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Friday, February 23, 2007

So ... how defective is the 360?

Even before most blogs echoed it, I read about the 360 enthusiast who went through seven defective machines and really thought about posing this question yesterday. I resisted because while it's an interesting case - it's certainly not exemplary. The guy bought most of his units early (Zero Hour in fact0 and at the same time ... so if there was a defective run and someone was going to get hit hard by it - this was it. And the story does prop up the general consensus that while some 360's are defective, Microsoft can be pretty stand up about it.

But how defective are they now? I still read plenty of anecdotal reports from the blogosphere of 360's going belly up or overheating after a few hours of use. This seems far more persistent and critical than dead pixels or flying UMD's. It's one thing to have a black dot - it's another thing to have a black screen.

So how common are 360 problems? It's nearly impossible to determine a percentage unless Microsoft wanted to compile some numbers on returns - which clearly it won't. The BBC program Watchdog recently bashed the console for post-warranty reliability. Microsoft has made revisions to the console ... but we don't have any way of determining if the previously unknown percentage has lowered.

I can't say this has stopped me from getting one ... my lack of a high def set has stopped me from getting one more than anything else. If I look to get one in the next year or so and I'm still hearing these stories ... then it might.

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