By now the problems with the 360 have been…hashed out. The supposed 65nm chipset is running free in the wild and Microsoft is still shipping out those coffins. You would think with all the bad press about the ‘red ring of death’ that people would stop buying the 360 all together. That is simply not the case. 360 gamers are fiendish when it comes to owning games and not even 3 red rings is going to stop them from finishing their achievements in Super Puzzle Fighter.
We all seem to forget that the worlds number one selling console, the PS2 had hardware failures and still sold like hot cakes on a cold morning. There’s a rough estimate that PS2 failure rate was around 2%. So with over 100 million units sold, that’s about 2 million failures. In contrast, rumors have been spreading that the 360 failure rate is around 30%. That means with over 12 million units sold, 3.6 million would have had failures. I find that hard to believe, but then again, whatever the case was, it prompted Microsoft to spend over 1 billion dollars to fix the problem.
Did these failures stop 360 owners from supporting Microsoft? Hell no! They still want more. When Halo 3 dropped, 3 of my friends bought 360’s just to play that one game. Another upgraded his Core with Live and a 20gb hard drive. I’ve also got two more of my friends that are each ready to drop $349 and get a 360 this Christmas so they can play Armored Core 4. They are all well aware of the 360 hardware problems. Sometimes I worry that my 360 may suffer the same fate as others. I already have a plan in place though. If I do get a RROD, I’ll send it to MS for repair and go buy myself and Elite. I guess I’m a crack fiend too.
There have been many people that have been unfortunately hit by the RROD but continue to support Microsoft because they simply love the games and online community. I’ve heard stories of people who have had to return their 360’s 4 times, but in most cases it’s just a PS3 fanboy planting an evil seed on some unsuspecting forum. Of all my 12 friends that own 360s, 3 of them have had the problem. I’ve had mine since 2006 and no issues have occurred what so ever. I truly think that maybe there was a bad batch of 360’s that go out in the world. If every unit had the same problem, then every unit would fail.
What’s even more mind boggling is the game to system attach rate of 360 owners. The attach rate is 5.3 games for each 360 sold. Like I said, these guys are fiends and love buying games. Everyone thought Crackdown was going to be a lackluster GTA clone, but after the demo dropped, people bought the game to play, not just for the Halo 3 beta. It sold over 800,000 copies. That’s a serious success considering it had next to no marketing. Along with the free games I get from publishers to review, I’ve built a nice stash of 360 titles myself. Even though I still have many games to finish, any time I have a hole burning in my pocket I want to buy a new 360 game.
When we are deep into 2008, I’m sure these hardware woes will be well behind Microsoft. It’s a shame their QA on this issue was piss poor. Luckily for them, they admitted the issue and are trying to smooth things out for their customers. With 2008 looking to be the big year for PS3, I’m curious to know what 360 owners will be buying during the 360’s 3rd generation period. For now I’m headed to Sam Goody to pick up my $29 copy of Crackdown and waiting patiently for Eye Of Judgement.