360 failure rate put at 16 per cent

And set to increase, says SquareTrade.

SquareTrade, a firm specialising in selling electronics warranties, is claiming the failure rate for Xbox 360 consoles is 16.4 per cent.

As reported by 1UP, SquareTrade based the figure on a sample of 1000 consoles. Sample lots "in the high hundreds" of PlayStation 3 and Wii units gave a failure rate of just 3 per cent.

According to SquareTrade CEO Steve Abernethy, the overheating problem associated with Microsoft's console may cause the failure rate to climb.

"It is reasonable to believe these failure rates will increase over time, since the Xbox 360 failure issues tend to increase with prolonged use where overheating appears the main culprit," he said.

The company's data states the 'Red Rings of Death' error accounted for around 60 per cent of the sample failures. Of the different hardware variations of the Xbox 360, Abernethy stated that of the associated problems he "would estimate most if not all were the original motherboard".

Last year, you may recall, Xbox boss Peter Moore apologised to gamers whose 360s had busted. Microsoft extended the warranty of the machine to three years and agreed to pay for repairs. The company declined to offer a solid failure rate figure but Moore told our friends GamesIndustry.biz, "You know it when you see it. We saw it, and it was unacceptable."

This morning a Microsoft spokesperson told GI.biz, "The majority of Xbox 360 owners have had a great experience with their consoles. We do not disclose internal hardware repair data and we do not comment on speculation."

Which ought to cheer up Eurogamer's Bert, Rich and Scott, all of whom have suffered from dead Xbox 360s within the past month.

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