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Friday, June 29, 2007

360 Red Light Failure - Reaching A Tipping Point?

Also via Gaming Today (they're not blocked here at work), GamePolitics ponders a bit more closely at the problem of dying 360's:

Although GP is not - yet - ready to declare, as 360 Gamer did, a scandal, the alarming Xbox 360 failure rate is quickly reaching a tipping point. In his excellent Law of the Game blog, attorney Mark Methenitis, who has lost two 360’s to red ring failure, discusses the legal implications:

"The concept of a warranty is simple enough: Someone selling a product assures the buyer that of something… Microsoft has encountered an interesting problem with the 360. The failure rate is high, but so are sales. What is a gamer to do? …What is a consumer to do?

Unfortunately, short of a product recall (which seems unlikely given that is has not happened yet and safety is not the issue) or a class action suit, the individual consumer is likely stuck. Why? The cost of an action against Microsoft would be astronomical, and more than likely, they will just settle before any court could place any actual fault on them in order to avoid future, similar suits."
-- Xbox 360 Hardware Failures - Is It Time for Consumer, Regulatory or Political Action?

Yeesh. So Microsoft will never admit to a endemic problem, because doing such would cripple their defense against what seems like a mounting opinion that something needs to be done ... and that something might end up in court. GP tries to poke at the actual numbers at play here, quoting one source who doesn't buy 360 Gamer's survery which listed 61% of respondents as having failed consoles (web surveys are woefully inaccurate, so...) but pulls a gem of a quote from a service center getting bombarded by returns as saying "We decided it wasn’t in anybody’s best interests to continue the sham that this fault is easily repaired."

That service center being MicroMart, a major repair specialist in the UK. Not some forum flamemonger.


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