The first time i heard about the news that microsoft and nvidia will team-up for the xbox360, i was shocked. I knew that this console will definitely hit the top chart knowing that nvidia came a long way when it comes to graphics. But after a year, I was starting to change my mind because of the technical & stability issues buzzing around the internet on the said console. I did some research and considered the ff issues...
THE RING OF DEATH
Lets start with what they call THE RING OF DEATH. This tittle refers to a "general hardware" failure or "core digital" failure, 3-flashing red lights appear (known as the "Red Ring of Death" or the "Three Red Lights of Death") around the power button. In normal operation, there are four green lights around the power button. Warning signs of it are freeze-ups, where screen has strange and spontaneous graphical problems in the middle of gameplay such as checkerboard or pinstripe patterns on the display, sound is frozen then changed to a strange, static-like sound, and the console only responds to power-off.
These may happen once or several times before general hardware failure occurs, or not at all. Does'nt mean that the error will occur just because your Xbox freezes once in a while. But when the error occur, the three red lights will appear and your console will not function.
As a response to high rate of failure... last July-5-07, the VP of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division published a letter recognizing the console's problems and announcing a three-year warranty extension for every Xbox 360 console that experiences the "general hardware failure" indicated by three flashing red LEDs on the console.
As per research, a source that has been identified as a team leader and key architect in the creation of the Xbox/Xbox 360 and a founding member of the Xbox team provided insight on the high rate of failures. Interviews shows that Xbox 360 units that fail early in their life was because of problems in the system design, parts supply, material reliability, and manufacturing issues as well as a system not tolerant to faults. These are the end results of the decisions of management in Microsoft's Xbox team with inadequate testing resources prior to the console's release. A second source stated that, at one time...there was just a 32% yield of one of the test production runs. 68 on every 100 units were found defective.
Cold solder joints and insufficient Cooling system are just some of the few things that caused many console to fail. As the temperature inside the console rises, the more the peripherals/parts inside becomes brittle as time goes by...which may lead to thin cracks that are almost irreparable.
Next issue will be SCRATCHED DISCS. Consumers began reporting rounded scratches found on discs used in their Xbox 360 consoles late 2005. "The Llamma's Adventures" investigated this and saw that some Xbox 360 drives lack a mechanism securing the disc solidly in place. Tilting or moving consoles with these drives when operating with a disc spinning inside can potentially cause damage to the disc, sometimes permanently. Disc can also be scratched by a xbox drive tray not functioning in the right way, the tray will close the disc in an odd position and scratch up the disc which can result in the laser being obliterated. Although this problem is not covered by the warranty, Microsoft's Xbox Disc Replacement Program will replace a limited range of scratched discs that are published in countries where the Xbox was originally sold for a $20 fee and a list of games that qualify for replacement were released.
Here are the reports courtesy of "BBC Watchdog Investigation of Xbox 360 disc scratches (2009)"
On March 23 2009, BBC's Watchdog TV show took an investigation into how the console scratches its own discs. One person featured in the investigation was 13-year-old boy Michael Mowatt, who saves up for his games by collecting pigeon droppings from his neighbor's pigeon coop. It usually takes him around a month to save up for new games for his console. When he tried out one of his newly-bought games, the game suddenly stopped reading and when he took the disc out, he found a carved circle around the inside of the disc. His mother (Rachel Mowatt) thought that Michael had been misusing the console and told him off for damaging the disc. But the same problem happened again with another of his discs a few days later, and this time Rachel knew that something was wrong. The console was still in warranty, so he sent it off to Microsoft for it to get looked at - but the scientists at Microsoft found nothing.
Same thing happened with Robert Monaghan and his family. They bought an Xbox 360 and a copy of Rock band (with all of the instruments) so that there was something for the family to do, but after a while playing the game, the game disc also was subjected to the carved inner ring problem on the disc. Robert thought that the children in his family were misusing the console as well, so he punished them. After a while, the same family bought Guitar Hero World Tour for the console instead, so that they still had something to do. Same thing happened, but this time dad Robert knew there was something wrong with the console. So, like Michael, he also sent his console away to be looked at - but again, no problems.
I felt so bad for this kid who worked so hard just to save up for his games by collecting pigeon droppings from his neighbor's pigeon coop... i just hope Microsoft will do someting about it :(
Below are the additional issues I found on the web involving XBOX console...
In mid 2007, technology and gaming blogs began reporting about new problems with the Xbox 360 losing video output. The problems are characterized by a blank or staticky video output with a proper functioning audio output and no flashing red lights on the console. The complete video failure is sometimes preceded by other graphical glitches such as an irregular saturation of green and/or red colors.
An E74 error is when the lower-right quadrant of the ring-piece indicator flashes red and displays an error message in multiple languages: "E74 System Error. Contact Xbox Customer Support". The error is caused when there's a video problem, either because the audio/video cable is broken or when the Xbox 360 hardware scaler chip is damaged. As of April 14, 2009, the E74 error is now covered by the three-year extended warranty, and customers who previously paid Microsoft for out-of-warranty service to correct the E74 error will receive a refund.