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September 4, 2009

Wii trumps Xbox 360, PS3 in repair-rate survey

Posted: 10:01 AM ET

A new survey of warranty claims by 16,000 game-console owners found that Xbox 360s failed for nearly 24 percent of their owners, compared to 10 percent of PlayStation 3s and less than 3 percent of Wii consoles.

Electronics warranty provider SquareTrade released the survey of failure rates and common problems associated with each console system. The results looked at data from the first two years of ownership, included only normal usage malfunctions and were randomly selected from SquareTrade's customer database.

While the Xbox 360 failed nearly one in 4 times, its error rate drops to just under 12 percent when the infamous “Red Ring of Death” - a hardware crash signaled by a circular red light around the console's power button - is excluded from the results. However, the survey points out that the RROD error is widely known to be covered by the Microsoft warranty and may not have been reported to SquareTrade. With that in mind, the warranty provider said the Xbox 360 failure rate could be as high as 35 percent.

The data also shows that the quality of Xbox 360 consoles appears to be improving. Since the third quarter of 2008, fewer problems have shown up.

"I think we've made it clear we stand by the quality of our product, and we will make it right by fixing the problem at no extra cost to you," said Xbox 360 and Xbox Live director of product management Aaron Greenberg in an interview with GameSpot. "But at the same time, we've been working hard to make improvements in the products we're currently making, so I really feel like most of this is well behind us."

- Larry Frum

Filed under: video games

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thepromise   September 5th, 2009 9:54 am ET

By the way, been using our PS3's for about two and a half years now....NO ISSUES AT ALL from any of them (10 consoles in all) and we game together 3-4 hours two times a week and hours upon hours alone. The only issue I can think of is my fan got loud at one point but I bought can air and blew out all the dust, resolving the issue. PS3 is VERY stable IMO.

John   September 5th, 2009 11:03 am ET

I doubt that MS will ever be a participant at with all of the negative issues with the Xbox 360 alone. Although 3 years is a fairly significant warranty under most situations, I cannot side with them. A) Not as if they did state the end of life for the product was 3 years and don't fully explain the warranty and underlying issues ahead of time. It is defect, they know it is a defect, and should have allowed return for cash.

Do you ever think MS can or will be a member of the Good Faith Clause effort? Now, that really should be an add-on story. What is Gates wanting to accomplish over the rest of his life? What can the consumers expect of this organization before spending a dime?

Chris   September 5th, 2009 12:12 pm ET

WHen not try a survey on facebook on how many times your XBOX has failed, your PS and or Wii and I wonder which will be at the top, should make an interesting graph.

I have a XBOX that my daughter wants me to fix, the CD has gone. Looking on the internet on what to do.

Biggest bag of blots going

Jonesy   September 5th, 2009 3:09 pm ET

I had a 360 go RROD. Sent it in to get repaired under the extended warranty. Although they told me to make sure no game was in it, I failed to do so and sent a game in my box. They returned the game, fixed the 360 and got it back to me in less then 2 weeks. Now it works great again. I was very pleased with the warranty and am happy with my Xbox.

infamous   September 5th, 2009 3:38 pm ET

i hate you microsoft i hate you so much D<

JerryV   September 5th, 2009 4:15 pm ET

I had gotten an Xbox 360 in early 2006, and got the RROD 3 months after. Took it back got a refund and waited for the PS3 since it was sold out until early 2007. Since then I have not had a single problem PS3 works just fine and I put it through hours worth of gaming. It is now 2009 and the PS3 is still running like the day I bought it.

xbox owner   September 5th, 2009 6:29 pm ET

My girlfrind got me a xbox for my bday. soo happy. I had the thing for like 8 months then the ring of death cam on! i did a warranty exchange which was not fun cus someone had their name registerd to my brand new xbox..i was videogameless for a few months and received the refurbished one. 13 or 14 months later the xbox says can not read disk! its out of warranty and they want 100 to replace it! not fair in my book.

josh   September 5th, 2009 8:16 pm ET

I have owed a ps3 for more than a year not a single problem yet However Microsoft owners can say the same thing the Xbox 360 is plagued with both hardware and software glitches the red ring of death and the e 74 error are just the most notable problems also system has issues with overheating I have had no similar problems with the PlayStation three it is a better product with more capabilities the only real problem with the PS3 is the price. The Nintendo Wii most likely has the fewest problems because it is the least advanced of the three major systems by not pushing the technical limits there is less margin for error

Mike D   September 5th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

Unfortunately (for all gamers) Microsoft's system this gen has by far the biggest (and imo best) library of games, and the most support for its online capabilities.

I certainly hope they fix the abysmal hardware issues next gen.

p.s. RROD @ 2 years here, not getting another

RJ   September 5th, 2009 11:24 pm ET

Our first XBOX 360 got the RROD after about a year. We sent it in under warranty and they sent us a new console. About 9 months later that new console started smoking and completely died. They didn't tell us at the time they sent it that it would only have a 90 day warranty – not a full warranty, even though it was a brand new system. We didn't find this out until after it died and they refused to repair it. We sold all of our games and bought a PS3 and won't recommend anyone to ever purchase anything from Microsoft. A less than one year life span for a product that expensive is unacceptable any way you look at it.

Josh   September 5th, 2009 11:30 pm ET

My PlayStation 3 has been a blast since last January. None of my other PS3 friends have had issues but one, who experienced a "Yellow Blinking Light of Death."
My Wii, from March 2007, has had random "artifacts" appearing all over my screen lately when I play games, and it looks REALLY BAD! Random splotches and grids really don't really mix with the Zelda: Twilight Princess experience. Nintendo wants a lot of money if you have this problem... >:-(
Never had an Xbox, but its failure rate was what made me get a PS3.

Dylan   September 6th, 2009 12:57 am ET

The 360 may be a somewhat more faulty system that the PS3 but I feel that it is still a more worthwhile purchase, if only for the access to XBox Live, of which there is no comparable analog on the PS3. My personal favorite of the consoles is the Wii, because of the games available on it. I haven't seen a single title for 360 or PS3 that can top Super Mario Galaxy.

Shane McGuire   September 6th, 2009 5:09 am ET

I still only have one console and its my origonal XBOX. I have not made the change into a 360 because of all of the horror stories that I have been hearing since its launch.

I can't swallow the cost of the new Wii or the POS-3.

Hence, this is my reason for increasing PC usage.

By the time I purchase a new console, I could have upgraded my PC, (and have done so), to a machine that not only is an extremely well equipped gaming machine, but has more than one usage.


In my opinion, not really the best deal for your money. Just my opinion, but when I read articles like this, it just supports my point and justification for continuing to improve my PC.

Lol   September 6th, 2009 11:56 am ET

I laugh at the X-bots who are trying to defend why their system fails more than the Wii because the wii is not "hardcore" and people don't play it as much. That still doesn't explain why the 360 failure rate is more than TWICE the failure rate of the PS3, which has a "hardcore" audience.

we are all dumber for reading this   September 6th, 2009 4:06 pm ET

this just proves the "dumb american" theory. everyone spends their "disposable" income on things they don't need and when they buy a piece of crap that breaks they rush to wal-mart and buy another piece of crap or an even bigger piece of crap. well done!

There is hope for the economy yet.

Hunter   September 6th, 2009 5:31 pm ET

Yeah don't get me started on how Xbox has dropped the ball. My system had the red ring of death in which it was covered under warranty, so I send it out and get it back. Right out of the box it turns on but displays no image so I turn it off and turn it on a couple of times and it works. So I call xbox and they tell me sorry thats not covered under warranty and wanted to charge me 100$ to get it fixed!!!! When I received the xbox back like that. So now rather than pay the 100$ I just turn my xbox on and off 2 or 3 times before use, just to get it powered up. I used to be a hardcore xbox person but now I'm starting to think sony is my new option especially having free online play and from what I hear better customer service, and this is coming from someone who owns 2 xbox 360s and has only owned xbox's for gaming.

jim   September 7th, 2009 7:22 am ET

No one should be surprised at this lack of quality in a Microsoft product. Anyone who has ever owned a copy of Windows knows the Microsoft philosophy ... you bought it, now it's your problem!

md2020   September 7th, 2009 7:28 am ET

The issues with MS and Sony systems are typical of products on the bleeding edge.. If you want reliability stay with proven technolgy, where the bugs and issues have been worked out...

dap   September 7th, 2009 7:57 am ET

The reason their repairs are down is because the warranty has run out and it cost as much to repair one as it would to buy a new one. Needless to say, I would never buy another one. Our current one sits in the closest because it no longer works.

Mr. Moo   September 7th, 2009 12:08 pm ET

Nintendo Wiis are an evolutionary product and were designed to be left on ALL the time. My Wii is NEVER off. The Wii was to be thought of as a typical appliance like your fridge, toaster, stove, TV, clock radio, or whatever. Your typical home appliances seldom fail and that is the philosophy behind the Wii as well ... they just keep on working.

thepromise wrote ".... Sure the 300 sales more than Bentley and looks similar but when you compare the two side by side you quickly realize that the Bentley can’t be compared to a cheap alternative, due to the extreme differences in quality ...". I find this funny because he is trying to show that the Wii is of lower quality, but because of the number of Wii that re running without issues vs. Xbox and PS3 it would seem that the Wii is of HIGHER quality not lower quality.

James   September 7th, 2009 8:19 pm ET

I stood behind XBOX since it first came out...mine failed after just over a year...and before that I went through 3 reg XBOXs...I will never buy one again.

I bought a PS3 last week and got a 160gig hard drive with 3 free and awesome games for $399. Free online as well, and Sony has put ton more effort in its community.

I thought MS would have taken over the gaming community, but it appears they got lazy...and games run better on the PS3 as well.

Microsoft needs to stick to PCs, they "epic fail" on gaming systems.

Chet   September 8th, 2009 7:34 am ET

The XBOX360 and PS3 run hotter than the Wii because of the parts they use, which the Wii doesn't. All those parts packed in a tiny box that give off so much heat. These parts bring you the great HD graphics, which the Wii doesn't have, amongst other things. Simply put, the Wii uses no new technology other than the wand. Besides the wand, the Wii may as well be labeled Super NES 2. Don't get me wrong, the Wii is great, but there is a reason why the 360 and PS3 have failure rates, and the Wii is very low.

Mr.12inch   September 8th, 2009 12:44 pm ET

so what if you if the xbox is not as reliable as the wii. it is still better in many ways such as features and online game play. i have both and i hate the wii cause it has bad graphics and it has horrible online gameplay.

spd   September 8th, 2009 1:40 pm ET

wow i wonder what qualifies as a repair? I had to send my Wii off because of a known disk read error. It would not read a single disk. a month later it comes back working yet nintendo couldn't duplicate the issue. It's really hard. step 1) put in disc step 2) jump up and down when the disc won't play. step 3) clean wii step 4) verify it still doesn't work. step 6) send to nintendo for repair. step 7) recieve a wii that works but nintendo swears it was fine all along.

harry   September 9th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

i have a ps3 older 80 gig and it stopped reading disc. contacted sony was told $159.00 to repair the problem. the disc would go in but just not spin. sent it in 10 days later got it back. opened the box connested system to tv started up system and the disc went half way in starting spinning then came right back out. called sony the only suggestion was to hold the eject button for 10 seconds then insert disc. it failed again so sent it in again under the new 90 day warrantty. this time they fixed the problem so far. do not know anyone who has had this problem at all. as for the ps2 i have one of the first one to come out. never had any problems at all. but that could change at anytime. some things are not designed to last forever. it they were to last how could they get you to buy any new, expensive, flashy, beefed up, no one has, no can get system. as for sony they need to improve the customer information part of service. they do not update the online information at all and will not tell you what they did to your system. i did buy a new 160 gig from bestbuy with the 2 year best buy warrantty. best buys just swaps out system. no problem with that.

Robert Wagner   September 10th, 2009 1:02 pm ET

I saw someone mention Game Tech here, I've tried them and my experience was good. I actually sent mine back to microsoft twice in 9 months! Third time was when I discovered Game Tech, I think theyre out of Milwaukee. Ive been up and running for almost a year now thanks to them.

John Frederickson   September 10th, 2009 4:37 pm ET

of course, its never occured to the author of this article, that the wii has less sophisticated technology inside to break in the first place? At least Microsoft owned up to the problem and offered to fix ANY 360 for 3 years for FREE. So quit complaining.

RobWarwick   September 12th, 2009 10:10 am ET

The RROD problem by all reports is a thing of the past. The latest version of the 360 (jasper) that came out late last year have shown to have a much smaller defect rate, much more in line with normal industry standards.

Yes, the RROD problem was a major issue and a major annoyance, but, MS seems to finally have fixed this problem.

RobWarwick   September 12th, 2009 10:12 am ET

Those that "fix" their RROD problems are not really fixing the problem. The core problem still remains.....gets too hot and board cracks. You are alleviating the symptoms of the problem for the short term, but, it will come back sooner or later. usually much sooner than later.

Tyler Pentecost   September 15th, 2009 3:08 pm ET

I sent in my Xbox 360 today for repairs. It was showing the red ring of death. Fortunately, that problem has an extended warranty of 3 years. I have had my console for 34 months.

Paul-Mikael Howell   September 16th, 2009 4:02 pm ET

In Microsoft defense there are cases in which most current users of the 360 store their systems in enclosed areas without the freedom of 360 degrees of ventilation. I have had my 360 for over a year now with no overheating issues since I maintain it with canned air to get rid of dust just as I would do with my Desktop computer as well. If you treat the system like garbage that most do the higher chance it will fail, store it in a enclosed entertainment center or on the floor or sitting in a pile of dust will make ANY electronic item fail at the higher rates.

The general public should not fully blame the company for their stupidity of maintaining items that they own.

Max Quattromani   September 17th, 2009 1:07 pm ET

As authorized repair centers for all three gaming consoles, we see a lionshare of the repairs on xBox, but I have to question if wii trumps the others simply due to how long they have been on the market versus the others?

Sweaty Palms   October 2nd, 2009 2:14 pm ET

I dont know why users dont just fix the issues themself. All the information for PS3 Repair can be found here

Rodger Dodger   November 19th, 2009 9:22 am ET

My xbox lasted over 2 years! I played non-stop and even overnight sometimes ^_^ im a video game nerd but i have only got red ring once and im currently waiting for it back from microsoft

Trent calloway   December 23rd, 2009 5:57 pm ET

Actually Andy you lost out. Xbox warranty is 3 years.

John   April 20th, 2010 10:37 pm ET

My Xbox died in about 6 months of casual use. The return process was difficult because Microsoft doesn't send you a return box! I ended up getting one off which was pretty easy, but still, come on Microsoft.

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