Darren Waters

Red ring of death returns

  • Darren Waters
  • 19 Feb 08, 02:41 GMT

Microsoft wants consumers to believe that its problems with the Xbox 360 console in terms of hardware failure are over.

But wandering through the Game Developers Conference halls and it's clear that the problem persists.

On Microsoft's own stand at the show one of the demo consoles has a rather familiar problem - the red ring of death. There's no way of knowing if this particular console was manufactured before or after Microsoft identified the problems with the machines.

But at the very least it's embarrassing for the company that its own stock of demo machines are still susceptible to the problem.


  • 1.
  • At 06:49 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Lupin wrote:

embarrassing indeed. Microsoft has the best software offering out of the three major consoles but they can't seem to get the hardware done right.

Darren, was that defective Xbox 360 unit an HDMI version with the falcon chip in it? If it was then Microsoft have a lot of worrying to do.

  • 2.
  • At 07:54 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Whackaday wrote:

I gave up on the Xbox 360 after my third RROD. It doesn't surprise me to see the problems continue.

Between my DS, PSP and PS3 I've got all the reliable gaming and Blu-ray playback I need.

You would think with the problem still rife that Microsoft would have the foresight to circulate more air through the console within those stands to prevent it from overheating.

  • 4.
  • At 08:39 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Jimbo wrote:

So what did the reps do? When they notice did they scurry over and try to remove the console ASAP or what?

  • 5.
  • At 08:40 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Hassan wrote:

Wow.. EPIC FAIL microsoft
Micro should quit the hardware business and stick to the software (Or at least let others do there hardwares)

  • 6.
  • At 08:51 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • ImGoD wrote:

You should know that the three red lights do not always mean that the console is broken.

A drop in voltage also produces. Only you must restart and fixes.

  • 7.
  • At 08:57 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • kavan wrote:

now theres a surprise.

  • 8.
  • At 09:00 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Wolf26pack wrote:

Wow that really is sad!! They better hope they don't have there press conference going and are demonstrating a crucial game like Fable 2 and all of the sudden it RRoD's on them. If that happened that would truly be Imbarrassing. I can only hope that they annouce new 360's coming out and that they have the new Jasper Motherboard inside.

IMHO though they need to give every 360 owner that suffers the RRoD from now on a BRAND NEW 360 and take there old one and stop trying to fix them and send them all to the recycler. It is sad that Microsoft has made the consumer into their product testers.

What a shame for Microsoft!

  • 10.
  • At 09:28 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • me wrote:

It is pretty funny to be honest. But mine works so its all good.

  • 11.
  • At 10:27 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Steven wrote:

WOW ! Nice RROD on GDC DEMO ! Shame on you...Microsoft !

  • 12.
  • At 11:10 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Jordan Khoviteri-Zadeh wrote:

Admittedly, that is possibly an old Kiosk machine. If so, it wouldn't be one of the new motherboards (Zephyr or Jasper) it'll be an original Xenon, which were to be frank completely unreliable.

  • 13.
  • At 11:22 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • kizzlock wrote:



  • 14.
  • At 11:33 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • gjhj wrote:

cant wait for FFXIII Demo

  • 15.
  • At 12:04 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Paul Ingram wrote:

I've had an Xbox 360 for just over a year now, and have had no problems with it so far... But even I have to laugh at that. It's always great fun when a big, faceless corporation drops the ball and makes a bit of a fool of its self. :)

Hopefuly that's one of the older machines where the problem was still evident. If it isn't then I think it's disgusting how they can continue to sell a faulty product in the way they have been.
Happened to me once and although the process of getting it replaced was pretty smooth, 3-4 weeks without an xbox is not nice.

I still get nervous everytime I turn on my machine

  • 17.
  • At 01:06 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • M wrote:

What you need to remember is that its the CPU thats the cause. You can MS, but ultimately its IBM's power hungry monster chip causing the problem.

You need a greener console :)

  • 18.
  • At 01:30 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Mister Demon wrote:

Still got my launch day machine going strong, despite a RROD after a power spike.

When they work they a fabulous, and the choice of titles makes it a must have.

  • 19.
  • At 02:21 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Retro wrote:

An amusing dilemma !

Do Microsoft own up to having not fully resolved their hardware issues or do they own up to being stupid.

My money's riding on both being true.

  • 20.
  • At 02:31 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • John wrote:

That is not the RROD. The RROD is lights 1,3 and 4. That has lights 2,3,4 which is a cable issue. someone just needs to make sure the cables are plugged in properly. EPIC FAIL of a flame thread.

  • 21.
  • At 02:40 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • sekhmet wrote:

Ha xbox360. When will people finally realise the console is worthless? Buy yourself a ps3 and a high-end gaming pc and you won't even need a 360 anymore! I will never buy a machine like that!

  • 22.
  • At 03:38 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • themacx wrote:

together with the HD-DVD a perfect couple.. both dead.

  • 23.
  • At 03:41 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • paul wrote:

anything else going on at GDC?

I want to see if Sony release this home thing

  • 24.
  • At 03:42 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • maz and beeb wrote:

typical microsoft they make great software but terrible hardware. stick to making software microsoft

  • 25.
  • At 03:42 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • nemesis326 wrote:

What would you expect... it is the same company that while showcasing Windows* 98 had a BSOD.... I believe Microsoft is used to this...

Sony's failure rate 15%

That's the difference between a hardware manufacturer and a software manufacturer......Higher spec running cooler even with the power supply onboard. PS3 is a fantastic technical achievement. Software coming through now too...How is MS going to respond?

  • 27.
  • At 10:17 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Re post #20, that actually does have lights 1,3,4 flashing red - since the Xbox is in a vertical position.

  • 28.
  • At 10:46 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • akin wrote:


that looks like lights 1,3,4 to me.


do you mean 1.5% ?

Is that irony?

I love the Xbox 360 but it seems like every 2 months I have to ship it off for repairs.

  • 30.
  • At 01:13 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Ali wrote:

so what the 360 still has the best games out of the three consoles who cares about the rings

  • 31.
  • At 01:53 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Bob wrote:

My launch 360 recently died, sent it off for repairs and cost me $130 (was out of warranty). Anyway, got it back, it's running like a dream and is much quieter. Shame about the quality control, as the 360 truly is the most rounded offering of all the next gen machines. It actually has games to play (sorry Wii and PS3), and has the best online service ever.

  • 32.
  • At 08:04 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • pepitko wrote:

you can see that the xbox is locked in a plastic box, so it doesn't have any ventilation at all, no wonder it overheated.. duh..

  • 33.
  • At 01:51 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Neji wrote:

Seen this before, someone just needs to make sure the cables are plugged in properly.

  • 34.
  • At 02:41 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

No wonder its overheating, its enclosed in perspex

  • 35.
  • At 04:54 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Ken wrote:

Matt Regarding the ventilation issue,

Just about every kiosk unit, whether it's a 360, Wii, PS3, Dreamcast, NES, whatever, is enclosed in a poorly ventilated plastic box. Does that give the 360 a free pass at RROD?

  • 36.
  • At 07:07 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • gamer8875 wrote:

At post #31 sure the 360 is leading right now and does have the best games,but the Wii finally is coming out with good games like No More Heroes..soon Super Smash Brothers Brawl and Mario Kart Wii. The PS3 is in the gutter right now but once Metal Gear Solid 4 and Gran Turismo 5: Prologue come out the system should pick up in sales. Give it a year or so and we will see the PS3 on top and the XBOX360 on it's last wings..the Wii will always be popular because well everyone loves there miis lol :)

  • 37.
  • At 11:19 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • blake wrote:

Quit hating on the 360 of course it has some hardware problems its still a very good console. I mean come on the ps3 has virtually no games. The ps3 sucks.

  • 38.
  • At 12:58 AM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • j wrote:

I've seen these XBox stands. The plastic box actually has air circulating and maybe air conditioning in it. It's not the cause of the Rings of Death.

With regards to cables... if you have faulty connections, it will result into 4 red light not the 3 red lights (of death).

  • 39.
  • At 03:31 AM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • Jeff wrote:

four red light flash, that meants not cable are not plugged in properly...

X360 still failed, no matter if it's enclosed in perspex or not.

  • 40.
  • At 12:20 AM on 23 Feb 2008,
  • Terry Phillips wrote:

First the fanboys smeared Nintendo for their "weird" controls... Then Sony for their price... Now Xbox360 for "hardware falures"

I've seen demo units for all three consoles fail at shows and stores.

I own all three, and got each on Launch Day.

Oh and by the way... I've never had my Xbox360 fail.

Not once. Nor have the 12 people here at the station.

  • 41.
  • At 01:13 AM on 23 Feb 2008,
  • Dr. Beardface wrote:

@32 and 34

360s die anyway coz they suck. The unventilated box is no excuse. The PS3 actually runs fine in a hot sauna. This has been done to test its heat management. The PS3 is a hardware masterpiece. And throughout 2008 we're gonna see it surpass 360 in software and games too. By 2009 the 360 will be forgotten. Except by those stupid fanboys of course.

  • 42.
  • At 01:18 AM on 23 Feb 2008,
  • Anonymous wrote:

At post 37, the Xbox 360 has been out for 2-3 years now, and it's still the leading console in FAILING/CRASHING/ERRORS.

The PS3 has at least 20 exclusives coming out this whole year.

The Xbox 360 still has major hardware problems after 2-3 YEARS after release.

When a console does that, you know it's crap. Plus, the X360 there is a BRAND NEW ONE from M$, the latest one and it still fails.

  • 43.
  • At 10:29 PM on 23 Feb 2008,
  • michael wrote:

the ps3 still sucks its got to be the worst thing playstation has brought out and why did they not have the games ready for when the console came out instead of it having to be out a year before being able to get these games....360 rules even with its problems still the better of the two consoles.

  • 44.
  • At 12:10 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • J Culver wrote:

Do the 360 "Elite" suffer from the "RROD" problem..?

I have a 10" desk fan running next door to my tv stand when I play 360, hopefully this will help cool the insides down.

I have a PS3, PSP, DS Lite, "Elite" 360 with HD DVD add on (films will become cheaper once the support stops) and a Wii so I'm covered from all angles. ;-)

  • 45.
  • At 01:41 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Daniel Yorke wrote:

So many of these posts flame Sony or microsoft but why does it matter, if you like your current machine then fine dont buy any others.

Why do people feel the need to justify their purchase by slaming the opposition its rediculous IMO.

  • 46.
  • At 02:58 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

My 360's DVD drive died so I got rid of it, I won't be buying another. I saw a demo 360 in 'Game' in Kingston this weekend with the RROD just like this one, PS3 all the way for me now

  • 47.
  • At 05:21 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

In regard to post 42, the PS3 has only less than 10 exlusives coming out this year. Compared to what the Sun describes as "Game of the Century", what ever it is, it is no match for Halo 3. Also with all the failed deadlines that the PS3 has already achevied and that Sony withdrew the 60gb model due to dwindeling sales you can never expect that much. If Sony expect any chance at beating anyone in the gaming community they need to not go up against the biggest software and highest yieling company in the world and pick on a console which is more comparable, they should try the gamecube.

  • 48.
  • At 01:07 AM on 02 Mar 2008,
  • Derek wrote:

At least they won't have to deal with their own Customer Service.

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