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As this July marks the 5-year anniversary of Microsoft's incredible extended warranty programme for Xbox 360 owners, a survey of 500,000 gamers suggests the Xbox 360 failure rate has finally subsided to the same level as PS3. Wowser.
While it's almost certain anyone reading this already knows what the 'Red Ring of Death' is, it's worth a little recap, if only to remember how bad things were. After huge public outcry as thousands of gamers' expensive new toys died mere days (or even hours) after purchase, it transpired the original console's design was fundamentally flawed.
As the consoles warmed up during use, the motherboard would warp, pushing components upwards which didn't return as it cooled, resulting in chips literally coming away from the circuit board. Microsoft wrote off $1.05 billion in acknowledgement of the fact they were going to have to accept a huge volume of returns. Sure enough, it happened to us too:
Above: My own launch night 360. Born Dec 2, 2005, died Oct 20, 2008. Some things are just too beautiful for this world. Rest in pieces...
But that was then. The Jasper circuit board then arrived with an improved internal design, followed by the Xbox 360 Slim, which got rid of the 'Circle of Light' altogether, which meant that it was literally impossible to experience the Red Ring of Death. Clever. Meanwhile, Sony's 'Yellow Light of Death' threatened to become a big deal for PS3 owners a couple of years ago, but has never become as widespread as the dreaded Red Ring.
But blah blah and more blah. That's just words. How does this all look in a graph? Well, thanks to the survey, we can see exactly how it would look in a graph. Look:
Above: A graph
Now, we're totally prepared to admit that until today we had never heard of NoFussReviews (sorry) so the 'data' could be as authentic as those £600 notes with Eeyore on it in place of the Queen you find at car boot sales. But it looks about right to us. We haven't had a 360 die in the office since we were playing the first version of Street Fighter IV. And that was ages ago.
There are more graphs on the site, the most interesting of which is this one which shows failure rates by model of Xbox 360. As you can see, Slims are doing just fine this year:
Above: If you're looking to buy a 360 second-hand, perhaps a Slim is the way to go
Fingers crossed the next Xbox will go through more testing than 'does it boot up?' this time round (we jest, of course - Microsoft would never boot up a console before its customers get to bug check it first). But how has your experience been this generation in terms of dead consoles? Let us know in the comments. Me? My launch week PS3 and launch night Wii are still going strong. Jinxed 'em now, mind...