A survey of 5,000 Xbox 360 owners has found that over 54.2 had a console that failed due to the Red Ring of Death fault that was first exposed on SmartHouse in 2007.
The survey, conducted by Games Informer, is embarrassing for Microsoft who originally denied that the problem ever existed.
In June 2007 we wrote “Retailers are claiming that Microsoft has had to handle a failure rate of over 30% with their Xbox 360 console. More than 100 consumers have written to SmartHouse complaining of either poor service from Microsoft or total failure of their gaming console. One consumer was even given back a refurbished unit in exchange for their original Xbox console”.
Yet despite these startling revelations Microsoft General Manager of Xbox David Mclean claimed at the time that no Xbox 360 problem ever existed.
The Games Informer statistics were based on the magazine’s survey of some 5,000 readers. The publication also calculated the relative death toll for PS3s due to the Yellow Light of Death problem was (10.3 percent). The survey also claimed that Microsoft had the least helpful customer service.
Shortly after SmartHouse exposed the problems with the Xbox 360, Microsoft finally admitted that there were major problems and set aside AU$1.3 billion to fix the problem.
At the time, Microsoft said that it would take “take a US$1.05 billion to $1.15 billion pre tax charge to earnings for the fourth quarter that ended June 30 2007 for anticipated costs under its current and enhanced Xbox 360 policies,” it said.
When SmartHouse first exposed the problem, Microsoft PR company, Pulse Communications, said that it would take two weeks to get a response from Microsoft. Microsoft promised to come back on the issue but failed to. See original story at.
Microsoft specifically cited the “three flashing red lights” error message encountered by Xbox 360 users experiencing hardware failures.
The company said that it will repair or replace devices that experience the “Red Ring of Death” within three years of their purchase. Previously, Microsoft offered a one-year warranty for Xbox consoles.
Microsoft also said that it will retroactively reimburse customers who have paid for repairs related to the red-light error message.