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Xbox 360 Failure Rate Is 54.2%
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Old 21st August 2009, 12:14   #1
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Default Xbox 360 Failure Rate Is 54.2%

The Seattle PI Blog is reporting that a soon to be published Game Informer survey finally shows the failure rate of XBOX 360s: 54%! The survey also shows the rates of failure for the PS3 (11%) and Wii (7%). Impressively, only 4% of respondents said they wouldn't buy a new 360 because of hardware failures

http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/176741.asp
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Old 21st August 2009, 12:14   #2
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More than half of the X360 sold need to be repaired... unbelievable
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Old 21st August 2009, 12:18   #3
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Quote:
Xbox 360s are manufactured and tested by Flextronics at their plant in Guad Mexico, known as Flex-Guad.
It is not the fault of Flex that these units fail, it is the poor design that went into them and Flex doesn't care because they are only paid to build it.

Flex runs many different products through their assembly lines for Cisco, Nintendo, Motorola, Avaya, etc and from TFA, other competitors to Microsoft don't suffer failures.

Xboxs are flawed in so many ways:
1) Restricted airflow over heatsinks using air dams
2) Awful heatsink design and little or no thermal paste between Asic and sink
3) The Asic they use are exposed die with no heat spreader
4) Microsoft tried to design their own GPU and processor themselves and failed miserably and hired a 3rd party to correct it
5) Use of lead free solder on their BGAs (very brittle and prone to low yields)

It is no surprise that many units fail due to excessive playing because the 2 main chips heat up to the point of warping the circuit board itself because it is very thin (cost cutting measure).
Microsoft placed the two hottest chips near the center of the board and it warps due to heat. The solder balls crack when the board warps and you get those lovely E74 failures. Turn it off, let it cool and it works for a bit until it warps again.

That x-clamp strategy used on the heatsinks was wrong to begin with. The newer generation Xboxs use solid bolts instead of these locking pins. If you have ever opened an Xbox you will notice those very LARGE capacitors littering the board which are prone to failure with the heat. I have myself repaired Xboxes and can tell you those caps do not survive the removal process for CPU and GPU.

If you are a PCB designer and get a chance to see the XBox circuit board, you can see that Microsoft really didn't build a proper board. They hired a team of monkeys to cobble together the Xbox and tried to fix thier mistakes 3 board revisions later. Nintendo however, built a really nice board for low cost using proper design practices.
http://games.slashdot.org/story/09/0...s-542?from=rss
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Old 21st August 2009, 15:12   #4
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While I do think that is an unacceptable failure rate, you have to give it to MS for doing what they could to help their users afterward with HW issues. While I know a few people with original 360s who have never had a problem, this guy at work had to send his in for repairs 3 times and MS fixed it for free every time. Most company would use that as a chance to screw their users over again but at least MS stepped up to the bat and fixed millions of consoles, sometimes multiple times, for free under warranty.
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Old 21st August 2009, 15:14   #5
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they should have properly designed their product in the first place; or not have pushed to be the first on the market with a broken console; a failure rate this high is worrisome; if they had not taken action to help out their users; you can sure there would have been a class action suite against them for delivering failing hardware.
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Old 21st August 2009, 22:19   #6
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If I recall the failure rate for the first gen consoles was said to be way above this number, closer to 3 out of 4.

More than a few people are on their 3rd (or more) Xbox 360 replacement... after awhile it doesn't matter whether MS keeps replacing it or not, the customer is still getting screwed over.
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Old 22nd August 2009, 14:32   #7
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But they DID get their 3rd replacement, and still got it for free, I wouldnt really call that getting screwed over. I have heard more than a few stories from PS3 users who never got a first replacement under warranty. They had to pay $150 off the bat to get a working unit returned, that sounds like getting screwed over to me.. Im not saying that the 360 should not have been designed better in the first place, of course it should, Im just saying that once it was out, MS at least stepped up and did the right thing. I must be part of the minority because I have personally never had a problem with my 360 in the 2+ years Ive had it..
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Old 22nd August 2009, 19:41   #8
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they must be losing money bigtime in these situations, right?
or have their margins increased seriously?
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Old 22nd August 2009, 20:51   #9
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They'll probably lose money for every repair, but on the other end they also gain some money because every running XBox is source of income for Microsoft.

On the other end, I don't think they care too much, they have enough money to have such high failure rate.
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Old 23rd August 2009, 03:59   #10
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Snipped from an old news story about RRoD:
Quote:
..Microsoft is going to take a $1.05 to $1.15 billion pre-tax charge to earnings for the quarter that ended on June 30, 2007, for anticipated costs that it will incur under the current and new enhanced warranty policies.
It killed their first year earnings and hurt the next couple years, but they've been making a profit ever since. They don't really care anymore because they're making a large profit (and only be making larger profits) as the product's lifespan continues until the next generation of consoles replaces it.

I couldn't find out for sure, but don't users have to pay to ship the Xbox to Microsoft? Or Does MS pay to ship it both ways? Otherwise it certainly is not free, especially after 3 or more RMA's.

Also if the console has such a high failure rate, then what about the customer after the warranty period expires? After three years the RRoD or E74 errors are no longer covered according to their site. Hopefully your good luck streak won't end after your warranty expires in a year, Blackened.

Last edited by Kougar : 23rd August 2009 at 04:01.
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