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.