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360's failure rate now pegged at 16 percent

It's no secret that early Xbox 360 hardware breaks and breaks often. So much so that last Summer, Microsoft had to pony up a few billions to extend the 360's warranty just to make consumers happy. Now, with new failure estimates hitting the news-wire, we learn how bad it (potentially) was.

A recent report coming from electronics warranty analyst SquareTrade has estimated that 16.4% of all Xbox 360 consoles has a hardware defect. A huge number when compared to the estimated 3% failure rate of both the PS3 and Wii. The estimate was calculated from a sampling of 1000 consoles as SquareTrade reports that overheating problems were the main cause of hardware failures. They also expect the failure rates to climb over time as more and more 360 owners encounter the eventual effects of overheated consoles. The bright side at the ends of this gloomy, monochrome rainbow is the fact that 16.4% is a lot less than the once rumored 30% failure rate. So, that's kind of good. We guess that's the best job we can do at putting a "good news spin" on this.

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