Xbox 360 failure rate at 16pc, claims report

14 Feb 2008

While rival gaming consoles the Nintendo Wii and the Sony PlayStation 3 have on average a breakdown rate of 3pc, the Xbox 360 from Microsoft has been found to have a failure rate of 16.4pc, according to a recent report.

The report’s figures come from a sample of warranty claims from Xbox customers who had taken electronics insurance with UK warranty company SquareTrade. This 16.4pc is in stark contrast to Microsoft’s claim of the industry standard 3pc failure rate.

Last year, Microsoft saw itself paying out a staggering US$1bn on repairing or replacing free of charge any 360 consoles that were experiencing the ‘ring of death’ – the result of a hardware fault which forced the company to extend the warranty on the console from one to three years.

This ‘ring of death’, as it is known by gamers, is a circle of flashing red lights that indicates a general hardware fault in the console and is said to account for nearly 60pc of hardware failure on the 360.

Perhaps the ‘ring of death’ will be eliminated this summer as Microsoft is rumoured to be releasing an Xbox 360 with an upgraded motherboard, codenamed ‘Jasper’, which is said to cut down on the heat output generated by the console, supposedly the major contributing factor to the hardware failure.

However, demand for the Xbox 360 appears greater than ever. Under-anticipating the post-Christmas demand for the console, the Microsoft said it is beginning to run short of supplies in the US, with several stores out of stock.

By Marie Boran