Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Red Ring of Death

I don't use my Xbox 360 that often. I haven't turned it on more than a couple of times in the last 6 months. Lately however, I have been playing Gears of War, Battlefield 2 and Halo 2.
Yesterday it was working fine but this morning when I turned it on, there were 3 red lights around the power switch. I looked this symptom up on the internet and discovered that it was an epidemic.
I was pretty unhappy about it until I read that Microsoft is extending the warranty on the 360 to 3 years!

When I called Xbox support, they told me they would send me a box to ship it back to the factory and fix it. They also said I would get Xbox Live Gold free but they didn't say for how long.

I turns out that the XBox 360 has a heat problem due to the way it was designed and manufactured. MS knew about it and thinks extending the warranty and fixing them is cheaper than a recall.
Microsoft has indicated it's a design problem on their part rather than a manufacturing problem with one of their contract partners (Flextronics, I believe). They've also indicated it's not just one single, easily identifiable issue but a range of things. The most common hypothesis out there is that it has to do with the solder they used. Apparently to statisfy EU requirements about lead content, they used a non-lead solder that was prone to melting, resulting in loose or dislodged components.

By the way, if you haven't picked up "Guitar Hero II" yet, you really should. It's one of the funnest games I've ever played and is becoming a big party sensation. At least until "Rock Band" hits later this year and lets you and your family/buddies jam with guitar, bass, drums and vocals.
Digital Brown Shirt got a brand new one but he had sent it back once before. I'm expecting to see mine back in a week or so.

Thanks for the tip on Guitar Hero II, I was looking at the game online and there are quite a few songs that even *I* know.

The guys at the local Game Crazy are hooked on it.
Whoot! Got it back today. Less than 3 weeks after it broke
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