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Microsoft Sued Over Alleged Xbox 360 Defects 724

richdun writes "Reuters is reporting that a Chicago man who was lucky enough to purchase an Xbox 360 has filed suit against Microsoft over the overheating and crashing some users have experienced. The man is seeking unspecified damages, litigation expenses, and replacement or recall of all Xbox 360s. While more suits or a class-action is probably on the way, others have sought less litigious solutions."
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Microsoft Sued Over Alleged Xbox 360 Defects

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  • Fire (Score:5, Funny)

    by PacketScan ( 797299 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:47PM (#14187923)
    Xbox Burn your house down edition.
    • Re:Fire (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pimpsoftcom ( 877143 )

      I'm going to give up modding the parent +1 insightful in order to post this here, so please do so for me if you can.

      The Parent is correct; If you get something hot enough on today's carpeting or by a wall a fire *will* start. And most gamers/computer people I know have stacks of paper - gaming catalogs, cheat code listings, whatever - by there gaming systems anyway so that only increases the danger.

      The fact is Microsoft made a really bad mistake out of either gross incompetence or extreme criminal negli

      • Re:Fire (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Fiznarp ( 233 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:13PM (#14188225)
        Whatever, calm down. I've been playing mine for sometimes 6+ hours a day since Nov 22nd with the power supply sitting on the carpet. No lockups ever, online or offline. The brick on the floor barely gets warm, hardly enough to notice much less start a fire. Those folks who are having problems probably have defective consoles that should be replaced, but by no means does this mean that they all are broken. Most of the 360s sole are working just fine.

        • Re:Fire (Score:5, Funny)

          by j79 ( 875929 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @07:24PM (#14189464)
          From all the media coverage of Microsofts "overheating" 360, it's obvious what the issue is. YOU got a defective unit! That's right. Somehow, a unit which doesn't overheat slipped through Microsofts QA, and was sold to you. If I were you, I'd turn around and SUE Microsoft for not allowing you to enjoy trying to rig up the Power Supply with string, so it doesn't overheat. Heck, that could be the first game included in the box! A big ole Power Brick, and a 12" piece of thread. Can you get it off the ground? Will it stay?? WHO KNOWS!?!?!? :)
    • Re:Fire (Score:5, Funny)

      by scottennis ( 225462 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:17PM (#14188276) Homepage
      Xbox 451?
    • Re:Fire (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dswan69 ( 317119 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:24PM (#14188358)
      This is just pathetic. Things go wrong. Life isn't perfect. Products have kinks. People who bring childish lawsuits should be sent to live on the sun. If they don't like the conditions there they can sue me.
      • Re:Fire (Score:5, Funny)

        by genericbrandname ( 936369 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:25PM (#14188378)
        yeah if anything turn it over and put a piece of chicken on it and not only do you have a gaming maching but a grill too
      • Self inflicted? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @06:01PM (#14188754) Journal
        Yes, these lawsuits are stupid, but there are two things to consider here (speaking in general, I don't know the specifics of this case, but I can say that this person _deserves_ no more than a replacement Xbox and maybe $100 or a few free games to make up for missing out on the launch day fun. What they'll ask for/get is, I'm sure, another matter): firstly, if any of us can make a significant amount of money from doing very little work - why not? The system's broken anyway, others are exploiting it, so maybe we shouldn't be so hard on these people for joining in. If someone told you that you could have $1000000 for nothing except exploiting a system that's getting fucked over anyway, would you really be that bad for taking it?

        That leads to my second point: whose fault is it that the legal and social structures are fucked (i.e. a judge doesn't throw out ridiculous cases _and_ a jury sides with these people)? Could it be the big evil corporations that tell people what to think? I honestly don't know, but the likes of Sony, MS, McDs etc. who generally get hit by these lawsuits are all partially responsible for the state of the 'developed' world anyway.

        Maybe I'm feeling extra cynical today, but it just looks to me like the system's screwed anyway, so just make the most of it. Corporations are the epitome of selfishness, and many people are going the same way. Perhaps it's time to give up and go with the flow, because I'm losing sight of any other way to 'win' here.
        • Re:Self inflicted? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by damsa ( 840364 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @06:49PM (#14189190)
          Most comsumer products class actions, you end up with some coupon which is not really worth much. The persons that win are the lawyers.
        • Exactly, the system is screwed. I think the real basis for the screwy system is central to the word "hype". Corporations create it, people buy into it. A post further down the line states that normally, when something is bought and found defective, you return it, no big deal. But then he states that suing is justified when he waited six hours in line to get it and got the runaround from Microsoft. Well what is Microsoft going to do, mail you the parts and tools to fix it? There is nothing to do. It's
      • Re:Fire (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheViffer ( 128272 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @06:08PM (#14188807)
        No .. actually this suit, as many others need to be filed.

        If a company pushes out a faulty product, they should be legally obligated to correct the problem. We seem to have very high standards for say auto manufactors whenever there exists a problem. Why shouldn't a company who is pushing a electric consumer product be under the same scrutinty.

        Bottom line, were are be bombarded with crap. Dell and there "bad" capacitors, Apples scratching nano screens, Sony's PSP and now Microsoft's overheating XBox 3-POS-0 powersupplies ... and this has been in the past 18 months.

        Interesting enough the later three were suppose to be "big releases". And if these four "small underfunded" companies can not put quality products, who can?

        I say sue them all. Teach them that pushing crap is not going to be had and if they continue to do it, they will have to continue to replace it.

        • Re:Fire (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tshak ( 173364 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @06:36PM (#14189098) Homepage
          Bottom line, were are be bombarded with crap. Dell and there "bad" capacitors, Apples scratching nano screens, Sony's PSP and now Microsoft's overheating XBox 3-POS-0 powersupplies ... and this has been in the past 18 months.

          Many of these cases have to do with user issues. Nano's are small enough to put in the same pocket as your keys, do you're scratching them more often - you didn't do this as much with your bigger iPods. XBox 360's are working fine in the vast, vast majority of cases. There maybe be a few faulty units, but for the most part it is well known that these power supplies are hot and can not be placed on thick carpet. I'm all for the improvement of quality overall, and to an extent I share your sentiment that we need demand higher quality as consumers. On the other hand there are tolerances for faulty units and these tolerances are fairly low. They seem to affect so many people because you don't have 900,000 artciles on how the XBox worked, you only have one or two about a few people who are having problems. Without some tolerance for lower quality we would be paying through the nose for these products. Maybe the bar needs to be raised a little, but I personally do not want to be paying $1200 for a military grade Nano.
          • Re:Fire (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sjames ( 1099 )

            There maybe be a few faulty units, but for the most part it is well known that these power supplies are hot and can not be placed on thick carpet.

            Well known to whom? The many parents out there whose kids wanted video games for Christmas? A household use power supply shouldn't get that hot, especially considering that a plush carpet is otherwise a great place to play games and the floor is a likely place for a power brick. How many pennies did they save on the heatsink and housing?

            Apparently there's no

    • Xbox Burn your house down edition.

      Conveniently nicknamed XBox 911.

  • When in doubt... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by w.p.richardson ( 218394 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:48PM (#14187929) Homepage
    Find a lawyer!

    Jeez, you would think that you could just unload the piece of junk on ebay.

  • by Spazntwich ( 208070 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:48PM (#14187932)
    But it's going to set a dangerous precedent if this clown wins. He wants damages? With a defective product, the company isn't liable for anything beyond replacing it, unless there's some signed contract prior to purchase in which the manufacturer guarantees certain things.
    • Liability and suing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aepervius ( 535155 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:23PM (#14188344)
      Actually as far as I understand you can be liable for a product you manifacture & sell if either 1) it has knowingly a default 2) it does not respect the local norm/standard 3) it does not work as described in the manual/package (please notice that I do not say it does not work as adverstised!). Liability can involve depending on the country from replacement of the unit, partial or complete refund and in the most extreme case, recall or even severe fine and damage (mostly in case of default endangering a life).

      Now this US situation is this : you can sue ANYBODY. Naturally a judge might throw your claim out, or even kick you out of the court for contempt, your claim might not even go beyond a first hearing or whatnot. Suing does not guarantee you have a claim, it only means you THINK you have a claim. See for example each year the tax protester suing the federal governement (NONE get beyond the judge throwing the claim out or even laughing and in one documented case calling the claimant a fool). So in that case, since a solution already exists (replacement of the unit) then the lawsuit won't probably go very far. That is, unless he can prove 1) that he can't get a replacement or a refund from MS/reseller or/and 2) the overheating unit involve a life risk and/or already damaged a person and/or possessions(items).
    • by ezberry ( 411384 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:34PM (#14188484)
      It seems that ever since going to law school, all I see on Slashdot is people incorrectly claiming knowledge of the law. The parent is a good example.

      The Second Restatement of Torts, Section 402A Special liability of seller of product for physical harm to user or consumer, states:
      1)A seller of a product in a defective condition is liable if
        a) the seller's business is to sell that product, and
        b) it is expected to and does reach the consumer without modifications
      2) Section 1 applies even though
        a) the seller has exercised all reasonable care, and
        b) the sure or consumer did not enter any contract with the seller.

      This results in a situation of strict liability.
      There is also an implied warranty of merchantability, as seen in Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors, Inc. (NJ 1960, 671).
      Further, this is not about to go away in the near future as the draft of the third restatement includes clause (see the section on products liability).
  • Responsibility (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eohl ( 40739 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:48PM (#14187938)
    I love that the submitter's comments seems to imply that it is somehow more noble for consumers to take the responsibility for defective products on themselves, as opposed to holding the manufacturer accountable.
    • Re:Responsibility (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheFlyingGoat ( 161967 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:59PM (#14188063) Homepage Journal
      The manufacturer should be responsible for fixing the problem, not paying damages and legal fees. If the man is awarded damages for some strange reason, every company that unknowingly releases a faulty product is going to get screwed. As a result, testing costs and corporate insurance costs will skyrocket and those costs will be passed on to you and me. Hope you look forward to paying 10-20% more for your next car.
      • Re:Responsibility (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ucblockhead ( 63650 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:20PM (#14188314) Homepage Journal
        If the company is only responsible for fixing the problem, then there is little incentive to get it right the first time. If it's not much more expensive to release a broken product and fix it later, then it may well be in a company's best interest to release early (like before Christmas) and then fix things after the fact. (Especially since many customers won't get around to getting some of the problems fix.)

        This is exactly what we see in software. Company's have little incentive to get it right the first time because they can just "release a patch". The result is that it becomes the norm for things to not work right when released.

        If you want companies to make sure things work when released, you need to make it significantly more expensive to release something broken so that the free market rewards companies that take the time to make it work before releasing.

        • Since when is it cheaper to produce a flawed product and then fix it rather than producing a product that works the first time?

          Didn't you just lose money fixing the problem that could have been avoided in the first place?

          Hardware repairs are not so cheap as a simple software patch that can be posted online and downloaded ... nowhere NEAR as cheap. Like, so dissimilar as to be a laughable analogy if you didn't seem so serious about it.

          You don't even consider the damage to a company's reputation which,
      • Re:Responsibility (Score:5, Insightful)

        by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:33PM (#14188475)
        The manufacturer should be responsible for fixing the problem, not paying damages and legal fees.
        That's what I want to happen when I bounce a check:
        "Oops, sorry, it was an accident. Here, I'll cut you another one."

        Or when I return a rented movie late:
        "Ooops. sorry, it was an accident. Here's you movie, no harm, foul?"

        Or when I miss a credit card payment:
        "Oops, sorry, it was an accident. Here's the money. You won't fine me or anything, will you?"

        Man, I only wish I could slap companies with fines every time they screw me out of some time and inconvenience. Of course in the real world it only works the other way 'round.

        • Re:Responsibility (Score:5, Insightful)

          by everphilski ( 877346 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:52PM (#14188663) Journal
          Remember, in each of those situations the company in question is going out on a limb for you. When you bounced that check they fronted you the money. When you returned the movie late, you denied them a potential sale. When you paid your credit card late, you withheld money that was rightfully theirs. Your basically taking out a loan in each case; you signed an agreement and that's what you get...

          • Re:Responsibility (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mrchaotica ( 681592 )
            And when your Xbox breaks you're effectively giving Microsoft a loan, because they have your money and you have nothing in return for the amount of time it takes them to replace the system.
          • Re:Responsibility (Score:5, Insightful)

            by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @08:44PM (#14190047)
            Remember, in each of those situations the company in question is going out on a limb for you.
            Forking out $400 for an XBox 360 is going out on a limb. When I fork out $400 and get nothing (but a broken XBox) for 2 months, Microsoft is witholding money that is rightfully mine. All of this is going on the assumption that I eventually pay my bills and Microsoft eventually delivers a working product. If you can't see the symmetry of the situation, it just shows how indoctrinated you are.
    • The way to hold a manufacturer accountable for a new product taht doesn't work as advertised is to take it back. If you buy something that is supposed to work one way, and it doesn't, take it back and get something else (or do without).

      Lawsuits should only be for cases where a failure developes out of warantee that is systemic, and the manufacturer refuses to fix the problem. For example a bunch of Canon cameras receantly had failures due to bad CCDs. They were out of warantee, but it was a defect in all of
    • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:23PM (#14188349) Homepage
      More nobel?

      To sue, or not to sue: that is the question:
      Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
      The quirks and crashes of an overhot X-box,
      Or to file suit against a sea of lawyers,
      And by suing, correct it? To wait, to call;
      To call: perchance to connect: ay, there's the rub;
      For in that call to support what help may come
      When we have shuffled off the automated attendant,
      Must give us pause: there's the respect
      That makes calamity of so long wait;
      For who would bear the whips and scorns of support,
      The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
      The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
      The insolence of office and the spurns
      That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
      When he himself might his quietus make
      With a bare bodkin? Perhaps I should just
      purchase a Playstation?

    • Re:Responsibility (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) *
      I didn't RTFA but I think the issue is they guy went lawsuit crazy without giveing the supplier a chance to fix the problem. The problem with the legal system is that we hand out lawsuits First then ask politly later. The legal system doen't seem to take in account that we make mistakes and if asked we may fix them. Actually giving out law suits should be a final resort where all other means of negotation has failed.
  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:48PM (#14187939)
    Anyone can sue anyone else no matter how stupid it is, and there won't be any repurcussions except more money for the lawyers. What we really need is some system in place where the loser pays to further discourage stupid lawsuits.

    I think there's some sci-fi book where the loser and his lawyer dies. That might work too, but I don't think most people would go for that.
    • by CyberLord Seven ( 525173 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:03PM (#14188115)
      then try this on for size.
      The RIAA takes you to court, pays outrageous legal fees (which they can afford), files for extensions, appeals and whatever until you run out of money and can no longer defend yourself.
      Then you lose.
      Now you have your legal fees, plus theirs!
      Do you still think making the loser pay all legal fees is a good idea?
      • If someone brings suit, and loses, and is deemed, in the eyes of the judge (or some group of judges, or some other body) to have filed a stupid lawsuit, then I think yes, they should have to pay.

        In the case above, the RIAA could bring suit, but the person *being sued* would not be liable for any legal expenses but their own (unless they agree otherwise in the settlement) - RIAA would be on the hook for it.

        If I take an action and that action is injurious to others AND "stupid" (whatever that means) then I sh
      • Right. Pay-your-own-fees means people can't afford to win, and loser-pays means they can't afford to lose.

        The solution, obviously, is to make lawyers work for free.
  • by aflat362 ( 601039 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:49PM (#14187945) Homepage
    If you aren't happy with the 360 why not just take it back? Why does everything have to resort to a law suit?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:55PM (#14188010)
    • I guess it depends on circumstance. If I just walked into a store, got a 360 and took it home and it didnt work, sure I would return it. But if I waited in line 6 hours, fought customers just to purchase a broken item for my kid who is crying, then if I called Microsoft and got the run around, hell yeah I would sue. Of course I dont have the whole story, so he could just be wanted to cash in.
      • by SA3Steve ( 323565 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:59PM (#14188067)
        So you would sue because you had to wait in line and decided to fight with other customers? Should you sue Best Buy then or wherever you bought it from? How about the customers who decided to start fighting? Did you spill some coffee during this fight? You could probably sue for that.

        If I purchases an XBox 360 and it wasn't working, I'd be pissed...and I'd call Microsoft and demand a replacement. If they rejected that, I'd put a stop order on the credit card payment or I'd just return it to the store. Is this guy sueing for emotional damanges or something pathetic like that?
        • Returning a broken product should always be the first action a consumer takes. But in this case, the XBox 360 was first produced in a limited quantity and then released in an even smaller amount to retailers. That means that MS artifically made them scarse in order to drive up apparent demand and value of the produce.

          Now imagine waiting in line for a produce that you shouldn't have to wait in line for (think of McDonalds only making 10 Big Macs at each location every day, first come first served) and th

      • by Ced_Ex ( 789138 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:03PM (#14188112)
        I guess it depends on circumstance. If I just walked into a store, got a 360 and took it home and it didnt work, sure I would return it. But if I waited in line 6 hours, fought customers just to purchase a broken item for my kid who is crying, then if I called Microsoft and got the run around, hell yeah I would sue. Of course I dont have the whole story, so he could just be wanted to cash in.

        Maybe those kids are spoiled and should be brought up not to whine and cry because they don't always get what they want.

      • by Gulthek ( 12570 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:06PM (#14188140) Homepage Journal
        You would sue out of annoyance? You would be understanding if someone sued out of annoyance?

        It would take severe bodily harm resulting from normal, advertised use of the product to get me to sue.

        Like, if, the XBox 360 randomly rockets forward out of the entertainment center at my head. Or if the controllers spiked your hands, or emitted powerful electric shocks. Something, you know, that's actually serious.
    • Because the objective is to make money while playing your XBox 360.

      Bonus points if you burn down the courthouse during a demonstration!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The X-Box is working perfectly fine ... in fact I'm posting this from my X-Box's web br*%$#)$%&({@{($*#){[NO CARRIER]
  • by axonal ( 732578 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:50PM (#14187948)
    "...others have sought less litigious solutions."

    Oh they have []
  • by akhomerun ( 893103 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:51PM (#14187966)
    come on people! you know that by suing microsoft for admitting mistakes, you are only going to encourage them to cover up future problems instead of addressing them!
  • by GReaToaK_2000 ( 217386 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:52PM (#14187972)
    I think it is about time someone took a stand against companies pumping shit out to the customer before it is ready. Especially since it is obvious this was done to beat the Xmas season...

    In addition, I don't like the way it was posted... "a Chicago man who was lucky enough to purchase an Xbox 360"... OH PLEASE!!!! "lucky enough" You make out to be some amazing thing... It's JUST a GAME BOX!!! Hello!!!

    WoW!! When playing games is THAT important life must be truly sad.
  • by DoctorPepper ( 92269 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:52PM (#14187979)
    "You smell that? Do you smell that?... litigation, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of litigation in the morning."
  • by fembots ( 753724 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:53PM (#14187996) Homepage
    First iPod Nano then Xbox 360.

    Am I seeing a commercial trend where hardware companies are increasing confident to roll out their products even if they are not thoroughly tested, simply because these companies know they have enough fanboys to buy anything they sell?

    It's also interesting to see that these hardware companies are also software companies, who are regularly rolling out "beta" software to the public.
  • Class Action (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ehaggis ( 879721 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:54PM (#14188000) Homepage Journal
    Unfortunately it is a class action lawsuit. The individual(s) will recieve a $1.25 check 10 years from now while the lawyers rack up $400/hr fees. Microsoft will issue a non-mea-culpa and continue life as usual, short $100 million, a drop in the bucket.
  • The Manual (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:54PM (#14188008) Journal
    Robert Byers, who brought the suit, said the power supply and central processing unit in the Xbox 360 overheat, affecting heat-sensitive chips and causing the console to lock up.
    I'm guessing he didn't RTFM. It tells you where not to put your Xbox (carpets, enclosed spaces, etc.)

    Is it a design defect if you're specifically told what the 'problem' is and how to avoid it?

    FYI I'm not talking about chainsaws that can accidentally cut your face off, more like a car owners manual that says "keep your radiator topped off or else your engine will overheat." Or in this case, don't put your Xbox in certain places, or it will overheat.
    • Re:The Manual (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xarius ( 691264 )
      I'm guessing he didn't RTFM. It tells you where not to put your Xbox (carpets, enclosed spaces, etc.)
      Or in this case, don't put your Xbox in certain places, or it will overheat.

      Wow, so we're not allowed to put our consoles on the floor in front of the television, or in the entertainment center?

      That's pretty fucking awful product design.
  • by TheFlyingGoat ( 161967 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:56PM (#14188022) Homepage Journal
    If Microsoft just recalls all of the power adapters (which seem to be most of the issue), and replaces them with a different design that allows airflow underneath, they can basically stop this lawsuit and any others that are bound to come up. The other option would be to provide a free plastic base to all XBox360 owners that would snap on the bottom of the system and raise it up an inch from the surface.

    People who sue over this stuff are worse than companies that unknowingly release a faulty product. There are better resolutions than calling a lawyer, like returning the system, waiting on a recall, or hacking it up with a string.
  • by AutopsyReport ( 856852 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:56PM (#14188023)
    So in exchange for an overheating and crashing Xbox 360, he will be facing the wrath of an overheating Balmer (sweaty armpits, soaked forehead) and his crashing chairs in the courtroom? :)
  • by crass751 ( 682736 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @04:56PM (#14188032) Homepage
    Have things really gotten to the point when everytime we don't like a product we sue the manufacturer? What happened to the days when if a product wasn't what we expected it to be we simply told our friends not to buy one and didn't buy from that manufacturer again? Are companies required to produce products that every single person in the world likes otherwise be victims of a lawsuit? Are standard defects valid causes for suits? We (well Slashdot population) all know that no process is 100% defect free, even a 6 sigma process still has 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Are we that litigious? How long before someone sues a restaurant because their steak was medium instead of medium rare?

    This is absolutely insane.
    • This is absolutely insane.

      No offense, but that's what we Canadians have long thought of the American practise of constantly suing the pants off of one another.
      Our courts will not allow whiners and crybabys to waste the court's time like this.
  • Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:00PM (#14188076)
    I don't see how there could be any grounds for a case. There certainly is no way that this guy can demonstrate that Microsoft hasn't been acting in good faith with customers or that there's been any sort of cover up. The Xbox360 has been out barely a week.

    Not to mention that the first generation of anything often has problems. This certainly isn't unique to Microsoft. This is what happens when consumers crap themselves over something new and have to be the first ones to get it. They get screwed waiting in long lines, paying more than they should and having a potentially defective unit on top of all that.

    Anyone with a little sense would wait a few months until those initial problems were addressed and then waltz into any store and choose from one of the dozens of unclaimed units sitting there on the shelves.

    Not that I'd ever waste money on an Xbox360, or a PS3 or a Revolution for that matter. They should all stop screwing around and just start developing for the PC directly, because thats what those consoles are turning into anyway.

    I suppose someone always has to be an early adopter, and they're the ones who are going to encounter the problems first, and it's because of them that these problems are discovered. However, if you can't get rid of the ants in your pants then you'd better learn to deal with the consequences. Too bad you cant sue someone for stupidity.
  • The Man? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gatekeep ( 122108 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:00PM (#14188081)
    The man is seeking unspecified damages, litigation expenses, and replacement or recall of all Xbox 360s.

    Why is that 'The Man' always has to ruin it for us?
  • Oh please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by radish ( 98371 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:02PM (#14188093) Homepage
    You get bad units, it happens with any products. Microsoft are replacing all units which exhibit any fault, for example overheating. They overnight you an empty box, you put the defective unit in and overnight it back, then they overnight you a new unit. Total time elapsed: less than a week, total cost to you: zero dollars. That's better than most return policies in my experience. So far MS have been saying that the return rate is around 3%, which is below industry average. So again - what's the problem here? A company produced a product which has lower than average failure rates and is happily and rapidly replacing any defective units for free.

    This guy doesn't wany justice, he wants free money. He's a greedy ass and should be brought to book for encouraging this insane litagation culture to feed his own pocket.

    And the last thing I want is a recall - mine is working perfectly.
    • And (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:12PM (#14188214)
      That's for a non-critical item. That's better service than we get on some computers here at work, and those are at least somewhat important. A console is entertainment only. If this was a life support device, yes lawsuit. If this was a critical server, maybe. A game console? Hell no. If the company is offering less than a week turn around on reparis, I'd say you have nothing to whine about. You can either accept that, or simply take the unit back (all units are less than 30 days old).

      Talk about a lot of fuss over an entertainment device.
    • Re:Oh please (Score:3, Interesting)

      by utexaspunk ( 527541 )
      I seem to remember a German friend of mine telling me that, in Germany, punitive damages are not awarded to the victim but instead go to some sort of general fund. It seems we could use something like that here to help keep the frivolous lawsuits down.
  • Well, no... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:03PM (#14188116)
    C'mon, people. Will you never learn? What happened was a lawyer needed a new 12 person hot tub in his winter palace^H^H^H^H^H^H home, so he found a mark ("a man" in this story). If the case is won, the lawyer gets his hot tub and the man gets a $5 off coupon for an MSCE manual or something.
  • by PepeGSay ( 847429 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:07PM (#14188159)
    If you can get the single lawsuit to go forward, they may be able to legally compell Microsoft to say how many reports of malfunctions they have had. Then, they figure out the size of the class action lawsuit and really go for the throat. That basic strategy is used more than you might think.
  • by xutopia ( 469129 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:15PM (#14188249) Homepage
    Suing every chance you get is silly. Especially since MS is replacing all defective 360s at no charge with express shipping.

    I think there are too many lawyers in the world.

  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:15PM (#14188250)
    Sure, you should try "fixing" your new $400 device (plus the cost of feeding it) with string. Of course, this will likely void your warranty, and when the damn thing kills someone or burns your house or entire appartment complex down Microsoft can point to what you did as the cause. Or maybe you could just ask Microsoft nicely and share the pure joy in the laughter of their response.
  • What's a defect? (Score:5, Informative)

    by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:21PM (#14188324)
    Now, I know some are just plain defective. That'll happen when you ship hundreds of thousands. There might even be more defective units than would normally be expected. That could happen to, due to manufacturing difficulties.

    But a design defect? I just don't know if we're there.

    I know it gets hot 24290 []

    But it gets hot because it does so much. Its regular level of consumption is 160W. That's a lot, and it all turns into heat. Despite this, the Xbox 360 has a great cooling system. It really keeps itself cool.

    But, like all devices, a cooling system just moves the heat somewhere else, in this case ouside the case. So if you put it in a confied area or block the vents, it will be unable to cool itself. There is NOTHING MS can do about this.

    Perhaps you'd like Xbox to take less power (PS2 uses 50W). I can understand that. But it's not going to happen. PS3 will be the same. These super-capable game machines are pushing the limits of technology and so they use a lot of power and generate a lot of heat.

    So, lawsuit aside, when you evaluate your problems with 360, make sure you're not expecting MS to defy the laws of thermodynamics.

    BTW, I got together an EXECELLENT cooling system for my 360 in my stereo/video game cabinet now. I'm considering writing it up. Costs a fair bit, but instead of 116F inside there with the front panel cracked an inch, now it gets to 78F (67F ambient in the room) in there with the front panel completely closed. It's so much quieter now.
  • by Chaffar ( 670874 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:26PM (#14188396)
    I'm pretty shocked to see the number of posts that are actually calling the guy who bought the 360 an idiot 'cause he should "raise it one inch from the floor". I mean come on, the fact is that he was sold a lemon, and an expensive one too. The XBox 360 has a major problem, one that is VERY HARD to believe that it was overseen by the team of engineers, playtesters etc... Unless testing today means, turning the machine on, checking if left=left, the start button works, and the controller works after dropping it twice on the floor.

    So the guy is wrong in suing MS, maybe. But somewhere I hope this will make the major manufacturers avoid selling crap they haven't properly tested first. [The following sentence is not flamebait so please] If they can actually sell a console that overheats in less than 20 minutes without knowing of the problem, it's scary to think how they handled their OS design, where flaws are less visible but can be just as bad.

  • Absurd (Score:3, Funny)

    by XMilkProject ( 935232 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:29PM (#14188419) Homepage
    I find this utterly absurd, and upsetting too.... This is what our country is coming too? You just get to sue anyone you want to and try to get rich?

    To be completely honest, I don't care if his xbox is freezing up from overheating, I don't recall microsoft promising that the xbox would not overheat, and there have yet to be any cases of the system starting a fire or some such thing, so If its not dangerous, then there is no legal case.

    Every time someone bought a computer that overheated and shut down they could sue the computer company for damages? At the most, you deserve a new system, or to get yours repaired, and thats it.

    I'll also add, that in my opinion, all the cases of xbox overheats are cuased by end-users that are not smart enough to keep it in a well ventilated place. It is an incredibly powerful computer dissipating several hundred watts of power. It is simply impossible for it to work in a closed cabinet, or if the power supply is set behind it wherein the xbox draws in hot air.

    Sorry to go on a rant, and I'm not defending consumer electronics companies that send out flakey hardware, but you took a risk on buying one of the first units off the shelf, and regardless of whether or not it works you have no right to file litigation against the company. Get a refund for your box, i'm sure they'll be happy to give you one, and thats all.
  • by Lispy ( 136512 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:33PM (#14188467) Homepage
    Well, there is this friend of mine who is well, waay adipose and chronically out of a job.
    This guy spent four days in front of his classic Xbox only stopping the game when his wrist had a fracture.
    Man, if only I'd live in the United states and not in germany we would have gotten rich together. I would have made this a case to remember:

    "Look at that sad man, no love, no job, no perspective and your freakin' large controller even ruined his gaming experience!". But well, in germany this gets you nowhere....
    Looks like I gotta look for another way to cash in on other peoples misery... Any ideas welcome! ;)
  • Let's be fair! (Score:5, Informative)

    by mister_llah ( 891540 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:34PM (#14188481) Homepage Journal
    A friend of mine made a post on our IRL pals forum that I thought I'd share...

    Lets be fair here - i'm no fanboy, but even I have to admit its not just Microsoft.

    Sega Genisis - Crashes games

    SNES - at launch batteries were being drained faster from cartidge then supposed to (not sure what this means)

    N64 - At launch wouldn't read some cartridges

    PSOne - Wouldn't read some games, laser would lways fall out of alignment, and system would overheat

    Dreamcast - Overheating

    PS2 - Scratch the hell out of people's DVD Movies as well as some games, majority of systems at launch would overheat

    XBox - Overheating problems on some systems

    XBox 360 - CPU not functional, overheating, scratching disks
  • Hardware Defects (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Straif ( 172656 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:40PM (#14188555) Homepage
    Unless you were personally holding the defective power unit when it overheated, thereby causing 2nd or 3rd degree burns, not be able to play with your new toy for a week or two is not grounds for emotional stress or pain and suffering.

    I've had to deal with the microsoft hardware department a couple times myself for my mouse (plus a few times for work but I'll keep the corporate support seperate). Because of the way the cable was fed into the mouse it had a nasty habit of breaking the wires and causing the mouse to behave irratically. Both times I called them they sent me a brand new mouse, free of charge, and never asked for the old one back. The last times I even got one of the newer styles and haven't had a problem since. I've never had a hassle from them and never once thought about a lawsuit. From the sounds of it, their XBox support is about the same.

    Anyone aware of the XBox or PS history should know that by buying the systems on the release date they are just asking for trouble. Best to wait for revision 2 or 3 to come around. Thats being said, I haven't heard the same about Nintendo and depending on price I will probably buy a Revolution as soon as it's out, but I also wouldn't be too upset if something like this happened then.

    When you buy leading edge tech, you've essentially signed up to be unpaid testers. A lot of problems can only be discovered when you move from a few hundred test machines in controlled environments to thousands of machines out in the wild.
  • by FerretFrottage ( 714136 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @05:44PM (#14188588)
    Microsoft sued over alleged Xbox 360 glitch [headline]
    "A Chicago man who bought Microsoft Corp.'s new
    Xbox 360 has sued the world's largest software maker, saying the new video game console has a design flaw that causes it to overheat and freeze up...."

    My car has a glitch/design flaw as well. If I start it and leave the keys in the ignition and then get out of my car and lock the doors, I can't get back into my car without modding my car's window or calling in "experts" (legally registered tax paying business, or the type registered by the sheriff's department).

    I have a 360 and it does run hot....they need to have proper ventilation, probably more so than any other computer or A/V component I've ever owned. I'm not sure how well the manual states this as I never read them (hey this is /., who reads manuals), but if you take a 360 a stuff in a location that doesn't have good air flow then I'm not surprised the unit is crashing. FWIW, I have mine in an open AV rack that has plenty of ventilation and I've had the thing on for over straight hours at one point and it didn't crash on me. Not all that time was playing games--the last 2+ hours of was playing it and MCE 2005, but when you can justify the purchase to the wife by streaming HD pr0n onto the HDTV, it's worth the time.

    Now was it wise of MS/partners to design it this way (to run as hot as it does and require so much ventilation)? Who knows what their design specs say. But just image taking your tower PC, shrinking by a factor of 4-5 times and then cranking up the CPU/GPU full throttle and think about how much heat would be generated. I'm not saying it's an excuse, but owners of some of the new high powered high tech toys may need to be educated on how well this ptoys work as a space heater.

  • by IchBinEinPenguin ( 589252 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @07:07PM (#14189356)
    This was posted before!
    oops... my bad. Not a dupe, that one was about the old XBox.........
  • The masses? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WndrBr3d ( 219963 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @07:26PM (#14189488) Homepage Journal
    I think the general issue here is you're putting an environmentally sensetive device in the hands of the masses, and as I'm sure 90% of the IT professionals here that have served tech support can tell you, the masses are flaming idiots.

    The XBox360 itself does run very hot. Mine I keep in an open AV cabinet with plenty of ventilation and I keep the PSU in a cool area as well. The XBox360 itself is pretty much a super-charged PC in a space 1/10th a standard PC's size. So of course it's going to run hot, and people should take the proper measures.

    The design of the XBox360 was one that had to meet a few goals.

    1) Had to look cool
    2) Had to be smaller or as small as original XBox
    3) Had to have adequate cooling WHILE not producing excessive noise from fans and other cooling elements

    So Microsoft had to compromise on #3. They had to have the fans run quiet enough so people wouldn't yell, "OMG, ITS TOO LOUD!".. yet have them run fast enough where people wouldn't yell "OMG, MY XBOX IS OVERHEATING NO MATTER WHAT!"

    With any manufactured device, there are going to be failures, be it mechanical failure or failure due to the manufacturing process. I'm sure if someone wrote CNN every time one of their Hard Drives died, or every time they got a bad pixel on an LCD, you'd see many other CONSUMER ALERTS for MASS HARDWARE FAILURE, but you don't. Because we've all been using computers long enough to know that with anything, sometimes you just get a bum device and have to get a new one.

    Why is the XBox360 different from other computer devices? Well, as I see it, two reasons:

    Reason #1 -- It's Microsoft, easy target for hate from some people.
    Reason #2 -- There's nothing we can do. The reason Intel doesn't get sued because their CPU's run too hot, is because as consumers we can crack open our case and swap out the cooling with a solution that better fits our needs. Unfortunately, we cannot do this with the XBox360 because there are no alternatives to the cooling and it would void your warranty.

    What are we to do?

    Well, personally, I haven't had a single issue with the Xbox360 that was worth even getting on the phone over. It has locked up twice, but this isn't the first time in my 24 years that a console game as locked up on me. I recall RC Pro-AM locking up on level 98 and almost having a stroke.

    For those of you having issues, explore every option in making sure it's in the proper environment before immediately pointing to hardware defect. If this still doesn't work, just call Microsoft and open up an RMA. Their process takes no more than 4 days before you'll have a new Xbox360 in your hot little hands.
  • by Solr_Flare ( 844465 ) on Monday December 05, 2005 @11:27PM (#14190849)
    This issues does deserve to have some attention called to it. Not just the power supply heating problem though, but other design defects/flaws/bad choices that really just shouldn't be there in a $400 piece of equipment.

    The major issues with the X-box 360 seem to be:

    1) The power supply can overheat. It seems most often this is due to poor placement of the power supply. Still, no mention is made anywhere about this problem. So what happens when your average Joe Shmoe consumer or kid gets their Xbox 360 and runs into this problem or sets their carpet on fire because they aren't told in the packaging of a design flaw?

    2) Some Xbox 360's just outright have crashing problems not related to the power supply. This seems to be more the case of first batch of a new generation hardware defects. These happen all the time and can't be helped. And when you ahve a low supply like the 360 has, these tend to be more glaring than they really are. This is just an issue of replacing the system for a non-defective one. It stinks, but it happens.

    3) Moving the 360 from a horizontal to vertical position, or vice versa, while a disc is spinning will result in serious disc scratching. Now, we're all tech guys so this is sort of no-duh to us. I mean all our PC's and similar hardware all are mostly the same way for that style of drive loading. That said, again it is a case of your average Joe probably won't realize this. I mean the unit is advertised as being equally useful in both a vertical and horizontal position. Sooner or later some dude is going to either accidentally knock the xbox into horizontal position, or move his 360 while in a game and ruin a game disc. Accidents happen, but Microsoft, again, has not advertised that this can even happen. So design choice, flaw, or what have you, it's still their problem.

    Again, I think the suit is dumb and either some guy is going after cash or he or someone who paid him has an anti-microsoft agenda. But that doesn't change the fact that the issues are there and MS at the very least needs to make a more concerted effort to at least tell it's consumers what isn't recommended to do to avoid these things happen. That's just common sense business ethics right there.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel