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CAG Community Xbox 360 Failure Survey Results


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#1 CheapyD

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 08:00 AM

Last week I asked the CAG community to report on their Xbox 360s' health history.
Over 3500 registered CAGs responded via a simple online poll.

Here are the results:

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59% have experienced at least one Xbox 360 failure.
24% had more than one Xbox 360 fail or one 360 fail more than once.


While I do believe these results accurately reflect the CAG community experiences, I have no way of knowing if these results apply to the general public. It's probably safe to assume that members of an online video game community use their systems more than others. I'd imagine that increased use could lead to increased console failures.

In order to keep the survey simple, I only asked if CAGs experienced one console failure or more than one failure. If I included more options, we would have a more accurate representation of the actual percentage of console failure.

Since 24% responded that more than console failed, if we give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and assume that this group had only two failures:

At least 67% of CAG-owned Xbox 360s have failed.


If we increase that number to 3 failures, the failure rate jumps to 72%. My guess is that the actual percentage of console failures is 70% or higher.

Although no survey is 100% accurate, I believe this one is pretty realistic for the following reasons:
  • We only took responses from registered users and we did not receive an abnormal number of new registrations during the duration of this survey. Also, in an attempt to keep people honest, CAGs were told their individual responses would be made public.
  • We had a large sample size. With over 3500 responses, even if there were hundreds of attempts to skew the results, the percentages would not change very much. It's also fairly safe to assume that skewing could occur in both directions, canceling each other out.
If you want to run your own survey, here's what I would have done differently:
  • Rather than having an open poll, randomly surveying CAG Xbox 360 owners (via email or private message), could have potentially been more accurate. Having an open poll such as this could be somewhat self selecting as it's possible that people who have had failures may be more likely to respond because they are upset. Then again, it is also believable that those who have not had failures are just as likely to respond to show their support for their console of choice.
  • Having more poll options for the number of console failures would have given us a better idea of the overall console failure rate. If many respondents experienced a high number of failures, that would significantly increase the overall console failure rate.
Since everyone loves charts:
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#2 moojuice

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 01:54 PM

I think it would be interesting if those people who answered No and (time owned)<6 months took this survey again in 6 or so months. Of the 7 I know who have had the RRoD, 5 of them died around the 1 year mark.

Edit: Wow, I really shouldn't post in the morning. Fixed my typos/signs.

#3 the3rdkey

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 01:55 PM

Well, I don't feel so bad knowing more than half of the people here had one fail. Maybe there is a trick like PS1. We should try turning upside down.
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#4 SALvation

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 01:55 PM

It's not a matter of IF your 360 will fail...but WHEN.

Great job Cheapy and hopefully this sparks something in the media and MS is brought to task for making such an unstable hardware product.

#5 klwillis45

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:00 PM

*Knocks on wood* Guess I'm luckier than most. Launch 360 & Thomson original both still kickin. Condolences to those who've had numerous problems cuz it's plainly obviously that failure rates are much too high.

The only system I've ever had break on me was a PS1 (never owned PS2) that finally died after being extended by going upside down for about a year. I wasn't too pissed cuz I wanted a dual shock system anyway.
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#6 NegativeZero

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:01 PM

I had an near launch 360 for almost a year, but I decided to upgrade to an Elite. The only problem I've ever had would be the transformers game freezing on me. but I cleaned the disc and had no problems after that. and up to recently i can think of one game freezing on me on my 360 but other than that everything has been good.

I do not have a Ps3 and if something were to happen to my 360 , I wouldn't hesitate to replace it. As much as I want a ps3 , the games just aren't there (FOR ME). I do not need a blu ray player yet.

But I digress, I love my 360.

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#7 NegativeZero

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:03 PM

I also see people speaking of messed up PS1's, now that I think aboutit, I've need had a problem with a console.

Just keep em' clean and in a good environment, basically, using your head will SOMETIMES extend the life of your system.

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#8 Danimal

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:08 PM

I think it would be interesting if those people who answered No/>6 months took this survey again in 6 or 6 months. Of the 7 I know who have had the RRoD, 5 of them died around the 1 year mark.

Agreed. I think it would have also been interesting to see a timeline breakdown for the failure responses. In other words, of those who have had one or more failures, how quickly after they bought the system did it get the RRoD? I wonder how many of the failure responses came from launch systems. At this point, the idea that launch systems are ticking red-ring timebombs is more or less taken as fact, so it could be more instructive to know how many systems bought in early to mid 2007 have failed.
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#9 Venkman

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:09 PM

I would have liked to see an option for "My Xbox 360 never broke". I have a unit bought one year after launch.

Only problems: Mass Effect crashes all the time.

#10 kPod

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:09 PM

Cheapy, I think it's a fair representation. Despite the fact that it was an open poll, and people who had problems were more likely to post their problems in the poll, the fact that you posted it on the front page means that everyone who went to the index page would have seen it. I, for one, wouldn't have voted in the poll if I hadn't seen it on the front page.

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#11 HooHaa

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:11 PM

Well that's pretty unacceptable, but what can we really do? I love the games and I've made the investment so I'll keep sending the thing back until I get a replacement that lasts.

Depressing findings.

#12 benjamouth

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:11 PM

60% failure rate is disgusting, there's no excuse for that high a rate of failure. The most worrying thing is that MS still have not fixed the problem.

Having said that my over 2 year old 360 is running fine, but I do suspect it's more a question of when rather than if.

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#13 Lieutenant Dan

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:16 PM

Well it's obvious that 67% of CAGs don't know how to take care of their electronics. I have a launch day 360 and have had no problems.

^If someone comes into this thread and says something like that I will hunt them down.

I won't ever support another Microsoft console, which is funny since one of the reasons they entered into the gaming industry was to build brand loyalty among younger demographics.

#14 foxhunt99

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:23 PM

I bet a lot xbox haters simply answered the poll anyway. If the real failure rate is above 70 percent, then MS might as well quit.

#15 twanky

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:24 PM

pretty big margin of failed 360s, all of which i'm a part of.
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#16 spiderdog

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:29 PM

Why not do a Poll for PS3 and Wii?
I would like the comparison.
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#17 AlphakirA

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:30 PM

Very VERY interesting Cheapy. Hopefully some hotshot notices this. I know MS claimed the 3% and the other company claimed the 16%, but I'm thinking this poll is closer to the actual number than MS wants to admit.

#18 DirkBelig

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:33 PM

A more comprehensive survey would have to factor in build dates (i.e. are older units worse?) and average usage patterns (i.e. do you play 4 hours per week or per day?) into the failure responses. My unit was bought in March 2006 and failed in Feb. 2007, just after they'd extended the warranty to one year. I play an average of 2-4 hours per week. OTOH, a guy here at work played his launch unit 4-6 hours per NIGHT and it was still humming along fine when he replaced it with an Elite just because he wanted the new hotness, not that he was having problems. Mileage definitely varied.

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#19 benjamouth

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:34 PM

I bet a lot xbox haters simply answered the poll anyway. If the real failure rate is above 70 percent, then MS might as well quit.


Well they don't have to, luckily for them they can afford the Billion dollars to pay for the "fixes".

I guess most companies in the world probably couldn't afford to take that kind of hit.

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#20 die coward

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:38 PM

I think it would be interesting if those people who answered No/>6 months took this survey again in 6 or 6 months. Of the 7 I know who have had the RRoD, 5 of them died around the 1 year mark.


You're right. I've had Xbox 360 for two years and I've had 2 failed consoles.

#21 Ruined

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:40 PM

I have a launch console (late 2005 build, Hitachi drive) that has been a trooper, nary a single glitch or problem with it. The DVD drive works fine, no overheating or lockups, etc. I play it heavily, too, with over 20k gamerpoints and have had 16 hour gaming marathons without issue. So clearly there are some 360s out there that are fine. My console has always been in an open-air environment. Ironically, this 360 console of mine has been the most reliable of recent consoles I have bought, one of the few that didn't break.

Then again, my cousing got a 360 in March 2006 (early 2006 build, Samsung drive) and it RROD'd by Nov 2007. Problems started in early 2007 when he accidently left the console in an enclosed A/V cabinet with no airflow at all overnight running gears of war, when he opened the cabinet a wave of hot air came out and the console was RROD'd - but it worked upon reboot... Eventually though around 6 months later it totally died. His free replacement console from Microsoft now works fine.

#22 shieryda

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:45 PM

This poll only considered red-ringed consoles. I sent mine in for repair due to dvd-drive issues (discs were getting scratched).

#23 jollydwarf

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:47 PM

How long until this makes Kotaku? One hour? Less than an hour? More than an hour?

And while I'm sure that there are many individuals pathetic enough to lie both ways about the results, due to their sickening allegiances in their sad little "Console Wars", I think they would largely end up canceling each other out. Even if the results are skewed a few percentage points from reality, the sobering conclusion about this console's inexcusable failure rate remains. Also, rest assured, many of those without problems now, will be answering differently if this poll is conducted again a year from now. It took my Launch Day console almost two years to succumb to the inevitable.
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#24 FoxHoundADAM

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 02:59 PM

70% sounds about right. Of the 14 people I know that own a 360, 12 have had at least 1 fail. 3 of those had more than 1, heck one of my firends had 3 fail on him.

#25 Danil ACE

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 03:18 PM

This poll only considered red-ringed consoles. I sent mine in for repair due to dvd-drive issues (discs were getting scratched).

Actually, this poll considered failures. For example, the video on my 360 became nothing but white static on the screen, but I had no error code.


#26 KingAdrock99

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 03:27 PM

I have my 2nd gen Atari 2600 (w/ the difficulty switches up front instead of in back) that still works last I checked (a couple years ago). Too bad I need 3 adapters to hook it up to newer TVs. :) And I bought my 360 used about 6 months ago and it still works. I heard PS2s were going bad too but I have my release version that's still going too. I so just jinxed myself.

Shieryda, you should just set it on fire, sprinkle some crack on it and get a new one through your insurance company.

#27 bonkers184

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 03:32 PM

This is why I went PS3 for my next gen cravings.. i refuse to buy a 360 until this issue is resolved...i probably will pick one up after a redesign..if there ever will be one.

#28 King Bahamut

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 03:38 PM

Jeez, that's a high failure rate amongst the more hardcore.

I never knew about this little survey, and my answer doesn't change very much, but I have a 360 Premium that has lived for about 1 year and 3 months. One time it has red ringed and I thought I was about to be one of the screwed, but it turned out just to be a freak crash, and that the 360 was fine after all.
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#29 blackdog60

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 03:39 PM

so far I have been lucky, I have an elite, but with M$oft ponying up for a 3 year
warranty for 360s, I am not too concerned about that, if it fails in the next 2 years, I send it in and get it fixed..
I wonder about the number of people that had RRoD issues, that used their 360 as a DVD player as well. or keep it on its side.
also the whole premise of putting their system on its side. I have never understood that, gravity is not your friend, a concept women understand all too well.
I have my original fat PS2 and Xbox, and I never play movies in them,
I am happy with my 360, and I am not in any hurry to get a PS3, too many PS2 games to play still.

edit: Still that is a fairly high % of failures, hopefully over time this will become a non issue

#30 veedubkid

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 03:39 PM

OK this is my personal breakdown. I got my "CORE" on turkey day 2006 thanks to CAG & Amazon $100 dollar deal. I used it religiously until the summer of 2007. I went away for 3 months and then resumed constant use sometime in October. My Xbox broke this February. So if you do the math=
I used the console exactly 12 months until failure. 7 months(December 06- June 07) + 5 months (October 07- February 08)
I am still waiting for Microsuck to send my system back, it's already been 3 weeks and I AM SAD :(
So to all of the pollsters who haven't had their Xbox for to long, just wait it WILL HAPPEN TO YOU!
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