So here’s a fun but totally unscientific next gen console survey you can try doing on Google over the year, just like I did a few minutes ago:
Search “defective 360”: 2810 returns
Search “defective PS3”: 1570 returns
Search “defective Wii”: 931 returns
Therefore, unless someone set us up the Google bomb, the web now has almost twice as many reports of borked 360s than fritzy PS3s, and three times as many than wacked Wiis. Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean 360s are that much more defective in absolute numbers; it could just be that 360 foul-ups are blogged more, or that 360 owners publicly complain more, or any number of other explanations.
Still, the only reason I was inspired to do this was a story just passed along by San Jose Mercury game reporter Dean Takahashi, recounting the aggravating experience of two hardcore Xbox loyalists who bought six 360s (!), only to see four of them (!!) give up the ghost.
The Utah couple bought so many 360s, Takahashi reports, so they could run a small gaming center in their tiny town, but those plans went awry as their consoles started winking out, while Microsoft’s help line proved remarkably unhelpful:
He sent the machine in and got a refurbished unit as a replacement some weeks later. Xbox 360s were still in short supply at that time. But even as the shortage loosened up, Cassingham still had to get on the phone, wade through the voice mail tree, and talk for about 20 minutes to tech support representatives before they would agree to send him one. They would ask him to unplug it, plug it back end, tell them about the three flashing red lights of death, and try other things.
And the nightmare continues on from there, so much so that Takahashi— who quite literally wrote the book on the 360— ends the tale of woe by wondering how widespread this problem is. As do I.