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Microsoft on defective X360s

Number 'below what you'd expect'

Microsoft has responded to claims that some of its Xbox 360s are breaking down by arguing that the reports are "isolated" and that this sort of thing is inevitable after a launch of this nature.

Soon after the 360 launched in the US on November 22, forums started to buzz with reports of folks whose 360s froze or overheated as they tried to load or play games, and they were understandably a little miffed about this.

Microsoft's Molly O'Donnell told GameSpot, "We have received some isolated reports and calls of consoles not operating as expected. The call rate is well below what you'd expect of a consumer electronics product of this complexity."

"The most important thing to note here is that the vast majority of Xbox 360 owners are having an outstanding experience with their new systems," she added.

Well, some would argue the most important thing is that you replace broken machines quickly, Molly, but that said, this kind of thing does happen with most launches - the PSP had dead pixels, the PS2 had disc read errors, even the original Xbox had problems (the Xbox this writer bought for himself had a dodgy graphics chip, and Microsoft sorted it out very quickly). Look outside the games industry, and the iPod nano had alleged build quality issues, and that Hoover I bought last week didn't work.

Chances are it's just that so many got sold at once, to a bunch of people who spend most of their time on the Internet. Kind of illustrates the vocal minority point really.

So don't worry too much, those of you with 360 pre-orders - the chances are that the percentage of users who will experience problems is very small, and Microsoft says it hopes to replace any defective units within five business days of a consumer making contact.

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Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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