Microsoft extending 360 warranty to three years

[UPDATE 2] An apologetic software giant to replace any console suffering "red ring of death" for free worldwide; extension applies to every console sold since launch; company will take $1.05 billion charge.


Today, Microsoft announced that it is once again revamping its warranty scheme for the Xbox 360. After mounting anecdotal evidence of the system's failure rate due to the dreaded "red ring of death" (three flashing red lights on the console's front panel), the publisher is changing its warranty to cover systems affected by the red ring for three years from the date of purchase. Any console that suffers the aforementioned failure in any territory the 360 is sold can be returned to Microsoft for repair for free, because the warranty also includes shipping charges.

"As a result of what Microsoft views as an unacceptable number of repairs to Xbox 360 consoles, the company conducted extensive investigations into potential sources of general hardware failures," the company said in a statement. The three-year extension is for all 360s, and will be retroactively applied to every console bought since the 360 launched. That means anyone who bought a console in November 2005 will be covered until November 2008.

[UPDATE] Peter Moore, Corporate Vice President of the Entertainment and Devices Division of Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business, said he is personally sorry about anyone who's suffered a 360 failure. "We haven't done right by our customers, and for that I apologize," he told GameSpot. "We listened, and we're going to make it right." In an in-depth interview with GameSpot, Moore outlined the new warranty, and emphasized it would be "global" in nature.

Moore also shot down point-blank unconfirmed reports that Forza Motorsport 2 was "bricking" consoles. "It's not a software issue, guys," he assured GameSpot. "It's a variety of hardware issues which we're taking steps to rectify." Though he declined to name any issue specifically, Moore said that Microsoft has improved the 360 hardware to help ensure that future batches of 360 hardware will not suffer similar issues.

Customers who have already paid for repairs that would be covered by the new policy will be reimbursed automatically, according to Microsoft. As a result of this new warranty extension, the publisher said it will report a $1.05 billion to $1.15 billion charge to its earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2007.

From its November 2005 launch onward, Microsoft's Xbox 360 has been plagued by reports of malfunctioning consoles. While the company downplayed reports of faulty hardware for the better part of a year after launch, last September it acknowledged that its original batch of systems was failing at an unusually high rate. Microsoft extended the standard 90-day warranty to a full year, and promised to reimburse all those customers who had already been made to pay for repairs.

In April, the company once again tweaked its warranty service, saying it would no longer charge shipping on repaired Xbox 360 consoles, and would extend the warranty on those repairs.

The new warranty extension arrives atop a growing tide of reports of 360 hardware problems, including a Monday report quoting retailers as saying up to 33 percent of launch units fail. To help clarify the question of 360 hardware reliability, GameSpot conducted a week-long informal poll of its users, asking simply, "Has your Xbox 360 failed?"

Of the 49,934 respondents who said they owned a 360, 27,579 (55.2 percent) claimed to have had no problems at all. However, a startling 22,355 respondents--44.7 percent--claimed to have had at least one 360 fail. Some 13,858 respondents (27.8 percent) said they had one console die: of those, 10,012 (20.0 percent) said their console was replaced for free and 3,846 (7.7 percent) attested they had to pay. Others were even less lucky, with 3,619 (7.2 percent) saying they had suffered two dead 360s, and 4,878 (9.7 percent) reporting over two instances of hardware failure. (The initial percentages were slightly inaccurate--GameSpot regrets the error.)

The poll results are not definitive, and given the open nature of the poll's voting, its results could be manipulated. However, there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence pointing to a high 360 failure rate. Inside the GameSpot offices, 23 editors own 26 360s bought between November 2005 and January 2007. Eight have had their consoles fail completely at least once; of those, two editors suffering complete 360 failures on two occasions. Two others are experiencing ongoing problems, including USB port failure and intermittent cases of the "red ring." The remaining editors have encountered no hardware defects.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 1345 comments about this story
1345 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for Duggla

randyynot , I agree... this is the exact reason.. I put off buyin one.. and November is gonna be 2 yrs since launch.. and a price drop seems inevitable.... forget the bundling.. drop the price.

Avatar image for s0njas0n

yeah, i hear a price drop coming on. and fix your issues!

Avatar image for Simpsonsfan2

Yes! Now i just need a price drop, then i'll probably get a 360.

Avatar image for brotherscampos

When that happen on my console, I put two fans inside my Wbox 360 and a external power source and that is a excelent solution for that problem if Microsoft change the desing and put two simple fans everything will be ok for the 360. IF someone want to know more about that just write me a simple message See ya and God bless you

Avatar image for randyynot

This is what i was waiting for to buy my 360...extended warranty and price drop.. wahahaha

Avatar image for chakan2

well... they had to do something since they were pretty sure that Sony was going to drop the PS3 price by $100 I don't really think MS cares. P$3 is still so far behind in the arms race that it's not really going to effect the 360. The only think MS has to worry about is Sony actually producing a decent game for the PS3. Since they lost GTAIV as an exclusive the only thing on the roadmap for PS3 is God of War III. I can wait for Sony to drop the price a couple more times before that comes out. To address the article, I'm glad MS finally decided to support some of its users.

Avatar image for DDS_StiC

According to MS the failure rates went from industry norm (3 to 5% I think) to significant (currently estimated as high as 33%) over the course of a few months. What will the next few months have in store for X360 owners? 40%? 50%? And what about Forza bricking systems? MS says there is no software problem so perhaps it’s all the gaming marathons with this popular title. If so what impact will a title such as Halo 3 have on the failure rates?

Avatar image for starfxxxer

"Many of these people were like Baker and Andrews, stragglers who had come from failed projects such as 3DO" they sure learned from failure :lol: thanks for the article smoothn00dle

Avatar image for smoothn00dle

"They were on the highest wire with the shortest net." —J Allard, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft - << LINK REMOVED >> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And the chip short circuited.. hahahaha.. Everyone who is responsible for this disaster is mentioned on the article above.

Avatar image for trentman7

Thank God Microsoft did something about this........At least they are admitting their 360 Hardware was just a bit more than 5% and have attempted to rectify the problem with the 3 year warranty........I myself have just bought a 360 and am happy that I can get it repaired for free now with the warranty......however Microsoft should not have released the 360 aware of the 'red rings of death' and the gamers who buy the 360 do deserve the 3 year warranty after all the problems that have come out of it.

Avatar image for starfxxxer

well... they had to do something since they were pretty sure that Sony was going to drop the PS3 price by $100

Avatar image for theduckofdeath

Handsome Dead, I've had 4 PS2s (which may or not include the slim one, which is still alive and kicking). The first one dying was my fault, but it had a long history on disc read errors. You could argue some level of "abuse" in the failure of the others. I also suspect THQ's Smackdown of killing a couple machines. Oh, and I, too, have an absurd collection of dual shock controllers. On subject, this 3-year warranty news is great. My launch X360 (11-27-05) has broken twice, and each time they announce free repairs within 2 weeks of a system failure. I'm just waiting for it to be shipped back to me.

Avatar image for mes323

It seems like 30-40 percent of all 360 owners seem to have some kind of recurring problem, so according to the videos on You-Tube. while its good news that Micro$oft is finally doing something about it, its bad news that they never tested the product thoroughly enough to actually determine the failure points. its good to know that at least if you get the 3 red lights of death you're covered for 3 years. BUT if you get any other problem (USB port failure, disc drive failure etc) you're SOL.

Avatar image for iebubu

This is absolutely great news. Nice to see a company realizing their mistakes and rectifying the situation. To all those who complain about the length of time it took Microsoft to correct itself, please do try to realize that it does take a while before all the numbers can be calculated and a proper solution to be put in place. Now that the ps3 has officially announced a price drop, the same can be expected for the x360. The move to 65nm processing plus all the great games that will come out by years end all spell success for Microsoft in 2007.

Avatar image for Duggla

I disagree with everything... everybody love Xbox 360.. except the damn fanboys of PS3.... we love Microsoft so much that we all just get our 360 fixed for 3 years for free and people that paid for their repairs get rembursed so its all good. I am gonna get a new 360 soon cause the PS3 got a price drop and right now...Bill Gates and his Posse' are talking about their earnings and how to keep 360 owners from switching to PS3 so I ask you peaople.. America, Canada, Asia, Europe... all you people THE WORLD.... Price Drop For 360.. Inevitable? ...and thats all I got to say about that.

Avatar image for LifeAt45RPMs

I am a sony guy, but I don't feel the need to rub this in anyone's face. The truth is, anyone on any system can get a defective product. As much money as I drop on games/systems/accessories, I know I would be pissed. Sorry guys, hopefully all the problems will surface quickly and you can easily get them fixed and move on to more important things such as how to treat your sore gamer's thumb. =\

Avatar image for lwa02vkc

this piece of news doesnt look good at all on xbox 360. ps3 fanboys must be rejoicing to hear it. i myself am a fan of playstation .. but i hope that xbox 360 will make a great comeback from this major blip so the competition will be there.

Avatar image for HandsomeDead

Can't believe someone is suggesting Sony is reliable! I've had 11 (yes, 11) PS2 controllers and 3 consoles themselves.

Avatar image for samaridino

This is a double edged sword for MS.Yeah sure they give a bit of relief to the 360 owners but they have also pretty much admitted theyv sold defective products and are useing this 3 year warantee as a quick solution to the problem. What they really need to do is fix the damnhardware and then (although it will never happen) recall of all those 360s sold already,and replace them with ones that dont die if a gust of wind hits them. Hopefully theyl get rid of the faults by the time mass effect comes out,as thats when i plan on getting myself one.

Avatar image for KickinIt_ftw

@Taylor_Riel: "Yeah - since Sony products don't require so much fixing and replacing. It's a shame - I no longer purchase US made cars because auto's from Asia are such better quality. Now it looks like the same is true for Tech product's - except for Apple." So let me get this straight ... you think that Sony and Apple make reliable hardware? Sony had to ratchet their belts up and offer an insanely comprehensive warranty because - at $600 - no one in their right mind was risking another PS2 launch situation. (see: red ring of death by a factor of ten.) Even with the warranty they offer on the PS3, many, many gamers are skeptical of Sony hardware. ... And Apple? lolwut? They make a great UI on their PC's and steal a great UI from Creative Labs on their iPods. As for hardware, tell my friend on his fifth G5 this year how great a product they make. D:

Avatar image for KickinIt_ftw

@JBBJR: "MS didnt have to do this. Nintendo didnt when my 64 kicked the bucket. But I didnt bash them." Nintendo has historically taken great pride in their hardware durability and product support. When I say great pride, I mean to the point that they display their still-functional products under glass in the Nintendo Museum at NoA headquarters, after they have been hit by enemy rocket fire (first gulf conflict), driven over by tanks (current persian gulf conflict), crushed by Semi-trucks, thrown off of buildings, etc. I'm curious what sort of factors surrounded their decision to decline repairing your system - especially in the N64 days. I've personally had them replace a couple Game Cubes without ever mentioning the word warranty. Were you using third party hardware? Did you do something to void the warranty, like open the console up? It seems strange to hear that about Nintendo.

Avatar image for Some_One_Plays

I'm also a victum of this and had to replace mine many times before it was ok. I don't even plug it into an outlet I use a power bar just in case of black outs. I was even playing "Halo 2" and my game was stuck inside the console. The thing that surprised me the most is the amount of money that was put into repairs. Then again Vista isn't quiet up to par.

Avatar image for danwhite_2003

@JBBJR I think that is one of the most perfect comments ever good show!!

Avatar image for Alexadecimal

Had my 360 over a year, had no problems at all, guess I must be lucky. MS have been nothing but good to xboxers recently with more games updates and now warrenty, I can't argue personally, but yet still people dislike them, ay well.

Avatar image for kashim26

My 360 failed on the 5th July. Got a new game and downloaded some premium content from xbox live and ready to play....duh! The dam thing freezes up and boom I get the three red lights. Called up customer support and said I haven't got the receipt but they told me to send my console in anyway which is good. Answer to the question below: Yes, the 3 year warranty covers the UK along with the rest of the world, but only if you're getting the ring of death!

Avatar image for el_hermoso

fatalityuk is a 360 fanboy

Avatar image for BV14

My 360 failed on the 4th of july, should I sell my replacement 360 and get a Ps3?

Avatar image for fatalityuk

i had a 360 on launch day. that broke so i replaced it. but now that has broke. i havent mistreated it or anything. its well ventilated. i also bought a ps3 on launch day. now in my games collection i have about ten 360 games, and 1 ps3 games. my xbox has been broke for a couple of months now but i cbf to take it back right now. but all 10 of my 360 games are great games. where as the only game i have for the ps3 is the only half decent game for the console. as much as my 360 breaks, and even though i have a ps3. (i have played a lot of games btw i just take them back if they arent good) the xbox 360 is so much better than the ps3. ill be called a 360 fanboi now because i have an opinion, just watch lol

Avatar image for manozgs

This is excellent news. tbh the failure rate was the only thing holding me back from buying one but now it's been extended, I do't have to worry so much!!!

Avatar image for hovan316

The time has come for MS to leave the gaming world once and for all...LOL

Avatar image for smoothn00dle

I did some research on this topic. The problem is likely between the motherboard and CPU. A UK repair retail stated that is the motherboard issues and they turned it down. I think the CPU designed by IBM, you know IBM and M$ aren't friend. It would be funny IBM set M$ up with a small bugs.. hahahaha

Avatar image for bigstokes

Just because they extended the warranty doesnt make what they did okay, they knew that the system was faulty and even tried to deny it saying 3 to 5% were faulty people seem to forget this. They sold a crap system and now is answering to it and it is not because they wanted to they had to that shows me that they didnt care as much as people want to say they did. The reason Sony and Nintendo dont offer 3 years is because those system fail rate is 1%.

Avatar image for ScottHFC

Well Lets just hope the Xbox 3 isint so faulty, Why would MS even put out a 'flawed' piece of hardware (a piece of hardware millions of people will buy), coz all it would do is cause problems in the future, like this mess! Im glad I can sleep a little easier for the next few years but I would have rather paid a little more for the 360 at launch if it was less prone to break down.

Avatar image for hovan316

Thrash777 said: "PROOF that Microsoft are trying to look after their customers." They have no choice left buddy, the openly admitted that their console is branded faulty. What do you want them to do? Stop making X360's? Or just quit the whole gaming world? Not really, they will staty here and swallow the crap as their reputation and image will suffer. People will eventually get fed up of M$crosoft after replacing their 360 for the 3rd time. Sad...I know...

Avatar image for smoothn00dle

@Thrash777 Can u tell me what mistakes does Sony make? BluRay, too expensive? or Cell chip too hard to program.. In one to two years time, those people call mistakes could be Sony's success.

Avatar image for evolutionxbox

Does this include the UK?

Avatar image for Thrash777

All these PS3 fanboys in here seem to be rejoicing... I don't see why when the 360 still has the upper hand as far as games, online, features, and value. The PS3 is a great Blu-Ray player, and that is a good reason to get one, but Sony have made way too many mistakes with marketing their PS3 to gamers, that it just doesn't appeal to me. So what if 360's are ever so slightly prone to faults? If they have warranty, it's ok. Sure, it's an inconvinience, but I can live with that if it means having a console that the manufacter actually cares about and that is constantly looking to improve it, and this extended warranty is PROOF that Microsoft are trying to look after their customers.

Avatar image for HyruleanLink

The time has come for Microsoft to step up.

Avatar image for smoothn00dle

Forza Motorsport 2 "bricking" consoles issues, It makes sense. As the software pushing the hardware potential further, it leave little room for hardware error. For example: A system has four pipelines, 1 pipelines is faulty. Games like Forza2 will use all four pipes. The error will surface. But if you play only Tetris on Xbox360, the error will never show. I would recommend tested new xbox360 by using Forza2. If it work, u have a good system, otherwise sent it back to M$. It is free repair. ============================================== Why did it took M$ two years to rectify this problem? Sony would address it instantly. This is not like software, a patch would fix it. M$ has no experience in hardware. It is not even a good software company. Little self-discipline and quality control. In consumer electronic, is like car-business, a design error can cost billions or even life. Just look at Sony battery recall. ============================================== @UzEE M$ turnaround all right. 25 to 33 fault rate is not something M$ can hide forever. It is under a lot pressure, M$ unwillingly turnaround and face the music. ============================================= where is Nick Baker and James Allard, the system designers of Xbox360? He should be the one who face the music, not Moore!

Avatar image for Lab4lover666

Well, this is a major blow to Microsoft. Deserve all they get though..

Avatar image for rarson

I can't imagine how people can call Gamespot biased against Sony or toward Microsoft when they print articles like this. Almost half of the poll respondents have at least 1 360 fail? Come on, it doesn't get much worse than that.

Avatar image for hovan316

Good news for people who already own one...but sad news for people who were planning to buy one. You know it's faulty and why should you take the risk? Get a PS3 instead....

Avatar image for jackfatal

i dont accept any product that breaks frequently!! after a while u will be pissed off!!! imagine every year u will have to fix it 2 or 3 or 10 times!! even if its free it still disturbs!!

Avatar image for zenmor

This is great news for 360 owners. i myself have got a broken 360 and am pleased that it is going to be fixed for free. Not many companys would do this and im pleased that this has happened. for all you people out there claiming that sony products never have any problems. After working in a computer game shop the main console that come back broken was the ps2. so all consoles can have there problems, it all comes down ot how quickly the problem gets fixed.

Avatar image for JBBJR

Wahhhhh....Im a system hater....only the system I own is the best....Wahhhh......your system is the worst.....wahhhh....what will I do since I own all three systems,,,,wahhhh. All you fanboy haters need to get a life. Aparently you need a new job so you can afford all three like me and will be happy with the variety that they all offer. MS didnt have to do this. Sony sure didnt when two of my ps2's died. Nintendo didnt when my 64 kicked the bucket. But I didnt bash them. Hey, if all you haters and fanboys are all that....why dont you invent your own system....Im sure yours would be perfect.

Avatar image for Taylor_Riel

"KingOfTheNubeis How..Un-Sony of them" Yeah - since Sony products don't require so much fixing and replacing. It's a shame - I no longer purchase US made cars because auto's from Asia are such better quality. Now it looks like the same is true for Tech product's - except for Apple. How a company like Microsoft with all it's money can do such a brutal quality control job on both it's flag ship software (Windows) and hardware (Xbox) is beyond me. Looks like I'll be sticking with Sony.

Avatar image for PiMacleod

You know, they don't HAVE to do this. They already got a hot console on their hands, despite the flaws. I, for one, am happy to see that they are willing to stand behind their products like this, when they don't have to. And we all know that this move makes them look better in the public eye, but they are MS -- they are big enough already that the public eye almost doesn't even matter.

Avatar image for Piccolo-san

It's a nice gesture, but it's a little too late for a lot of people. They should have acted on this issue much earlier... Still, A system with as many hardware failures as this one *needs* a long warranty, so I'm very glad they've done this :)

Avatar image for 09gina

I think microsoft are hiding something when they first released the Xbox 360 they knew of its prombles so maybe they have found out something else that will happen in or just after three years so they made this warranty so when the promble kicks off on the first consoles it doesn't look bad but when the warranty runs out and the other 360's mess up they can say something like we don't take responsiblity for consoles that break after the three year warranty. big companies don't just dash out billions for small things like this.