Xbox 360 Woes

december 13, 2005

There is an interesting report that the Xbox 360 will damage discs when it is used in the vertical position.

When Matt’s Xbox 360 stopped playing games, a customer service rep told him to orient his console horizontally. The result? One working Xbox 360. The customer service rep apparently told him, here’s the shocker, that the Xbox 360 isn’t designed to play games vertically. There are reportedly no stabilizers to allow for vertical play, or to stop discs from scratching when the console is vertical.
Whether this is a single incident or not, I don't know. But, in the comments there are a few others that have been seeing the same issues. This could be pretty bad for Microsoft, who loves to promote the Xbox 360 with pictures of it in the vertical position -- not to mention pissed consumers who have rings scratched into their $60 game disks! The worst part is when the consumer asked for Microsoft to fix this problem, he was told that "Microsoft will not fix his Xbox to play games in the vertical position! Apparently there are no plans to add stabilizers to the DVD drive." I wonder if Microsoft does know what is really happening and choosing to ignore it. I mean, I hope they are not trying to take a calculated gamble with this problem: If it doesn't affect too many customers and they don't complain loud enough, then Microsoft can get away with not fixing this issue. Microsoft truly is not getting the spectacular that they have envisioned. Russ is reporting that the latest Xbox 360 has wiped out his ability to play older Xbox games. Microsoft's release of the Xbox 360 into the Japanese market was lukewarm at best: Microsoft sold 62,135 machines over the weekend, or just 39 percent of the 159,000 consoles it is estimated to have shipped to stores. The figures indicate a slower start than the original Xbox, which failed in Japan. The first Xbox sold about 123,000 units in the first three days of its launch in 2002. Here's the best part of the article describing the lukewarm reception of the Xbox 360 in Japan, "The first Xbox's tendency to scratch disks also ruffled feathers in Japan. While the problem didn't affect the game's performance, it was viewed as a symptom of poor attention to detail." Anyways, I know Microsoft wanted to launch the Xbox 360 months ahead of the PS3 in order to capture market share. I predicted that the early launch would push Microsoft's Xbox 360 one of two ways: 1) Xbox 360 would sellout around the world and give Microsoft a good ROI on a rushed launch or 2) The rushed launch would show problems and eventually the Xbox 360 will have gained nothing from an early launch (and maybe even worse, it could go down in history as the "Dreamcast" of this generation of consoles). So far, Microsoft is still treading really lighten between the two predictions. If they mess up even more, they will definitely start down the path of failure, especially now that we are pretty close to the PS3 launch, there is no reason why people won't wait to see what the PS3 is like. When people start into that mode of mind, that's it for the Xbox 360 -- of course, unless Sony really flubs the launch of the PS3, but that is another story all together.