Sunday, August 10, 2008

Red Ring of Death

My Xbox 360 console died two weeks ago on 26 July 2008. Yes, when I turned it on that morning all I got was the infamous 'Red Ring of Death'. These three flashing red lights is the Xbox 360's way of informing you of a general hardware failure.


I was aware of the Xbox 360's rumoured unreliability. I'd done a fair bit of research and had seen posts in forums of gamers bemoaning the loss of their Xbox due to the 'Red Ring of Death', or RRoD as it is commonly referred to. While I believed that some units could be faulty I suspected that the RRoD problem (which is believed to be due to overheating) was more than likely contributed to by overplaying and poor care of the console by these gamers.

I purchased my Xbox 360 only seven months ago on 17 December 2007. I'd even delayed my purchase by several months to ensure I bought one with one of the newer 65nm CPUs (codenamed Falcon) which meant there would be less heat build-up within the unit. The one I got had only been manufactured the month before in November 2007.

So for the last seven months I've been enjoying my Xbox 360 immensely. I took care to place it in a cool, stable area and never played it for more than a couple of hours at a time. I believed if I took care of it and didn't allow it to overheat then I'd get many years of play out of it. How wrong I was. My Xbox 360 was only eight months old when it died (So young. Sniff!).

I've since read that it is believed that there is about a 10% failure rate with the new Xbox 360 Falcon chipsets. Apparently Microsoft don't release any information about the failure rates of their consoles so it's hard to get a clear picture. I do know that due to this problem Microsoft published an open letter on 5 July 2007 recognising the console's problems, as well as announcing a three-year warranty extension for every Xbox 360 console that experiences the "general hardware failure" indicated by three flashing red LEDs on the console (AKA RRoD).

So I called the Microsoft number and they assured me they will fix my Xbox 360 free-of-charge. All I have to do is package up the console safe-and-sound and then post it to the local repair area. They'll cover the cost of postage.

My Xbox 360's 'coffin'

So I'm hoping to get it back in around two to three weeks. I'm also hoping this is the last time I'll ever see the 'Red Ring of Death'.


Dan Corban said...

It's amazing that people continue to throw money at Microsoft even with the very obvious high failure rate and insane amount of time and money wasted on shipping their refurbished units back and forth.

Good luck.

jlMostro said...

I'm sorry for you...I hate when hardware faults.

That is why I always go for Nintendo. They only do gaming consoles and they do it well.

May be graphics are not at the same level but entertainment is way up the scale.

Ken Lee said...

Bad luck, Wayne. I'm sorry to hear that your videogaming experience has been spoiled by the damn RRoD.

I don't know what is the cause of the damn problem, but it hasn't struck me (yet). And this is considering I play it for hours on end, and travelled with it from Singapore to Melbourne. And I got mine about 2 years ago.

I hope your replacement set works out for you.