It is an affliction that has struck gamers everywhere. The tears, the heart breaks, the taunts from Playstation 3 users. Almost every Xbox 360 user has either been affected by, or knows someone that has been touched by the dreaded plight that is the red ring of death. And the potential support group is big.
In a new survey conducted by nofussreviews.com, out of 500,000 people surveyed, 42 percent claimed to have experienced hardware failure on their Xbox 360s. By comparison, the Playstation 3 had a low 8 percent failure rate, while the Wii had an incredible 1 percent failure rate. To make matters worse for Xbox owners, 55 percent of those with failures have needed more than one repair or replacement, and 39 percent have had to repair or replace their consoles more than two times.
The poll did not take into account specifics such as amount of time played, or how much use each console received- which could be a factor.
For those lucky enough to have avoided the frustration and pain of never seeing or hearing of those cursed red rings, the red ring of death is the indicator of a failure on an Xbox 360 console. Four sections form a circle to represent controller connections, and when there is an issue with the system, whether it is an unplugged connection or something more serious, the lights will flash red, signifying that the system has issues
The numbers are bleak, but not entirely unexpected. Although not all Xbox 360 failures are red ring of death related, Microsoft acknowledged the problem in September of 2007 and had the chipset manufacturer, Falcon, create a new generation of chips. Problems still plagued the Xbox 360, prompting Microsoft to switch chipset manufacturers altogether, and in November of 2008 the Jasper chipsets were introduced. The most recent survey does not include data on when the Xbox was manufactured or purchased. The red ring of death accounted for about 60% of all 360 failures.
Microsoft has taken the issue seriously, going as far as to extend the warranties for a year at a cost of $1 billion. The survey falls between other estimates from 2009 that place the Xbox 360’s failure rate anywhere between 23.7 percent and 54 percent (this print only survey issued by Game Informer magazine also shows slightly higher PS3 and Wii failure rates as well), but neither survey polled nearly as large of a sample group.
Since the switch to the Jasper chipset, projections suggest that the worst is behind Microsoft but the older the Xbox 360, the more the chance that it will fail.