Microsoft is mining the Xbox 360 ‘Red Ring’ controversy for profit, and that’s not cool

Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death

This official Xbox 360 Purple Ring of Loss of life print bugs me.


Watching Xbox’s Energy On documentary, released last week for free on YouTube, was a delightfully nostalgic journey via Microsoft’s 20 years within the sport console market. All kinds of interviewees and an trustworthy evaluation of the model’s highs and lows make the six-part documentary really feel genuine.

“Jeepers,” I assumed. “I wish to play Halo Infinite instantly.”

Then I watched the episode masking the Xbox 360’s notorious Red Ring of Death, a widespread hardware failure that value Microsoft more than $1 billion to restore. And I remembered how gutted I used to be when it occurred to me.

This does not appear to be one thing to have fun, but it surely appears like Microsoft is doing simply that by selling a $25 Red Ring Of Death “premium print” to coincide with the brand new documentary. 

I do not understand how numerous different players — these whose treasured time and power had been wasted by the 360 {hardware} failure — really feel about this, however my blood boiled at the concept that Microsoft is earning profits off this concern. I am actually not nostalgic about it, and the concept of getting a reminder of the one console that failed me is not interesting within the slightest.

Xbox declined to remark in regards to the prints.

I cherished my 360. Taking part in Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter on Xbox Dwell and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on that console was important in getting me via my first breakup as a 19-year-old in 2006. I used to be fixated on in-game achievements, taking part in for lengthy hours to unlock as many as I might. (I am going to admit that I used to be emotionally depending on my 360.)

It appeared like Microsoft had a loyal fan for all times, till my 360’s entrance energy indicator confirmed three pink lights as a substitute of the 4 inexperienced ones. That day’s Marvel Ultimate Alliance session was lower quick. A bit of on-line investigation revealed that my beloved console was useless. Microsoft began a restore program to type out the difficulty. Three or 4 weeks later (it apparently took for much longer in my native Eire than it did within the US), I had a working gaming machine once more.

Sadly, a number of the magic was gone. I saved anticipating the issue to occur once more, and it positive did. And I went one other few weeks with out a console. Nice.

Just about everybody I knew who performed their 360 extensively suffered via a minimum of one Purple Ring – a few of CNET colleagues who’re passionate players recalled having up to five fails. (One did handle to keep away from the difficulty altogether; his 360 was a selected one.) A 2009 research of console failures discovered that nearly a quarter of Xbox 360 consoles failed, significantly greater than its rivals (10% of Sony PlayStation 3 consoles and a couple of.7% of Nintendo Wii consoles).

The documentary doesn’t shy away from this concern, and it is clear the folks at Xbox felt horrible about it. Microsoft dealt with what might need been a brand-killing catastrophe in addition to it might have — by flinging $1.15 billion on the downside and tweaking later models of the console.

“These had been the darkest days of my profession,” Leo del Castillo, a part of the Xbox {hardware} engineering group, said in the documentary.

Nevertheless you are feeling in regards to the Purple Ring debacle now, Energy On is an engrossing watch. It addresses the disastrous 2013 Xbox One reveal, which put a lot emphasis on the 360 successor’s TV streaming and on-line capabilities that it alienated a piece of the Xbox’s core gamer viewers — together with me. I purchased a PlayStation 4 and dismissed that era’s Xbox fully.

Regardless of this, I acknowledge that Xbox did unbelievable work in revitalizing its model. Since Phil Spencer turned head of Xbox in 2014, it is acquired killer studios like Minecraft maker Mojang and Elder Scrolls developer Bethesda, accomplished stellar work reintroducing backward compatibility, created an irresistible subscription program in Recreation Cross, launched cloud gaming, launched gaming to a wider viewers via the Xbox Adaptive Controller and is giving the PlayStation 5 a run for its cash with the Xbox Series X|S.

That is all extraordinarily admirable, and a lot of the documentary makes me really feel heat and fuzzy about Xbox. However Microsoft making an attempt to revenue off the Purple Ring left me with a bitter style, and I am abruptly of two minds about taking part in Halo Infinite in any case.

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