Xbox 360: a wee bit crashy?

Xbox 360 photo
The New Xbox 360

It has been just over one week since the release of Microsoft’s “next generation” game system Xbox 360, and customers are already reporting problems. Forums on the Xbox website show post after post of customers complaining that the Xbox 360 has a problem with overheating and crashing within minutes of playing.

The most recent posts in Xbox.com’s forums, under the subtitles General Discussions and Technical Issues, contain mostly stories from customers complaining of overheating and crashing as well as issues with the hard drive and glitches with the system reading certain games as DVD’s. Incidentally, most of these posts have suspiciously disappeared since Tuesday night.

In a recent telephone interview with Reuters, Molly O’Donnell, spokeswoman for Microsoft, said, “We have received a few isolated reports of consoles not working as expected.” After declining to state a specific number of reports O’Donnell went on to indicate that it’s a “very, very small fraction” of units sold. Meanwhile, other game sites have logged even more complaints of overheating and crashing such as Xbox-scene where one consumer reports the system crashing before finishing the first lap of Project Gotham Racing 3. Team Xbox published a poll asking its registered users if their new Xbox 360 works fine or if it’s defective. Of the 913 responses at this time, 133, or 14.57%, report that their Xbox 360 is defective. The results of a similar poll on the gaming site Kotaku indicated that 861 voters had no problems, while 332, or close to 29%, stated that their Xbox 360 is “a wee bit crashy.”

Some critics have stated that these defects are part of an evolutionary step for XBOX 360. However, it’s more likely that, as David Carnoy and John P. Falcone of CNET reported, “Microsoft was pushing it out the door quickly to get the jump on Sony’s PlayStation 3.”