Retailers estimate that one in every three Microsoft Xbox 360’s sold fails leaving frustrated owners staring at the red ring of death, or worst a black screen that reads “disc unreadable”. When compared to other systems, former EB games associate Matthiew G said…

“Failure rates for all other consoles were not high enough for EB to consider revising their policies. Most other console systems have a failure rate of less than one percent, including the PlayStation 3.”

Not to be left out of the conversation, when another EB Games manager was asked if the store warranty was “worth the price”, he mentioned that the Nintendo Wii, with hundreds of units sold at their location has had ZERO come back as defective. We can hear Nintendo executives patting themselves on the back right now, no wait that’s just thunder.

A Best Buy associate who chose to remain anonymous claimed that the failure rate of the Microsoft Xbox 360 was in the ballpark of “between a quarter to a third” of the systems sold.

That said the Xbox 360 is the most successful console of the next gen bunch worldwide and has the largest market saturation to date with an impressive list of exclusive titles. Simple mathematics tells us that the more there are out there the more of a chance that some will fail, but 33% is still very high.

Microsoft stands behind their estimate that the Xbox 360 failure rate is within three to five percent, which they believe is well within the industry standard and in 2006 increased their warranty from 90 days up to 1 year. While they stand behind their estimate, it unfortunately does not seem to be accurate according to retailers of the product.

Based on a recent poll that was conducted by DailyTech with retailers nationwide, the Xbox 360 was unanimously named the least reliable gaming console in recent history. The high failure rate of the 360 has sent EB games officials back to the drawing board to revise their console warranty policy in 2007 and as a result the one year warranty price on a console is now nearly double!

“We had 35 Xbox 360s at launch I know more than half of them broke within the first six months (red lights or making circles under the game discs). Two of them were dead on arrival.” – said former EB Games employee Matthieu G.

Microsoft has made an effort in the realm of customer service to address the “ring of death” by adding an option to their customer support line (1-800-4MY-XBOX) called “three flashing red lights”. Those of us that still have the Johnny Cash “Ring Of Fire” parody still stuck in our heads, please try and control yourselves.

So while the 360 is the market leader with the Wii gaining fast, maybe consumers should be giving the Playstation 3 a second or “third” look before picking up a next gen console. While we admit that things are not looking great for Sony right now, the company is not going to roll over and die, Blu-ray is the current market leader, and the Playstation 3’s list of titles will only improve as time goes by and more developers familiarize themselves with it’s specs.

Source: DailyTech

Update: 7/5/07 – 8:20PM EST
Microsoft Responds To Failure Reports – Extends 360 Warranty To 3 Years
While most of the country was celebrating the 4th of July, one has to wonder if Microsoft’s legal department was burning the midnight oil, putting the final touches on new coverage warranty.



  1. Great facts Matthew and so true. I also have to agree how Sony fan boys jump at the chance to defame the Xbox 360.

    I sold my PS3 for a Xbox 360 for so many reaons. I didn’t care about the blu-ray or HD-DVD crap or the stuff in side. I just care about which console can give me my gaming live and that is the Xbox 360.

    It won’t be long until the PS3 burns and Sony fan boys will be making up some excuse for Sony’s failure.

  2. wow…………some of u actually think the ps3 is better…….360 has much much better graphics and many games including 1 of the best games ever made GEARS OF WAR and soon GEARS OF WAR 2 are sold only on the xbox 360 so u can spend 400 and get trash games with the ps3 or spend 380 and get better graphics and better games FOR LESS MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and its not like sony is perfect in fact i had 3 ps2 and many pple i no had there ps2 broken it took sony 5 years when the ps3 came out 2 figue out how 2 make systems that dont break xbox is figured it out afta 2 years and there systme is more complex

  3. i have recently purchased an xbox 360 console and i have absolutely no problems with it.doesn’t even get heated up.and no singn of the red ring of surely is the best console

  4. After owning mine with zero problems since May 2007 I was finally struck down by the 3 red flashing lights of death and got me the xbox cardboard coffin, and WOW I got it back in quick order too.
    TOO BAD that I only got to use it for 6 hours before the red lights appeared.
    As of now I am waiting for my second carboard coffin and I am far less then happy about this. Honestly after this and how Microsoft kept there two problems secret for as long as they could doesn’t create any trust with them, so to date this is my last Microsoft product.

  5. Yes high falure rate on the xbox, but the PS3 I just use when the xbox is gone for repairs. Its boring compared to the xbox with xbox live etc..

  6. It’s funny to see the fanboys hit this forum up, and/or MS employees getting paid to make posts. On their website at, the tech portion of the site, you have to be approved by a mod before you can post about a 360. LOL, talk about shady and keeping it hush hush. I am on my 3rd 360 and they have all gotten the RRoD. I am still waiting on it by the way to get returned from the repair center. It is probably going to be a nast dirty refurbished one that is going to the fail again. I have a PS3, and I have had no problems with it at all. I love it. It is functional, it has an internal wireless & bluetooth capabilities, and a blu ray player that put HD DVD out of business. What sucks though is that I have Rockband, NBA 2k, and All Pro Football for my 360 and I enjoy playing those a lot. But I have plenty of games for my PS3, and with GTA4 coming out I am definitely going to get that for my PS3. What is really sad is that MS does not give a shit about us the consumer………

  7. I can’t believe how everyone has turned this into a pissing contest…

    FACT: The 360 has the upper hand in terms of games and street life. Obviously there are some hardware problems, which more or less are being dealt with.

    FACT: In terms of both units, the PS3 is a more sleek, quieter, and well thought out machine. Unfortunately, by luck of the draw, the XBox has had more exposure, and via financial clout, more exclusives than the PS3.

    FACT: I love ’em both…although I have a LOT of reservations about purchasing a 360 (I’ve previously borrowed…) The last thing I need is a console that full of bugs…and if it was a Sony product, I’d be bashing it in the same way. Sometimes slow and easy wins the race…

    So let’s lose the childish banter…and just play the REAL games instead of inventing our own…

  8. First of all lets set things strait. . . the 360 only has a 16% failure rate, which includes a brand new Xbox360 for FREE. . while the PS3 has a failure rate of nearly 6%, and quickly on the rise, as more and more consoles are finding bugs and problems. Just look on eBay and see how many PS3’s are being sold because of malfunctions. As well, the Wii is not much better either, as far as overall sucess with sales as well as performance. The Wii is a complete bust in gaming consoles. Sure people bought it, but soon to find out there are absolutely nothing but piss poor games for people to buy. I have interviewed numerous people with the Nintendo Wii, saying they simply wish they have never bought the console, due to the lack of good games and support.

    So in the long run, I would much rather have the Xbox 360 over the competitors consoles, for the sake of quality (including free repair/console replacement) of the system which neither of the competitors offer (Sony needs to start offering some support for the broken ones soon or their going to have their own little blog like this).

  9. the ps3’s failure rate is .6% not 6% and given most electronics have a 5% failure rate even 6% would have been on average…but .6% is superb.

  10. Yes i was under the impression PS3 and Wii failure rate was in the 0.x range, as stated in the article. And Jimbo I would be very surprised if someone was selling a console on ebay because it had “issues” – at least they wouldn’t admit it, otherwise they’d get no sale.

    Moreover, you’d have to see over 120,000 PS3’s being sold on ebay for the same reason to prove the PS3 has a failure rate of 1%…let alone 6%. What would help is to provide souces.

  11. lol quality and xbox don’t a proper sentence make. 16% failure rate? sure with the current revision maybe and that’s 15% to high. If you followed game news or even this particular story you’d know these are old figures based on launch hardware’s incredibly high failure rate, check the date of post you may notice this was posted before the falcon revision.

    Truth is all launch hardware is defective, poor design and a rush to the market crippled quality control that by now has been proven to have not been part of the 360 creation process.

    If you hurry you can go find the 360 launch article and declare it victory and unveil the dirty truth from the future, sony sucks.

  12. ok i personally cannot stand microsoft theyre garbage i got a box in from microsoft and on the label on the box it said “batch 456 of 1750” if that means how many sets of boxes were sent out then they need to take theyre console and shove it up theyre scrawny little ass GO SONY IM PICKING ONE UP FIRST THING IN THE MORNING CANT WAIT

  13. I am a fan of Playstation. I just hate how all of these fan boys pick on these systems. Its stupid, do they have anything better to do. I have nothing against Xbox and Microsoft i just think its funny how people pick sides, its kinda stupid if you think about it.

  14. I got my Wii in june 2007, and sent it back in june 2008 (this month) to nintendo because it wasn’t reading a games sometimes (getting either “disc cannot be read” or “error has occured, remove game”) on DBZ tenkaichi 3, super smash bros. brawl, NFS pro street, lego star wars, wwe smackdown vs. raw 08, you get the point. i sent my Wii in, and got the disc drive replaced for no charge, not even shipping, and got it back in 12 days

  15. this goes to skip on i think it was jul 5 2007 or 2008? im not sure butt.. ? yes they are going to have a higher failure rate and not just because they were out a “year” earlier? doesnt that show you that they rushed themselves into a new console? i mean the original xbox wasnt even out that long before they got the 360 development going? if we are going to talk about that then hows about we talk about ps2 vs xbox. ps2 had like a 5% failure rate in its many years in front of xbox and not to mention xbox had a higher failure rate and wasnt out as long. i think this is going to be repetitive

  16. Ugh… I’m tired of all these people putting there 2 cents in about their awesome xbox 360’s and how their console reigns supreme. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve played the 360, and yes it IS a great system. The controller feels natural and the selection of games is great, heck even the graphics are close to ps3, but please weigh the facts before you make an irrational decision like I was about to.
    Okay, so you walk into a store and say “hey can I pick up a 360 for $300.” If you care about your console you’ll buy another support fan ($25) and EVENTUALLY you’ll end up spending $50+ for XBOX LIVE if you like live, (which is an awesome experience and you probably should buy it). Okay so you’re sitting at potentially $375. Great.
    Now I walk into a store and say “hey Can I buy a PS3 for $400 please?
    Employee: OH, the PS3? and for just $25 more We’d like to give you a 32-29% failure decrease, saved time from trying to get MS to fix your console, a free blu-ray player added on, a free wifi connection built in and most importantly free online play. Oh wait there’s more, slightly better graphics also, potentially much better graphics later on, and a web browser? It’s pretty much a multimedia machine actually..
    Me: “Ok I’ll pay the extra $25.”
    I don’t have any loyalty to either company but don’t no-brainer decisions seem the most obvious?

  17. YOUKNOW, It doesn’t matter how hard some people work anything above $200 is way to much to pay for a videogame console. Also, some of us will always be third-class poor blue collar workers who have to live from check to check and will never be able to afford anything expensive.

  18. Dustin, The average person doesn’t give all that big of a shit over Blu-Ray or HD-DVD or all this High Definition bullshit. Its the gameplay and the overall enjoyability. Have you ever played Resident Evil 4 on the Wii? I must say that thanks to the control scheme it far outdoes any other port of RE. All because of the gameplay and experience offered by the new control scheme

  19. Well, my xBox360 has broken within the last hour. That dreaded ring of death. What doesn’t help is that it’s outside of its warranty.

    Onto the failure rates, 7 of the 9 of my friends who own a 360 have had it sent back for repair because of either a faulty disc drive, an unknown problem or what we call the matrix! (That what usually happens when the graphics card fails) or the ring of death.

    Now, take a look at the odds above….that a 63% failure rate, include myself and that brings it up to 70%.

    I’m sorry but Microsoft in the recent years have got it into their heads that they can get away with selling unsuitable goods to the public. Just take a look at how Vista has turned out (to be honest it has improved of late) we cannot afford to just throw away a £300 console and buy a new one. My suspicion is that this is where they make the money.

    I’m off Xbox for life, tomorrow I’m going to sell the lot of games, and accessories I collected over the 18 month life of my console.

    The play station 2 never let me down, and the ps3 is calling……..!

    Sony takes their time with their products, and I feel that the ps3 has had some bad press because of its late arrival. To be honest, isn’t that a god-send for it to be late? So what if their production was producing so many faults that they had to hold it back a few months, they would have scrapped the dodgy ps3’s or re-worked them. It just shows that they care about the hardware they produce for our entertainment and Nintendo too.

    All I have to say is:

    Microsoft……UP YOURS!!!

  20. Both consoles are as good as each other , if you like the 360 then instead of wasting time arguing on here then go and play on it , the same goes for the ps3 fans.If your console is that good then why waste time on here when you could be gaming lol

  21. Well, we are now a year and a half or so further on from this and I can say with all the confidence of a console retailer who has sold over 1000 PS3s that SONY are talking utter bollocks. Sure, the initial batch of PS3s may have been fantastic, but oh how they succumbed to the same problems as Microsoft.

    Perhaps they should call it ‘difficult second’ syndrome or something. The majority of faulty 360s seemed to be those made in the second major batch run after initial component modifications. SONY, however, seem to have gone and given Europe less of an offer with the newer PS3s and a truck load of extra bugs to happen.

    I’ll admit I found this article after some research for a friend who had recently replaced his 40gb console with an 80gb model because it had stopped reading discs returned a copy of Fallout 3 as that disc wasn’t working either. He phoned this evening to let me know that this disc could’t be read either… nor could any of his other games.

    Sadly, while this is the first case of a repeat failure I’ve pesonally dealt with, we currently have the same amount of faulty PS3s (of varying SKUs) as Xbox 360s sat in our stockroom waiting to return to their respective companies. Of the top of my head, at least 3 of the PS3s have discs stuck inside them. This isn’t merely a blip or a seasonal thing either, and while I’m not exactly keeping accurate figures on me, I can say quite confidently that while the exact numbers fluctuate, the two consoles are as bad as each other in terms of going bust.

    SO, my view on the general opinion of 360 being less reliable than PS3 is that it is completely unfounded, and one of the last rhetorics of defiance reeled off by SONY fan-boys. Yeah, my own 360 stopped working (the ‘ring of death’ is a feedback mechanism to tell you that the machine suffering a fault, not a cause in itself by the way) a couple of months ago, and as it was bought way back at the original launch, it was about 2 years out of warranty, but so what? A new Arcade costs less than a Wii (as does the Pro now), and the old hard-drive and cables can still be used without hassle, and its HDMI compatible, so its not like I had to fork out £300 for it and lost all my game saves, downloaded GH tracks and other stuff like most PS3 faulty owners do, and I havn’t lost any functionality like those guys who bought a 60gb, had it low up, and then found out they had lot a bunch of useful ports when they replaced it with a 40 or 80gb.

    Yes, the HD Drive is removable in PS3 too, I know that, but the vast majority of console owners are not hyper-clued up about this kind of thing, and just end up losing everything. Fact is, what may have been the case of the unbreakable PS3 back in the 60gb days is long gone.

    The reality is, PS3 breaks down as much as 360 does. Its just SONY’s PR department is much better at covering up the truth than Microsoft’s was, and as the newer of the two consoles, is less likely to grab headlines about it because we’ve all seen it before with 360 anyway and its no longer news.

    Oh, and it seems the kind, helpful people that first staffed SONY’s Customer service center for the UK have either been promoted off or left, cause they are as bad, if not worse than MS’s now to boot.

    So, don’t let fan-boys make your decisons for you. Simple fact is this, if you are unsure which console to buy, and aren’t in it for playing Halo 3 online, Call of Duty in high def, or Little Big Planet… buy a Wii, currently the LEAST faulty console of the three.

    And that advice comes from someone who exists on the frontlines of faulty console returns.


    HMV Guernsey Games Expert.

  22. Apologies, keyboard’s old. Should read “who bought a 60gb, had it Blow up, and then found out they had loSt a bunch of useful ports when they replaced it with a 40 or 80gb.”

    Sorry for the typos, they confuse the issue slightly.

  23. I have a playstaion 3 and it is a great console. The wii I have played on and, yes it is fun until your arms feel like falling off. As for the xbox 360, as good as it is the high failure rate should be reconised and delt with.

    I spend too long with my fingers crossed will playing xbox.

  24. Well, the problem HAS been recognised. Anyone who feels like they should comment in a way that suggests it hasn’t should probably note the ‘2007’ date in the original post.

    Like I’m saying, times have changed. You are now going to have to cross your fingers and pray that your PS3 doesn’t break down just as much as you would 360 (and if you havn’t been a muppet and still have all the original packaging and the receipt, you usually get a year’s warranty at the store you bought it from so just go get it replaced.)

    Wii remains the clear leader in terms of console reliability, followed shortly by DS.

    Will be interesting, however, given the recent trend of PS3 disc-drive issues, to see if this situation gets better in the coming year. 360 failure has improved a lot as well, so all to lay for now.

  25. True,too much fighting over which console is best, it realy is annoying. If you like ps3 fine, if you prefer Xbox fine. As for wii no one argues about that, it’s weird.

    O’well, Happy gaming(hopefully)

  26. It has not been fixed. My elite died last week. I only had it 1 year and 2 months.

    That was also my 9th XBOX 360, I gave up on it, not buying a new one. After 8 repairs Microsoft noticed I had also sold the defective consoles once they came back to me.

    They told me, We won’t repair it, we don’t fix E-47 errors which is the card failing – So clearly a graphics error and nothing to do with me.

    I used to have a 40GB PS3 also but I traded it for a 80GB one. I’ve never had anything other than a few game freezes on Sony’s console.

  27. Well I own a 360 and have had it for 1 year and 3 months with out any problems at all, but the fact so many problems happen is real shame, especialy for xbox fans like myself, I only play for an hour a time and then leave it for half an hour to cool, yes that may sound weird but it realy helps pro-long your xbox's life.

  28. Hello,
    Names matt iv owned a ps3 for 2 years and got the YLOD I owned an Xbox 360 and got RROD after 7 months. Point is both systems are made of precise technology that even a simple piece of dust or the smoke of a cigarette can destroy. Both systems are capatilist pigs but the Playstation 3 is WAY more enjoyable. Oh and the average person SHOULD care what they are buying, thats why there are so many IDIOTS in todays society.

  29. Actually, xbox has not dominated worldwide, because in japan, and many of the eastern developed countries went with PS3 because it was a credible system. The playstation 2 was the best selling system in history, and still is. Because of that, sony built credibility and really is at about the same level in sales as microsoft, just not in america

    • I’m interested to know where you got that number from, for starters, purely in my own store we see about the same number of PS3s come back faulty as Xbox since around 2008, and in both cases, the upgraded system (Elite for Xbox, Slim for PS3) sees a reduction in failure rates as they get better at producing them and iron out flaws. I smell a bandwagon jumping fanboy in your 52% death rate analysis.

      Bear in mind yet again we have another upgrade to the console coming out now, which will likely see a further reduction in overall failure rate. This is natural progress.

      As for the processing power… such an overload matters little if you can’t actually use it properly, which has yet to be shown to be the case on PS3. Perhaps with the introduction of 3D games next year we will see programmers finally able to wring the best out of PS3, but anyone trying to claim superiority of Sony’s black box purely on technical specs is drinking the cool aid and believing the hype just a little too much.