Months ago, Microsoft admitted Xbox 360's unusually high failure rate, characterized by the famous Xbox 360 Red Ring Of Death (RROD), and allocated 1 billion dollars to fix it, but it doesn't seem that the problem is over yet.
According to professional electronics and appliances warranty company SquareTrade analysis, Xbox 360 currently has a 16.4% normal-use failure rate.
This number indicates a huge improvement over the 33% failure rate which was estimated a year ago, but is not yet near acceptable. For comparison, Playstation 3 "hovers in the 3% range for hardware failures".
RROD accounts for 60% of all Xbox 360 failures and it is covered by an extended 3 years warranty. The other 40% are limited to the standard 90-day warranty. Microsoft charges $99 to fix any non-Three Red Lights issue, with a reported turnaround time of 21 days.
Disk read errors account for nearly half of all non-TRL claims. Other problems which showed up often included fried video cards, hardware freezes, on/off failures and, interestingly, disc tray malfunctions that also tend to damage game discs.
Funny enough, an Xbox 360 console succumbed to RROD in Microsoft's XNA area at the Game Developers Conference.
The console was videoed by BBC technology editor Darren Waters, who had this to say :
"Microsoft wants consumers to believe that its problems with the Xbox 360 console in terms of hardware failure are over. But wandering through the Game Developers Conference halls and it's clear that the problem persists".
"On Microsoft's own stand at the show one of the demo consoles has a rather familiar problem - the red ring of death. There's no way of knowing if this particular console was manufactured before or after Microsoft identified the problems with the machines".
"But at the very least it's embarrassing for the company that its own stock of demo machines is still susceptible to the problem".