Xbox 360 failure rates are reportedly down to PS3 levels, just as the generation comes to a close

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...

Source: NoFussReviews


  • Vestedgibbons - November 16, 2013 8:40 a.m.

    "Xbox 360 failure rates are reportedly down".. And my middle finger is reportedly up.
  • JAZ9030 - July 28, 2012 7:18 a.m.

    My Xbox just died when this article was published.
  • rxb - July 27, 2012 5:37 p.m.

    I had a PS1 over heat on me and 2 dreamcasts that only worked after 10 minutes in the fridge. As much as I hate to believe it I think all launch 360s are destinted to die. My 2006 box lasted 2 years, the next one lasted a year til the disc drive broke. The 2009 replacement lasted a year before it red ringed, managed to fix it so it could die two months ago. Got a slim now, if it breaks Im done.
  • Nettacki - July 27, 2012 2:29 p.m.

    Got my original 60GB PS3 on June 2007, which got a YLOD about 2.5 years later. Managed to get it fixed a couple of times before it died for good (I suspect the job the repair guys did wasn't quite as good as I thought it would be...). Then I got the Slim somewhere in early 2010 and I've stuck with it ever since.
  • Divine Paladin - July 27, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    Maybe Gaming Karma exists, because I've always been insanely good to my consoles and have never had an issue with any of them (minus my launch N64 which is now dead, but that's acceptable). Got my 360 (Pro) in 2009ish and have had no problems, although the disc tray is starting to go. Got my (launch) PS3 off a friend, who treated it well, last year, it's worked excellently.
  • ThatGamerDude - July 26, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    My first ps3 which I got back in March 2008 died in august of 2009 (Most likely due to me playing CoD4 so much) and I have had my second one since February of 2010. My Xbox 360 is doing fine (though I rarely ever play it) and I have had it since last Christmas. The Wii was my first seventh generation console and I got it one day in the August of 2007. Since then, it has suffered only exterior damage and works fine internally.
  • coyoteDUSTER - July 26, 2012 9:38 p.m.

    I bought my PS3 in August 2008 and got the YLOD this past April. Got it fixed and so far so good.
  • needles - July 26, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    I have a theory as to why the Wii's failure rate is so low. It's because people don't play them not nearly as often as PS3 or 360. It's another 'failed' Nintendo product. Pun intended. Hahaahahhahaha HahahahahAHAHAHA hahaah!!! Praise Allah.
  • Cyberninja - July 26, 2012 5:02 p.m.

    Honestly I have played more games on wii then PS3 so that isnt the problem.
  • needles - July 27, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    I'm not into casual games. So the Wii is not my thing. Playing virual bowling with granny sounds like loads of fun and all but she's dead.
  • Cyberninja - July 26, 2012 1:01 p.m.

    I love how non existant wii failure rate is, I dont think of I have ever seen someone replace a wii.
  • Child Of Death - July 26, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    The Wii can take a beating. I have a friend whose pet or friend repeatedly knocked the Wii off of the table it was perched onto the hardwood floor. The damn thing still works! Nintendo may be behind when it comes to graphical performance but Nintendo built those things to go through a freakin war.
  • J-Fid - July 26, 2012 2:24 p.m.

    The quality of Nintendo is a beautiful thing.
  • bass88 - July 26, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    Indeed. I have my SNES twenty years now. It has been dropped many times or had stuff fall on it or been knocked about but it still goes strong. Only "consoles" that failed me were PCs. Gone through three. One occasion it blew up whilst playing Blade Runner.
  • Ultima - July 26, 2012 10:07 p.m.

    The PC is not a console, even if you put it in quotation marks, so it needs a bit more care than games consoles. All those PC's will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die.
  • Rambo 11 - July 27, 2012 6:46 a.m.

    It's true, most if not all of nintendo's consoles are like a nokia phone, built like a brick and pretty much indestructible unless used by an infant. Also is anyone else sick of these recaptcha's? The top half of mine was out of the text box.
  • J-Fid - July 26, 2012 2:21 p.m.

    I had to get my disc drive replaced a few months after SSBB came out because it could not read the disc. SSBB is the only game that my Wii has problems with, which is a shame because SSBB is my favorite game to play. Hoping that my future Wii U won't have these problems.
  • D0CCON - July 26, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    My elite I bought in 2008 Red Ringed in either fall of 2009 or 2010 (I think 09). It's replacement is doing just fine (my old one had a few false alarms in its lifetime and my replacement hasn't had even one). I still think it's stupid that my warranty is gone because my replacement console's warranty had expired before I even received it from Microsoft.
  • wingsdjy - July 26, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    Had a Pro console get RRoD after 2 year. 2 years later, the replacement console got RRoD (so no warranty replacement). Bought an Arcade. Still going strong, but gave it to my sister-in-law so that I could get the quieter Slim. ReCAPTCHA: WTF? Upside down numbers intermingled with rightside up numbers?
  • xx_CaPTiiN_SpAiiN_zz - July 26, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    irony at its best. my friends ps3 had a yellow light within one year of buying it while my xbox is still going fine. i honestly dont think the red ring of death happens as much as people say it does.

Showing 1-20 of 38 comments

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