Meeting my complain-about-consoles quota

I just got my second Xbox RRoD in three months. This is kind of ridiculous. It appears to be the power supply this time, rather than the internals, and the phone rep I just spoke with said he can get a new one to me within two or three weeks. (Since I called, the power supply graduated into a flickering sorta-kinda working state, but I don't expect it to hold out much longer.)

I'd be less sad about this if Microsoft were more like Apple (ha ha) when it comes to repairs. If your under-warrantly MacBook dies, the truck delivering your repaired machine nearly runs the truck picking up the broken one off the road. Microsoft's Seattle attitude is rather more shall-we-say relaxed than that of their high-strung Californian competitors, and you can expect a solid month to pass between the day those red lights start flashing and the day you can once again get down and dirty with whatever your high-def poison is.

A more astute comparison might be how my Atari VCS lasted a good 11 years before it experienced any kind of hardware failure... but that was a rather simpler device. Are modern consoles' hot-running guts just too complicated and failure-prone for users to expect to work for any long stretch of time?

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2 Responses to Meeting my complain-about-consoles quota

  1. Andrew Plotkin says:

    Well, that's a coyly nondenominational way of asking the question. Look. There is no nationally-recognized term for Wii failure.(*) Or Gamecube failure. Wikipedia notes a report about PS3 failures but it doesn't seem to be a big thing. My PS1, PS2, PS3, and Wii have never given me any trouble.

    Conclusion: Microsoft sells a crappy box.

    (* I'm not counting "threw my remote through the screen" as a Wii failure.)

  2. The Eidolon says:

    I've been mostly happy with Nintendo's reliability, but even they have their shortcomings. The DS lite's hinges are not really tough enough for a portable system, and are prone to cracks and breakage. (And the replacement they sent had a dead pixel...) The non-portables seem nearly indestructible, with my SNES, GameCube and Wii still trouble-free. (So is my Atari 800 for that matter.)

    I think modern systems are more likely to break partly for statistical reasons, because they are quite a bit more complicated than older systems and have more ways to go wrong. Microsoft seems to have really scrambled to get the 360 out a year earlier than their competitors, and reliability seems to have taken a big hit. I used to work for a company which sold accelerometers to Nintendo, and at least anecdotally, they are very fussy about failure rates. If you have have any kind of process reliability issues, they'd rather not do business with you...

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