"You've spoken, and we've heard you. Good service and a good customer experience are areas of the business that we care deeply about. And frankly, we've not been doing a good enough job."
That's Peter Moore, chief of all things Xbox, addressing 360 owners in a surprisingly open letter on Xbox.com today. After months of corporate denial and dodged questions, it seems that Microsoft is finally ready to fess up - their console has a few kinks. Or, as the world has come to know them, the "red rings of death."
Moore continues, "With ongoing testing, [we] have identified several factors that can cause a general hardware failure indicated by three flashing red lights on the console. To address this issue, and as part of our ongoing work, we have already made certain improvements to the console."
Reports of busted 360s have been growing alarmingly over the past several months. We at GamesRadar have now lost count of the number of bricks we've had to send back for repairs, and recent reports have put the overall failure rate as high as 33%. Therefore, simply getting confirmation that Microsoft has identified the problem is a big relief.
A much huger relief, though, is the assurance that they'll still fix it for you... even if you bought your system the very first day it came out. As Moore explains, "If a customer has an issue indicated by the three flashing red lights, Microsoft will repair the console free of charge - including shipping - for three years from the console’s purchase date."
That's until November 2008 or later, folks. For the next year and a half, at least, you can breathe easy and know that Microsoft's footing the bill... to the tune of $1.15 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Thanks, guys, we'll get the next one.