Monday, November 25, 2013

Complaints pile up about the Xbox One's Blu-ray drive problems

The PlayStation 4 (PS4) saw a number of consumers report the so-called "Blue Light of Death." Microsoft released its own next-generation video gaming console, the Xbox One last Friday, and as Kotaku reported Saturday, its got its own issues.

Both of these problems harken back to the days of the Xbox 360's "Red Ring of Death." About three years ago, warranty provider SquareTrade estimated the Xbox 360's failure rate to be 23.7 percent.

Sony said the "Blue Light of Death" affects less than one percent of users -- and that delivery damage may be the problem.

Microsoft hasn't given numbers, but said only a very small percentage of users is affected. The Xbox One was launched on Friday and sold more than one million units in the first 24 hours, matching the PS4's similar sales figure.

The issue is a Blu-ray disc problem. That is far easier to fix, one might think, in a modular design like a gaming console or a PC, than something akin to the "Red Ring of Death." In a statement, Microsoft said:
The issue is affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers. We're working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program.
Spencer Izard, an analyst with IDC, told the BBC that, given the quantity, there is little way for either Sony or Microsoft to completely escape these issues.
Microsoft suffered very significant quality control problems with the early Xbox 360 consoles and has put significant effort into its hardware design and manufacturing process to minimize faults.

For launches over multiple countries the volume of manufacturing required by both Microsoft and Sony will always unfortunately yield a minor amount of hardware failures, in one form or another, and we are seeing this with this launch cycle.
One Xbox One user put the following video up on YouTube, and that spotlights a major change since the last generation of video gaming consoles: social media. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and more can and will be used to highlight any issues with the PS4 and Xbox One, perhaps magnifying the issue.

After all, assuming Microsoft's failure rate is similar to the PS4's, about one percent, with one million units sold on day one, only 10,000 consoles would be affected (in either case). Facebook posts, tweets, and more will see that number spread across the Internet, though.





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