BREAKING: Microsoft Does the Right Thing About Ring of Death Hardware Failure

Let’s give credit where credit is due.

As recently as this morning, GamePolitics has been beating on Microsoft over the massive Xbox 360 hardware failure rate. But today, in an interview broadcast on the Major Nelson podcast, MS exec Peter Moore announced a stunning – and very consumer-friendly -warranty policy.

Moore has also posted an open letter on the site explaining the new warranty:

You’ve spoken, and we’ve heard you. Good service and a good customer experience are areas of the business that we care deeply about. And frankly, we’ve not been doing a good enough job…

…we are announcing  today a three-year warranty that covers any console that displays a three flashing red lights error message… Microsoft will repair the console free of charge—including shipping—for three years from the console’s purchase date…

If we have let any of you down in the experience you have had with your Xbox 360, we sincerely apologize. We are taking responsibility and are making these changes to ensure that every Xbox 360 owner continues to have a great experience…

I want to thank you, on behalf of all us at Microsoft, for your loyalty. 

GP: Aw, Peter, you big tattooed lug, you had us at three year warranty…

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  1. 0

    […] Just about every gaming site out there is reporting that Microsoft has decided to extend their warranty period on XBOX 360 units that experience the red-ring-o-death to three years. Microsoft’s Peter Moore announced the policy change during an interview on the Major Nelson Podcast, and through an open letter on From the letter: As of today, all Xbox 360 consoles are covered by an enhanced warranty program to address specifically the general hardware failures indicated by the three flashing red lights on the console. This applies to new and previously-sold consoles. While we will still have a general one year console warranty (two years in some countries), we are announcing today a three-year warranty that covers any console that displays a three flashing red lights error message. If a customer has an issue indicated by the three flashing red lights, Microsoft will repair the console free of charge—including shipping—for three years from the console’s purchase date. We will also retroactively reimburse any of you who paid for repairs related to problems indicated by this error message in the past. In doing so, Microsoft stands behind its products and takes responsibility to ensure that every Xbox 360 console owner continues to have a fantastic gaming experience. […]

  2. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    This isn’t doing anything unless they actually plan on FIXING them so this never happens again… Hey, I wonder, if playing the console for only an hour or so a day will keep it from breaking.

  3. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This screams of even more “covering our asses so we don’t get slapped with a big class-action lawsuit because repairing every RoD XB360 would be a lot cheaper than paying our lawyers and losing”. But at least it’ll help get some results for the people who have fallen out of the warranty period.

    IMO, nobody should bother buying a XB360 until the first real hardware revision is released, which I thought was supposed to be soon…. Hmm…

  4. 0
    Timmay! says:

    Not FULLY the right thing, but they’re close. The right thing would to also admit that, somewhere, there is a problem, they generally know how to fix it, and they’ve got something in the works in the very near future to stop it on brand new machines.

    While the extended warranty is great for anyone who owns, or plans to own, a 360, they’re still not directly owning up to the fact that there’s a major hardware problem here, which is what really needs to be done. Do they know, in general, what the problem(s) is/are? It can’t really be that up in the air, with so many problems being reported. And if they do know what the problem is, they should be rolling something out sometime soon (hopefully) in production that would stop it.

    They’ve got to know something by now, so why can’t they just be open and share SOMETHING?

  5. 0
    chadachada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ E. Zachary Night
    i disagree, i think the games for the 360 beat the wii and ps3 and ps2 hands down, but that’s just my opinion

  6. 0
    orangekrush ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    IF they admit there is a problem – they are basically going to be openly violating various Sale of Goods legislation around the world.

    That would be bad, bad, bad…

  7. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If you read the open letter from Peter Moore, you’ll see that Microsoft did admit they’ve got a problem:

    “We have been following this issue closely, and with on-going testing have identified several factors that can cause a general hardware failure indicated by three flashing red lights on the console. To address this issue, and as part of our ongoing work, we have already made certain improvements to the console.”

  8. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Interesting picture. It’s worth noting that attempting 360-fu will void your warranty, and that the console is not designed to be used as a weapon even if you seriously suspect that someone is a Sony/Nintendo fanboy.

    While this is a nice gesture, it’s not a fix. Three years is not all that long. Unless they’re planning on releasing the 720 Varial Heelflip within the next two years, their failure-prone hardware will continue to conk out while people are playing it. They’re just delaying the complaints by an extra few years.

    I simply don’t trust my 360 any more. My replacement failed within three weeks of being fixed. I carefully monitor its behaviour and try to limit the amount of pressure I put it under. By contrast, I think nothing of leaving my PC on overnight to complete some CPU-intensive task. The 360 is a console. It is designed to be effectively zero maintenance, standardised, and idiotproof within reason. I can’t think of another consumer device with such a high failure rate.

  9. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    ya…even the GC has a better line up sure the 360 has 2 maybe 3 great games but the PS2,Xbox and GC have that many or more plus a ton of ok games.

    do us all a favor expand your horizons and play more than games on the 360……what you just said amounts to about the same as a PS3 fanboy claiming the PS3 is the best with all the ps3 games it has on it…..

  10. 0
    Silver_Derstin says:

    “i disagree, i think the games for the 360 beat the wii and ps3 and ps2 hands down, but that’s just my opinion”


    Beat the PS2 game selection? The 360? How many REALLY good games are on that console people are always bitching about? 4? Maybe 5? Most of them being multi-platform games?

    Please, do yourself a favour and STFU.

  11. 0
    Miang ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    To me this is a little to late. What about all the people who bought a 360 at launch and have had massive problems with it? Some of those people purchased extended warranties from the store where they bought the stupid thing and had to replace that warranty EVERY TIME the console broke down. For me that resulted in three different times I had to replace my extended warranty. And this only covers one type of error. Why the red light error is the most common its not the only problem that occurs fairly regularly with that system. Many people commonly have disc driver errors or hard drive problems.

  12. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    [First console] is way better than [second console]. It has more great games like [blockbuster] and can play [older console] games too. The [graphics|online|range|price] on the [second console] sucks compared to [first console] too. Go back to [second console blockbuster].

  13. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    sorry again

    BWC is a bitch on the 360 because of the change in GPU makers and the sheer fact that it has to be done on a game by game basis makes it rather hard.

    They can’t go to a dev and say “You have to make your old games BWC”

  14. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    sorry for double post.


    But will they still have a people willing to buy at that point? I love my 360, and I am lucky enough to not have had mine break but really, my faith in MSG as a hardware provider has been shaken.

    Its worrisome, and really they should have said, “Shit we have a problem, time to offer free repairs on all systems”

    Expensive? Yes, but the good will it buys them, and the experience could get them alot of fans in the generation to come. Short term might hurt the bottom line, but this is MS we are talking about, they can take the hit and make it up later.

    Please note, this is why I will never run a publicly owned company.

  15. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    what is this 2 or 3 times as bad as the DRE PS2 fiasco?

    in any case like it or not the 360 is a viable console I would love it if they would make it BWC with the xbox because of that I put the console on the back of my to get list.

  16. 0
    Insanejedi341 says:


    I think you should shut the fuck up. he’s entitled to his opinion and so are you, but you shouldn’t slam other peoples opinions just becuase they differ from yours.

    In my opinion, in fact, it might as well count as factual. the Xbox360 has better games both of the next gen consoles combined. right now they Wii’s top games are both on the Gamecube already, Zelda, and Resident Evil 4, and on the horizon theres not much other then Mario Galaxy, and Metroid Prime. the PS3’s top game is Resistance Fall Of Man which is a great game but not ground breaking, and on the horizon is a lot of anticipated games that are also coming to the 360. due to Microsofts 1 year head start, they got games like Gears Of War, Lost Planet, Dead Rising, Forza 2, and on the horizon is a lot of great PC, and 360 only games that will be cross compatible, not only that some 360 exclusives like Too Human, and Mass Effect.

    In all it looks like the 360 is the dominate market space for games.

    (Notice i said games, not consoles, becuase the Wii is selling like crazy)

  17. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The problem is known. The heating causes the board to flex and the chips break off the board.

    God damnit MS. You should have done this weeks ago and started offering refunds for every 3 ring error you have charged people for.

  18. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:

    I couldn’t be happier about this. As someone who is getting their consoled repaired at this moment and was running dangerously close to the 1-year warranty coming to an end, I can breathe a little easier now. I feel that by the time this new warranty expires a permanent fix should be in place, and though it sucks having to send it off, I definitely feel that they are doing the right thing.

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    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    I wish MS would have broken IP/CP to put full BWC into it, they wouldn’t have lost much money in a lawsuit and it could be offset from selling to the masses of BWC hold outs like me,oh well maybe they will refine a deal and make a BWC compilable new 360 for 100 more *L*

    I would like a 100$ off the new consoles by Xmas too,it could happen hell a 350 premium and a 400 elite is not to far out of the question but now that they have stated they are fixing the problem price drops wont come till late 08.

  20. 0
    JC says:

    This is just too tempting. I really need to pick up a 360….It’d be killer if they dropped the price as well to make Sony suffer more… I love competition.
    As for people saying that “this isn’t good enough”, it is really STUPID of Microsoft to not have a revision ready and announce this, since that means they’ll spend more than $1B on the future sales. They must have done something to the hardware finally to fix this, otherwise this will just cost them more.
    I figure this’ll just leave the stigma that 360s break all the time and everyone will continue saying MS has shoddy hardware. I still have a working PS2 during the moments that people had theirs breaking… I’ll be happy if the 360 I buy lasts that long :)

  21. 0
    sqlrob ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is a start, but still not quite enough to convince me to buy one.

    Extending the warranty doesn’t mean it’s stopped breaking. Once they’ve fixed the problems, *then* I’ll consider one.

    If Sony is doing a price cut, I don’t think MS will be far behind in order to keep the lead.

  22. 0
    Paul Adams says:

    This may have been asked before… What about those of us who have already paid the $130+ to get their system (for this same issue) since launch? Do we get a refund?

  23. 0
    monte' ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    well, it does sound like Sony may just be doing a $100 price cut… no actual confirmation from them, but that’s what circuit city is advertising, right after E3 no less.

    If it’s true than it does make you wonder wheather or not MS will follow them. Afterall, despite hardware failure, at $400, the 360 is still the cheaper console and with a stronger library it has a rather commanding lead. The 360 may not see a price cut until the PS3 starts looking like an actual threat… though if Sony really is placing in the price cut so soon, we may see a $50 cut for the 360 come the holidays

  24. 0
    Brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Um? Nvida could have taken them for everycent they had made on the box.

    They would have given trade secrets to ati. Even then It might not have been enough.

    I like some competition between the Graphics card makers.

  25. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    @Paul Adams

    The letter says so:

    “We will also retroactively reimburse any of you who paid for repairs related to problems indicated by this error message in the past.”

    Anyways, this is all music to my ears. Now I won’t have to watch my 360 with one eye open while I’m sleeping. :)

  26. 0
    Black Patriot ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It is gratifying to see a response of this nature from Microsoft, as in my experience large companies rarely admit their mistakes.

    I only wish that this included disk drive problems, but C’est La Vie(Such is life).

  27. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I herald this as a good move for the main part, as long as MS are doing something about making sure the problem does not re-occur, even if they just roll it out silently as they get machines to repair.

    I don’t know if this is a design flaw, a power supply problem, or MS just mis-judged how long the machine was going to be used at one time, but as long as they are taking steps to erase the problem, that, I guess is what is important.

  28. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    ouch 😛

    last I checked they had it all ready to roll out and ninvida changed thier minds about the BWC thing a few months before launch.

    I’d say design flaw,they are not making the process easy enough for low qauilty factories thus you get a high number of fail rate.

  29. 0
    Archgabe ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It is a step in the right direction. But that is just what it is, a step. I forsee them doing more in the months to come. Even fixing the problem may be soon. At least they are paying attention now.

  30. 0
    Dave says:

    Besides the fact that 1 billion is a ton of cash for even Microsoft I think the recall might make people wonder about other Microsoft offering in the future.

  31. 0
    Conejo says:

    now what Microsoft needs to do is set up a HDD upgrade plan (hand over your 20g, pony up $80, and get all your info transferred to a new 120g).

  32. 0
    xzero87 says:

    Not being a huge fan of Microsoft’s attempt to conquer the gaming industry, I can’t say this really sounds like anything special. My LCD monitor (Samsung) has the same warranty, except it’s a year longer.

    And slightly off topic, that picture has always made me laugh. Just something about the expression.

  33. 0
    Kyouryuu says:

    Well, think of it this way. If your Xbox 360 goes within three years, you’re covered. If it goes beyond that – what do you think the console is going to cost in three years? $200? $150? Probably won’t break the bank.

    Granted, I would have preferred that Microsoft just build a better machine. You don’t hear about these kinds of failures with the Wii, or even more surprisingly the PlayStation 3.

  34. 0
    Zero Beat ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    They did admit in the full press release that there are several hardware problems that they’re trying to fix. What we have here is the abridged version, mentioning the parts that would matter most to most consumers (and GP, his just bricked, remember?). Anyway, the full press release is on Kotaku. Might also want to check Joystiq.

  35. 0
    finaleve ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sony has been in the biz for making a lot of hardware that do various things, so they need to know how to make things work right. Nintendo has been in the biz for more than 20 years now, so they know what to do. But M$ has really been known for Windows (IMO), which is Software. So theres going to be some problems here and there, theres always problems, either technical or business or any other form.

    Right now I’m tied between the 360 and the Wii. I’ve been playing the Wii lately (RE4), but I really like how the 360’s online service works and what it has.

  36. 0
    Mnementh2230 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As much as this reeks of being a CYA move, I’m still pleased that they’re taking care of the customers in this manner.

    Bravo Microsoft.

  37. 0
    Marlowe says:

    Frankly, when I buy a system I intend to play it, not ship it to the company every so often, I’ll buy a 360 once they actually suggest they’ll fix the problem not treat its symptoms.

  38. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    We’re not actually going to acknowledge the failure rate or sort the problem out at all, but we will continue to fire fight 3 times longer than before… and now with a dwindling supply of companies willing to fix them too!

    Colour me unimpressed, and you still arent having my money for one. FESS UP AND SORT OUT THE DAMNED PROBLEM MS!

  39. 0
    MacBoy says:

    You know, this is so crazy… because just 4 days ago, on Monday, I got the red rings of death and I immediately called Microsoft and they told me they will repair it. And then this announcement comes.

  40. 0
    King James says:

    I just bought mine a few weeks ago. I’m glad that I’ll be covered for the next three years. That’ll be nearing the end of the life span of the 360, if previous consoles are any indicator.

  41. 0
    finaleve ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m glad I bought mine a few months ago, but i don’t think this is the solution. I think they need to make a new model, one that doesn’t break.

    But I guess this is to be expected from the creators of the “Blue Screen of Death”

  42. 0
    Soga says:

    @ Insanejedi341:

    You’re slamming his opinion. So what if his opinion is that that other guy’s opinion sucks? Yes, I’m slamming your opinion that he needs to shut up.

    Your logic is glaringly flawed.

  43. 0
    Jeff says:

    Am I, like, the only one that has never, ever had a problem with his 360? It’s worked perfectly since the moment I opened it out of the package. With the amount of people that have complained about it, I’m guessing the fialure rate is higher the 33%… Guess I must be one of the lucky ones…People keep talking about the 3 rings of death and other issues, I just look at them anbd go “bwah?…”

  44. 0

    […] A happier post on one of my favorite blogs, told me that Microsoft has improved slightly on their tactics. In a letter posted on the official XBOX website by Peter Moore, Microsoft executive he states that all XBOX consoles with the red ring of death error will be serviced for free by Microsoft for a period of up to three years, instead of the standard one year warranty for all other hardware problems. I have quoted the letter that can also be read on XBOX’s site; To our Xbox Community: […]

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