Microsofts Xbox 360 in Trouble Again

Product Liability

Those who have family members or friends with a Microsoft Xbox 360, or who may own one their selves, may be familiar with the news that the gaming console isn’t all it was cracked up to be. Add to this that when the Xbox 360 first came out it cost hundreds of dollars (its current low, low price of $199 now seems like a bargain). So, when the console’s failure rate came in at an astonishing 16%, and two-thirds of the consoles that came out around the November 2005 launch date have some kind of fault, should anyone have been surprised that Microsoft probably knew about this? Rushed design, cost-cutting, and the complexity of its parts have all been blamed for the infamous “Red Ring of Death” that many consumers faced during those early days.

Now Microsoft is facing a product liability lawsuit due to the Xbox 360 scratching the DVDs placed inside. An Illinois man is seeking $50,000 in punitive damages after his console allegedly scratched three games he bought in-store. Documents that have been unsealed during his case have revealed Microsoft knew about this and had been considering three different fixes before they pushed the 360 to consumers in 2005. The fixes considered are:

  • Slowing the rotational speed of the discs
  • Increasing the strength of the magnets that hold the discs in place
  • Installing rubber bumpers to cushion the discs

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft rejected all three, even though the bumpers could be installed for as little as fifty cents per console. At this juncture, is it really any surprise to anyone that a massive corporation, like Microsoft, will find a way to push a defective product onto an unsuspecting public? At this juncture, shouldn’t the public simply expect it?

For those who still want an Xbox 360 for their selves or their family member for the holidays, consider the potential defects and hang onto that warranty. Or go with a Sony PlayStation 3.