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


  • Shnubby - July 26, 2012 4:47 a.m.

    My arcade model red ringed once but that was it. It had to get sent off to Germany for 2 weeks for repair though! Luckily it came back the day before my birthday, just in time for new games :P
  • Ultima - July 26, 2012 5:19 a.m.

    Working from home is one of the perks of prostitution
  • GrandTheftAuto - July 26, 2012 5:12 a.m.

    My pro got the red ring of death once a few years ago. Then after about a year it's graphics card got cooked.. >_>
  • BladedFalcon - July 26, 2012 5:42 a.m.

    Actually, my 360 lasted a long time, all things considered. I bought an original, first model core 360 on January 2006, and the console lasted for a bit more than 4 years, I only got the red ring of dead in February of 2010 while playing Mass Effect 2. Then again... I've also owned a PS2, an Xbox, a GC, a PS3, a game boy, game boy color, game boy advance, DS, DS Lite, PSP and a 3DS, and NONE of those consoles have ever failed one me, so yeah... TO BE FAIR though, my brother owned an original chunky PS3, and it died of overheating problem in within 1 year and a half.
  • icbacomingupwithapropername - July 26, 2012 6:20 a.m.

    i have had my xbox arcade since 2008 and it has been fine with out a single red ring, on the other hand i have had my wii since 2007 and it melted. i was using all the usb ports on it at the time but still.
  • Turtman - July 26, 2012 6:49 a.m.

    I still think the red ring accounts for a huge skew in the console sales race. Of course the 360 has sold more consoles because so many died early. My friend bought 3 360's because his all got the red ring before the warranty policy was updated, you think he would learn... Anyone else agree or have similar stories?
  • angelusdlion - July 26, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    Of course! It's all a microsoft plot.. the insane genius bastards! There are stats out there, if you actually care to do math instead of proclaim "I'm a ps3 fanboy!"
  • Turtman - July 28, 2012 3:55 p.m.

    Tries to have a meaningful discussion about the subject. Gets called a fanboy. Proves people who keep up with games can't ever play nice.
  • taokaka - July 26, 2012 7:20 a.m.

    my 40gb ps3 which I got for Christmas in 2007 got the YLOD last year but I fixed it with a heat gun, unfortunately it got the YLOD a couple of months later (I was only a couple of hours away from the end of final fantasy XIII when it happened and I lost my save data so I was pissed) so I bought a slim and since then I've been fine. The slim ps3's and 360's are really good in terms of reliability because the only person I know to have any problems with either had bought a preowned ps3 slim which already had hardware troubles.
  • angelusdlion - July 26, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    I'm on my fifth, but three of them were under warranty.
  • Turtman - July 28, 2012 3:55 p.m.

    Pfffhah! You're on your 5th and you still get butthurt over my comment?
  • comaqi - July 26, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    I love rrod! I got an Elite for $55 on ebay that had the rrod, and then I put $6 worth of washers in it and I have a perfectly functional 360!
  • Moondoggie1157 - July 26, 2012 1:43 p.m.

    Fucking eh, nice work. My disc feed conked out on my PS3 a little while ago, I call them up and find out that my warranty is up, and that not only will it cost me $126 to fix the drive, but the system will have to be completely reset... Yea, fuck that. Took that bitch apart, fixed the feed myself. I only have good things to say about the Ps3, but those fucking disc feeds... Both systems I have had, had that same problem.
  • KillerKittyMao - July 26, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    I'm on my third PS3 since 2007 and still on my first 360, going on three years (hopefully not jinxing it by mentioning so right now...)
  • Ace Hole - July 26, 2012 8:37 a.m.

    My Elite didn't RROD but the ROM drive broke, which MS wanted to charge me £90 to replace, I did it myself for £25. The PSU died which cost another £25 to replace. And now the USB slots are faulty. Last time I buy a piece of MS hardware...
  • Gamer_Geek - July 26, 2012 9:17 a.m.

    My first Xbox 360 was pre-owned, which I was given during the Christmas of 2006, and lasted - no red ring ever - until around November/December of 2011. I've got the new Xbox 360 (the one with the on-board NIC and touch button) which I don't know the exact model of, and have had no problems since; good care and maintaince is what is needed.
  • 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.
  • Child Of Death - July 26, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    Trust me it does. Im on my 5th 360 now. The first two 360s lens cracked and scratch my disc for no apparent reason and the next two had RROD. All my friends except one also had RROD for their 360s. Luckily Im on a slim.
  • 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?

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