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.

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Avatar image for Enthasius

Ah, superb. While it has taken far too long to get to this point, I'm glad that after the debacle that ensued about basically every interview involving malfunctioning consoles with the robotic "The majority of ours customers are having a great experience" bullcrap reply, they're doing the proper thing and not only apologising publicly, but are taking steps to rectify the situation. Good move, Microsoft, you'll be spared a major issue down the line and restore a bit of trust in the whole consumer-marketer thing. Oh, and xitwound, boy are you shallow. Just because yours is fine doesn't mean everyone elses isn't, otherwise this wouldn't be news. Oh, and seeing as the console was released in 2005, and people were suffering from problems a mere few months after purchase then, it's entirely possible a few have had three different 360's that all messed up, so kindly use some intelligence as it IS most likely a console fault, not a personal one.

Avatar image for DeltaSpirit

cool i had one since launch, i got the three red rings a few weeks ago and now MS is going to fix it for free thats sweet, It's amazing that MS is doing this why some people are offending this I'll never know because most companies wouldn't care or would fix the problem on a new batch of systems.

Avatar image for SLjimbolian

It's Windows ME all over again : P

Avatar image for xitwound117

I bought one 6 months after launch, and its been running great ever since. If you're on the third machine, you're probably crapping it up, not the manufacturer. Besides, as we've seen previously, if this was a Sony machine, there wouldn't have been any extension of the warranty, much less to three years.

Avatar image for Kenshin836

At least they're trying to fix their mistake. I know plenty of companys who would sooner leave their customers in the dark.

Avatar image for F1sTDaCuffS

i just called 18004myxbox they said if you've already paid for the repairs, you'll be getting a check in the mail 10-12 weeks. nice.

Avatar image for randy120

F1sTDaCuffS MS is going to refund your 140 dollars.

Avatar image for F1sTDaCuffS

this is so much bs. i just paid 140 dollars for mine to get fixed. im pissed.

Avatar image for nuttabutta

Well this is good news since I have to send my 360 in for the 2nd time for repairs. I had the extended warranty though so it's all good anyways. And to the PS3 and Wii fanboys, no I'm not really pissed about it (still am but they ship it back quick), because the 360 is worth it with by far the best present game library out of the three, and by the looks of the future games coming out for it, it seems it will stay that way.

Avatar image for TehPickle

I gotta take my hat off to MS for making such an extention, it's a great move on their part. It must've been pretty hard for them to admit that their consoles were shipping with what would appear to be very fatal design flaws and to actually do something about it. Perhaps now they can get rid of that stigma the 360 currently has of being poor value for money due its reliability. I can't help thinking however, that this move came a little too late.

Avatar image for danpc

ive never noticed my discs scratched ive had a few freezes but thats easily game bugs.... the only thing i have noticed is i will sometimes hear a sound like there is a small stone or something boucing in the CD drive, once maybe twice in a year it has caused a "disc may be dirty error".... but to be honest i can live with that.... just make sure i save games often...

Avatar image for malmeid2

Telekenesis123 << LINK REMOVED >> Proof that the disc scratching on the 360's is HARDWARE due to a missing part to protect the disc from hitting the lens. This is a show that aired on dutch TV. EVERY 360 owner should watch this. Microsoft is not covering disc scratches even though they know and its proven that it IS a hardware issue. ------------------------------------------------ If you had eyes that actually worked, you would (((A))) have seen in the xbox 360 manual that it states two things: 1--- DO NOT MOVE XBOX 360 WHILE DISC IS IN DRIVE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S SPINNING. It will scratch. 2--- The xbox 360 must be placed ON A LEVEL SURFACE. If not, it will scratch the discs. I don't think those are outrageous demands to follow, do you? (they are also common sense, regardless of reading the manual). (((B))) If you actually paid attention to that video, if you stop the video at EXACTLY 52 SECONDS, you will see how bad that kids' makeshift entertainment center is, with a shelf that is SO SLANTED, IT IS BOUND TO RUIN GAMES. And the second guy ROCKED THE 360 WHICH IS CLEARLY SPECIFIED BY M$ NOT TO DO. What do you expect dude? I have ~25 games, and play ~15-20 hrs. per week, and don't have ONE SCRATCH ON A DISC. The kid and his parents in that video, as well as the genius tester, and the reporter, are obviously all blind or retarded to have the 360 sitting on a slant like that. wth lol

Avatar image for Beards_Mahoney

Gotta admit, I did not expect this from Microsoft. Classy move indeed when you consider the alternatve(i.e total denial ala Sony PSX and PS2 era.) Listen Microsoft. We love you. We really do. We want to our relationship to blossom and we can't do that if we are keeping secrets and being dishonest with eachother. I only wish you felt you could have told us sooner. All is forgiven.......provided I can play Halo 3 on Sept 25th.

Avatar image for Dark_Nexus3367

Well Telekenesis123,I checked out the video and you have a very strong point.The 360 was rushed out without enough testing and that led to some manufacturing issues.Also the fact that the manufacturer did not place the necessary parts on the lens does indeed cause the scratches.At first I was somewhat thankful with MS extending the warranty but more and more I come to realize that because MS wanted the headstart,they took some shortcuts with the system and inappropriately manufactured the 360.Perhaps if they had waited at least 4 or 5 months more than the November launch,the system would not have as many defects as it does now.Hopefully MS will take this issue into consideration when they design the next system.

Avatar image for VolcanoMan001

shakezilla460, you probably do not even own a 360. With your profile image, it appears that you would be happy with this news. But you aren't so it looks like you are a Sony propagandist looking to discourage new 360 owners. Keep trying.

Avatar image for Waskallywabbit

If my 360 breaks down, I'm gonna be pissed. That is an understandable reaction for when your favorite toy breaks. But lets all remember a few things: 1-To have a major corporation admit any wrong-doing at all is amazing. Drug companies (an industry that arguably does a lot of real good in the world) pull drugs off the market that kill the people who take them and never admit fault. Yeah, it would be great if the corporate world was a bunch of fair-playing, huggie guys, but they're not. They are in it for the money and thats it. 2-Yes, this is an embarrisment for Microsoft, but Sony is no better. While the PS3 is enjoying very little problems (at least reported), shall we remember the incredible issues with the PS1 and PS2 that they NEVER admitted to, and they never extended their warranty for those problems. Both my PS1 and PS2 had major issues with the laser and drive mechanisms, and I never got satisfaction from Sony. I was told to "buy another one..." from a CSR when I called. 3-the current console generation is nothing more than a PC with a specific OS, fewer ports, and one software format. They will break. They are complicated and hard to manufacture, especially under stress. If you want a solid state machine that has fewer chances to break, dust off your old N64 and have fun. Meanwhile, I'll be on XBL, praying I don't have to take Microsoft up on their generous offer.

Avatar image for crunchb3rry

Isn't the problem a shoddy heatsink? That's the only thing changed from reports of people that got refurb replacements and cracked them open out of curiosity. Microsoft should call up Nintendo and ask for the Gamecube specs. The Cube has the absolute best cooling system ever. Put your hand on either side, one is ice cold the other is hot. Meanwhile all the 360 does is make, not only the system, but my entire entertainment cabinet feel like Death Valley. The 360 cooling system is pathetic. There's no way of drawing in cool air. Just building up way more heat inside than one could possibly imagine and blowing it out so weakly that it doesn't really go anywhere, with the 360 still sitting in a zone of hot air. I've even tried leaving the 360 outside of entertainment cabinets and on top of flat surfaces by itself and all it does is make the system and the wall behind the system feel warm to the touch. Are we supposed to play the 360 in meatlockers?

Avatar image for _UweBoll

What M$ fails to mention is that if you bought a 360 today, your warranty would last the next three years but by that time they will have utterly abandoned the 360 just like the original Xbox was orphaned before it could hit it's stride. In three years yet another M$ abortion will probably be dropped on us with another dubious 90 day warranty and even if a similar third of customers' machines are busted due to faulty hardware again, we will still get the old Peter Moore "less than 1%" song and dance routine that has even Dick Cheney crying LIAR. Basically this whole appeasement warranty deal is only good for those who already bought a 360 because they can get back the hundreds of dollars they already spent on having their machines fixed to a working state. It doesn't matter if the warranty is extended for ten years, if the 360 keeps breaking down again and again (and again...) then why would anyone get one when the competition's current offerings are far and away better in terms of hardware quality? Because Peter Moore is begging us? Not good enough. A couple years too late Pete, you guys should have come clean from the start.

Avatar image for alsha3er78

good move on the part of MS. this will help boost the consumers' confidence that suffered from the bad press MS got due to the hi failure rate.

Avatar image for styphin

I bought a warranty at Best Buy, and my Xbox 360 went bust. But I'm just gonna send it back to Best Buy, because they send a gift card back to you for the value of the system, then go back and shell out the extra $70 to get the Elite. Unless, Microsoft intends to offer an upgrade program? (wink wink)

Avatar image for muzzer77

There are to many people just saying well done, no need to worry. 3 years or not you should not have to worry about it braking at all. When i emailed about my out of warranty 360 in February they said i was unlucky and there was not a common problem. They blatantly lied to me and i find this appalling. Their not being clever or anything its just pressure thats making them own up. Should have tested it pre-release. I now have no confident in MS products.

Avatar image for Phantom_Leo

If you would've "Made it right" in the first place, you wouldn't be having this problem right now, Peter! :P

Avatar image for dagreyghost

this is y sony waited to maker sure the console ready 4 the masses! tipical of microsoft...release a product and patch it up later. so far my 360 fine.

Avatar image for RoyTheViking

What a great way to use a one year advantage!

Avatar image for xboxlover175

too bad this happens after my warranty expired

Avatar image for ktseymour

I don't know if it's just me but this seems a little to late given MS's record. This will probably have bigger repercutions than if they would have gotten a better manufacterer or changed whatever they were doing wrong. I can see the headlines the mainstream press will tag this with- Due to alarming failure rates Microsoft has extended the 360 waranty to 3 yrs- smooth move MS pr team. I know if I were Bill Gates, I'd fire everyone related to this mess.

Avatar image for greggamer418

Oh good right after I got my 2nd one because they wouldn't replace my launch system.My friend will hopefully now get his 3rd replaced free.

Avatar image for MoK86

well atleast peter moore is not saying "XBOX HATERS" he just realized the system keeps breaking down.

Avatar image for Hydrolix

I'm glad they did this. I just sent my second broken 360 in last week. Oddly, they are telling my that the repair center is overwhelmed with repairs at present so they can't give me a status update on my repair. I guess they got enough lately to cause them to rethink some stuff.

Avatar image for digitalpro

MS took in the fact that they need to fix this problem cause of in a few months some of the biggest games are coming. Halo 3, GTA 4 and many other games and they want all 360s playing so they can make a killing. Smart move.

Avatar image for deactivated-5ae060efb3bf6

Doesn't bother me at all. No one on my buddy list have had any problems. Its a non-issue game on.

Avatar image for Cabose420

well thats good to hear, in case my 360 spontaniously breaks down. im one of the lucky ones that have had no problems with mine what so ever :] but if it breaks down sometime down the road, im glad to hear i dont have to pay till next november

Avatar image for Memoryitis

Finafreakinly, im starting to really hate Xbox, the games are overhyped and come out mediocre and the system itself has many problems, my 3rd Xbox 360 by the way

Avatar image for mrnivek

Better late than never that they admitted this dirty little poorly kept secret. Glad to know I have a couple more years I guess to get started on my second replacement console. Now what I wondered is when my console went bad it didn't have the three ring problem the video output and disc drive just died. So under the new extended warranty would this have been covered. I still don't trust this and still think there is the possibility to get screwed in the future.

Avatar image for warden72

Say what you will about M$, but you cannot deny one thing: this decision took some balls.

Avatar image for HESSLER1960

Glad to hear it! My 360 crapped out the second day I had it. It was still under the stores warranty, so getting a new one was no problem. But I IMMEDIATELY signed up for the 1 year gig. I just hope the 1 billion doesn't screw-up Bill Gates' finances this month.

Avatar image for malmeid2


Avatar image for Telekenesis123

<< LINK REMOVED >> Proof that the disc scratching on the 360's is HARDWARE due to a missing part to protect the disc from hitting the lens. This is a show that aired on dutch TV. EVERY 360 owner should watch this. Microsoft is not covering disc scratches even though they know and its proven that it IS a hardware issue.

Avatar image for LINK2K9

Nice, good on Microsoft for finally admitting their wrong and deciding to do something about it.

Avatar image for XAF1

I'm happy that MS decided to do this. I bought my console when it first came out. Myself and 2 other friends both bought one that morning and neither of us have had a problem so far "knock-on-wood" but at least now we know we're covered. To be honest guys after Sony and the PS1 and PS2 problems I had, I don't expect most consoles other than Ninteno's to last past the 3 year mark but I never had a problem with my original Xbox as well but my best friend replaced his twice due to controller ports blowing out and I observed the first time it happened. I just think sometimes there are bad batches of consoles out there like anything else. But , It is nice to hear someone actually owning up to their mistake for once instead of ignoring the problem. The consumers are important and it is time that someone gave us some respect for our loyalty and dollars.

Avatar image for Y2H3

racrules3501, i would like to know this too cos ive got a freexing 360 that just decides to freeze randomly during gameplay - I have e-mailed ms for an answer, so i'll let u know (I'd imagine so cos it is a 3 year warranty, not a 3 yr red light warranty)

Avatar image for kokoru

This is pretty bad timing really... 3 days ago i sent off my 360 for repair for the first time, it was a 2005 console and i had to pay £84. Could someone please tell me, will i automatically get a refund from microsoft, or do i have to call up the heavily spanish accented lady that seems to be the only xbox 360 support person lol. It takes about half an hour for her to get round to you. And also, do you think i will get that fancy new second heatsink installed over the xenon gpu? because the intercooler just doesnt cut it, apparently it melts your xbox... I hardly ever played on my xbox anyway, even though i love the games and xbox live is amazing. I just never had much time to play on it. Oh yh and how long till i get it back, i hope before the summer holidays start, i just bought a 24 inch dell ultrasharp (the latest one and latest revision) and its incredible, i want to test my xbox 360 through vga at 1080p!

Avatar image for razu_gamer

finally MS has done something that will please alot of gamers.

Avatar image for racrules3501

I have a question, if you dont have the 3 red lights thing, but the xbox 360 is still not working, can you send it in for repairs?

Avatar image for cort12

Yeah! this actually means something to me because ive gone thru 2 already. this means ill be good til 2009.

Avatar image for Obliterati

Well, that's a nice move for Microsoft, although doing this 6 months ago would have been better. Well, actually, it would have been better if these issues had been solved before the 360 launched...but, given the high failure rate of electronic gizmos these days, I guess it's just the way it's gonna be from now on.

Avatar image for littlestreakier

glad to hear of the 3 year extension :)

Avatar image for McMurmur

Corporate accountability for the win!

Avatar image for satanuk

my xbox died to day. forza did it the beast. damn you microsoft