least a severely reduced one), you just pop in the game and it works. If that ceases to be the cas
        • by Itchyeyes (908311)
          Many of them will but many won't (Halo 3, Blue Dragon, Mass Effect, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Too Human, etc...), not to mention the many great exclusives that are already out on the system (Gears of War, Viva Pinata, Crackdown, Forza 2, Dead Rising). And then of course you have to take into account that many of those multi-platform titles are best played on the 360 due to either insane hardware requirements (Bioshock), late releases on other systems (GRAW2), or just downright inferior gameplay (Madden '0
    • by LKM (227954) on Monday July 09, 2007 @05:17AM (#19797717) Homepage
      And in 5 years, you won't be able to play these games anymore because your 360 is dead, and Microsoft either leaves the console market or releases the 720 with broken backwards compatibility.
    • by tbannist (230135)
      I think you missed the point:

      Similar games are available on every other system, plus games types which are in very limited availability on the 360, without the hardware problems the xbox 360 has.

      The only market the 360 servers well is the Halo-playing, shooter fan. For everyone other group the console is expected to have a relatively poor game selection. My friends were sold on the original Xbox on the promise of 16 player (4 Xboxes) lan party games. Unfortunately, Halo was the only game that ever came t
  • Obvious answers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:41AM (#19766499)

    Peter Moore has admitted the company is shy of their goal, some 400,000 units short of the 12 million Xboxes they'd planned to ship. These facts combined have made for some grim questions ...

    Unless my maths are wrong, they're 3% shy of their target. Which doesn't seem to be too shabby.

    ... including the San Jose Merc's Nooch asking why you'd want to buy an Xbox in the first place.

    Ummm, because the Wii hasn't got the graphics capability of the XBox? The PS3 and the Wii combined don't have the half of the games portfolio that the Xbox has? That the online gaming for the Xbox is way ahead of the other consoles? That the PS3 costs double that of the Xbox?

    I don't own any console but this whole piece just seems to be pointless Xbox bashing to me.

    • by Tom (822)

      Unless my maths are wrong, they're 3% shy of their target. Which doesn't seem to be too shabby.
      For some companies, it would. But MS shareholders expect MS to considerably exceed the goals. Even just barely reaching them would be a low point.
    • re:"That the PS3 costs double that of the Xbox?"

      Perhaps if Microsoft didn't skimp on parts or quality control they'd have a more expensive - but more stable offering. Would you pay 100 more to get a system that didn't Red-Disk after a few months of use?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      the PS3 costs double that of the Xbox

      Figures please?

      The 360 is marginally less expensive. You could quote figures for the cheapest 360 and the most expensive PS3, but in reality the 360 often costs more with accessories included.
    • WHATTTT?!?! Double that of the XBox? Sure, if you completely skimp on everything and forego the ability to do anything with the console other than put a DVD in it, then sure the PS3 is double the cost. But I think everyone would agree that comparing the $299 gimped 360 to the $599 fully enabled PS3 is a bit much. However, seeing as most people are now buying the 360 Elite (if they're buying at all), I think it's safe to assume that double the cost of the Xbox is a wee (or Wii?) exageration.

      Way to start
    • Microsoft might be 3% short of where they want to be, but their sell through is 400,000 units short of what they thought they would sell in fiscal year 2007. That's at least 25% short of their goal for the year (based on having 10.4m sold in 2006).

      I agree that the Xbox 360 has a better portfolio of games, but your comparisons with the Wii or PS3 aren't completely accurate. I haven't seen a Wii game yet that rivaled the better games of the original Xbox, regardless of what processing power it may have.

      • by dabraun (626287)

        Microsoft might be 3% short of where they want to be, but their sell through is 400,000 units short of what they thought they would sell in fiscal year 2007. That's at least 25% short of their goal for the year (based on having 10.4m sold in 2006).

        Microsoft's fiscal year ends at the end of June, that's why we're having this conversation now and not in early January. Are you suggesting that Microsoft sold 10.4m 360s from Nov 05 through June 06 and only sold ~1.5m more from July 06 through June 07. I find t

    • by JordanL (886154)

      That the PS3 costs double that of the Xbox?
      Unless you literally meant the XBox 1, I can't count the number of ways this statement is wrong and can be torn appart. Suffice to say I think the following phrase should be heeded:

      "Your bias is showing."
    • by ookaze (227977)

      Unless my maths are wrong, they're 3% shy of their target. Which doesn't seem to be too shabby

      Your math is so wrong that makes my head spin. MS said they sold (to retailers) 10.4 M XB360 by end of 2006.
      They had to ship 1.6 M XB360 in SIX MONTHS to reach 12 M XB360. They only sold 1.2 M!
      So, they're actually 25 % short of their target, which is extremely shabby. Besides, shipping 1.2 M console in 6 months is a bad target of 200k consoles a month. But your spin was near believable.

      Ummm, because the Wii hasn't got the graphics capability of the XBox? The PS3 and the Wii combined don't have the half of the games portfolio that the Xbox has? That the online gaming for the Xbox is way ahead of the other consoles? That the PS3 costs double that of the Xbox?

      Wrong on some counts. The Wii probably have caught up to the games portfolio XBox 360 has thanks to perfect retro compati

    • by podperson (592944)
      Ummm, because the Wii hasn't got the graphics capability of the XBox? The PS3 and the Wii combined don't have the half of the games portfolio that the Xbox has? That the online gaming for the Xbox is way ahead of the other consoles? That the PS3 costs double that of the Xbox?

      Speaking as a Wii owner (and I do love it), the appalling lack of games (and the atrocious quality of most of the available games, most of which are lame movie tie-ins released across platforms with Wii controller support being an after
  • by Control Group (105494) * on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:42AM (#19766501) Homepage
    MS may be late to acknowledge the issue - no later than I'd expect any major corp to be, but late regardless - but if retroactively extending the 90-day warranty to three years isn't a move to earn customer good will, I don't know what they could do that would.

    I mean, aside from shipping free 360s to every gamer on the planet...which seems a little unreasonable.

    I'm not one to throw out accusations of spin too often, but trying to present this as some sort of disrespect, slam, or screw job by MS seems a little unwarranted.
    • by Kasracer (865931)
      They're extending the 1-year warranty to 3 years. The 90 day warranty was changed to 1 year a long time ago
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HarvardAce (771954)

      MS may be late to acknowledge the issue - no later than I'd expect any major corp to be, but late regardless - but if retroactively extending the 90-day warranty to three years isn't a move to earn customer good will, I don't know what they could do that would.

      I wholeheartedly agree. I experienced the dreaded 3 red rings just over a year after I had bought my console (I got it the first week it was released). At the time it broke, the warranty was only 3 months on it. They then extended it to one year shortly after that, but I was still out of luck because it was over one year. I was not thrilled with shelling out $140 to get it repaired (and $20 to ship it to them only to find out that the day after I shipped it they were now paying for shipping both ways a

  • Good will (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:43AM (#19766517) Homepage
    Somebody doesn't understand what "good will" means. By voluntarily admitting to problems and accepting returns/recalls, they are increasing good will towards themselves. Not admitting to a problem hurts goodwill. I'm not buying an XBox 360 because I don't like them, but I wouldn't not buy one because of this recall/warranty stuff.
    • by Hozza (1073224)
      Except its not voluntary. They have to pre-announce they're taking a 1Billion hit this financial quarter due to SEC regulation. Funnily enough they also announced they expect the XBOX division to be profitable next year. i.e. they're taking a huge loss now so they can claim a profit next year for their shareholders.

      Only admitting to a problem due to regulatory procedures and shareholder interests? That isn't going to increase customer goodwill.

  • by svendsen (1029716) on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:43AM (#19766521)
    I'll be the first to say I under estimated the xbox 360 failure rate and will go eat some crow during lunch. When I am wrong I am wrong.

    So I wonder how MS will fix this? Yes they will fix the design flaw but I think their only next move is too replace all the 360s out there. Upgrade each unit by the next step up (core users gets premium , premium users get elite, and elite get a free game + a fixed unit).

    I am also curious to know if this move will bring a class action lawsuit against MS (I'm guessing yes) and if those with one can simply say I am returning this for full refund even if its 1 year later because it's a known design issue. Could I call up my credit card company and say the product I was sold was a lemon I want to reverse charges to *Insert where bought here*, etc.

    Now the Nooch article is just a troll. Why would anyone want the 360. Games buddy. Seriously he points to the ps3 as much better but doesn't offer a bench mark to compare them. Based on games alone (right now) the 360 wins. Want a built in blu ray then the ps3 wins.

    Either way MS is in some crap for this one. My 360 has not given me one issue yet this pisses me off.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cutriss (262920)
      Why fix all the units? Why not just fix the broken ones?

      True, I'd absolutely love for Microsoft to upgrade me to an Elite for my trouble, but those things use a whole different motherboard. You think MS is going to just chuck all 10M existing units in the trash for the asking? That would cost them a lot more than $1.15B.
  • Customer goodwill? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vigmeister (1112659) on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:45AM (#19766547)
    Ok. Someone explain to me why this is going to COST MS goodwill. I purchased my Sony laptop explicitly because they were offering returns on their batteries based on a few isolated incidents (not sure if this was legally mandated). That shows that Sony wanted to pretend to do the right thing for the customer which benefits me in the long run. It makes perfect sense to buy an XBox360 if you thought that the price was right before the warranty announcement and fanbois are probably going to be happy about the warranty. Regardless of the high percentage of problems, most customers - >50% - still have a working system and if they do not, eventually will - for 3 years. If your PS3 dies after 15 months, you suck on it. Eventually, all that matters is the image and how much you think they will do in the future to keep that image up. And I think this is a + for MS in my book.
    • That shows that Sony wanted to pretend to do the right thing for the customer which benefits me in the long run.
      I was going to call you out on this until I read it again and saw the word pretend. We all know that Sony doesn't do anything right for the customer!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tb()ne (625102)

      Because they are not doing it out of good will but for damage control (e.g., to avoid class action). Plus, it makes it known that they were bullshitting when they repeatedly claimed that the 360 doesn't have a higher than normal defect rate [mercurynews.com]

      As for warranties, I'd much rather have a 15 month warranty on a product with about a 1 percent defect rate than a 3 year warranty on one that has a defect rate that is somewhere less than 50 percent.

  • by Megane (129182) on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:45AM (#19766549) Homepage
    "Hello? Microsoft? I have had one of our agents place a flaw in your Xbox 360 video game system. It is a simple flaw, easily fixed, but only if you know what it is. I shall give you this information if you give me ONE MILLION... What was that? Oh, really? That's good to know, thanks. (ahem) I shall give you this information if you give me ONE BIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLION DOLLARS! Muhahahahahaaaaa!"
    • No No Dr. Evil! As No.4, I feel obliged to tell you that perhaps you should sell it here [slashdot.org] and invite Nintendo to bid.

      Cheers!
  • What again? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LordPhantom (763327) on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:49AM (#19766589)
    I'm not a Microsoft fanboy.... and I likely wouldn't buy an XBOX on principle.... but isn't this headline a bit inflammatory?

    So Microsoft's sales projections are off 400,000 units on 12 million, suddenly the world seems less bright? They've made bucketloads of money (although the warranty extension might cause some trouble). The negative editorial linked in the article seems light on reasoning and heavy on opinion, but does all of this really warrant grim questions? It's not like the console or Microsoft is going to go under because they had to extend the warranty on the hardware. It's not like this thing is the Phantom or NeoGeo or something.
    • Re:What again? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tom (822) on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:52AM (#19766615) Homepage Journal

      They've made bucketloads of money
      That's the point. They haven't. The whole console branch is a loss leader. Less consoles means less games sold means less of the only part of the console business where there is actual profit potential.

      Yes, it's a major problem, especially for a company that is very used to exceeding their goals.
      • Re:What again? (Score:5, Informative)

        by KokorHekkus (986906) on Friday July 06, 2007 @10:23AM (#19767061)
        Just wanted to back you up with some figures on how little of an success that Microsofts Home and Entertainment division is so far (products in the division is Xbox 360; Xbox; Xbox Live; CPxG (consumer software and hardware products); and IPTV).

        The total operating loss for that division for the years 2004 to 2006 is $3.084 billion (yes $3084 million) on a total revenue that was, for those years, $10.133 billion. So they have to turn that divsions average 30% operating loss into a profit and try to recoup those $3 billion. That will not be easy.

        Source Microsofts 10-K filed with the SEC:http://microsoft.shareholder.com/redesign/Edga rDetail.asp?CIK=789019&FID=1193125-06-180008&SID=0 6-00 [shareholder.com]
        • So they have to turn that divsions average 30% operating loss into a profit and try to recoup those $3 billion. That will not be easy.

          CNN has an article [cnn.com] about the story. From it:

          Bach said the new warranty would not impact the Xbox division's plan to turn a profit in fiscal 2008, which started this month.

          Bach is the president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division. Granted, "plan" is no guarantee, but they are expecting to make a profit this year.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by despisethesun (880261)
            They expected to sell 12 million 360s by now too, and they just admitted they failed there (though not by that much). I'm not saying it's impossible for them to make a profit, but given the incompetence shown so far, I wouldn't bet on it.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Allador (537449)
          Note that they dont strictly have to make that 3B back again, as the XBox franchise is a tremendous corporate asset that has tangible value in and of itself and its immediate P&L.

          MS is smart about these things. They're selling an integrated ecosystem of products. Selling lots of XBoxes means lots of people creating games for the XBox. Creating games for the XBox means you're 80% of the way to creating the game for a PC (or vice-versa). So this grows the windows franchise as it tends to expand the ga
      • But they are -planning- to do so. Admittedly that's no indication of what will actually happen, but their plan has never been to make money off the bat. I'm not saying they'll succeed, but rather that this isn't a major change to what was already going to happen. Implying that this is the one thing that might put the XBox under is somewhat misleading.
    • by bk_veggie (807894)
      Wait, how is SNK relevant to any of this?
    • Channel Stuffing (Score:3, Informative)

      by podperson (592944)
  • by Krinsath (1048838) on Friday July 06, 2007 @09:56AM (#19766665)
    I'm not terribly sure about that. Most people who were formerly mad at Microsoft will be mollified by the fact that they at least stepped up and admitted an error, no matter how long it took them to actually do so and that the money (if not the time) is being refunded. People, in general, are generally fairly tolerant of people who make mistakes when they A) acknowledge them and B) make amends for any injury caused. Microsoft is doing both, so I'm fairly sure that will build customer goodwill in the long-term. The people who look down on them for this were probably the people who would do so regardless, so why bother attempting to please people who aren't interested in being pleased? As far as "grim news" about the shortfall in 360 sales....a 4% shortfall? That's what 400,000 units of 12 million equates to. This is "grim"? What's Sony's shortfall on the PS3 at the moment? We won't mention Nintendo of course as they've been a runaway success by any standards. While I'm personally greatly annoyed by my 360 with the way it's clearly malfunctioning (play a game longer than an hour or two and I run the risk of the disc magically becoming "unreadable") but not badly enough to get it repaired under warranty, I still enjoy the platform. I do have to question some of the rather sensationalist headlines on this story though.
  • including the San Jose Merc's Nooch asking why you'd want to buy an Xbox in the first place.

    Yea, I went there and the article title read with huge letters: "XBOX 360 - just skip it"

    I wasn't very sure if he means skip the console, or skip the article, so I skipped the article.
  • by Taulin (569009) on Friday July 06, 2007 @10:09AM (#19766869) Homepage Journal
    My 360 went bad, but the return process MS has setup is so painless and quick (same week deliver and return), it didn't bother me. My Wii and 360 together cover all assets of console gaming, and I love them both. I would get a PS3, but all the good games for it are also out on the 360, so I don't see a reason yet. I can see how all the news of tech problems could deter someone from getting one, but if they are mild to high level console player, they are really missing out.
  • Such Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ObiWanStevobi (1030352) on Friday July 06, 2007 @10:15AM (#19766943) Journal
    Never had any trouble with the PS2, yeah right. I've had the same disc read errors with that that you eventually get on any machine.

    Anyway, what is the reason you buy any console? It's the games. I don't buy a console to play music, watch video, or IM. I buy one because I want to play the new high end games and I cannot afford the bleeding edge of high-end PC gaming. Yeah, the Wii is fun for minigames, but not even in the same league as PCs, 360, or PS3. To suggest that it is an alternative to them is totally bogus. I have a Wii that is a lot of fun with company, but not much fun otherwise. It has weak graphics, and it's games by and large have very little depth. It provides a gaming exerience much different than that of the other consoles. For those that want graphics, depth, and powerful AI, the Wii is no substitute.

    Why buy a 360? Once again, it's the games, and the cost. Want to play Halo 3, you're going to need a 360, or ruin your powerful PC with Vista. That's a no-brainer. Want to play Dead Rising, Ace Combat 6, Gears of War, Mass Effect, Forza 2, Bioshock, etc.? You're gonna need a 360 for most of them, or PC with a graphics card that costs more than a 360.

    The PS3 seems to have plenty of power, but no games to really take advantage of it. Oblivion is the best game the PS3 has, and it plays just as well on the Xbox, and even better on the PC. Other than that, the PS3 has a long list of lackluster titles. With better titles, the PS3 would be a better system, but it keeps missing out on exclusives that really hurt it.

    Finally, you have online service and achievement points. Being able to see all your friends on and invite them into a game while they are watching a movie or playing another game is pretty cool, as well are the game demos and extra content you find on Xbox Live. And although you would think those achievement points are just a gimic, and they are, they are a very compelling one.

    The 360 has the games and online. Until PS3 can at least come up with some good games, it is a high-priced movie player. If you can afford PC gaming at that level, neither console is appealing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wezeldog (982156)

      I'd mod insightful, too, but let's not get carried away.

      To the anecdotes!!!

      My first PS2 is still going, maybe not as strong. I have 6 year-old and we've left it on for days for certain games that have crappy save points. I got a 360 for Christmas for said 6 year-old. I couldn't land a Wii and the wife said Santa had to come through with something. The punk was interested in Viva Pinata and it was a hit. I played the wheels off of Medal of Honor 2. Other than the Live Arcade, there ain't a whole lot of fa

  • How can admitting a problem, offering to fix and offering a warranty extension longer than any other console hurt their good will? If anything I believe it will get some that were on the fence about the 360 to buy one now.

    Why buy a 360? A great library of games far better than the competition and a price that far lower (please dont argue the symantecs of a bluray player that most of us dont care about, im not buying the hd-addon for the 360 either).

    so far most games just look better. Look at the EA sport
    • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday July 06, 2007 @10:32AM (#19767163)
      Because to do so, they have to admit that they were denying the problem in the first place. There were shops that were refusing returns and telling the customers to go directly to MS for repair because MS wouldn't take any more returns from the shop, stating they didn't believe there could be that many bad consoles.

      That's good customer service, yeah!

      So as a consumer, how should I see this?

      A) No worries, it won't happen to me!
      B) It's okay, I'll only be without my console for a week to a month or so.
      C) Microsoft only admits problems once the become a PR nightmare. If I buy their next product, I'd best be sure to wait until it's stable.

      People are -already- doing C with their software products. 'Wait for SP1 before you buy Vista.' etc. MS even recently told people NOT to do that specifically, admitting that it's a known action people are taking.

      How much more will it take before people just start referring to MS as the 'wait before you buy' company?

      No, there's plenty of 'customer good will' lost here. The only way to engender good will is to be proactive, no reactive. (ie: Don't wait for 1/3 of your customers to complain before believing them.)
      • by grapeape (137008)
        Oh ok I get it now...you mean like with the Sony laptop batteries where the problem was denied and blamed on the consumer for years until people actually got hurt...got it.

        This happens with every company its not like its a MS centric thing. Regardless of the problems its still the best options as far as doing anything much beyond looking prett at the moment. The 3 years extension also gives some piece of mind. My only point was that there isnt much more they can do at this point, the console is out there,
        • by Aladrin (926209)
          "The dragging it out and "investigating" that was done"

          No part of that involves lying to the customer and denying there's a problem at all.

          Do I know how costly that is? Yes. It would have been a -hell- of a lot cheaper to not have had the problem in the first place, and it would still have been -way- cheaper to have admitted the problem a year ago fixed it then. They've got approximately double the number of consoles to repair now, instead of fixing the problem ahead of time. On top of that, it is said
  • This means that next genreration there will be an affordable PS4- which would be very competitive, a reliable Xbox 3, which would be very competitive, and a wii2 that actually has better hardware than my stapler, which combined with its ability of taking advantage of hardware would be very competitve.
  • 12 million? (Score:3, Funny)

    by crivens (112213) on Friday July 06, 2007 @10:24AM (#19767075)
    Is that 12 million 360s, one per customer? Or does it include sending replacements to people under warranty?
  • short of the 12 million Xboxes they'd planned to ship

    Hey Microsoft, it doesn't count if you're shipping to the same gamer who's had his break 10 times.
  • They missed predictions by only 3%? In some quarters that gets you a book deal and a show on MSNBC.
  • San Jose Merc's Nooch asking why you'd want to buy an Xbox in the first place.

    Uh, because of piles of great games, both present and upcoming? Is this so difficult to understand? Are journalists rerally as dense as they seem to be? It's the games, games, games. Just started Overlord, and haven't laughed so much at a game since Psychonauts.

    Some of us look at game consoles as entertainment and not as a religion where holy wars must be waged against the other consoles. If the Wii and PS3 get enough exclusi

  • Profits. . . (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 06, 2007 @10:46AM (#19767353)
    Um, is anyone else wondering how the 360 will ever profit given how much money the XBox project has already burned? I would never buy a product which wasn't designed to make money off of me because any alterior motive for a company to give me a product I don't trust. How many thousands of dollars has Microsoft spent on each XBox/360 owner? It's like a rich dork courting an amazing girl - throwing money all over the place for her and not giving a shit that she's using him for $$$. How does this benefit the rich dork? He makes her depend on him and marry him and write a prenumpt to keep her around.

    Now more than ever the Microsoft assimilation jokes should be going on but apparently everyone's okay with Microsoft being devious as long as it's in the name of Halo. You don't burn money like they are without the goal of monopolization. Microsoft has done nothing but exploit the weaknesses of capitalism and the people who are aware of it aren't nearly as vocal as they should be. This is why they have their Windows monopoly, their Office monopoly, and why they have a chance of monopolizing "home entertainment." It's because the Slashdot geeks who are supposed to be boycotting this shit and supporting non-evil (yeah, I said evil) alternatives are too busy playing Halo on their 360 or Half-Life on the Windows PC.

    It doesn't piss me off when Joe-Shmoe-I-don't-know-a-HardDrive-from-HighDefini tion buys a Microsoft product because he's an uniformed consumer. It pisses me off when someone who knows how fucked up Microsoft is buys their products anyway. You make assimilation jokes then jack yourselves in.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      No where in that incoherent babble of a comment did I see anything relating to logic or common sense. They sell you a console, and then sell you games for it. They also sell you a subscription to play on a closed online network which offers both free and paid content. What the hell is wrong with this? When the consoles break they extend everyone's warranty and fix everything for free. How is that evil?

      Even if Bill Gates bought and sold virgins on the black market Sony would still be 1000000x more ev
      • by Dogtanian (588974)

        Even if Bill Gates bought and sold virgins
        Ah, so that's why MS are so keen on recruiting computer science graduates...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Um, is anyone else wondering how the 360 will ever profit given how much money the XBox project has already burned? I would never buy a product which wasn't designed to make money off of me because any alterior motive for a company to give me a product I don't trust. How many thousands of dollars has Microsoft spent on each XBox/360 owner? It's like a rich dork courting an amazing girl - throwing money all over the place for her and not giving a shit that she's using him for $$$. How does this benefit the r
  • If I am going to bother to buy one I want the best one available (I guess that marketing might have worked) so I want an elite unit. However there are none to be found. Now I hear they are going to be luanching the Elite in Japan. How about getting the home shores back filled before branching out!

  • Adding a warranty program this late in the game does hurt them, at least a little:

    1) Denial that there is a problem is no longer an option. There is a problem, and it isn't small or isolated. It is significant enough to cost MS billions of dollars.

    2) Everyone who stood up and agreed with MS that there was no problem is now outed as being wrong. Not that this a HUGE deal, but lets wait and see if those same folks stand up for them again any time soon.

    3) They face stiff competition from two other console v
  • doesn't this allow them to effectively eliminate all support and product service costs for the next 2 years? They've added 2 years onto the already extended original 90 contract and they claim the Xbox will be one of their first profitable products in 20 years(outside of MS Windows desktopOS/serverOS and MS Office. It was stated, by Microsoft, that they still believe the Xbox will make its first profits in the fiscal year 2008. Not having to pay for service or suppport for two years has got to help boost th
  • Not all as it seems (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sibko (1036168) on Friday July 06, 2007 @02:25PM (#19770767)

    Microsoft stands behind its products and is taking responsibility to repair or replace any Xbox 360 console that experiences the "three flashing red lights" error message within three years from time of purchase free of charge, including shipping costs. Microsoft will take a $1.05 billion to $1.15 billion pre-tax charge to earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2007 for anticipated costs under its current and enhanced Xbox 360 policies.
    This is the important part of the press release. If you're xbox fails for any reason that isn't the three red lights of death, then no, you don't have the 3 year warranty. Take for instance, my xbox: On day one, I plug it in, and there's a problem with the a/v connector which results in four red flashing lights. I'm only covered by microsoft's warranty for ONE year. Not three.
  • by anduz (1027854) on Saturday July 07, 2007 @09:31AM (#19779299)
    I didn't buy an xbox 360 because I'm a fan of xboxes or microsoft and somehow hate everything else, I bought it because I took a good look at the upcomming games for all consoles and the one to carry the most that I wanted to play was the xbox 360. Some of those games are comming for pc or ps3 aswell, but some like Mass Effect aren't (in a good long while anyways) and there is something to be said about sitting in your comfy couch playing with a nice controller. But if any of those games I favor were comming out for the ps3 and not the xbox 360 I'd have gotten that instead. Those brand doomsayers and fanboys should get a grib on themselves and reality if you ask me, all the freaking brands exist solely to cash in on us and why on earth do you want to be a fan of that?

    Microsoft went too cheap this time and now they have to make amends, but so what? It's not like Sony or Nintendo couldn't be the next in line for that since they all do things like it if they believe they can get away with it and still have happy customers.

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler

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