XBox 360 - Don't buy one until 2008.

By Paul Michael on 27 July 2007 (Updated 18 August 2007) 17 comments

I know several people with an XBox 360. Six in fact. Three of those six have had no end of problems, and to me a 50% chance of buying a crappy product is just not good enough. But that's just my experience, surely the overall market would be a little better, right?

Well, after looking around the forums and reading the big news sites, I've come to the conclusion that the current XBox 360 is plagued with too many problems to be a reliable purchase anytime soon. XBox 360 users are recounting stories of the "red lights of death" which basically happens when the entire machine goes bye-bye. It's a hardware meltdown. Geeks have even written books about it.

The recent Microsoft announcement extending 360 owners' 1-year warranty to a 3-year warranty is proof enough that things are not exactly looking rosey for current XBox 360 customers. In fact, a tech-guru from the Today Show said that this extended warranty is simply a cheaper and more media-friendly way of issuing a complete recall. The story is also in Wired . Ouch. With Apple already taking a bite out of Microsoft's profit margin, a recall of that magnitude would be a disaster.

With some people predicting that Sony's PS3 would lose the console war, this news may be a much-needed boost to the flagging new Playstation model. What's more, the $100 price-drop of the console will further help bolster its sales in light of the XBox 360's rotten press.

After speaking to some hardcore gamers and chatting in the forums, I've decided that the XBox 360 is off my shopping list until 2008. And unless something significant happens to the design, I'll probably never buy one. Sorry 360 fans.

Wii

Nintendo Wii

I'm seriously looking into the Wii, which at first seemed like a dumb idea but now looks more and more appetizing. Perhaps it's the blend of fun and quirkiness.

PS3

PlayStation 3 (60GB)

But with the PS3 becoming way more affordable and offering the highly delectable Blu-Ray technology, it's a tough call.

One thing's for certain though. Microsoft has a lot of work to do before I even think of going near an XBox 360. And if you haven't bought one yet, but are thinking of adding one to your home entertainment collection, please think twice. You could very well end up with an expensive bookend.

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Guest's picture
Todd

My roommate has a 360 and, so far as I know, hasn't had a problem with it yet. He's had it since May. It's fairly cool because of all of its media-browsing capabilities and I would own one myself, eventually, but XBOX (original or 360) has never put out enough games for me to warrant it. I bought my original XBOX years ago and never collected more than 5 games for it.

My PS2 is going strong and my next console purchase will definitely be a PS3 (or another PS2 if this one happens to die). It is just too expensive and too new right now and there are not enough games for it just yet that take advantage of its next-gen capabilities.

The Wii, like all Nintendo consoles, is best for groups of people and for kids. I will buy one when I have a few little ones running around but until then, no thanks. I run into the same problem here as I do with xbox: no games for ME. That doesn't make either a bad console (I know a ton of people who love their Wii) but all of its bells and whistles don't do me a lot of good.

Guest's picture
Guest

You only have to try the WII once and your Hooked. Best one out there and will be for some time to Come. If you Watched E3 Nintendo stood far and above all the others.

Guest's picture
Guest

I think you are looking at video game consoles completely the wrong way. You should buy a console based on the fact that you like the games it has to offer, because after all, the games are what you'll be playing.

The 360 has its share of problems, but really, who cares about its reliability if there is a 3 year warranty? I have gotten the red ring of death once myself (but in all fairness, I modded the console so that might have something to do with it), but that can be fixed quickly thanks to something I call the Wal-Mart Switcheroo:

1) Go to wal-mart.
2) Buy a new 360.
3) Open the box, switch your broken one for the new one. If you like, switch the serial # labels, but wal-mart employees are paid too little to check.
4) Return 360 to wal-mart, get refund because it's broken.

There. Whether you warranty it or do this, the broken xbox ends up at microsoft for repairs. My method is a little bit more efficient, that's all. FWIW, I've had to replace a PS2 this way as well.

Anyway, back to the point- the 360 undisputably has the best games library right now. There just aren't many great games out for the PS3. So don't buy a PS3 just because it looks cool or it has blu-ray or it doesn't suffer from the "red ring of death"... Make an educated decision based on the games the system has that you want to play.

Guest's picture
Guest

so can i honestly go buy a new one and replace it with the one i have? Im on my 3rd one, and the most current was sent to me from the repair center, brand new, but there is a video card issue and i cannot get video. its been 9 days since i called and was put on an "escalated" level, and i havent even recieved the box yet. i was going to buy one to do the switch yesterday, but than i looked at the serial # windows and figured they would check and i wouldnt be able to switch. the one i have is brand new, manufactured 10/20/07, and it doesnt work. it still has the clear plastic on it. think it will work?

Guest's picture
Alex

Hey man, and what about the people that dosent live in the USA, I'm in Guatemala a Microsoft doest give apply warranty here, this console is dead, i got now pS3...

Guest's picture
Andres Echevarria

Longtime Wisebread reader, first time commenting.

I am a happy and satisfied 360 owner. I actually bought mine at launch and I have had the "red ring of death" once - last month. The return process was easy and quick and I was compensated for my time that I missed on Xbox Live.

I agree that you need to look at the games. I have an Xbox 360 and a Wii and I barely touch the Wii. It just doesn't have the games that I want to play every day yet. When friends come over it is the best part system, but for single player and online play the 360 is what I want.

As far as the PS3 price drop argument, that will not last long. The entry point price to become a PS3 consumer will soon be at $600 when the 60gb model is depleted. That will be your only option. The 360 has a $50 price drop in the works soon. So when I compare $350 (I don't count the core) vs $500 (soon to be $600 if you are not fast enough) to get in the door as a consumer and look at the games, the 360 is an attractive product.

If you were to look at total 360's sold and the percentage of the consoles sold that had to be serviced I would (totally unscientifically) guesstimate it is as high as 30% or lower. That is a high chance, but it will be repaired for free if it even happens at all. In my case I have had 1 year and 7 months of uninterrupted play, paused for a few weeks and then I was right back at it.

I think holiday 2007 is the best time to become a 360 owner, not 2008.

Guest's picture
Guest

Hey Loon-bag,

 

Do you really think Bill (MS) cares that you exist? Nice Plug though, unless this was your job app. that was proofread by an English Major!

 

The comment at the bottom is absolutely ridiculous coming from a so self-proclaimed consumer.  What interest do you have when one should become a 360 owner? ID-10T

Guest's picture
Mossiprose

This is one of the weirdest articles I have read in a while. Dont buy a 360 until 2008... How can anyone say that with Halo 3 coming soon, Gears of War already out, and the ultimate..Bioshock! Its the games, not the repair bill you should care about. I have had a 360 since launch, with no issues at all. Yes I have heard of others with similar issues, but I have sent 2 ps2's in for repair also.. so lets all go tell people to buy a Ps3.. that will do it,, send them to an unproven console. We dont even know yet if they are gonna break.. Then there is nintendo.. buy one,, its that simple,, a great system.. I ahve never snet a nintendo system in for repair,, ever! yeah my original nintendo holds games using a salad tong in the slot, but hey, it still works. I dont care what people do, but you biased opinion on what people should buy is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.. just proves that anyone can be a writer on a website....

Guest's picture
Guest

A significant percentage of PS2s suffered disk read errors. That didn't stop the PS2 from being the most successful console of the last gen machines.

This stuff happens. The 360 has the best game library of the next gen consoles by far. They've announced their first round of price cuts, and they're also phasing in 65nm chipsets that run cooler and thus make the machine less likely to RROD. The PS3 is overpriced, the Wii is underpowered and both are lacking in worthwhile games. All else being equal, yeah, I'd go with the cheaper console that has lower failure rates, but the 360 has so much to offer over the competition that it's worth it, especially with a free 3 year warranty.

Guest's picture
Andrew Klimek

I just wanted to say that I own a wii and i am parcialy satisfied with the console. Ive had my wii for about 6 and a half months and ive never had any problems with it. I like the wii because it is kind of like virtual reality, its cheap, and its basically an evolution of nintendo. But i have to say, the wii does not have a good selection of games right now. Although i did hear that the wii's games will improve later in the year. But besides that, when it comes to family fun the wii is an awesome choice, but for first player and online expirience the xbox 360 is for me. I am getting an xbox 360 soon and I want to be sure that it is a reliable system. So thanks for the advice and I will get one next year or maybe another system.

Guest's picture
Guest

Why are all these new next gen consoles having technical issues? My original Playstation 1 still works fine after nearly 10 years. Same with my original PS2, still working fine after 6 years. No problems at all. Suddenly we get next gen and no end of problems.

If you think im just sticking to the PS1 and PS2's, then the same goes for the N64. All the consoles of that era and earlier never had the amount of problems as there are today on 360 and PS3s.

Guest's picture
jondotcom

Why wait? Getting one now picks up many revisions that address design issues and adds HDMI to boot!

The xbox 360 is hands-down the winner in next-gen HD gaming, regardless of the well-known overheating problems that are now mostly resolved.
Like many others, I've had one Xbox 360 die and my replacement has been working fine for months, and while that experience was a bit frustrating the Xbox 360s could be catching fire and exploding and would still sell like hot-cakes with awesome games like Bioshock, Halo 3, COD 4 and others out there!

Everybody knows they are loud as a jet airplane and will probably rrod eventually but it's still the best console on the planet.

Cheers,
JD (bay area, CA)

Guest's picture
Guest

the xbox 360 now has a free three year warrenty so all i know is im getting 1 now

Guest's picture
Guest

the xbox 360 now has a free three year warrenty so all i know is im getting 1 now

Guest's picture
Guest

the xbox 360 now has a free three year warrenty so all i know is im getting 1 now

Guest's picture
Guest

Buy a new one, send your old one to Microsoft for repair, return the new one when your old one is fixed. Most places have a 30 -day opened box return policy. You should have it fixed by then. Don't be a fraudster and return your broken one. Some kid will be wrecked when he powers up his new system to get an error message.

Guest's picture
The Chef

O.K. First of all you can tell right away that you are a Play Station fan. The 360 has the best games out of all the systems and the way they set up the system its self as in the achievements and xbox live it is the system to have. The exclusive games for the 360 kill ps3 and especially the wii.I don't know how you could say don't buy this product because no matter what if it does break you can get a new one at no charge. I am not biased either I have owned almost all the gaming systems. To tell the truth I preferred the PS2 over the Xbox but the new gen games are better on the 360. Listen if your interested in buying a new system buy what you want to buy don't listen to somebody whos views are clearly biased. And if something breaks that has a warrenty and instead of taking it back, you make a bookend your a idiot.