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XBox (Games)

Microsoft Acknowledges 360 Issues, Extends Warranty to 3 Years 205

RamblinLonghorn writes "Microsoft has announced that they are extending the warranty for all Xbox 360s to 3 years. This appears to be entirely retroactive and that 'those who have already paid for such repair charges can expect reimbursement checks for the amount of their console repair.' It seems as though Microsoft is accepting the blame for the hardware malfunctions, but it is worth noting that this warranty modification only applies in the 'Red Rings of Death' situation."
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Microsoft Acknowledges 360 Issues, Extends Warranty to 3 Years

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  • I'd like a 360 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday July 05, 2007 @05:34PM (#19759267) Homepage

    I'd like a 360. I really would. There are games I'd like to play (PGR3, Dead Rising, some others), as well as games coming out I'd like to play (Rock Band and many others). But I keep hearing about failures. I know people who are on at least their 3rd 360. I've seen the estimations recently putting the failure rates as high as ~30% (which, even if is off by 5x is quite high). If you combine that with the noise the things make, I'm hesitant to buy one. I keep waiting for a re-spin of the silicon (moving to a smaller process should help with the heat/noise issues).

    The Elite might have got me but instead of pushing the models down, they just put the Elite on top with a new higher price point.

  • Bravo Microsoft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkFencer ( 260473 ) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @05:35PM (#19759283)
    I'm not normally a fan of MS, nor do I own a 360, but this is a great move by Microsoft - and not something they NEEDED to do. They could have just fixed the problems and made it a year or so but by extending this to a three year warranty (retroactive) they are going to save a lot of people money.

    Companies like GameStop who sell extended warranties though might not be happy since I certainly wouldn't buy one now that MS is backing their system up for 3 years.
  • by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @05:38PM (#19759317) Homepage
    Assuming they just do full replace and junk, and pay full retail price, that is >2.5 MILLION failed X-Boxes in the next 2 years. Assuming each repair costs Microsoft only $200, they are budgeting for 5 MILLION failed x-boxen!

    With only 11 million X-boxen shipped, that 33% failure rate is sounding like an UNDERCOUNT!
  • by ObiWanStevobi ( 1030352 ) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @05:39PM (#19759333) Journal
    Perhaps offtopic, but...
    They don't appear to repair 360s. I had a DVD drive failure and I got back a new console in just a couple days. Being in MN and sending it to Texas, there is no way they even had time to look at it to see what the problem was, they just send out a new one as soon a one comes in. Although I was very happy there was so little down time, I can't help but wonder why they would shell out a new console for what is likely a $15 repair. Even with labor, costs can't be that high. In my experience, disk drives don't seem to last much more than 3 years, if they are paying for a new console for every drive that fails in three years time, they are going to lose alot of money.
  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @05:42PM (#19759361) Journal
    What is it with all the new consoles having so many hardware problems?...Heh. My NES / SNES still work fine ~15 years later.

    Because there was no Internet back then* for you to hear about isolated cases of hardware failure. If someone's NES burned up, he went back to Woolworth's or whatever they had back then, got a new one and complained to his buddies. Now, consoles come out and the most freakish problems (hurling your Wiimote through the TV screen, for example) gets spread worldwide.

    * Yes, I know that there actually was an Internet back then, with at least 11 users.

  • by master0ne ( 655374 ) <emberingdeadN05P4M@nOspAm.gmail.com> on Thursday July 05, 2007 @05:46PM (#19759409)
    Eveything breaks... its a fact of life, from the space shuttle to the keyboard you typed your comment on... it all will eventually break. While the 360 did and may still continue to have quality control issues, its how the company handles the situation from that point thats importand, and recently MS have really impressed me with the way the handle most of the issues (with a few noted exceptions which any large company will have). Although they tried to supress the fact that they were having issues, they have now admited it, and in good faith. They extended the warranty to show good faith, not because they were obligated to, or had to.... infact many companys have problematic products still on shelves and refuse to service or extend the warranty once the issue becomes known... Just be glad you can get it fixed is what im trying to say here....

    Hand some people free apples (free extended warranty), and they'll complain they havent been cored and seeded yet....
  • Re:Bravo Microsoft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, 2007 @05:48PM (#19759431)

    Microsoft rushes to market the most poorly designed console in history.
    Stonewalls on the insane failure rate for two years.
    Makes 360 owners go through hell each and every time their 360 dies yet again.
    Leaves people with disc scratching drives in the lurch.
    And finally is forced to somewhat admit the problem and fork up a billion dollars.

    Yeah, 'bravo' Microsoft...

    So if you are one of the poor sods who actually bought a 360 you are still looking at your console dieing from a few weeks to few months over and over again. What a complete joke of a company and system.

  • Re:Bravo Microsoft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarkFencer ( 260473 ) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @05:55PM (#19759535)
    Do I think they screwed up and should have done this a long time ago? Sure. Would it have been better if they kept stonewalling and never admitted an issue - or if they did only agree to fix within the year? Absolutely not. They screwed up for a while and are fixing the problem now. If you don't believe that they will also fix the root cause of the hardware now - with a three year commitment to have working systems for their customers, then you're crazy.

    A three year warranty in the electronics industry, even after the fact, is EXTREMELY rare, without paying extra up front (or a monthly fee for many cell phone companies/vendors).

    They could have done a LOT less and most customers (since Sony this generation is sucking hard and the Wii still doesn't have enough games - especially the type most XBox 360 owners want) would have had to suck it up and deal. They instead changed their policy and are now giving a three year warranty, none of which they are being forced to do.
  • Four choices (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MarkByers ( 770551 ) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @05:57PM (#19759569) Homepage Journal
    > You have three choices, nintendo ... xbox ... and finally the sony PS3,

    You forgot one. There is the PS2 as well. It's a decent, fun system and you can still buy games for it. It's not to be totally ignored just yet.
  • by rbgaynor ( 537968 ) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @06:04PM (#19759655)
    Quality control / reliability is the issue. How they handle it is at best damage control. The most they can hope for is people thinking "They really screwed the pooch there, but at least they agreed to adopt the puppies." As for stepping up with the warranty did they really step up or is this a preemptive step to avoid a large (and expensive) class action lawsuit.
  • Re:Bravo Microsoft (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, 2007 @06:07PM (#19759683)
    360s were constantly failing in demo and media/press review units a least a couple months before the system hit the shelves. Microsoft has know the system was defective by design even earlier.

    And YET they decided to go right ahead and ship a fundamentally defect piece of hardware.

    How can ANYONE in ANYWAY defend that utterly despicable action.

  • by Darby ( 84953 ) on Thursday July 05, 2007 @06:59PM (#19760363)
    MS have really impressed me with the way the handle most of the issues (with a few noted exceptions which any large company will have). Although they tried to supress the fact that they were having issues, they have now admited it, and in good faith. They extended the warranty to show good faith, not because they were obligated to, or had to....

    If they initially lied about the issue and worked to cover it up, then *nothing* they subsequently do can be considered "in good faith".
    They tried to scam people, got caught over a massive design failure, and are now doing damage control.

    Good faith would have been noticing the issue first and working to ameliorate the damage they caused.
    Going into damage control mode after being caught lying is not in any way "good faith".

    It's amazing the shit people will willingly lap up these days. Truly bizarre.

  • by LKM ( 227954 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @03:57AM (#19764673) Homepage
    I'm astonished to read so many "mine is okay, except a game doesn't work" or "no problem so far, only a broken dvd drive" comments. Don't be so forgiving! This is a game console, not a PC. There's no reason why it should break within such a short timespan! I've bought dozens of consoles, and all of them still work. Some of them are over 20 years old!
  • by Velops ( 1006755 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @07:42AM (#19765625)
    The formulas used to calculate warranties are meant to cover manufacturing errors. Every once in a while, a defective unit will get past quality control in the factory due to human error. The warranty is designed to protect customers if they get one of these units.

    The "Red Ring of Death" is likely from a design flaw, not a manufacturing error. A manufacturing error would not account for the abnormal failure rate. It is literally built into every unit that leaves the factory. The only long-term solution to a design flaw is a product recall.

    Extending the warranty is just a temporary solution because Xbox 360s will continue get the "Red Ring of Death".
  • by LKM ( 227954 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @10:13AM (#19766913) Homepage

    Game Console or PC, a DVD Drive is still a DVD drive with a different face plate.

    So? You only use it to play DVDs which are (probably) manufactured by or to the specs of the manufcaturer of your console. It's not like a PC where you constantly put all kinds of burned and questionable CDs and DVDs inside. And even on a PC, I expect the DVD drive to last until I replace the PC, which is at least 3 to 4 years.

    Especially since they sold me the hardware below cost

    How does that matter? I look at a console and judge its value. I expect the thing to behave like a console, not like a cheap-ass PC I built from parts I found in the dumpster at radioshack.

    As far as a game not working, I'd be pretty bummed, but it's never been an issue. I've had drives go out on the PS2, Xbox, 360,

    I own a bunch of Cubes and three Dreamcasts. One DC died, all the other ones still work perfectly well. Yes, the PS2 had some pretty damn crappy hardware issues, but that's no reason to accept the same shit from other consoles and manufacturers.

    and several on PCs.

    And if the DVD drive in your PC dies, you go out, buy a new one for a few bucks, and you're back in business. Try that with a 360. Try getting your 360 fixed in 10 years.

    I guess I've been in IT long enough not to expect any drive to last more than a few years, even less for the cheap ones.

    My very first CD burner was a yamaha 4x scsi drive. I bought this sucker more than 10 years ago, and to this day, it works. There's no reason why DVD drives have to be shit, especially not if they're used in a console where you can't just replace them.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"