With retailers estimating that the failure rate of Microsoft’s console is close to 30%, the console’s problems are further compounded by figures from their UK repair center stating that they are receiving 1500 – 2500 daily. As as result they are being forced to outsource repairs to other countries.
Destructoid have the full story on how this info was obtained, thankfully no Bothans were harmed in the pursuit of this story. This is obviously bad news for Microsoft and comes on top of other PR setbacks regarding the consoles reliability. With rumours of a class action suit being prepared in the states, and gamers getting more and more disgruntled, all the exclusives in the world aren’t going to save the 360 if the problems aren’t fixed once and for all.
Whether the faults are a result of cost cutting, or simply bad design, is a matter for speculation though I would expect that it is a little of both. With the console not expected to break even until 2009 this could put that estimate back another year or two depending on how Microsoft goes about fixing the problem. Personally, if I were them, I would redesign the fault out of the system and then offer to exchange every 360 sold to date with the fault free one, whether its in warranty or not, and whether the fault has occurred or not. I doubt very much if that will be their approach to the situation though.
Another consideration is whether this, along with other setbacks, is the beginning of the end for Microsoft. Does the dismal uptake and widespread criticism of Vista, as well as the dire critical reception of Shadowrun and Halo 2mean that Microsoft is losing its stranglehold on the PC market, or is this just a minor blip which Microsoft will overcome in time? The departure of Bill Gates as CEO of the Redmond corporation last year may mean that without his focus and vision to guide the company, Microsoft has lost its way, possibly forever.(From Destructoid.)