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.

1345 Comments

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 DailyTech.com 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 news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for Wellfedmonkey
Wellfedmonkey

Ps3 also doesnt have anything special yet either to have a large amount of consoles out yet to know if they are going to have the same problem. I fail to see your point rosssca

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erica1633

Finally Microsoft stepping up to the plate, now I can safely say Sony has nothing on Microsoft anymore

Avatar image for Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

A full 3-year warranty with retroactive reimbursement simply cannot be seen as a bad thing no matter who you are. Too many products are made like junk these days...and issues aside at least MS is doing what they can to address them.

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cool_baller

I feel bad for all the guys who had the lights more than once. It only happened to me once.

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salmonbate

nevershort

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

That enough for you? or do you want more? It's the same issue any console is going to have with this kind of power......OVERHEATING!!!!! I think it is mostly user error. Mines never failed and I take damn good care of it. Never set it on the carpet and it will cool like it is supposed too.

I am just glad they are covering them. Not like Microsoft to just give away that amount of money

Avatar image for mwjr
mwjr

Kudos to MS. This is how all businesses should handle these types of things.

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OfficialBed

not bad....but too late since i already sold my 360

Avatar image for Enterprise-E
Enterprise-E

IT is about time they fessed up to this. My 360 died on me after only 5 months of use and i wasn't too happy about it. Now it seems that MS is finally listening to us about the RIngs of Death and not ignoring it as if it isn't a problem. Also for those who swear by MS they wouldn't extendend the warranty because they thought it was a nice thing to do. They did it because of the thing breaks like crazy. Now excuse me while i go play some gears and pray it doesn't crash on me.

Avatar image for fazio93
fazio93

yes!

Avatar image for kozzy1234
kozzy1234

Nice, good job from microsoft... the problems with the console are the only negative on this generations best console.

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PringerOtaku

Awesome news considering how I get red ringed every time a new update comes out. Sadly... my 360 still works after a total shutdown and reboot. Damnit...

Avatar image for rosssca
rosssca

PS3 doesn't have the ring of death or a need for extended warranties....

Avatar image for Brother_Beetz
Brother_Beetz

Right on MS! I'm on 360 #4!! yes my fourth due to the ring of death. I paid for a good warranty in the first place luckily but nice to see everyone who didn't is going to get what they deserved for their money now.

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master_spoon

Good work Microsoft, about a year too late though....still nice to see them finally try and fix the problems. Gamespot, this topic belongs in system wars...hahaha same thing they told me when they locked my discussion thread regarding the dailytech article.

Avatar image for DukeEdwardI
DukeEdwardI

3 year replacement warranty? for free? not bad at all...

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dmish82

Wow, if I had known that maybe I would have held onto my 360 as I had the red lights appear 3 times. On top of that, if Microsoft is actually going to admit there's a high number of failures, you know it must be bad.

Avatar image for Vampire64
Vampire64

AHAHAHHAHAHAH, OWNED

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silentmobius

Umm, so what happens if you live outside of any of the major territories like the U.S. & Europe. That's why I'll just not bother with MS. Fix your problem MS. Fix it!

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Ministry4390

3 year warranty?? Awesome!

Avatar image for Dungeoncrawler1
Dungeoncrawler1

Thanks MS, I feel a little more comfortable now. No problems yet with my 360 (knock on wood). I have had one failure with my PS3. Fortunately, I purchased the best buy warranty and simply had to take the unit back to BB for an exchange. Very painless actually. Dc

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melonman2

wooooooooooooooooooooo. my 360 just got the ring of death and now i can get it fixed for free:D.

Avatar image for Rossdaboss777
Rossdaboss777

O Yea and the ELITES dont have nearly as many problems

Avatar image for edflam311
edflam311

You gotta give microsoft credit for owning up to it.........taking a billion dollar charge is tough for any company and i cant help but respect the fact they did it. Not only that but if any do break from now on....it gets replaced for free. No other company does that. And a 3 year warranty is pretty damn long, every 360 owner should embrace the fact they have no worries if their console breaks due to the red rings

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roguetrada

does this apply to UK consoles? cos' mine has been sent to MS a couple weeks ago for the ring of death

Avatar image for ViolentN8
ViolentN8

THIS is how you own up and take care of your business and consumers. Not by sitting on your rear and denying everything (PS2 launch failure rates) leaving your consumers to eat the cost of early adoption. Frankly I'm just glad to see any of the big 3 do the right thing by their faithful customers. After the horror of many launch version bugs and BOTH of the last 2 portables suffering horrendous amounts of dead pixelitis (my PSP and DS both have their share) it's nice to have a company DO SOMETHING versus trying to make you feel OK with a substandard/damaged product that you bought brand spanking new.

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Agreb91

I am glad to hear that it has been extended to 3 years after just purchasing my second Xbox 360.

Avatar image for bluntiss
bluntiss

still better than ps2 rates. I think they were at 60%/. I like Salmonbate's response. yes lol their has been only 40 consoles sold. how would they know if there defects or not. lol

Avatar image for legs1986
legs1986

"jeez MS next time make sure the quality of ur products are fine before selling them out to people." As opposed to PS2 doing the same thing; without any compensation? Props MS for owning up; I've yet to have an issue but it is reassuring.

Avatar image for TrueReligion_
TrueReligion_

This console needs a recall, not a warranty extension. Fix the problem, damnit.

Avatar image for Danthegamingman
Danthegamingman

about time, now I can get my $140 back from my 3 ROD from May. My guess is that most consoles that will break because of this in the 3 year time frame will be replaced with the 65nanmometer cooling running units and problem solved.

Avatar image for REVOLUTIONfreak
REVOLUTIONfreak

is it possible to tamper the console so that it has the "red ring of death" :lol: So far my 360 has been ok, but the past three haven't... so if this one breaks then I will need a warranty to replace it :P ... .... J/k 0_o

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Kayrod29

oh man, oh well its good thats its 3 years

Avatar image for Rossdaboss777
Rossdaboss777

Thats just another reason why MS is number 1

Avatar image for soreros
soreros

If MS needs any further proof this is hurting them, I'm a perfect example.... I've had the money and ambition to buy a 360 for a couple months now, but have been waiting to see if they were going to address failure issues. Since I do not feel that having to send out for repairs should be part of my experience (whether it's free or not), I am not at all convinced that I should fork over my cash any time soon. Meanwhile, the prospect of getting an alternative console is looking better and better...

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grayoldwolf

Hey MS - how about you refund those of us who bought your 2 year warranty?

Avatar image for nevershort
nevershort

@salmonbate: "Sony still hasn't recalled any of theirs even though they have been failing." -Sources please.... oh thats right you don't have any.

Avatar image for salmonbate
salmonbate

LOL!!! Now we get to hear all the SONY fanboys screaming, "hahaha about time!". I am just happy they extended it. I have had my console since launch and it has been running fine, I do take care of my things though. Now if it breaks I am still covered :-) Sony still hasn't recalled any of theirs even though they have been failing. But they have only sold like 40 units.

Avatar image for nevershort
nevershort

They obviously need it... Why would you buy a console that breaks warranty or not period??? Is it just me or isn't quality better than quantity??

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chinchilla16

well i haven't had a problem with my 360 but this warranty extension is damn good if it does fail. And theres a bit of a mistake in there how can 57.5% have no problems but 52.1% have had at least one 360 fail

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thechosenone827

Good, it is nice to know the 360 will be covered for 3 years..

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elamira

thats what I love to hear ! thanks bill

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Scarletred

I thought the elite fixed this?

Avatar image for def_mode
def_mode

jeez MS next time make sure the quality of ur products are fine before selling them out to people.

Avatar image for quickhhh
quickhhh

it's about time!!!

Avatar image for waleywu_basic
waleywu_basic

1 billion +?? well, that is a GREAT indication of how many consoles have broken already.