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XBox (Games)

Xbox DRM and the Red Ring of Death 147

manekineko2 writes "In the latest case warning of the perils of investing in DRM'd media, an owner of an Xbox 360 reports that after his Xbox suffered the infamous Red Ring of Death, it was replaced by a new system with a different serial number. Upon receiving his replacement, he found that he could only access the media he had purchased from a specific account. He also received the run-around for months from customer service before his case was escalated, only to be informed that there is no ETA for a resolution, there is no way to receive status updates on the process, and there is no compensation that will be granted. Given claims that the Xbox 360 defect rate is as high as 1 in 3, has anyone on Slashdot gone through this as well after getting their system exchanged?" Update: 02/14 17:11 GMT by Z : An emailing user noted that the original summary was not very accurate; rephrased to be more in-line with the situation.
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Xbox DRM and the Red Ring of Death

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  • Ummm (Score:5, Informative)

    by tgd ( 2822 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:47PM (#22421554)
    You call them. They give you the points you've spent on a temporary XBox Live account, you redownload the software.

    After that they'll run fine not logged in on the 360, or on other 360s logged in with the original account.

    Its a pain in the ass -- I've had to do it twice, but its not nearly how the story makes it sound.
    • by aikouka ( 932902 )
      I thought I heard that they could transfer ownership rights over between consoles?

      Also, aren't you supposed to be able to play any media as long as one of these two criteria are met:

      1) Original console it was purchased on.
      2) Logged into the account that purchased the item.

      That's what I've always been told had to happen, but this article shows that is not the case.
      • Right, and the poster had said that this became a big problem for him, as the XBOX Live account systems have been down multiple times, meaning he couldn't do #2 on your list. He couldn't access the content he had paid for. I'd be a little ticked if I couldn't do stuff because my internet provider or microsoft were having problems..
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by king-manic ( 409855 )

      You call them. They give you the points you've spent on a temporary XBox Live account, you redownload the software.

      After that they'll run fine not logged in on the 360, or on other 360s logged in with the original account.

      Its a pain in the ass -- I've had to do it twice, but its not nearly how the story makes it sound.

      Why didn't they do that in this case? From my experience some agents will break rules to help others are strict policy followers that cause PR problems.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AgentPaper ( 968688 ) *
        According to several of the replying posters on TFA's page, Microsoft no longer offers that program due to concerns about people "recycling" their MS Points (i.e. beating one set of games, getting their points back and then buying new games).

        I don't have a 360 myself, so I'm not familiar with how the XBox Live system works, but I can't imagine why the support techs can't simply re-activate this gentleman's games. I've never run across an online marketplace that doesn't include some provision for restoring
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by luke2063 ( 1137533 )
          Purchased XBox Live games can be downloaded again, but with different restrictions - the first time a user downloads their purchase they are able to use it with any account on the XBox and do not have to be signed into XBox Live to play the game. Subsiquent downloads require the purchaser to be signed into XBox live to play their game. This presumably would be to stop someone buying arcade games and then downloading them on all their mates consoles, giving the mates free games, whilst still giving people
        • Absolutely true! (Score:5, Informative)

          by spideyct ( 250045 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @11:19PM (#22430198)
          I can absolutely confirm I've experienced the same run around.
          I received a replacement console after the red rings of death. I immediately called support regarding my content that no longer worked (without being logged in), went through a bunch of steps to confirm I couldn't get it to work (which was ridiculous - they MUST know that it wasn't going to work) and was then told I would be called back within a few days.
          They never called, so I called them back. The same routine happened for about a month, with me calling back once a week. I had to start berating the support personnel and their powerless "supervisors" as they all continued to respond "be assured we are working on this and will have it resolved as soon as possible". No - you are NOT working on it - please stop the lies.
          I finally talked to one support person that said "oh yeah, I don't know what those other guys were thinking, they logged your case completely wrong, I'll get this taken care of immediately, you shouldnt have had to wait this long. I schedule a call back with you on Monday to confirm". He went so far as to set up a specific 3 hour time period when I would receive the call back. Which of course never happened.
          After going through these weekly calls of yelling at their useless "support" for a few months, I wrote to Major Nelson pleading my case (I don't know him personally, it was a desperation attempt). He sent my case number to someone in "escalations" who actually DID call me back. I thought I was finally getting somewhere. Within a week I got a call from someone in engineering confirming my console ID and serial number. Things looked promising.
          That was 2 months ago.
          My content has STILL not been unlocked.
          And no, nobody was willing to give me points to re-buy the content. If they used to do that, they sure don't anymore.

          I WAS a fanboy. The 360 and XBox Live were a great product. However, this is the absolute WORST customer experience I have ever had with any company, hands down. Because of their complete incompetence and unwillingness to resolve my issue, they have destroyed their image, and made me want to tell everyone I know about how bad their support is. Please spread the word.
          • Re:Absolutely true! (Score:4, Informative)

            by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Friday February 15, 2008 @01:07AM (#22430800) Homepage
            Perhaps you have finally learned the principle behind selling you the same content over and over again. When you buy content, your right to access that content should last as long as the copyright of that content and not be locked to the life of a piece of hardware which will inevitably fail and basically steal that content away so that it can be sold to you over and over again.

            M$ has attempted to force the OEM OS being tied to the hardware, so that if the hardware fails you have to re-buy the OS. Where they had complete control over the hardware, seriously did you really expect them to behave any differently. They know it is wrong, they know they are stealing your content rights, they know there will be bad consumer reaction to this, which is why they obfuscate, lie and misdirect their responses. As far as they are concerned, the software is a part of the hardware and subject to the same beyond warranty failure rate and requirements of repurchase. You might have thought you were buying that content but make no mistake as far as they were concerned you only rented it and it was only ever going to last until the next version of xbox was released, at which time you be forced to renew the rent.

            • as much as I love the 360's game superiority, this is so true.

              MS isn't fighting Sony tooth and nail just to do better, they are trying to dominate and monopolize the entire industry, and when they do, they will have far more draconian rules for getting as much money as possible out of me.

              I don't want to see MS buy core IPs to the point where they can control who can complete with them, but MS is clearly trying to do this. I don't want to see subscriptions for everything and zero actual ownership, but that'
        • I've never run across an online marketplace that doesn't include some provision for restoring purchased content that the buyer can prove he purchased
          Sounds like you've never used iTunes.
    • To my understanding, the points they give you are equal to what you spent, but not earmarked. That is, you get an equivalent value of content, but if you no longer like what you purchased you can get other media in exchange.

      Which seems like a reasonable perk to extend to people who have to go through that rigormorale.

      • by tgd ( 2822 )
        Yup, the stuff I bought the second time didn't necessarily match the stuff I got suckered into buying the first time.
    • I read on another site (I think it was the Consumerist) that this policy was ceased late last year.
    • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Informative)

      by MyDixieWrecked ( 548719 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:53PM (#22422788) Homepage Journal
      You call them. They give you the points you've spent on a temporary XBox Live account, you redownload the software.

      They didn't do that for us. When we got our 360 back from repairs and the content wouldn't play on the other accounts, I called and was told that the purchased content was meant for the account that purchased it and not the others, and the fact that it worked to start doesn't mean that it will always work that way into the future. I was mostly peeved because I was trying to see how many achievements I could unlock in a single round on XBLA games.

      I get the feeling that depending on who you happen to talk to at support, you get different stories of how things work. When our 360 originally red-ring'd, we were told that it wouldn't be covered under warranty (we got a Rev-B 360, about a month or two after it was first released), but the unit still worked on and off... it would just occasionally not start up. After MS extended the warranty to a year, we were able to send it in and get it replaced. Although a friend of mine's unit red-ringed a couple days after ours and his got replaced, no questions asked. His also came back in about 8 days, where ours took 3 weeks.
    • by ectal ( 949842 )
      That was my experience, too. But it was probably especially easy for me, since I had called the corporate MS number after a long delay in getting my console back and was already assigned to one of their executive support people (escalation specialist, I think they call it). I think with the main Xbox support number, you're flipping a coin at best. I've called about problems and gotten excellent responses, and I've also gotten bad answers/no answers/outright hostility.
    • Re:Ummm, not quite (Score:5, Informative)

      by gorbachev ( 512743 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @02:22PM (#22423244) Homepage
      Actually, they don't do this any more.

      It's no longer "policy" by Microsoft to give you MS points to cover the DLC you can't use any more.

      Apparently, according to comments on the Consumerist article, they stopped doing that sometime in October or November last year.

      I think that's reprehensible.
    • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nickj6282 ( 896871 ) * <<nickj6282> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Thursday February 14, 2008 @03:35PM (#22424332)
      Yeah, they didn't do this for me. I called this weekend because my son couldn't play the games I downloaded from my gamertag on the 360 before it was replaced. I spent an hour on the phone and the final resolution was for them to transfer the content license from the old console to the new one. This required me to fax them the exchange receipt from Best Buy and now I'm on day 3 of the 30 day wait for them to do this.

      I'm not confident that this will ever get done, but luckily I have some recourse. Firstly I do have an Xbox Live Gold account, and from personal experience I know that the reps will bend over backward to keep you on the gold account if you call and cancel. I'm thinking that if needed, I can call to cancel and get them to give me enough freebie points to redownload all my stuff (not that I should have to, mind you).

      Barring that, all my MS points were purchased on a debit MasterCard issued by a small community credit union that actually cares about it's clients. All I need to do is sit down and fill out a form saying that I didn't get what I paid for when I bought those points, and 24 hours later the cash is back in my account and MS gets hit with the chargeback. It's ugly, but it might be necessary. Mind you, I won't do this unless I've exhausted all other options and made Microsoft well aware of my intent before actually doing it.

      Personally, I think that the games should work as long as the account in question is present on the Xbox they are to be played on. That way if I log in to my friend's Xbox and re-download Geometry Wars, he can play it as long as my account is resident on his system. Once I remove the memory card holding my account or recover the account to a different Xbox, the game is rendered unplayable. If MS doesn't want to do that, then how about the option to self-transfer the license a-la the iTunes method of invalidating the license on the old console. Let users do this once every 6 months to a year. That way if someone upgrades from an Arcade to a Pro or Elite or whatever, they can know that their games will work.
      • Every six months?! I know people who are on their 5th and 6th console!
        Simple math will tell you this can't be often enough ;)

        But a self-relicense method IS required. An automatic extension of the
        gold account would be nice, too..
        • Every six months?! I know people who are on their 5th and 6th console!
          Simple math will tell you this can't be often enough ;)

          But a self-relicense method IS required. An automatic extension of the
          gold account would be nice, too..

          You're kidding, the 360 doesn't have any way of Self-Relicensing?

          How are people on their 2nd (let alone those few on their 5th or 6th) box handling this?

          The PS3 came with this "feature" since day 1. Why the heck did MS drop the ball (for so long?) on such a critical part of DLC purc

          • You're kidding, the 360 doesn't have any way of Self-Relicensing?

            How are people on their 2nd (let alone those few on their 5th or 6th) box handling this?


            The PS3 does all the technical bits perfectly, while the 360 has most of the cool entertainment.
            I'd buy a PS3 once they drop just a wee bit more, but there comes a time when I have to stop
            buying hardware and get some games to actually play on it..no PS3 yet, then.

            I get back at MS, though. They lost money on my Elite upgrade - I paid less than current full
            price for my premium. Plus, I prefer to buy pre-owned from a reputable store. MS only gets their
            tax once, except on the dirt-cheap arcade games.

    • The only problem with that is how difficult it is to get them to give you the points.... Or at least I've heard such from quite a few people who've tried and failed, or tried and finally got them to give in... I'm amazed you got it done twice... (I assume through two dead 360's...) Maybe it's all in how you ask. :) Did you have to get snippy to get it accomplished?

      PSN gives you 5 (I can't remember the exact total... at least two... heh) downloads to any box with your account... (I know, I've installed a ne
  • Moral of the story: (Score:5, Informative)

    by king-manic ( 409855 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:47PM (#22421558)
    Don't buy restrictive DRM. Wii shopping and Xbox live content will only survive as long as your warranty and current machine. Otherwise you will be shelling out to have the manufacturer fix the machine, in some corner cases even if you followed their rules you lose content.
    • DRM'd games can also be played as long as you have the silver account that purchased the game. So, for example: I can take my memory card (with account on it) to a friends house and play a game that account purchased, while at the same time my wife can play the same game on my console at home, since it is DRM'd to both.
      • Yeah, I always thought the DRM was attached to your GamerTag, not the console. it should be a simple matter of redownloading all of your games, since XBL saves the fact that you purchased and you can download them at a later date if you want. I thought this also applied to your saves and whatnot...
        • by provigilman ( 1044114 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:13PM (#22422076) Homepage Journal
          Sorry for the double post, but I just noticed this in the TFA.

          This new replacement console has a different serial number and as a result all of my downloaded content only works now when the purchasing profile is signed into Xbox live. Additional profiles on the system can no longer access the content. I can no longer access the content when I'm not signed into Xbox Live. So any internet issues with my system or Xbox Live (which experienced serious problems for most of last month) means I can no longer use the items I have purchased. As far as I'm concerned since the functionality I had before is now crippled my console has not been repaired.

          So he didn't lose his content at all. He access it using the original purchasing profile while signed into XBox Live. I do realize that this is not perfect, but it's also far from inaccessible.

          Personally, I only use one profile that automatically signs into XBL, so the only time this would affect would be when my internet is out. Granted, that's not how it works for every user, but I would guess that this is how it works for most of them. It could use some fixing, but in the meantime it's usable.

          All MS really needs to do is come up with some way to import the console specific settings during the replacement process. They'be been pretty good about releasing updates to the console as well as the games, and if this is a widespread problem I'm sure it will get addressed. Hopefully sooner, rather than later.

          The good news though is that maybe this will spur them to create an import process for the next console. Afterall, they'll probably have a torch carrying mob storming Redmond if you can't play the content you downloaded onto your 360 on the next-gen MS console.

          • by C0rinthian ( 770164 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @04:52PM (#22425544)

            Personally, I only use one profile that automatically signs into XBL, so the only time this would affect would be when my internet is out. Granted, that's not how it works for every user, but I would guess that this is how it works for most of them. It could use some fixing, but in the meantime it's usable.
            But it's not usable. (Not as it originally was)

            Say you have Rock Band, and you buy a bunch of DLC tracks. If you get 3 friends over, you can play those tracks in a band. Cool.

            Then your Xbox dies and you get it replaced. If I'm reading this stuff correctly, then when you try to do the above, it won't work. Because now, only the purchasing profile (yours) has the rights to use the DLC. No more DLC for your band unless your three friends have bought the tracks on their own live accounts. This goes for anything that is multiplayer, including Live Arcade games. You'll only be able to play trial versions if you have friends over.

            Obviously, this is not acceptable.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Nitar ( 261628 )
            In your specific case, it may not be inaccessible. However, in my case it is. If you have other people using your 360 with their own gamertags, only the gamertag that PURCHASED the content from the XBox Marketplace is allowed to use it. Also, it only works if you are connected to the internet on your 360.

            Unfortunately, I purchased many of the arcade games for my kids, who have their own gamertags. Now they can no longer play the titles.

            This is a HUGE problem in my opinion, and I've been screwed over by
            • Just out of curiosity...have you actually tried deleting and redownloading the games? XBL keeps a purchasing record tied to your GamerTag so that you can always redownload something you deleted. Try that with one of your games and see if it fixes the problem, I'm very interested to know.
        • by ashridah ( 72567 )
          It's a little from column A, and a little from column B in this area, if memory serves.

          Last time I checked the terms, the general deal was that on the original unit you bought the content, it would be usable by anyone with an account on that unit. Additionally, if you logged in with your Xbox live account on someone else's unit, you would be able to download the content again, but only you would be able to use it on that unit, if someone else logged in instead, the content would be unavailable

          I haven't veri
        • according to the article, it's tied to both your XBLive tag, and some unique Hardware ID attached to that specific console. That way other people on the same Xbox can play content downloaded onto it, even if they didn't purchase it. When you replace the console, the hardware id is lost, and the only thing left that they can verify is the gamertag. So you can still play the content downloaded with that gamertag, but not with any other.
        • You are right (I think), in that you can redownload the content and play on any console with you logged in.
          The problem comes when you are offline, or when one of his other family members are using the original console at home.

          In the first case, when not logged in the roaming rights vanish and his content will not play because it is not the original machine.

          In the second case, the family members cannot view the content stored on the drive because the content thinks it is not the original purchasers machine s
        • For games when you get a warranty replacement console they do some magic to your account so you can just redownload all the games on the new console and you will be able to play them without being signed in on that console.

          It's a bit of a pain but it's not that bad. Whether or not that applies to media (ie. Movies) I don't know, but I guess it doesn't.
        • by xero314 ( 722674 )
          DLC on the 360 is "attached" to both your GamerTag and the console it was originally Downloaded to. What this means is that you can continue to download and use the content as long as your are either using the the original console or are logged in using your GamerTag.

          What this ends up meaning is that when you get a new console, for what ever reason, you can only use your previously DL'ed software when you are logged in to XBox live. This is a real pain for people that have multiple GamerTags in their hou
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ark42 ( 522144 )
      I had my Wii replaced under warranty, and while all of my downloaded virtual console games were gone, when I logged into the Wii Shopping channel, it remembered all of my purchases on my account, and they could all still be downloaded for free. The only downside is all of the Mii's I had stored were transfered over from my old Wii by Nintendo, they could no longer be edited in the Mii Editor because they "were not created on this Wii". That is solvable with the tools that let you edit your Mii's on your com
      • They did a disk copy of the drm data to the new wii or you got your old wii with the info cleaned out. I swapped and they didn't allow and wouldn't support any form of recovery so I am abstaining from purchasing anything from them.
        • by Ark42 ( 522144 )
          I got a new wii with a new serial number, and they copied the data over. My Wii Shopping account still remembers everything I purchased on the old serial number and lets me redownload it just fine on the new system.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gorbachev ( 512743 )
      XBox 360 didn't use to have DRM. It was introduced as a dashboard upgrade in October 2006, 11 months after the launch of the system.

      So if you bought downloadable content from the Microsoft XBox Marketplace before the DRM upgrade, you did actually buy DRM-free content. The DRM was applied on it after-the-fact.
      • XBox 360 didn't use to have DRM. It was introduced as a dashboard upgrade in October 2006, 11 months after the launch of the system.

        Sounds like an MS Service Pack to me. Introduce things that people don't want, that add to the complexity of the system, change the way things work, and in general make a less desirable and more trouble-filled experience for the end user.

        Thank yo MicroSoft.
  • I heard about this a while back, and that's why I've bought -nothing- on my 360 via XBox Live since then. My box is already glitchy and I"m just waiting for it to decide to die.

    I also heard that there -is- a way for them to convert the content over, but that they won't do it for most people. I forget the exact details now, but it involved shipping it to them for them to handle it. Obviously, they don't admit it's possible very often... And I assume that's because they'd have to do it with almost every c
  • My Xbox didn't red-ring, but instead was scratching discs at an alarming rate and rendered my copies of several games unplayable. When I sent mine in for repair they gave me a new unit, but all my XBLA games and purchased video on my hard drive played perfectly on the new unit.

    My bigger problem was getting them to reimburse me for my lost month of Xbox Live and the destroyed non-MS game discs...
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I regularly take my hard drive and pop it in to seperate machines and it works fine with all of my content. Saved games, and XBLA purchases. Maybe there is more to the story? Anybody with an Xbox 360 and a friend who has one too can prove for themselves that this story is most likely some crazy incident that would never happen to the general public or just complete bullshit.
      • The DRM accepts you if you're logged in to live using the account it was purchased on. The alternative is that you're on the console it was purchased on. So you can play games on a friend's 360 for example, but you have to log in. He's complaining because his internet connection goes down frequently and he wants to play offline.
    • That's surprising. I got a card for a month of XBL access when they returned my machine w/o my even having to argue about it...Inconsistent customer service, perhaps?
      • Microsoft sends out 1 month of Live Gold membership cards to everybody who sent in their console relating to Ring of Death issues. I'm not sure if they do that for other repair issues.
        • Good point-- it's very true that the ring of death issues are being handled as an exception case.
  • Seems like this is more of a Microsoft issue than DRM.

    Microsfot: "Have DRM, will attempt to screw!"
  • by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:05PM (#22421944)

    because upon receiving his replacement, he found that he could no longer access any of the media he had purchased through Xbox Live.

    Uh... no... RTFA...

    This new replacement console has a different serial number and as a result all of my downloaded content only works now when the purchasing profile is signed into Xbox live. Additional profiles on the system can no longer access the content. I can no longer access the content when I'm not signed into Xbox Live.

    I'm not saying it's not a problem... it is... You get the same situation if you try to upgrade to an Elite or a unit with HDMI as well (and MS doesn't reimburse you points for that) But you're not 100% cut off from your media (You just have to be logged in...all the time... like even during XBox Live downtimes...).

    • It too bad there isn't an alternative [playstation.com] out there that was more friendly to this sort of thing. You know ...

      ... a console that would let you download your DLC as many times as you wanted to up to five 'registered' consoles, with the same rights on each download.

      ... a console where almost all of the DLC can be played by any Profile on the console as long as a Profile that purchased the content was on still loaded on the console.

      ... a console where you can upgrade the hard-drive yourself maybe, instead of r

      • It too bad there isn't an alternative [playstation.com] out there that was more friendly to this sort of thing.

        Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3 are not as perfect of substitutes as you make them out to be. Case in point: Xbox 360 has downloadable Lumines. GBA has a downloadable Lumines clone [pineight.com]. But the PS3 does not have Lumines, nor does it have any other downloadable product with the same rules as Lumines.

        • Absolutely true. You're right, they are not a perfect subset. However they are competing in the same marketplace, which makes it an alternative. Do PS3 players wish they had Mass Effect? Some probably do. Do 360 players wish they had Metal Gear 4? Again, some probably do.

          There isn't really a 360 version of PixelJunk Monsters either (if we want to look at DLC). The PC has DeskTop Tower Defender, but thats not really the same experience.

          I'm sure some of the gamers on each system would also sell their f
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by PopeGumby ( 1125507 )
        It really is too bad there isn't an alternative.

        Thats terrific. I'm seriously considering this alternative. Tell me - how do I play Saint's Row on this alternative? After all, it's one of my favourite games, and I've played it to death...

        Oh, I can't?

        Okay, well then how about Viva pinata? My girlfriend and I love playing that together, its so much simplistic fun.

        Oh, I can't.

        Well, one of my favourite multiplayer experiences is Halo3, surely I can play that on this "alternative" system? No?

        Well, I guess since
        • Good points, although I'd start by pointing out that there are a number of games that are unique to each console.

          - Saint's Row 2 [wikipedia.org] is due out for both consoles at the same time. If you've loved the first one so much that you've "played it to death", the second might be enjoyable.

          - I'd suggest getting Viva Pinata for Windows. You'll have no problems with this DRM download nonsense, and be ale to use your existing controllers if you have to send your 360 in for repairs, or decide to upgrade the model. I'd al
      • ... a console that has free downloads of demos and previews and other content? ... a console that has free online services? ... a console with free online multiplayer? ... a console that has a built-in backup feature to let you back up all of your content, including DRM'd content to an external drive? ... a console that lets you install a 3rd party OS onto it legitimately? ... or maybe a console whose online multiplayer games [warhawk.com] include 1080p and 4 player split-screen with simultaneous online play with up to 3
  • It sounds like Microsoft owes him a fresh copy of everything he's bought from MS or through MS's store, plus his out-of-pocket costs for non-MS software he lost access to if any, plus his lost time for not offering him this refund from day one.

    I hope he doesn't ask for $54 million [slashdot.org].
  • How many thousands of consoles have failed since Xbox Live started selling movies/shows? This is just now becoming a news item?
  • There is some serious bias in the summary. It's implying that the XBox 360 currently has a defect rate in 1 and 3, but if you read the linked wikipedia entry, that number was stated for the initial defect rate of the original models. The newer consoles have a much lower defect rate.

    That and trying to say that you couldn't access the content on a different 360, why don't you just come out and say it, you're an anti-ms trash talking troll.
  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:35PM (#22422440) Homepage
    What happened to me:

    1.) Red ring of death (fuck you, Microsoft).
    2.) TAKE HARD DRIVE OFF CONSOLE. Send in console for repair.
    3.) Get different console with different serial number back. Place hard drive on it.
    4.) Console wants to verify my Live account online. Go for it.
    5.) All content accessible.

    So I'm not really sure what happened to this guy.
    • But can you play your content when you're not logged on?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by vicious0000 ( 720122 )
      Agreed. I have the exact same experience as SilentChris. They TELL YOU to keep your hard drive when you send the console in for repair. You get a new console back, set up your account info, and it works. I've had to send my 360 back once so far, and have not had any problems with content I've downloaded and paid for. And YES, I can still play all my content while offline.
    • "5.) All content accessible."

      ONLY when signed in to your Xbox Live account, other users of your Xbox have to now use your account to access the stuff they could previously get under their own 'local' profiles.
    • by Taulin ( 569009 )
      I have the same issue. I bought CSOTN theme, and it only kicks in when I log into Live. I had my 360 fixed, but it came back in the same shell, and SN on the back.. However, since I had to download and install all the updates again, I guess they replaced the insides.
    • Same thing here. I had no issue with playing content from old box on new box. I think this is some kind of myth that happened to a couple people and it spread throughout the net that it happens to everyone.
      • No, it's not really a myth if it's true. You can't access your content unless you're logged in, and though this is only a sometimes occasional maybe restriction, it's less than what you paid for, and it's legitimate for customers to complain when they don't get what they paid for.

        It is awful enough that 360s are the least reliable console ever (I'm kinda mad because mine failed recently). After that delay in getting a working system, it's kinda lame that we are then punished, even if only a little bit.

        • I wonder what the requirements are for this to happen? I know I did not get the same Xbox 360 back when mine failed last year but I kept the hard drive of course. I can play all my arcade games offline, I was off the internet for several days just recently and they all worked fine.
    • by CaseM ( 746707 )
      How about a 4a or a 4b?

      4a. No Internet access or Xbox Live is down

      4b. Multiple gamertags in the same household

      That changes your #5 to:

      5. All purchased DLC inaccessible
  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:38PM (#22422508)
    I've been through 2 360s and each time MS have turned it round into a positive experience for me, as the first time they told me to make a new free silver account and they'd credit the points to that account so I could rebuy and they did this within 3 days which is fine, whilst some may argue the console shouldn't die in the first place I got a there and then swap out from the retailer, furthermore I was given £30 worth of MS points for my troubles.

    The second time it happened I got one of the new Falcon chipset 360s with HDMI which is a great thing for me in the first place as my monitor wont do 1080p over analog VGA so I finally got the option to run at 1080p with this new console. They also now have a set procedure for porting ownership of content to a new console and have done for a fair while whereby you merely submit your new console ID and a scan/fax of the replacement receipt from the retailer and they'll port the content ownership to the new system. Again, I was given a free 2100 points, not as much as last time but still something.

    So the second time I got a sweet new V2 console and both times I got nice fresh new controllers and headsets which is a bonus as those type of things get a bit worn and tatty after a while anyway.

    Should the system fail? Well of course not, but to suggest the process with dealing with faulty consoles is a big deal I think is a bit silly, having known 2 other people with RROD'd 360s who have also had similar experiences to me in that it's been quick and easy. Of course people have bad support experiences, personally I'd never purchase from Dell ever again as the result of such an experience but with bad support experiences on the net it's very easy to bend the truth a little, as I say what strikes me as odd is my last console was dealt with about 3 months ago and when I called support they were well aware of the issue and also the set procedure I mentioned they now have for dealing with DRM moves (rather than the previous aformentioned method of granting you points to rebuy on a new account to re-tie the games to a new console).

    Besides, I'm not sure why this is news, the V2 consoles have been out ages now so the RROD whine is rather obsolete and I'm rather suprised to see last years whine making headlines again, aren't we supposed to be laughing at MS about how HD-DVD failed or something instead now?

    Don't get me wrong, no DRM at all would be the best solution but let's face it, how many people would just copy games onto memory cards and pass round to their mates? Hell, you can even get memory card/360 hard drive to USB adapters so likely people would just grab them off bittorrent! I'm against DRM on a PC because it's a failed concept but on a console I see it as part of the package and in a way, one of the main tools consoles have for defeating cheating that is a major issue in online PC gaming.
    • That's an impressive post.

      Our 360 died also a few months back. I'm totally pissed about the "gotta be logged in" to play my games crap. I absolutely, unequivocally do not like the idea that I MUST have my 360 actively connected to the Internet at all times that I want to play my purchased games.

      My 360 is connected to our network via a hardline in our entertainment center. If I want to move the system to another room to play (eg, bedroom, etc...), I need to drag a network wire across my house and hope nobody
      • by Xest ( 935314 )
        So have you actually tried calling XBox tech. support to switch the DRM licenses to your new console?

        That'll solve the very issue you're talking about as mentioned in my other post and you'll almost certainly also get some free extra points as compensation.

        I know what you mean, the situation sucks, I didn't like it either but my point here has been that despite the fact I really didn't like the situation, Microsoft did a fair bit to not only resolve but compensate me for the issue too. It is a pain in the a
    • Nice astroturfing, Bill.
  • Seems to me this is the sort of thing small claims court was created for. It's cheap, and with such a small amount at stake MS would probably just not show up and he'd win a default judgment. Clearly with all the effort he's put into it up until this point, it's something he'd be willing to go through the trouble of a court hearing over.
  • ... to rule them all!

    Sorry, just had to.

    Seriously, < insert boring old lame DRM quote here >
  • A lot of people are mentioning returning their consoles for replacement, and going through more than one as if it is the accepted norm. Is this really so?
  • by Osty ( 16825 ) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @02:57PM (#22423812)

    According to the article, this happened recently (Feb 2008). However Microsoft has had a solution for DRM problems on consoles replaced through warranty repair since May or June of 2007. I don't think they publicize it like they should, but the last time I went through repair was June and the process was brand new so maybe they do better now.

    Anyway, it works like this:

    1. Your Xbox 360 breaks. You call support, schedule a repair, and send it in. KEEP YOUR HARD DRIVE (though this only matters if you care about your save games)
    2. You receive your replacement console 1-3 weeks later.
    3. You drill down in your account information off of the Marketplace blade to find your Download History.
    4. You go through your download history, re-downloading each DRM-protected piece of content you wish to be able to use offline on your new console.
    5. The downloads go extremely quickly, because you kept your hard drive. You're not actually re-downloading the whole content (that would suck for a 6GB Xbox Original game, for example). Instead, you're just downloading a new key that will sign the content to the new console ID.
    As of right now, this process is only available if you go through the official Microsoft repair process (in warranty, or for $100 out of warranty). If you use a store replacement warranty, take advantage of a store's lenient return policy like CostCo used to have, or replace the console yourself (because you want to upgrade, or you hacked your console and it won't make it through official repairs), you're screwed. The rekeying process requires manual intervention to invalidate the old console ID and set up the content to retrieve a new key when you download it again.

    Yes, it's a rather tedious process and it would be great if there was a "Download all premium content again" option to make it go quicker, but that's beside the point. The only value to this article is to show that customer support agents can suck. But we all knew that already, right?

  • I had the same problem... I had another gamer tag and for the reason for moving to the US, I had to create a new one. When I got a RRoD, I turned in my console, and got a refurbed one. Then when I tried playing quite a number of games that I had downloaded via XBox Live Arcade, they no longer worked. I contacted XBox technical support, and they basically couldn't troublshoot my issue. I gave up, but honestly, I wish I could get the 4 or games back working again... they were fun to play, and expensive.
  • And this is why I just download or rip whatever I'd like to watch to my PC, and then use Winamp Remote to view it upstairs on the big TV with my 360. /arrr
  • He could only access purchased items with a specific account

    A lot of Xbox Live content is tied to specific accounts, the machine having a different serial and red rings have nothing to do with it. While it does effectively double the cost of having multiple Live accounts on the same box, it also lets you transfer your user and content to any box you are playing on. My guess is he hadn't tried accessing the content with another account before, otherwise he would have noticed it before the red rings.

  • Sure, I'm trolling, but I couldn't resist. But really, when it came down to how I was going to spend my hard earned money, PS3 or 360, the 80GB PS3 won hands down. I have had zero issues with it over the past year, the Blu-Ray has turned out to be the dominant HD format, it connects to TVersity on my PC for streaming movies and music, it is just a superior piece of equipment. You sure don't hear anything about 1 in 3 PS3 failures like you do the 360. Just give the finger to MS and switch!
  • The more that they try to control every aspect of using the device pushes me farther away from consoles. If they stop developing for the PC I will just not play those games.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.