Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"Microsoft has done for gaming what they did for personal computing"

A smart commenter used that line when describing the tech glitches of the Xbox 360. Now there's this story. Ignore the main premise of the piece about the class action lawsuit against Microsoft and note this nugget:
Microsoft has stated that approximately 3 percent of Xbox 360s will encounter some form of technical problem, but adds that the number is lower than normal for retail electronics.

I have no idea what the numbers are on this, but while 3 percent might be a normal trouble rate for "retail electronics," doesn't that seem pretty high for gaming systems? I've been futzing around with game systems since the original NES and neither I, nor anyone I've every known over the years, has ever had a hardware problem with any system they've had.

Maybe my friends and I all just got very lucky, but I'd be interested to know if this is the first time such a problem rate manifested itself in the gaming market.


arrScott said...

Hmm. Depends on the glitch, I suppose. If we're talking overheating and burning out the unit, and maybe taking your game disc with it, then yeah, 3 percent would be a bit on the high side.

But I recall all sorts of bugginess with Atari 2600, though probably that had more to do with poor quality control in game programming and cartridge manufacture. Though come to think of it, Atari's joysticks sure did wear out fast. Both my NES and my N64 also offered up increasing bugginess as they aged, though both performed solidly out of the box. Still, it would have been nice in each case if the system freezes had waited more than a year to become commonplace.

I've currently got an Xbox that has given me no problems ever, but otherwise I've seen a lot of buggy game consoles in my time. On the other hand, I've never known of a console that didn't work fine out of the box.

Anonymous said...

When I first heard of the Microfool staff delving into real design, I posted what I thought was a silly reply stating that only Microsoft could undo the years of progress attained by EEs and return poor design to the hardware arena. Gasp, I forgot just how bad those guys are. After trying for over 30 minutes to get around an equation editor glitch, I wish a pox on them and their progeny...and their little dog, too!