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Motley Fool tells MS to get its act together

Adding himself to the ever-growing pool of Xbox 360 failure coverage, Seth Jayson of The Motley Fool is warning investors that the Xbox 360's failure rates could hurt its future growth. After receiving the dreaded Ring of Death himself (and some faulty Zunes), Jayson has some fighting words for Microsoft. Of particular note, is the statement that the actual failure rates aren't as important as the perceived failure rates. In other words, the stories of multiple failed Xbox 360s are much louder than Microsoft's claims that failure rates are within the acceptable standard. Jayson admits that, when functional, the Xbox 360 is a topnotch game player and an excellent media hub to boot, but if the public perceives it as faulty, then Microsoft stands the chance of "alienating potential customers and crimping future growth." In conclusion, Jayson notes that Microsoft must address these basic hardware issues before it can effectively execute its plans for new-gen dominance.

What do you think? Do you know anyone who was swayed from getting an Xbox 360 based on failure horror stories?

Reader Comments (Page 1 of 4)


6-08-2007 @ 3:12PM

TiltedCircle said...

I had a VERY hard time with this issue. I am in love with this console yet when I got Three Lights of DOOOOOM Three months after I purchased my console, I was very concerned. It didn't help matters when I was reading the numerous horror stories while at work. I really despise the fact that Moore is not concerned about the defect, but the resolution and customer support. Let's keep this ball rolling and hopefully M$ will get the picture and do something about this "lil" glitch.

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6-08-2007 @ 3:12PM

Jeramy said...

yeah, i have a friend that said he would get a ps3, and i pretty much convinced him to get a 360 once he found out the controllers had changed. then he went online and saw all about 360 failures, so either he's just kidding around or he's actually going to buy a ps3 again. but he's an idiot, so he won't really listen to me when i tell him that i'm the only person out of about 6 of my friends that has had a failure.

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Knight Marquise3

6-08-2007 @ 3:15PM

Knight Marquise said...


While I have no doubt there are 360's that have failed, I really find it hard to believe it's as wide spread as the series of tubes, or ps3fanboy for that matter, would have us believe.

Unfortunately, all we have is our own anecdotal evidence to go on. Personally, I've purchased 5 360's, one of them being a launch console. Not because they've failed, but for my kids and wife, plus I needed an elite to try out the HDMI. You'd think I'd be replacing these every other month according to the internet.

Lastly, even should MS give us actual failure rates, if it's less then the internet believes, how likey is it to be believed? Most likely, they'll just be called liars, and the rampant rumors will continue.

Bottom line is, in my opinion, the 360 offers the best next gen gaming and online service out of the competition. The internet rumors haven't prevented me from purchasing more consoles, and alot of folks have bought 360's after playing on one of mine.

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6-08-2007 @ 3:19PM

Sirurza said...

I know a person on a single forum that says he won't get a 360 until the failure rate situation improves. However, this is the same person that doesn't want a Wii and is waiting for PS3 to have "a serious price drop." So I don't know.

Anyway, I've had my 360 since December 26, 2005. Easy to remember date, it's the day after Christmas (funny part is I got my PS3, December 30, 2006.. the day before New Years Eve, I have strange luck with nextgen systems huh?) Point is, my 360 is a year and a half old.

I've experienced 1 red ring. Why? Cause I made the silly mistake of installing an Intercooler with a game in the disc drive. I must have jarred it lose while I was attaching it. Shut it off and turned it back on via the eject button and everything has been cool. Aside from the GRAW2 demo locking up.. thankfully the full version doesn't.. my 360 is still running happily. I play 4-6 hours a day. I do not use it as a dvd player. And really only download marketplace games and game trailers (most trailers get deleted right away or when I finally get the game.)

I have a friend who leaves his 360 on 24/7. He used to do the same thing with his original XB. He's had it for almost a year now and hasn't had any problems at all.

I don't know what the deal is with failed 360s, but I can't believe that all of them come down to manufacturing. I have to believe it's how people treat their systems because my original XB still works and I got it when they started packing the S-type controller with the system.

(My launch PS2 works as well. Though the cd/dvd tray has an annoying tendency to pull itself back in automatically when I hit eject on it. But that happens common place with the older cd/dvd drives of that generation.)

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6-08-2007 @ 3:19PM

Joshua said...

It didn't stop me but I hate adding it to the downside when I talk to people looking to buy one. Now in my experience me and my friends have been lucky. Of the 12 friends I have with a 360 only 2 have had to have repairs. But the fact that I think of my group as 'lucky' should really say something. Failures are almost expected.

It was a reason why I decided not to go for the Elite upgrade. I might purchase another unit once the 65nm are available. And that would only be after I wait a little bit to see about reliability.

Oh and the noise which is getting louder and louder by the day with my unit.

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6-08-2007 @ 3:23PM

Benjamin09 said...

Maybe some of the people online stating their 360 broke is working at the same marketing firm that did the PSP website......

I had the ring of death once...then I plugged in the HDMI cord to the TV, problem solved!

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6-08-2007 @ 3:24PM

Toph said...

On my second unit. First died 8 months after purchase. I blamed Live; I was downloading a demo while playing Crackdown and got the three lights.

I'd say it's a solid 30% failure rate for 360 consoles. It sucks, but the console offers me what I want content-wise.

I have many friends waiting on a Microsoft system AFTER the 360 if the failure rate is decreased or exterminated completely. They're still playing their PS2's.

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6-08-2007 @ 3:25PM

Sirurza said...

The noise Joshua is caused by the dvd drive. Sadly there's little microsoft can really do about that. Yeah the PS3 is quieter in that regard, but it also has a different type of drive, there's no tray on it.

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6-08-2007 @ 3:28PM

Josh said...

Mine has failed once on me but that was my fault for plugging it into a outlet with faulty power. Since I've got mine back it's been rock solid without a single hitch. I really do hope that Microsoft does figure out how to solve the cooling issue the 360 has so people will have more confidence in the product they're buying.

To me, the 360 has been an absolute great experience and is definitely my favorite console to date. I can't get past the Wii's graphics and crappy controls (for most games) and I can't stand the PS3's controller itself plus the fact there's no rumble as of now. It really does feel like a cheap piece of plastic with bad locations for the analog sticks. Anyways...Xbox 360 FTW!

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6-08-2007 @ 3:31PM

Toph said...

To add..I don't know what SOME people are doing to their consoles, but I'm advocate that MOST do nothing out of the ordinary to have garnered a bricked console. For me I treated mine with kid gloves; never leaving it on when I was out of the room more than a few minutes, never leaving it on overnight to download anything, and I went as far as to not use my computer for the internet while I was on my 360. (shared router.)

My console died suddentely (sp, sorry) when downloading a game demo. That was it. It froze my game of Crackdown and began to flash the lights. It was that frighteningly simple.

Be careful everyone!....enjoy your consoles, but realize the day of death is probably within a few months or less. These things are near disposable, and it's near impossible to do anything to prevent the red ring.

Dispite that..I'm sticking with the 360. I refuse to get a PS3 unless they offer no less than 5 exclusive, amazing titles..something I don't expect before the end of the decade.

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6-08-2007 @ 3:32PM

Bravo6 said...

I'm on my 3rd 360, the first got the 3 rings, the second one the DVD drive stopped reading discs and so far the third has been solid.

My brother is also on his 3rd 360, the first was the 3 rings, and the second one stopped reading 360 discs, but would read original xbox games and dvd movies.

Other than my brother and I, I only know of 1 other person out of about a dozen friends that has had a problem.

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6-08-2007 @ 3:39PM

mheat2k6 said...

Ok first off, lets stop calling everyone with a defective 360 liars! I have 10 friends I convinced to buy a 360, 9 of them have died, I felt like it would never happen to me, and doubted the stories online, till it happened to me.

1st one died 6 months after launch, got it replaced, then the replacement died 6 months after that! And you know what MS did for my pain and suffering? they offered to fix it and extend the warranty 1 year at the special cost of 140$ :)

So basically they told me to bend over and pull my pants down, I agree, the 360 is the best console ever made, BUT MS has a SERIOUS problem on their hands...

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Tony Bowman13

6-08-2007 @ 3:41PM

Tony Bowman said...

nice, linking to Seth. i know him personally. he sits at the desk next to my wife at The Motley Fool.

he was a big fan of his 360 before it Red Ringed on him. he's sad he's impatient waiting for it to get back from repair so he can slay more Zombies in Dead Rising.


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Emperor Samoth14

6-08-2007 @ 3:43PM

Emperor Samoth said...

That would be me. I was thinking about actually getting an Elite, since I already had my 360 replaced once. I reconsidered that purchase since there's a good chance the 360 will break again, so I will opt to get a PS3 instead. It might take a couple of more allowances to afford one, but there's nothing like piece of mind and a BD player to boot! BTW.. I also have the HD-DVD drive, so I feel kinda burned by Microsoft on how that format is managing against Blu-Ray.

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6-08-2007 @ 3:45PM

Viridium said...

Five friends (inclusive) play. Three 360s have broken. 60% failure for our group.

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6-08-2007 @ 3:49PM

razer said...

MS needs to address this. They need to be very open and very public about this. Whatever the case with the hardware, the preception is out of control and I believe it's already impacting future purchases.

I have 2 360's. 1 from launch works great, the second did died with 1 Red Light hardware failure. Took it back and got a new one and it's been great for about 6 months.. But I noticed last night it was having problems reading some of my discs.. Now I'm worried.

What the hell is wrong with MS's quality control? Is it going to take a class action lawsuit to actually get them to address this? Recycling refurbs isn't cutting it, they are still failing..

Wasn't MS supposed to answer to a European inquiry about scratched discs?? What happened with that?

If have any additional hardware issues, I will be selling what I have and move to something that is more reliable and I don't have to worry everytime I turn it on that it will be the systems last.

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Tony Bowman17

6-08-2007 @ 3:50PM

Tony Bowman said...

i know 7 people besides me that have had 360s for a year or longer, without any failures or hardware/software issues. i've had mine since october of 2006 and have had no problems with mine either.

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6-08-2007 @ 3:55PM

intRvenous said...

For nearly a year, I was convinced the failure stories where blown waaay out of proportion to sling mud at Microsoft. Since then, two close friends have had their's die. I'm not so worried mine will die - if it does, it does - but as this article states, this is now out of hand and starting to do untold damage to the Xbox brand.

It's maddening because game-wise, the 360 puts other consoles to shame, well on its way to winning the war (once the Wii's novelty wears off ;-) MS's dirty little secret is slowly becoming public knowledge...

C'mon MS, sort it out. Even if it means admitting design flaws publicly and manufacturing a new design. Take it on the chin - people will respect that you owned up to it and corrected the problem. You may lose $ for this generation, but you'll still be in the running for the next...

On a related note, are the failure rates any better with the Elite?

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6-08-2007 @ 3:59PM

intRvenous said...

...if we're talking percentages: 6 friends, 2 fatalities: 33.3% Not Good.

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6-08-2007 @ 4:04PM

Joshua said...

Sirurza, I understand there might be little Microsoft can do about the drives unless they decide to look for another supplier that can provide better drive. We've been using disc based media for some time now, I can't think back to a time where my drives have ever been so noisy as my 360.

Okay...I can think of iMac.

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