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22 October 2007
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(Image: Watchdog presenters)

Xbox 360

Watchdog has received over 250 complaints about the games console, mainly about it breaking just after the warranty expires.

13 February 2007

The Xbox 360 was a global phenomenon when it was launched in the UK in December 2005. The world's richest man and Microsoft boss Bill Gates called it the Ferrari of home entertainment. But we've had nearly 250 complaints from people who think it's more of a clapped-out old banger.

Worse still, you've been telling us that some of the problems with your faulty Xbox 360 consoles occur when the one-year warranty has run out. That means you have to fork out to get it fixed.

Alex Ainsow had no problems for a year. But, just after the warranty ran out, his Xbox 360 wouldn't stop crashing. He had to pay �85 for the repair. His second Xbox 360 lasted three days before it got the 'three red lights' - a hardware failure known in the gaming community as the 'ring of death'. Once you see them, the box can't be fixed.

Craig Jenkins also got the 'ring of death' when his Xbox 360 was just two months out of warranty. He's been told he'll have to pay �80 to get it fixed.

In the US, Microsoft has admitted it's had a higher number of problems than it expected. Ellie Gibson, editor of the website, told us the gaming companies shouldn't make consumers pay excessive charges.

Microsoft has now offered Ainsow a replacement console and some new games. It says most people with an Xbox 360 have an outstanding experience, and there's no systemic issue. Each incident is unique and looked at on a case-by-case basis. And the company says it does everything it can when people have problems.

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