As we continue to hear from more and more brand new Xbox One owners who say their disc drives don’t work, Microsoft’s solution remains the same: contact customer service.
That’s unfortunate news for affected gamers who thought there could be a DIY fix for what we’re calling, for lack of a catchier name, the “Disc Drive of Doom,” which prevents Xbox One Blu-ray drives from reading discs. People with faulty units have found themselves greeted by a horrid grinding noise when they attempt to insert games or movies.
One YouTuber rounded up some videos to demonstrate the problem:
I first wrote about the issue yesterday morning, and over the past two days, I’ve received roughly 150 e-mails from people who say their systems were affected. Some sent videos; others just echoed what we’ve been seeing since the console launched on Friday. Some complained that they’d had to spend hours on the phone waiting for someone from Microsoft customer service to answer.
We have no way of verifying all of these accounts, but here’s a slice of what my inbox looks like right now:
(I’ve received about 150 e-mails in two days — for context, last week after the PS4 launch, Stephen asked anyone affected by hardware failure to reach out to him, and he received a few dozen e-mails in two days.)
Let’s put this in context: Microsoft says they’ve sold a million Xbox Ones. Even if just 1% of consumers had issues, that’d be 10,000 faulty units — and we don’t even know if the count is that high. Plus, launch consoles tend to come in hot. Massive hardware launches always have their problems. Just ask any brand new PS4 owner faced with the Blue Light of Death. (This isn’t a new phenomenon, either — I remember lining up for the Wii at midnight back in 2006, only to get home at around 4am with a console that wouldn’t function properly. I had to swap it the next day.)
But Microsoft isn’t offering much in the way of explanation to those who were affected by this issue, nor are they sharing just how widespread a problem it is. It’s possible that they don’t even know yet, since the console is so new.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft multiple times over the past two days with questions about this Disc Drive of Doom, but they’ve only repeated a single statement: “The issue is affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers. We’re working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program. Rest assured, we are taking care of our customers.”
When pressed further by Kotaku today, a Microsoft spokesperson added this: “Customers have the option for us to send a replacement console right away without waiting until they have returned their old one. This means a customer only has to wait a matter of days, rather than weeks to get back up and running.”
We have no idea how many people have been affected by this issue, but we’ll continue following up on this story over the next few days and weeks.