Kinect blamed for 'red ring of death' Xbox 360 failures

By Melanie Abbott
Radio 4's You and Yours

image captionMicrosoft's Kinect was eagerly sought after by British gamers

Owners of Microsoft's Xbox gaming console have blamed its new Kinect hands-free controller for causing their consoles to fail.

Console owners told the BBC that their machines crashed shortly after plugging in Kinect.

Kinect allows gamers to control onscreen action with body movements.

Microsoft has denied any link between Kinect and the three flashing light error signal, known as the "red ring of death".

Ten-year old Adam Winnifrith told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours he had only used his Xbox with the Kinect a couple of times before it failed.

Warning signals

"We plugged it in the day we got it but only played it a few times before we got the red lights. The next day when we tried it again we still had the red rings of death and haven't been able to use it since."

It is quite a shame as we got loads of new games for the Xbox too and I never had a chance to play them."

Adam's father James bought the Kinect for Adam and his four-year-old and eight-year-old brothers. Unfortunately for the Winnifrith family the warranty on their Xbox expired on 16 December, 2010.

"It's very disappointing. We were planning to have a big New Year's Day party with karaoke microphones and a Take That competition. But now the Xbox is just sitting idle," he said.

He says he is planning to ask Microsoft if they would consider fixing it as it is only just out of warranty.

Online gaming forums have also been buzzing with accounts of consoles showing the Red Ring of Death shortly after plugging in Kinects.

"I have never had a single issue with my Xbox. i got Kinect for Christmas and the screen starting freezing randomly. Then on New Year's eve... BAM I got the red ring. Very sad," read one.

"Yep, I got the Red rings of death on Christmas day The very same day my kids got a Kinect," read another.

Microsoft said the Kinect had been "designed to work with every Xbox 360 sold to date."

"There is no correlation between the three flashing red lights error and Kinect. Any new instances of the three flashing red lights error are merely coincidental," it added.

Microsoft sold more than 2.5 million of the devices in its first month on sale.

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