Survey: 54.2% of Xbox 360s fail

By on August 18, 2009, 11:55 AM
According to a recent Consumerist survey, Microsoft's Xbox 360 has a failure rate of about 54.2%. The survey suggests that the Xbox 360 fails about five times as often as its closest failure-prone competitor, the PlayStation 3, of which 10.6% are duds. The Wii fared the best, with about 6.8% units experiencing death.

The magazine came up with the figures after surveying nearly 5,000 readers. In fairness, the Xbox 360's numbers are inflated, as it was the most used console in the survey. The results showed that 40.3% of 360 owners use the console three to five hours per day, which compares to 37% of PS3 owners. 41.4% of Wii owners reportedly play the console less than one hour each day.

Things worsened for Microsoft as the survey continued. It showed that the company has the most unhelpful customer support, taking nearly a month to repair consoles - compared to Nintendo and Sony's week-long repair process. A mere 37.7% of Microsoft customers found its customer support to be "very helpful," compared to 51.1% for Sony and 56.1% for Nintendo.

Despite the lousy customer service and high console failure-rate, only 3.8% of the Xbox 360 owners surveyed said they would never buy another Xbox because of hardware failure.

In an unrelated news story, Microsoft will stop bundling its Xbox 360 Elite with an HDMI cable. I assume this may have something to do with the coming price drop.




User Comments: 27

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Phantasm66 Phantasm66 said:

I can believe that, you know. What was that red ring of death thing all about again...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_technical_problems

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That is an unbelievable failure rate, even if the figures are inflated. Makes me feel even better about being a PC-gaming junkie where dealing with hardware failures is MAYBE a one in four-year experience. Having to deal with something like this would drive me crazy.

Phantasm66 Phantasm66 said:

Makes me feel even better about being a PC-gaming junkie where dealing with hardware failures is MAYBE a one in four-year experience.

-TomSEA

As someone who's media systems are driven by a PC, I can agree that they do probably live for about 3-4 years even if you run them constantly.... I do have to replace the odd PSU now and again and those Western Digital drives are a waste of money, but yeah.

However, as someone who's computing interests have shifted over the years from hardware to operating systems to software development, I can officially confirm that fixing PC hardware problems is a total pain in the ass. Its not good for my blood pressure that - having to get that thing back on its feet after some 3-4 year due death. Perhaps a more easily replaceable device would be better, even if failure rates were a bit higher.

But 54.2%. That's maybe too much.

Phantasm66 Phantasm66 said:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/watchdog/2009/03/xbox_360.html

There's a video if you follow the link.

Guest said:

I had to stop and commment when I saw this article. Im on my 5th 360, and my buddy in Pittsburgh is on his 5th as well. The first was "melted", literally by a nyko intercooler. Fused right to the xbox. The next 4 were all rrod's, and I promise you if I have another bricked xbox Im done with MS. The failure rates are unacceptable, by any business models standards. Not to mention with the resources MS has, you'd think they'd be able to address/fix the problems and be done with it. Yet, here we are, still talking about this issue that has existed since the launch of the xbox 360. Fix it MS, just fix it already. Again, there will be no 6th xbox.

Rage_3K_Moiz Rage_3K_Moiz, Sith Lord, said:

This cannot be verified, since you don't know if they asked which people had the Falcon chipset, and which had the newer Jasper one. This small difference can produce a dramatic difference in the results.

I also believe that the reason so few people said they would never buy another Microsoft console is because of the large repertoire of games that are available, far more than any other console.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Yeah, I'd take the figures with a grain of salt - but the failure rates are still unacceptably high no matter how you angle it, really.

Cut by half (27.1%), that's still nearly one third failure among the polled. Kinda nuts.

If it's isolated to a specific chipset or model etc., there should be a widespread recall, in my opinion.

Guest said:

My GOSH!!! this is sad, The PS3 slim can be pre-order now so now is the time to get one for only $299

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Had my 360 since 07 and just this summer I got the dreaded 3 RROD which is extended under a 3 year warranty. Thankfully I'm an avid PC gamer as well so I have plenty of games to keep me going. Thou this high failure rate is disturbing on a personal level I've never received bad customer support from Microsoft *knocks on wood*. Oh well, hopefully they can improve seriously in the coming years or they're gonna fall to last place in the console wars.

Guest said:

I'm not surprised. Of all the xbox people I know, NONE are on their first machine (and that doesn't even count repairs sent back to MS). I'm somewhat surprised by the PS3 numbers, though, as I've never heard of anyone I know, or even anyone on a comment board like this, ever having a hardware problem with a PS3. And I know just one person with a Wii who needed a replacement.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm not surprised in the least by this story. I've had 3 360's and all of them failed. I don't see why they would stop bundling the hdmi cable with the 360 elite though. HDMI cables are cheap.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

I'm glad to have my Jasper elite...never had a freezing problem much less RROD

Phantasm66 Phantasm66 said:

Guest said:

I had to stop and commment when I saw this article. Im on my 5th 360, and my buddy in Pittsburgh is on his 5th as well. The first was "melted", literally by a nyko intercooler. Fused right to the xbox. The next 4 were all rrod's, and I promise you if I have another bricked xbox Im done with MS. The failure rates are unacceptable, by any business models standards. Not to mention with the resources MS has, you'd think they'd be able to address/fix the problems and be done with it. Yet, here we are, still talking about this issue that has existed since the launch of the xbox 360. Fix it MS, just fix it already. Again, there will be no 6th xbox.

Ah, but did you jiggle and shake your XBOX around like crazy whilst using it like Microsoft insists everyone who has had problems with their's must have done?

You've had 5 of these things? I'd have dubbed it a bad buy after 2.

czplayer czplayer said:

All I can say is this; no shit!

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Wow...I'm blown away by you guys on your 5th or 3rd units. Two would be a wrap for me. I don't know whether to applaud your patience and support for the XBox or call you just plain nuts for putting up with that. ;-)

Yeah phantasm66 - doing PC hardware diagnostics to find a problem can be a pain. But I usually incorporate it 1) into an upgrade of some sort, and 2) use it as an excuse to get my hardware techno-nerd buddies together for some beers and figuring out what went wrong. We all end up learning something from it. I'd definitely rather have that scenario then dropping $300 (or whatever an XBox runs) and having to replace it FIVE times.

Guest said:

Why are you so gullible to be on your 5th xbox in the first place? If you stop buying then M$ will fix the problems.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

So then is it safe to say that, "the XBox is the Emachines of gaming"?

spikester48661 spikester48661 said:

my XBOX is 5 years old and runing well. the xbox 360s all suck......

Staff
Jos Jos said:

I'm on my third Xbox 360 but - as many others I assume - only paid for the first unit. Living outside the US, it wasn't easy to get my free replacements though...

So far I'm happy with my new (Jasper) Elite but would seriously consider switching to the new PlayStation 3 Slim in the event of another failure... $299 for a gaming console plus Blu-ray functionality sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Even though I like the 360's online gameplay, services and dashboard better, having to put up with such failure rates is simply unacceptable.

Guest said:

I believe it, i've got 3 xbox 360's and they have all failed at one point or another, I've got two PS3's and they have been perfect. The 360's have had a DVD failure, 3 rings of death...sent in and repaired and one 360 that got sent in for a 1 or 2 rings of death, i can't recall... but it didn't start up. It was fixed through an extended warranty. $$

The PS3's get used for movies mainly, but they get left on more than the 360's.

overall i would rate the PS3 as a better quality product than the 360. I believe if sony can get a "xbox Live equivelent" they would win the battle in the long run, only because the 360's fail so much.

If you're wondering i got the 360's for the media center extender ability. If sony were to add that they would all be gone.

i believe sony went quality and took a hit on $$, microsoft went cheap and took the early lead because of $$....but the race is just starting to getting interesting.

mp

xlabitor said:

yes the failure rate is unacceptable so far I had my 360 for almost 2 years maybe and I got a cooling system right when I got it. The cooling systems seems to help I put my Xbox 360 on a computer desk away for a wall blocking where the heat is escaping the ring of death usally happens from the 360 getting fried usally if you have windows open them or turn on a air condtioner if it is hot out this has worked for me for the past year and months hope this helps I love the online game play also

Guest said:

This so-called survey is an outright lie and contains no substance.

I have owned many MS consoles over the past 5 years and I have not had any problems whatsoever.

This BS is probably funded by jealous competitors who fail to create a decent gaming experience.

Guest said:

So.. in actuality.. the number of unique buyers is less than half?

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

1 - the figures isn't up to reality, in fact it's far more. I worked in the hardware field & had a lot of Xbox360 in for repair ( I don't - i was in PC section )

2 - people tend to re-purchase that's why the sales figures are high, the main reason they already have a huge game collection & sorry to some who said that Xbox360 has a bigger better library, it's simply not true, I'll agree if you said MS .. for most exclusive are shared with the PC & well i would challenge anyone giving me more than 10 must buy easily .... & no don't come with stupidity about better graphics on multi-platform games ... just plain lie!

3 - Xbox360 has the RROD, PS3 has the YLOD, the percentage show a considerable failure rate for Xbox360 & a low rate, but yet alarming for PS3. No electronic-electrical devices are failsafe, it's a matter of usage. By experience i've seen more dead Xbox360 that as modded !!! So no warranty & then no choice than buy another one for the lame customer already had a mega library of stolen softs ....

we have to be honest about it, things aren't always pink, but if i have to suffer a hardware failure more than once, i won't trust the thing never again ... i just wonder how some can !!!?

well if having some great games like gears of war / splinter cell / mass effect / alan wake or viva pinata is worth it (sorry as a PS3 + PC owner can't find more that are on my envy list along with Natale) ... to re-purchase another console ... i agree with you.

Moreover i can have mass effect & splinter cell on PC

Now with SONY's announcement on GC09, a drop in price of the PS3 & the new SLIM version, i'm pretty sure things will be more interesting ...

to this, sorry for a long post, sorry for those who had hardware failures on any console ..

cheers!

grumpiman said:

Guest said:

So.. in actuality.. the number of unique buyers is less than half?

Good point! So when Microsoft quotes how many XBox 360s they shipped last year, does that mean over half of them were replacement units? :-)

Docnoq said:

Guest said:

This so-called survey is an outright lie and contains no substance.

I have owned many MS consoles over the past 5 years and I have not had any problems whatsoever.

This BS is probably funded by jealous competitors who fail to create a decent gaming experience.

The survey is a lie and contains no substance because your Xbox has never died? You, sir, are silly.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wow...I'm blown away by you guys on your 5th or 3rd units. Two would be a wrap for me. I don't know whether to applaud your patience and support for the XBox or call you just plain nuts for putting up with that. ;-)

Well I lost me patience when the 3rd one died. I sent it back to them with the .380acp round I used to kill the beast once and for all. I'm now a PS3 man, and I've had no issues whatsoever.

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