Let’s be clear, we truly hope that this will never ever become an issue. In a perfect world, it would only be the academics and the product testers that ever have a first-hand experience with this, but if experience has taught us anything, it is to be prepared for the worst. To break the negative connotations that the sight of a red ring on Xbox 360’s bring to mind, Microsoft has removed that particular feature from its newly slimmed down and redesigned Xbox 360s. Instead, users might face the dreaded red dot of death.
If you own an Xbox 360, there is an alarmingly high probability that you have had first-hand experience with the red ring of death. When something went wrong with the hardware, four lights would turn red, and each of the red lights signified a different problem. If the first light was not flashing while the other three blinked, it likely meant a cable was disconnected and you could breathe a sigh of relief. If the third light was steady while the others flashed, then you were in trouble and likely needed to repair, or replace your 360.
The new Xbox 360 will no longer feature the red ring, instead, if there is a significant hardware problem, the green power light will turn red. It is much more soothing to see, at least until you realize what it means. Again, we hope that this is never, ever an issue, but if you see your new Xbox 360 turn red in the center, be afraid. Be very afraid.
The issues with the older Xbox 360s stemmed from a combination of a bad chipset and overheating. It reached such epic proportions, that as many as 42 percent of Xbox 360s were suggested to be affected. The chipset was eventually replaced, which drastically improved the reliability, but heat did still cause a few red ring issues. The new redesign should fundamentally help with the problems that caused the red ring in the first place.
Heat is the nemesis of many a good piece of electronics, and the Xbox 360 seemed especially susceptible to it. The new design features a smaller chip that combines the CPU and GPU, which should significantly reduce the heat output. The dual fan of the original units has been replaced by a single, quieter fan, but the lowered heat of the chip should be easily handled by the single fan.
The red ring of death may soon be gone, but it will not be forgotten.