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Xbox Finally Admits to What Caused the Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death

SCB3

Member
My fellow Gafers, those who worked at retail like me back in 2006 trough 2010 know the struggle.

I swear I got the unluckiest customer ever, one day that guy just enter the boutique to buy an Xbox 360 "refurbished" went home, call us to inform it was not working, came back to the store, we tested it, RROD, dude's got another console in exchange, a brand new one, go back to his home, call us the day after to tell the exact same thing, you know the drill by now, came back and we test the new console, fucking RROD, we got him another new Xbox 360 and this time we open the damn thing in front of him and we test it to make sure, this time it finally worked as intended.

The sheer number or return we got was astronomical, each day there was at least one RROD from a customer, that led the retail chain I was working at came up with the idea to sell extra years of warranty when the customer wanted to buy the console, we had to literally said It will break in the future, it was a matter of luck and time, what a complete nonsense, ever heard that kind of shit when buying anything else? It's the WORST thing a seller could say !

The Xbox 360 was so great it didn't even affected the sales, it kept selling, worse thing is that extra warranty program we sold ended up becoming mandatory sale objectives for the company I worked back then, they used the Xbox 360 as an exemple and made tons and tons of money on consoles, which by themselves, never made them much to begin with, it depends on which retailer big or small having some kind of deal, but basically they got 1€ of benefit for a new console worth 299 or more, so they always had to depend on selling used games to make profits, now with this, they made 40€ per console, even on consoles that never had problems before, or after, this is the less talked about side effect of that whole RROD debacle in my opinion.
I had at least 7 of them that did it

I even had the first ever Elite console, that was supposed to be fixed, in the UK to have the RRoD
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
Yeah PS3 and Wii were from the same era, and they were more reliable. The 360 really was an outlier in terms of failures. MS admitted as much themselves, otherwise they wouldn't write off over a billion for it. The onus was on them.
Around the switch things were shaky since you used different temperatures, the soldering process had to be adjusted, but the whole electronics industry would’ve collapsed if the RROD scenario was some kind of norm and if soldering were crap on all devices because of the removal of lead.
 
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ShirAhava

Plays with kids toys, in the adult gaming world
Never had RROD which is crazy since I abused my 360 and tried to get it but couldn't those falcons were tough

my friend went through like 8 launch models remember that shitty return program? haha

I did however have a shit ton of disc drive issues with the xbox 360 unless I got the Slim E
my OG Falcon never stopped working but the Disc Drive was useless by the end so I just tossed it
when I got my Xbox One X
 

DonJuanSchlong

Spice Spice Baby
Don't really get responses like this. MS knew about RROD very early on. There's a good chance they knew about it before launch. But for over a year they denied it, claiming it was customer fault and outright lied about the failure rate being within normal rates for electronics. It wasn't until 2007, with many articles being published and murmurings of lawsuits did they finally fess up to the problem. MS were far from good guys in this scenario. Which is why people find the overpriced poster to be in bad taste.
Don't really get responses like this. it's almost as if you only read the thread title, jumped in to blame MS for literally ANYTHING, but came out looking special. It's all in the video.


I'm sure you wouldn't give the YLOD the same treatment, would you? Sony should have known about that from before the ps3 launched, right? Or Nintendo would have known about the Joycon drifting issue, etc.
 

SenkiDala

Member
No they didn't. The Wii and PS3 were RoHS compliant and did not suffer from this. It was a poorly designed system which didn't take into account warping.
Wtf are you talking about, my brand new Wii from day one died after 2 months of use when the graphic chip overloaded and made my 3D games glitches on the screen.
 

OrionNebula

Member
I was working as Entertainment department manager (movies, cds, games & softwares) for a big Canadian Best Buy type of store during 360 launch

I started worrying about it when people were coming back mere hours after launch wanting an exchange for their defective console (that was before the term ‘RROD’ was coined), and me, having no console to spare, getting yelled at, directing them directly to MS (as soon as they realized they would have to handle it all basically themselves directly). It was pretty messy, but MS handled it swiftly, best they could (I assume it’s hard to have a full contingency plan in case of mass console defect)

It did stop me from getting any console (not just xbox but any console) at launch for quite some time, too
 

SkylineRKR

Member
People who praise MS for their return policy, idk.

They shouldn't ship a product that dies within 3 weeks in the first place. The least I expect is a super fast and painless return policy in that case. And their method? idk either. I got someone elses console twice. I don't know if this is even legitimate. It would save time, I'm aware of that, but it never sat well with me. Mine was pristine when I sent it in, the one that was returned had more scratch marks and everything.
 

SenkiDala

Member
We're talking about a widespread issue that affected like 50% of launch 360s. You're talking about an individual issue. Yes, every electronic ever released has had a small percentage of faulty units.
For the Wii ok maybe but PS1/2/3 had disc player issues at a RROD level and I never heard so much shitstorms about those. Back in the PS1/2 days I worked in game shops and we had daily people bringing back PS1/2 because the disc player wasn't working anymore.
 

kuncol02

Member
No they didn't. The Wii and PS3 were RoHS compliant and did not suffer from this. It was a poorly designed system which didn't take into account warping.
Wii is two GC duct taped together and would hold together if they would use bubble gum instead of solder. PS3 was designed almost year later when problems with lead free solder were known better and still has problems with YLoD.
 

Drew1440

Member
No they didn't. The Wii and PS3 were RoHS compliant and did not suffer from this. It was a poorly designed system which didn't take into account warping.

Are we blaming the lead-free soldering now?
There was an industry wide switch for lead-free soldering in consumer electronics, driven by EU. It’s not some short era we can look back and laugh at, we’re still living that era. RROD was caused by bad design and bad cooling. It’s not like every thing you buy stop working after 3 years.

Nvidia graphics cards at the time suffered from the same issues, to the point where people would bake their graphics cards for them to fix it.

Apple Macbooks that used Nvidia chips at the time were notorious for graphical artifacts appearing on the display after several months use.

The PS3 did suffer from YLOD, but I've seen reports indicating NEC/TOKIN capacitors also being the point of failure.
 

SirTerry-T

Member
For the Wii ok maybe but PS1/2/3 had disc player issues at a RROD level and I never heard so much shitstorms about those. Back in the PS1/2 days I worked in game shops and we had daily people bringing back PS1/2 because the disc player wasn't working anymore.
Oh man, the PS1 disc drive was terrible. You had to basically treat it like a naughty Victorian era kid ..flip it over and smack it's arse if it started misbehaving.
 

Kev Kev

Gold Member
lol why do they keep pulling this back out to show off to everyone :messenger_tears_of_joy: i dont understand. its in the past, most people never think about it anymore. its ok. let it go.
 

NinjaBoiX

Member
I dont get this quote:

"All these people loved playing video games, so they would turn this thing on and then off, and when it would turn on and off, you get all sorts of stresses"

Dude almost sounds surprised people where turning the console on and off. What were they expected to do? Never turn it on? Turn it on once and leave it on forever ?
I thought that, as if he was pointing out a specific case scenario that would cause this.

Dude, that’s how you use the device, what are you talking about?
 
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Three

Member
Nvidia graphics cards at the time suffered from the same issues, to the point where people would bake their graphics cards for them to fix it.

Apple Macbooks that used Nvidia chips at the time were notorious for graphical artifacts appearing on the display after several months use.

The PS3 did suffer from YLOD, but I've seen reports indicating NEC/TOKIN capacitors also being the point of failure.
Sorry I'm not buying it. RoHS compliance was made mandatory in Feb 2003. The xbox 360 released in Dec 2005. This wasn't something that jumped out and bit them in the ass. I know no electronic device from that era that had a 50% failure rate. Not even the nvidia graphics cards. Did some electronics fail and could be fixed with a reflow sure. Did all electronics of the era have a 30-50% failure rate though? No. Some Warranty companies were actively rejecting insuring launch 360s.
 
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I must have been the only person whose original day one 360 never had a RROD. It got absolutely hammered too as I was living away from home and had no social life.

I ended up giving it away as I bought the black one when it came out (I guess that was the Elite) and I know it was still working a few years later as I remember helping with a few GTA5 missions.
 

Utherellus

Member
Yea, it was essentially BGA ball failure. They just deformed and broke from heating and cooling repeatedly.

That's why nowadays we have LGA(intel) and PGA(AMD) in our PCs and consoles.
 
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So I see you didn't read the thread. As much as YLOD sucked it wasn't a 30-50% failure rate. On top of that Wii had absolutely no issues. Why can't people just admit it was a design flaw? Why must it be everybody elses fault.

Early wii consoles had a widespread issue with not being able to read dual layered disc's, which became known when Smash bros released. Was it as bad as the rrod? No, but saying thr wii had absolutely no issues is false.
 

nush

Gold Member
Oh man, the PS1 disc drive was terrible. You had to basically treat it like a naughty Victorian era kid ..flip it over and smack it's arse if it started misbehaving.
Surprisingly I sold a high ratio of extended warranties to launch PS1 buyers but almost nobody returned any consoles due to the known drive reliability problems. They were good for a year or more at best.
 

Iced Arcade

Member
Had 2 360's die on me but neither was the RRoD. That plastic disk tray warped to shit so it wouldn't pop out anymore and another was the HANA chip failing. That warranty was amazing though.

sony told me to kick rocks when the inevitable ylod happened
 
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ReBurn

Gold Member
Nvidia graphics cards at the time suffered from the same issues, to the point where people would bake their graphics cards for them to fix it.

Apple Macbooks that used Nvidia chips at the time were notorious for graphical artifacts appearing on the display after several months use.

The PS3 did suffer from YLOD, but I've seen reports indicating NEC/TOKIN capacitors also being the point of failure.
The NEC/TOKIN caps were terrible.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
Nvidia graphics cards at the time suffered from the same issues, to the point where people would bake their graphics cards for them to fix it.

Apple Macbooks that used Nvidia chips at the time were notorious for graphical artifacts appearing on the display after several months use.

The PS3 did suffer from YLOD, but I've seen reports indicating NEC/TOKIN capacitors also being the point of failure.
And millions of other devices have had no issues.
Really, bad design that caused the console to run too hot and left room for material movement from heat variations is likely the real cause.
Lead-free soldering is used everywhere in the consumer market including in the new consoles.
 

Dr.Morris79

Member
So what was the defect that made my perfectly well looked after, horizontal kept, original white Xbox 360 that kept scatching perfect circles in all the discs that went in it?

To then have you deny it over customer care to me?

Eh? Motherfuckers.
 

DonJuanSchlong

Spice Spice Baby
I must be lucky. Only had RROD 1 time, while I had 3 YLOD, and it released a whole year after 360, which I had at launch.

That was pretty much my reason to jump on board to PC.
 

EverydayBeast

thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
Console memory says everyone saw red ring of death as big time, an insult to the company to one of the best companies in the world in Microsoft who was at the time feeling accomplished after the original Xbox.
 

Tripolygon

Member
I don't understand the need for the revision of history. Xbox 360 had the highest failure rate due to RROD. If you take out the RROD then it has a similar failure rate to PS3. Square Trade who does insurance for electronic devices did a study on it and found that the failure rate for their customers who owned consoles was 35% Xbox 360, 10% PS3, and 2.7% Wii. That is based on insurance claims and surveys of their customers who chose to return directly to Microsoft rather than Square Trade. If you factor in customers who did not buy 3rd party insurance and use the Microsoft warranty, the failure rate for 360 due to RROD range from 40% up to 50% which is why Microsoft earmarked 1.15 Billion to resolve the issue.

In comparison, Xbox One and PS4 are more reliable compared to PS3 and Xbox 360 era and this gen seems to follow the trend as well. I'm sure people might have issues but by and large, the consoles should be more reliable overall.
 

MrTentakel

Member

In the fifth chapter of the new documentary Power On: The Story of Xbox, Todd Holmdahl, Xbox's former head of hardware, explained that connectors would break inside the system when it switched too quickly from hot to cold.

"All these people loved playing video games, so they would turn this thing on and then off, and when it would turn on and off, you get all sorts of stresses" said Holmdahl.

Yeah, we were so stupid in the old days, turning our consoles on ... sigh
 

PJX

Member
This again? People need to spend their time on more worthwhile things…

Sexy Hot Girl GIF
Who is this? Asking for a friend who is doing some research for a school project.
 

Dane

Member
Wasn't because EU mandated lead-free solder and Microsoft took action on it so late? I even remember that well done reballings with leaded spheres on the BGA were considered more reliable than the factory one.

It’s been known for a long time and any device from the era that used lead-free solder suffered from this. The Xbox was just the highest profile box.

I remember how common it was to put VGAs in the oven LOL.

The problem was the lead-free solders, which cracked under constant high temperature changes. When the xbox 360 was launched they don't have time to test them because they previously used lead. The wii and the PS3 launched 1 year later and the problem was already known because the xbox 360 wasn't the only one who suffered it. The chip could support the extreme changes in temperature but the solders didn't, so one of the first solutions was to improve the heatsinks so it will not heat so much.
The wii didn't have that problem because with the power it had it didn't heat up in hell.

Yup, then the fat PS3 started to get issues at the 3rd year, nothing at the same scale, but enough to scare potential buyers on that model, only the BC ones were still desired, everybody else bought the slims instead (myself included).

This whole system was a fiasco. Great games but I hated the rest.

No HDMI, No built in wifi (which I still needed when i started out), pathetic HDD. Build quality was horrible compared to the old Xbox. Thing made a lot of noise, generated lots of heat around the room (good for the winter I guess), it was bulky and still the PSU was external. The drive, yeah, it was a piece of shit. Especially the Siemens drives I think. Or was it Samsung? Would scratch discs while in vert position especially, or so I was told.

First gen 360 was obviously rushed. The slim was perfect. It had built in wifi, non-proprietary HDD(?) with more space. Big enough since 360 games never had Blu Ray sizes. There was HDMI etc (since the elite, which was odd, that was an SKU with bigger drive and HDMI, in jet black.. same POS however).

The first Xbox 360 was a shit quality, I can digress over the lack of HDMI because it was a new unused release at that point, but RROD's were god awful, the WiFi became a issue later down the line as even the Wii had it as standard. PSU was another shit, it wasn't unreliable, but the size was enough it make a nuisance and costlier than the simple cable the OG xbox and PS3 had it, consoles were always a shitfest over PSU designs.

And the disc drive? Shit, talk about the most reckless design incentive alongside the PS2 stand, that shit KILLED DISCS, by default, the tray design would likely be prone to scratch discs over the time, but using the marketed way by having it standing was the most darwin award worth idea, one wrong move and it would scratch the disc to deep levels. You'd be lucky if you managed to turn off and able to resurface. Sold one game months ago and the buyer noticed noise and a huge radial scratch, luckily it was outside of the data area and told her to not play with the console standing anymore.

The Jasper was the MVP, the only issue i've ever heard off was the tray not opening, the Slims are reliable too, but some says that its APU design brings over more heat and it becomes a little less reliable.
 
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lachesis

Member
My first console issues were (Other than pin cleaning of the cartridges with cleaner/q-tip from 8bit/16bit days)

PS1 - I had to turn it vertically, to play a game. Then the problem got worse, and I had to turn it upside down to play.
PS2 - the horrible disc read error of red screen... it was quite random, not just cleaning issues.
PS3 - I sold my 60gb Fat PS3 early on, so I didn't experience any... but my Slim PS3 had a really loud fan that clicked & had to replace myself. (Just bad fan I guess)
Xbox 360 - RROD twice. 3rd one, I replaced it to Slim, and all was good.
Wii - the error message said that system memory was corrupted & it wouldn't boot. :( Thankfully I had Wii U that could play all (most) Wii games that I have, but that rendered some GC games that I have useless... :(

Either way, it was giant f-up by MS on RROD in design, but I think they acted & handled pretty well for what it is... Waiting for the fixed one was pain, but I remember they were packaged quite well and all.
 
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Fox Mulder

Member
That was an interesting watch. I wouldn't say it rewrites history - but it's close. Glossing over the actual problem, and the reasons why it happened and then emphasising how great they were for fixing it.

Is there an episode about why the Kinect was a massive piece of shit?

they basically said the Kinect was shit. They highlighted how it’s being used in other fields but that core gamers never wanted it and it helped sink the Xbox One launch being bundled in.
 

kingpotato

Ask me about my Stream Deck
-Got a good buddy I've known for a couple years
-We're pretty good friends, hang out at each other's apartments a couple times a week, he got me a job at his work, I helped him with school, everything is great
-Fast forward to Christmas 2005
-He gets an Xbox 360, we're all young and poor so it's amazing, he's the only one with the console, hype level at max
-We're hanging out with a couple other friends, he literally just hooked it up and booted CoD2
-This is so awesome, playing though the campaign passing the controller around for about an hour
-I'm currently playing, buddy walks out room to get a drink, I pause the game and start looking through the pause menu options, just curious
-I think I was looking at audio settings when IT happens
-RRoD and somehow the game disc also got a deep ring scratched into it
-I literally never touched anything but the controller the whole time
-Buddy comes back in the room
-I get blamed for it somehow
-Puts a huge strain on our friendship
-Drift apart ...


Hope you're doing alright Marshall wherever you are. Fuck you Microsoft
 
No they didn't. The Wii and PS3 were RoHS compliant and did not suffer from this. It was a poorly designed system which didn't take into account warping.
PS3 and Wii released in the Holiday season of 2006, one full year after the Xbox 360 launched. I'm sure that extra year allowed Sony and Nintendo to learn from the Xbox 360 problems and work around them.
 
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