You can buy an official Xbox Red Ring of Death poster for $24.99

Polycount

Posts: 3,017   +590
Staff member
In context: If you were a Microsoft fan back in the Xbox 360 era, you likely remember the infamous "Red Ring of Death." When a 360 unit suffered from a hardware fault of some kind, its power button LEDs would turn red instead of white, and the system would refuse to boot. The issue is infamous because of how widespread it was -- it was not isolated to just a handful of units.

At the time, a Red Ring of Death did indeed mean the death of your console; at least, until you could send it in to be repaired. There were a handful of at-home fixes you could try, but the results were inconsistent, and the methods dubious. When I encountered the Red Ring myself, I remember finding one solution that suggested wrapping the console in a towel and running it for several hours.

Believe it or not, that trick actually worked, but only for a day or two (and I probably damaged my console quite a bit in the process).

The Red Ring of Death was a PR and financial disaster for Microsoft. It reportedly lost the company upwards of $1.15 billion to fix thanks to lost sales from nervous would-be buyers and repair costs.

Microsoft has since learned its lesson, of course, and we typically see fewer catastrophic, widespread hardware failures in modern Xbox consoles. With the whole dilemma in the past, the company hopes to profit from its mistakes by way of a newly-launched Red Ring of Death poster, available through the Xbox Gear Shop.

The poster was launched to commemorate the release of "Power On: The Story of Xbox," a six-part docuseries available to stream right now on several platforms (including YouTube) at no cost. It appears to be narrated by Cortana voice actor Jen Taylor.

The poster doesn't throw any curveballs at you: it is genuinely just an image of a Red Ring-afflicted Xbox 360 Elite power button, with the text "Red Ring of Death" emblazoned in the blank space below it. The poster is $24.99 and boasts a slightly glossy, "fingerprint resistant" coat. It is 18x24 inches in size, and about 0.25mm thick.

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Nintenboy01

Posts: 234   +183
Ah, the days of poor quality lead-free solder - eventually thermal cycling would cause it to crack and reflowing/warming it up was indeed just a temp fix. I think most if not all PS3s of that era would also eventually suffer the YLOD. Reballing was the only long-term fix.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,670   +2,646
Wait. Was the XBOX supposed to be wrapped in a towel every single time you wanted to play after getting an RROD, or was it supposed to be okay for a few days or more at a time afterward?

If people will buy the poster, then I don't have a problem with it.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,741   +6,498
Ah, the days of poor quality lead-free solder - eventually thermal cycling would cause it to crack and reflowing/warming it up was indeed just a temp fix. I think most if not all PS3s of that era would also eventually suffer the YLOD. Reballing was the only long-term fix.
Phat PS3s benefit from a competent cooling system that helps keep the chip from getting too hot. The xbox's thermal cycling is notable because it hits over 90C every time you play a game.

RRODs were also caused by the fake chicom capacitors that were plaguing the computer industry at the time. Open up a RROD xbox and more then half the time there was a failed capacitor in there. Made a lot of money as a teenager fixing these things.
Wait. Was the XBOX supposed to be wrapped in a towel every single time you wanted to play after getting an RROD, or was it supposed to be okay for a few days or more at a time afterward?

If people will buy the poster, then I don't have a problem with it.
The towel trick only worked if you could get the console hot enough to cook itself, and was always a bit of a sham trick. The real "fix" was to reflow the solder in an oven, but that was a minor fix that was not guaranteed long term.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,298   +950
It's actually good marketing . Taking ownership . Like the oppressed taking over the name from the abusers - not sure if I say such words they will be censored :)
 

Aryassen

Posts: 209   +238
That dark, empty poster is depressing...I thought it would be title image of this article, that is actually kind of cool :) (stone me).
 

Nintenboy01

Posts: 234   +183
Phat PS3s benefit from a competent cooling system that helps keep the chip from getting too hot. The xbox's thermal cycling is notable because it hits over 90C every time you play a game.

RRODs were also caused by the fake chicom capacitors that were plaguing the computer industry at the time. Open up a RROD xbox and more then half the time there was a failed capacitor in there. Made a lot of money as a teenager fixing these things.
The towel trick only worked if you could get the console hot enough to cook itself, and was always a bit of a sham trick. The real "fix" was to reflow the solder in an oven, but that was a minor fix that was not guaranteed long term.
yeah, my first PS3 Phat lasted from 2007 to late 2011 and got YLOD. I could get it to work if I repeatedly turned it on and off about 5-10 times (the heat would eventually expand the solder balls so they made contact again). I then bought a slim PS3 with 40/45nm chips in early 2012 and did the system transfer via ethernet. Took nearly 2 days so it was a nail-biting period for sure but the old PS3 was able to stay on the whole time.