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Friday Morning Reading: Dean Takahashi on Xbox 360 Red Rings

Xbox 360 book author digs deep into the Red Ring phenomenon and how much damage it's caused for Microsoft.

"Go outside and play."
VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi, author of The Xbox 360 Uncloaked: The Real Story Behind Microsoft’s Next-Generation Video Game Console, has an interesting six-pager up that takes a long, hard look at the Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death phenomenon. While the topic has been beat to death over the last couple of years, Dean's piece definitely brings some new insight to the story, and also serves as a great primer for anyone wondering how, exactly, Microsoft has let this issue get so huge.

Check it out here if you're looking for a sizable Friday morning read, and take some time out to answer these questions for me. Do you still worry about the Red Ring? Do you feel that Microsoft has done enough to fix the issues? It's gotten to a point where we don't really hear much about the red rings anymore, but is that because it isn't happening as often, or because everyone is sick of hearing about it?

Would it sound like bragging for me to admit that the Xbox 360 I got back at launch still works just fine?
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff
"Go outside and play."
VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi, author of The Xbox 360 Uncloaked: The Real Story Behind Microsoft’s Next-Generation Video Game Console, has an interesting six-pager up that takes a long, hard look at the Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death phenomenon. While the topic has been beat to death over the last couple of years, Dean's piece definitely brings some new insight to the story, and also serves as a great primer for anyone wondering how, exactly, Microsoft has let this issue get so huge.

Check it out here if you're looking for a sizable Friday morning read, and take some time out to answer these questions for me. Do you still worry about the Red Ring? Do you feel that Microsoft has done enough to fix the issues? It's gotten to a point where we don't really hear much about the red rings anymore, but is that because it isn't happening as often, or because everyone is sick of hearing about it?

Would it sound like bragging for me to admit that the Xbox 360 I got back at launch still works just fine?
Staff
Posted by Colonel0Crunkenstein

I never got the Red Ring, My disc drive just stopped working.

Posted by Afroman269

I must say that your lucky Jeff but I am gonna get a new 360 elite because my disc tray has major problems. I'm gonna get the longest warranty because I had 2 consoles break on me and no matter what they say I still think that there is a chance that I could break.

Posted by Ryvvn

I don't worry about the RRoD anymore but that's mainly because I no longer own a 360. I bought one at launch and it lasted all the way up until about April or so of this year. It was out of warranty but not out of the extended RRoD warranty but I've heard rumblings that the turnover time had gotten pretty bad, so I was able to have a friend at a local gaming store switch it out for a brand new one with HDMI which my original did not have. I kept that for a couple of months but ended up selling it off for non gaming related reasons. I keep thinking about possibly repurchasing a 360 at some point but I'm fine with my PS3 for now and I may just wait for whatever Microsoft decides to roll out next, I think they handled the RRoD problem very poorly but I also believe they have learned thier lesson. I think they should have bit the bullet and recalled all 360's when the problem first cropped up instead of trying to pass it off and play coy for so long. That coupled with so many hardware iterations and the addition of HDMI later in the lifespan has just made this console cycle a failed experiment in my eyes. Sony isn't doing much better in the multi-sku department either though. Hopefully next generation will see us return to one sku per system, standard HDD in every console, up to spec with the standards of video and audio technology, and maybe even a pack in game with each. One can hope right.

Posted by MasterSplinter

I had the red ring only once and got it repaired under warranty. Too bad the console still scratches my discs on a more than acceptable basis. Maybe I just play too much? I don't know. I just hate the fact that I need to constantly keep a watchful eye on how long I am playing the console.

Posted by Milkman

I never got a red ring though my 360 has broke by other means (disc tray). Though it seems that most of these problems have been fixed now, so I don't think many people will need to worry about the RROD anymore.

Posted by BournePrime79

I had a launch 360 that just died last week right after I picked up Too Human.  A valkyrie dropped out of my ceiling, picked it up, and floated back up to my ceiling.

Posted by Major

How does he have a pic of himself as his gamerpic?

Posted by KingHippp0

Mine just Rrod'd last week. I'm currently playing NES and Original Xbox. 

Maybe I'll dust off the Wii this weekend.

FYI, mine was a new 65 nm Falcon board, created on 11/2007, so I don't think they've solved this problem yet. 
Posted by DarthGreedo

My 360 has broken twice in the 2 years I've owned it.  I do see this as a problem because it is frustrating and ridiculous that a device that costs 300-400 dollars doesn't work correctly, but I wasn't surprised.  I got my PS2  at launch way back in the day and i had to send it in for repairs 5 times in the first 3 years I owned it.  Call me cynical because of that, but I kind of expected problems with this generation...

Did anyone else experience this same problem with the PS2's or original xbox's?  I've always wondered why the RROD became such a big deal when the problems I and some other people I knew experianced, back when the PS2 came out never did.  Perhaps it is just the growth of the market, now that Videogames are so huge, and the internet is even bigger, this issue got more coverage.  Has anyone else asked these same questions?  Just curious...  maybe my friend and I were the only people to get broken PS2's..... haha,  you never know!

Posted by SentientMoustache

Having a launch xbox360 that still works certaintly gives you bragging rights.

Posted by CaleShepard

i still occasionally will get the "temporary" red rings.... even though all you have to do is restart it, it still gives me a scare

Posted by DukeTogo

My console got the precursor to the RR by stuttering and locking up on every game I played, so MS said send it in anyway because it's only a matter of time.  A year later I got a nasty video card glitch that basically was tied to the RR in some way.  That was around the time GTA IV came out (naturally) and it's been fine since.  This recent price drop is making the Elite look awfully tempting, since I know that this unit is on borrowed time.

Posted by Relys

My graphics card just melted a week ago, and it's in for repairs. I love the system, but the xbox 360's hardware is a peice of shit.

Posted by TheGreatGuero

I am still deathly afraid of the red ring. I actually got red ringed once, however, it was only 1 red light, instead of 3. The extended 3-year warranty only applies to 3 red lights. Luckily, the warranty covers anything if you've had it less than a year. So I got lucky there. But then the replacement 360 I've gotten seems like it's not in very great shape. For one, you have to push the eject button surprisingly hard for the disc tray to open. Also, with some games, it freezes kind of often, to the point where if it gets any worse, I think I'm gonna have to have a word with Microsoft.

Posted by chuckimus

I was RRoD last week.  I thought I had "made it out of the woods" because it was a launch day system.  If you just ask for a shipping label in lieu of a shipping coffin, that will expedite things.  I mailed mine off on Aug 29th and yesterday (Sep 4) a "new" 360 was shipped out to me.  

My question now is it "NEW" or just "NEW TO ME"?  
Posted by SleepyDoughnut

Yeah well my 360 from christmas 2006 red ringed 2 weeks ago so yeah its still a problem

Posted by ddensel

Good Read, though hardware failure is not rare. My Xbox One had a bad DVD drive, my 1st Dreamcast can't read games and I even had to send my launch Gamecube back to Nintendo for repairs ($90 in 2003, I remember testing out my games to see if they were the problem at a friends house on the day of the Huge '03 North-Eastern U.S. Blackout)

The ill will towards Microsoft over the RROD is tangible, I don't own any of the current-gen systems and I'm tempted to buy the $199 Arcade and a copy of Bioshock, but I'm still weary over the hardware, that and over priced perheprials like $100 hard drives and wireless adapters and $50 headsets and controllers...

Posted by VoodooTerror

as of august 07 all 360s have been fitted with the new, less overheat chips,  that have drasticly reduced the fail rates of the 360

Posted by deadgopher

I've got a console that red rings 1 out of every 20 times it boots up. It never crashes mid-game. I haven't called it in because, honestly, 1 out of 20? I feel lucky.

Though I'm really pissed about not having HDMI and want to call them and bitch about my 3rd RROD console and beg for an HDMI replacement.

Posted by Vigorousjammer

I have only got the red ring once. I sent it back and my new one worked good for a while... until it stopped reading discs...

My old 360 read discs fine, but now my new one only reads them about 75% of the time... which isn't bad, but 25% not being read? thats a hassle sometimes, when i just have to keep ejecting my discs from the console, and putting them back in until it works.
kind... of... ANNOYING!

Posted by FiestaUnicorn

My 360 red ringed a couple of weeks ago.  I'm still waiting for it to come back.  Let's hope third times the charm.

Posted by OzzerOzby

I have a first gen 360, so the possibility of a Red Ring is a constant thought in the back of my mind.

Posted by FuzzyFace56

I think am one of the lucky ones....i bought mine when Gears of War came out and it still works fine, the disc tray sometimes is alil sticky thou, i gotta eject it 2-3 times before it actually comes out :/

Posted by BAM

My 360 (purchased in April 2006) got the red ring about a week ago.

Posted by heavygear

I have had to send my 360 in for repairs and about four of my friends had to send there's in for repair more than once.

Posted by Kraznor

Mine made it almost two years but died two days ago. Microsoft was pretty good about it though, it is free and should only take a few weeks. I don't know, it sucks that it died but it is such a fine console, I don't mind. That said, definitely using this as an excuse to upgrade to the Elite.

Posted by bossjimbob

Great article. I read Takahashi's book on the original Xbox and it was fascinating. Can't wait to dig in to the 360 one.

Posted by Kohe321

My launch 360 got the red rings of death october last year. I used that as an escuse to get a completely new elite.

Posted by jangofett88

My 360 has been problem free for 2 years, so this is something that looms over my head from time to time.

Posted by dagas

My 360 was problem free for two years and then one day it broke. Thankfully it's a relatively pain free to get it repaired.

Posted by KingHippp0

One more thing for those with an RROD. After you call 1800-4-my-xbox and have a Reference #, call 1-888-236-0927. This is Teir 3 tech support in Washington. Be very polite and request expedited shipping. I got my "coffin" in 24 hours, and had my Xbox back in 7 days repaired. 

Posted by noble_art

I bought a 360 one year after they came out hoping the quality had improved with the next gen of manufacturing.  The very fist time I turned it on I got red rings. I restarted it and was able to play PGR for maybe 4 mins and more red rings.  I took it back asap and the replacement I got has been good ever since with no issues at all.  Hope it stays that way too. 

My brother is not so lucky.  Hes been through two of them and the one he has now is starting to show signs of iminent failure.

Posted by SpikePT

I'm on my 3rd 360...this lack of respect for consumers and gamers just saddens me...

Posted by Smersh
I can't believe people are willing to accept a % of boot failure - CRAZY!
I never got around to buying a 360 so i guess that makes me the lucky one.
Posted by Berkie

I have a launch 360, it has RR'ed 2 times. I both times I got my console back in less than 2 weeks. I remember my old PS2 getting the dreaded "disc read error", and had friends with the same problems. It does suck to spend so much on a console for it to take a shit, but you gotta pay to play.

Posted by Noxat

I still worry about the red ring, and any hardware failure in general on my 360.  I bought one in June 2006, it finally broke down and red ringed this July, sent it in, and the replacement unit they sent started having E74 errors almost immediately.  I sent that one in a week later, this time they sent the same unit back and its been fine so far, which is about a week.  But it does make some clicking sounds when it first starts up that make me nervous, and it makes me wonder what they had to add/fix/change to finally get it working properly.  I just hope if its going to crap out again its going to do it within the new 3-month warranty that comes with refurbished units.

Posted by nail1080

I'm on my 4th 360, my girlfriend is on her 3rd Elite, and my buddy has gone through over 5 360s(lost count). I live in Ireland, maybe they just sent all the bad ones over here or something but it's really unfair that this bad luck has plagued me and my mates... :(

But the 360 is so much fun I can't give up on it, it's like heroine damn it.

Posted by KingdomHearts93

A lot of 360s seem to suffer from the RROD at some point

Posted by Civvie

my Elite just RROD on me so they must have lied about fixing it

Posted by Jason_Miami

My 360 lasted about a year and a half and died when I was on the last level of BioShock; talk about annoying :P. Luckily I had the plan at Best Buy, returned it there and got $400 credit toward an Elite before they stopped honoring the plan, luckily.

Posted by hide

I don't have a 360 still. Last I checked they're still around 500 - 600 NZD.

Oh right, I checked about two or three months back.
Posted by BlainN

I'm still not jumping in, partly because I'm a cheap ass gamer and am almost always a generation behind and partly because of DarthGreedo's point.  $300-$400 consumer electronics should work.  I'm not saying that most 360s fail.  But once they do, Microsoft sends their owners to refurb hell.  I'm not going to pay more than the launch price of the PS2 for that.  That just won't be me.

Hopefully the price drops, the upcoming 65nm gpu, and the installs to the hard drive taking the pressure off of the ghetto ass DVD drives in the thing (Seriously, a really solid DVD rom drive costs what, $20?) will finally make the 360 feel worth it for me.

Posted by Chytynous

No RROD for me... but there's awful texture pop-in on most games and it sometimes refuses to play DVDs.

Posted by BlazeHedgehog

No, it's because Microsoft builds the 360 like a tank nowadays.

My Xbox 360 is on its way out but the damn thing refuses to red ring. I've tried a number of "home remedies" to fix it, but it never makes any difference, good or bad. The only solution I have is to shell out the $100 to get it repaired, otherwise I have to contend with the long list of problems my 360 currently suffers from.

Sometimes I wonder if maybe Microsoft actually did something to the console's BIOS that makes it more resilient to displaying a red ring (but still just as likely to break), because something is clearly wrong inside my Xbox 360. I mean, I can hear loose parts rattling around in there.

Posted by yellownumber5

Awesome article.  I just got a +2 in reading.

Still throughout the entire article I could not help but to imagine the scene in the movie "Fight Club" where the narrator has to determine if a fatal defect in the car of a major automobile manufacturer was acceptable enough to warrant a recall.

The wrap-up of the article sums it well, "if you are going to promote the hell out of something, it better work the way you say it does and you better have a strong customer support and engineering debugging team to back it up."

Microsoft has definitely done one thing right and that is keep developer interest.  Even though I know my PS3 is never going to break down, its a freakishly technological rock, Sony still lost on the front of developers being happy with making games on the machine.  People are going to buy the consoles with the games and right now Microsoft has that.

Posted by TheWesman

Red Rings of Death are still a threat!  But seriously, I'm currently on my 3rd 360 and since the warranty just ran out, I'm upgrading to an Elite and getting an extended warranty for it as well.  It's kinda silly I have to worry about this stuff to just play video games.

Posted by jonano

i got red ringed yesterday but im going to buy a arcade for 200 and make sure its the falcon version cuz iv had a bad experence with thing bein fix they always break  faster 

Posted by Aaron_G

I have gotten it once. I hope to never see my Xbox 360 winking at me again.

Posted by Everyones_A_Critic

A friend of mine recently got it, and before him another friend got the One Red Light.....It's still happening, it just isn't talked about anymore

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