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View Full Version : IGN Roundtable: Broken Xbox360's


|MaguS|
04-22-06, 10:53 AM
I found this an interesting read, Seems like IGN has had a horrible time with getting a reliable Xbox360 in the office.

Hilary Goldstein, IGN Comics: The 360 sucks. I don't care about power, games, and achievement points. **** that. It seems like 2/3 of all systems bought by people in the IGN offices has broken. That sucks.

In contrast, my seven-year-old Dreamcast still works perfectly.

Teddy Pierson, IGN Community Manager: Not to state the obvious... But MS is not really known for rock solid stability in their products. They are more for the paper ink and wow factor, hence the "world wide launch" bull that produced exactly what they wanted, shortages. Which is turn got them a lot of publicity portraying, "people killing their mothers in order to get a 360". I'm sure we can all debate what the faults are or reasons for so many 360s sinkin' in the drink. But what it comes down to is poor building standards from the Umbrella Corporation. Meaning... when Nintendo, for example, builds something... they build it to last and they make sure of it. When MS builds something, it breaks and millions of people turn into zombies.

I don't know, that's my quick and dirty comments without writing a novel...

Scott Senkowski, IGN Design: Is this that big of a surprise? Microsoft basically took a G5, which is about the size of a car door, made it even more powerful and crammed it into a case about four apples high. Granted, this may be tall for a smurf but it's way too small for a beefed up desktop turned console.

As for the PS3, I'm guessing the same if not worse. They are rocking entirely new hardware, from the cell chip to the über-GPU. Not to mention the addition of Blu-Ray's insanity. All this stuffed into a George Foreman Grill? Not bloody likely.


Look at this monster and it just plays Blu-Ray movies.

Gerry Block, IGN Gear: I'm beginning to think that the reason why 360s are still hard to find at retail, even after Peter Moore promised otherwise, is the fact that MS is now replacing the majority of 360s they shipped at Christmas. Out of a pool of more than 20 360s around IGN, almost all of them have broken, right? That's not a bad sample size, and the rate of failure is staggering.

On the other hand, none of my consoles have ever lived very long. I went through 3 PS1s, 2 DreamCasts, 2 Genesises, and my second PS2 just died last week. It's not even as though I'm rough with them. Failing after a year or two is one thing, however, and failing after a month is quite another.

Microsoft will probably have a way to hide the real numbers, but their next quarterly report and annual statement may be interesting reads if they have to report excessive expenses based on 360 hardware failure. 2 million units shipped, 1 million units functionally installed? Maybe.

Jessica Chobot, IGN Host: I am highly disappointed with my 360. Not only with the basic console functions (or lack thereof) but also their customer service help and repair centers. After my 360 took its inevitable dump, I spent countless hours trying to talk with someone who wasn't an utter jerk-off. It took 10 tries and finally a threat to get any kind of problem solving to occur.

After sending it back to be repaired the first time, I received it back...about 2 weeks later... and it was a different model and more broken than the one I had sent them originally. This meant another 2 days dealing with the help line from Marrakesh.

What can this do for the PS3 and Revolution? Well, I feel the bigger question is what can the PS3 push back launch date do for the Rev (those are the two competitors I truly follow in these console wars). I thought that Nintendo may have bagged it and inched themselves back towards the top rung of the console wars due to the PS3's mamby-pamby announcements and failed launch dates (similar to their weak sauce PSP browser, games and UMD output vs. the DS and soon-to-be DS Lite) and the 360's obvious flaws. Yet with the Rev's controller yet to be proven as "innovative" as it's being touted by the ever efficient Nintendo PR team-we'll just have to wait and see.

So, at this point, I'm still looking at the Nintendo and PS3 race as being more neck and neck with the 360 slightly ahead mostly due to Oblivion and the fact that, although broken, it has been launched

Dan Adams, IGN PC: I love Oblivion and play it every night on my perfectly operational Xbox 360! Microsoft is my lover.

Peer Schneider, IGN Blog Promoter: Disappointed with the 360's functions? You mean, the lack of it functioning at all, I hope. I can't say that I'm disappointed with the Xbox 360 hardware in any area -- except for reliability. Bitch about Microsoft Windows crashes all you want, but the software powering the 360 with its dashboard system is pretty awesome. But yeah, if my console is any indication, the hardware launched without enough reliability testing. Apart from occasional crashes that may or may not be software-related (Oblivion freezing up while loading, PGR crashing when exiting to the dashboard, etc.), I've seen more errors booting games on 360 than any other console. I'm on Xbox 360 #2 now, and last night the machine told me that Tomb Raider Legend isn't an Xbox 360 disc. Restarting the box fixed it, but it's still an irritating (and disconcerting) thing to see after my first one flashed the three-eyed skull.

Is that because the machine is more complex than ever? Sure. But let's not forget that the price tag also went up, the price of the games and controllers went up, and a year's worth of paid warranty coverage is now "recommended" by the manufacturer. I'm also paying for an annual gaming service and am expected to pay money for small downloads that enhance the look of my on-screen desktop. This console eats money for breakfast. If I bought a DVD player or a receiver for $500 and the thing broke on me and a few friends after three months, I'd return it to the store and get another machine altogether. With a console, you don't really have that choice. I want to play Oblivion, so I have to just take it and send my 360 off to the service center. It's the curse of being an early adopter. But the fault definitely lies with Microsoft.

I've already gone through the whole anger phase so I'm pretty mellow about my hardware experience with 360 right now. My first PlayStation 2 was busted on day 1 -- luckily I was able to get another one from the store that same day. If my friend wasn't studying for an exam, I'd be screwed without my 360 right now, though. Out of my classic consoles, the only one that broke was my Super Famicom -- but that's because Fran borrowed it for a week. He must've showered with it, or something. The only other machine to break on me was, brace yourself, the original Xbox. That first-gen $#@% Thomson drive decided to not read some of the later game discs. I firmly believe that MS should've recalled the units or at least offered free service.

I do think that Sony could face similar issues since its console also uses all-new and unproven drive technology and high-powered (that means hot) chips. But when it comes down to it, Sony is a bit more experienced, being a longtime hardware manufacturer. And let it be known: when my Sony Vaio computer started to smoke one day, it took Sony four days to replace it. And they sent me a free Sony Clie (hey Jess, there is that crazy thing again!) to make up for the problems. So, Microsoft: how about a free copy of Halo 3? Or maybe some free horse armor?

Jeremy Dunham, IGN PlayStation: Outside of one freezing glitch that I got once while playing Condemned, I haven't had any problems.

But that could be contributed to my conspiracy theory that it's just a ploy by Microsoft to win me over since I run the PlayStation sites.

Hilary Goldstein, IGN Comics: The loading errors are an easy fix, Peer. Eject the disc, blow on it a few times, reinsert and hit power. Should work 22% of the time.

John Miller, IGN Xbox, Xbox 360: Not only am I wary of MS's claim that the 360 problems are well within the "three to five" percent defect range, typical of consumer electronics -- I think it's a downright lie. As we move forward, console reliability should actually increase -- or at least stay the same -- not regress. We've had some kind of problem with every 360 in the office, be it a simple disc-read error or occasional freeze or even the downright system failure. I love the system when it works, but as a consumer, MS has made me want to wait for Nintendo and Sony to release their new consoles to make an educated purchase. Heck, MLB 2K6 doesn't even work on the system -- how the hell did that slip past the rigorous product testing MS supposedly puts games through. If it wasn't for Burnout, I would rather play Fantasy Baseball and watch Deal or No Deal than play the 360.

Stephen NG, IGN FAQs: Jess-IGN posted:

I am highly disappointed with ... basic ... functions ... and ... I spent countless hours trying to ... jerk-off. It took 10 tries and finally ... "... to" ... get any ... After ... the first time, I received it ... and ... I ... originally ... meant ... I feel the bigger ... competitors ... bagged it and inched themselves ... towards the top. Yet ... I'm still looking at ... more neck...

Madlibs are awesome.

The Xbox 360's high heat may be part of the problem. Heat makes physical changes and I suspect it may do things to the soldering and any other delicate connections in the deck. Here's an idea -- how about keeping the whole unit cool throughout the session with a simple fan over the 360's uncovered guts? A potentially low-tech and simple solution.

Erik Brudvig, IGN Guides: My 360 at home is doing just fine, though the one I've been playing constantly at work is having problems. I'm not sure if they're problems from Oblivion slowly bugging out or if it is hardware related. Either way, it is frustrating and one of the machines scratched my copy of GRAW so much that it's unplayable. I'd definitely recommend the extended warranty to people looking to purchase a 360, but I wouldn't tell anyone to stay away from it. Oblivion is simply too good to pass up and there is plenty of promising software that should be out by the time I'm done playing it sometime next year.

Just in case, though, I've made a custom faceplate for my 360. This way, if it does die, I'll have something good to attach to the front while I wait for it to go through any necessary maintenance.

The questions of reliability probably won't help Microsoft in Japan, but as long as they have things hammered out by this fall, I don't think this will hurt the Xbox 360 in the long run. The PS3 is going to have similar problems, though maybe not at this magnitude, and is surely going to have even more severe shortage problems this holiday season.

Doug Perry, IGN Xbox, Xbox 360: People like to bitch, and Microsoft is giving them good reasons to complain. But despite broken machines, which can be replaced by MS, the buzz around this office when Fight Night Round 3, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Oblivion came out have been palpable. Most everyone, despite their misery, has been playing 360 games.

I have had some heated discussions with Microsoft about the reliability of their systems, and they say the percentage of broken 360 issues is well within the percentages for consumer products of this kind, 3% to 5%. I say BS. I personally can't remember another system that had so many broken systems, operating issues, or even disc scratches. However, they also added, on the record, that they expect Sony to have similar if not bigger issues with the PS3s when they ship all 6 million of them this Fall.

The first round of PS2s broke badly too. Even the PS1 had serious issues. Sony handled its hardware problems differently. They just deny them. That somehow makes the issue less awful. Microsoft admits them and tries, however embarrassingly, to fix them. So the perception is that their systems are inferior. I find this interesting.

Anyway, my 360 hasn't busted yet. But I expect it to any day now. Seems like it's happened to about 50% of the office. Maybe somebody can post the Microsoft address here for any potential broken system owners.

Bad_Boy
04-22-06, 11:07 AM
Kinda interesting read, I dont have a 360 so I really cant comment. To be fair, It kinda seems most of IGN had a grudge with MS before the 360 even launched. I wonder if other sites like gamespot and 1up are having the same problems at their offices. And what would they feel about this comment...

John Miller, IGN Xbox, Xbox 360: Not only am I wary of MS's claim that the 360 problems are well within the "three to five" percent defect range, typical of consumer electronics -- I think it's a downright lie.

BTW, Get ready to have a "sony wont do any better" & "my 360 still works fine" thread on your hands.

...oh wait. ;)

|MaguS|
04-22-06, 11:12 AM
Hey I highlited the negative PS3 things aswell... as for IGN having a grudge against MS, I always found them more bias towards Xbox. I mean the scores they give some games for the xbox are just rediculous.

Zelda_fan
04-22-06, 11:12 AM
In maybe 70-80 hours of play, I think my 360 has maybe locked up once. That is the extent of technical problems I have had.

Bad_Boy
04-22-06, 11:31 AM
Hey I highlited the negative PS3 things aswell...
I'm not saying anything toward you MaguS, not shooting the messenger. :)


In maybe 70-80 hours of play, I think my 360 has maybe locked up once. That is the extent of technical problems I have had.
It has begun. ;)

PeterJensen
04-22-06, 12:14 PM
weeee another magnus thread....

|MaguS|
04-22-06, 12:16 PM
where?!?

evilchris
04-22-06, 07:42 PM
Yeah 99% of 360's are failing!!!! HEHEHEHEHEHHEHEEHEH

Give it up Magus. The 360 is at or below industry standard for early failures.

Bad_Boy
04-22-06, 08:24 PM
Yeah 99% of 360's are failing!!!! HEHEHEHEHEHHEHEEHEH

Give it up Magus. The 360 is at or below industry standard for early failures.
?Huh?, He just posted the article. If anything, you should be telling ign to give it up.

evilchris
04-22-06, 08:54 PM
?Huh?, He just posted the article. If anything, you should be telling ign to give it up.

If you can't ses Magus's agenda I can't help you.

nutcrackr
04-22-06, 09:11 PM
Good article, thanks for the read.

Bad_Boy
04-23-06, 12:10 AM
If you can't ses Magus's agenda I can't help you.
ah yes, its a conspiracy, if anyone talks about xbox360's obvious heating issues it's a given we all want MS to burn in hell!!! and if we even post a link where another website talks about 360's issues it means we have an agenda to show that MS is the devil.

seriously evilchris, please tell me your kidding.....unfortunately, i have a feeling your not. :thumbdwn:

Am_I_Evil
04-23-06, 12:28 AM
If you can't ses Magus's agenda I can't help you.


if i would have seen this i most likely would have posted it also...

i have no agenda...i have no problem with the 360...

so maybe this guy doesn't like the 360...what's wrong with him posting this article? or are only people who like the 360 allowed to post articles that shed a negative light over it? :wtf:

Lfctony
04-23-06, 12:43 AM
Well, they do hate each other's guts. :p

Gaco
04-23-06, 05:02 AM
I've had no problems with my Xbox360 whatsoever, neither have the few other people I know with 360's. I just think they have been extremely unlucky..

npras42
04-23-06, 06:53 AM
I've had my X360 about a month now and its locked up about 3 times. I don't know why... I think once it was just a problem connecting to XBOX Live for PGR3, but the other two times it was in Oblivion. Perhaps a bug in the game.

The thing runs hot and loud, but I really don't see it breaking. I'm still not overly impressed by the games yet though. They're not bad, but not great either.

ralinn
04-23-06, 07:29 AM
Woooo, I've not had mine crash once yet! :D

I so shouldn't of said that...!

|MaguS|
04-23-06, 08:07 AM
Well, they do hate each other's guts. :p

I really could care less what he thinks. He's one of the biggest tools on this forum, seems like the second someone makes any post he doesn't agree with he needs to make some sort of negative or stupid comment directed at the person or just to degrade the thread.

As for my initial post, It was nothing more then to give a good read on what the members of IGN think of the Xbox 360s hardware troubles that have been talked about everywhere. Never did I say anything negative regarding the system or it's Quality Control.

I had the system die on me like many other members of this forum but my new version has been running perfect. I have yet to experiance a single crash that was not related to the game just being buggy.

evilchris
04-23-06, 11:53 AM
I really could care less what he thinks.

It's "couldn't care less", not what you wrote, genius.

gravioli
04-23-06, 03:09 PM
I've had a few crashes/lockups with my 98 day old 360, but most of them happened when I was tired of waiting for a save game to load and started repeatedly pushing the xbox button on the controller.

I did have one lockup that I can't explain with Quake 4. The spider looking guys at the end of Act 1 looked like they were missing textures after I had loaded a save, and it locked up shortly after. I'm thinking it must have been a bad load, which is understandable considering the extremely long and frequent load times in the game (very frustrating on difficult levels).

The only other problems I have had are dirty disc errors with Madden 06 (a new disc resolved this) and in Oblivion (cache clearing trick resolved this).

I didn't purchase the extended warranty, so I hope that my 360 doesn't crap out. :)

Badboy_12345
04-23-06, 05:22 PM
I've had my X360 about a month now and its locked up about 3 times. I don't know why... I think once it was just a problem connecting to XBOX Live for PGR3, but the other two times it was in Oblivion. Perhaps a bug in the game.

The thing runs hot and loud, but I really don't see it breaking. I'm still not overly impressed by the games yet though. They're not bad, but not great either.

yeap its a bug in oblivion everyone has had lockups in oblivion but not with other games on the x360... my x360 hasnt lockd up once until I played oblivion

aAv7
04-23-06, 05:38 PM
Hilary Goldstein, IGN Comics: The loading errors are an easy fix, Peer. Eject the disc, blow on it a few times, reinsert and hit power. Should work 22% of the time.

ROFL. Thats great.

Brimstone7
04-24-06, 05:33 AM
I think we should let the Oblivion bugs slide; judging by my experience with the PC version I'd say it's the game that's bugged and not the system. Everything else is fair game though.

I don't have a 360 but I believe pretty much everything in the article. Of all the system's that I have owned in the last 20 years only 1 has failed on me (my original NES) and I played them constantly. I've seen my Xbox crash a few times and do some weird stuff but that's about it. In the past it was very rare for consoles to crash but I think we have to accept the fact that this will probably change in the future.

Hardware defects aside, developers are now dealing with complex, multithreaded programs that are prone to deadlock and all sorts of wackiness. These things are very hard to debug. To make matters worse, there is now a limited OS running in the background. Deadlocks and crashes are inevitable, especially in early titles.

What I would really like to see is some sort of autosaving or snapshot technology that automatically saves the player's progress (transparently) every 5 minutes or so. If the game locks up, the system reboots itself and loads up the last snapshot so the player can be on their way.

That said, these hardware problems have got to go. I think everyone can agree that the 360 was rushed to make it to market in time for the holiday season. Hopefully some of the planned hardware revisions (like the new processors on 65nm tech) and some firmware will fix most of these by the time PS3 comes out.

|MaguS|
04-24-06, 05:53 AM
I think we should let the Oblivion bugs slide; judging by my experience with the PC version I'd say it's the game that's bugged and not the system. Everything else is fair game though.

I don't have a 360 but I believe pretty much everything in the article. Of all the system's that I have owned in the last 20 years only 1 has failed on me (my original NES) and I played them constantly. I've seen my Xbox crash a few times and do some weird stuff but that's about it. In the past it was very rare for consoles to crash but I think we have to accept the fact that this will probably change in the future.

Hardware defects aside, developers are now dealing with complex, multithreaded programs that are prone to deadlock and all sorts of wackiness. These things are very hard to debug. To make matters worse, there is now a limited OS running in the background. Deadlocks and crashes are inevitable, especially in early titles.

What I would really like to see is some sort of autosaving or snapshot technology that automatically saves the player's progress (transparently) every 5 minutes or so. If the game locks up, the system reboots itself and loads up the last snapshot so the player can be on their way.

That said, these hardware problems have got to go. I think everyone can agree that the 360 was rushed to make it to market in time for the holiday season. Hopefully some of the planned hardware revisions (like the new processors on 65nm tech) and some firmware will fix most of these by the time PS3 comes out.


While I agree that developers are working with more complex machines now that doesn't give them a reason to release buggy games. I don't want a console to have a fail safe to capture my last game time before a crash, In doing so it would allow the developer to ignore certain issues or rarer ones just because theres something to make up for it just incase it crashes. A console SHOULD NOT CRASH. Sure a game can be programmed poorly and the software could crash but the hardware shouldn't.

(Incoming evilchris and zelda_fan bait)

Out of all the consoles I have owned since the Saturn, the Xbox systems were the most prone to crashing due to the OS or hardware. Now Im not saying that the PS2 didn't have hardware issues but if the game was running fine it wouldn't randomly crash or reset on you... I put the blame on the non unique Operating systems that MS uses. Insted of using an OS thats built from the ground up for the consoles, they use a modified windows kernel and build around that. Even developers have said how much incommon the xbox/xbox360 have with a windows PC.