Microsoft: We Have "Learned From" Xbox 360 Mistakes

Today sees the new, redesigned Xbox 360 console launch in Australia. We asked Xbox Australia chief David McLean to explain Microsoft's approach to the new console.

McLean told us there were four things Microsoft wanted to get right with a redesigned Xbox 360 console.

"One, people are streaming more and more content so they need wireless that supports [the 802.11n wireless protocol]and to put that straight into the box.

"Two, people are downloading more and more content so they need a bigger hard drive and we’ve put a 250GB hard drive straight into the box.

"Three, the previous console was a little noisy for some of our customers so let’s make sure that this one is whisper quiet, and it is.

"And four, let’s not have any issues around breakdowns and so we’ve built it from the ground up to make sure that that doesn’t happen again.

"They’re the four things we wanted to get right when we redesigned the console and we’re confident that strategy is right."

McLean is confident enough regarding the new 360's reliability that they've reverted to the original one-year warranty for the console. Previously, Microsoft had extended the warranty to three years for certain hardware failures indicated by the red ring of death.

"Yes, we’ve moved from a three year warranty to a one year warranty," says McLean. "And that’s because we know we’ve built a product where a one year warranty will suffice.

"Microsoft has always been a learning company. We’ve made some mistakes and we’ve learned from them. As a company, we don’t ignore feedback, we listen. We know for a fact that these things were an issue."

We can report that, yes, it is much, much quieter than previous 360 models. And, yes, the 250GB hard drive and, especially, built-in wi-fi are very welcome.

But it's too early to tell whether it's more reliable. Logically, it should be. Although McLean wouldn't be drawn on details of the internal components, it's certain they're using smaller chips which produce less heat and consume less power. In theory, this should mean a more reliable machine.

I'm curious to know who's picking up a new Xbox today. For those who have upgraded from an older Xbox, what are your impressions? Have you noticed any obvious differences?


Comments

    ROFL ... If it is more reliable then offering a three year warranty would have no effect as it wouldn't break down. I know they where forced to offer such a long warranty because the old SKU broke so often that if folks had to replace it with their hard earned they'd switch camps - but still.

    On paper saying yes its more reliable so we can give it a shorter warranty period is just comical.

    Haven't picked up a new 360 despite owning a 20Gb launch unit as I'm waiting to see if the Xmas pricing on the 'bundled' Kinect package is worthwhile.

      they only ever offered 3 years because the original 360 was a rushed POS with a failure rate somewhere around 50%.
      Microsoft originally only offered a 90 day warranty on the 360, that was upgraded to a 1 year warranty as the failure rate for the launch model soared and was then extended to 3 years for RROD errors only as the problem got worse and class actions started to roll in.

    No purchase from me for these reasons

    1- Most importantly my older xbox still works. If you buy this just because it is new you need to have a serious look at yourself.

    2- I have no need for wireless and anyone that does will have the adapter already.

    3-Quieter does not worry me as installs fix most of those issues and also I pump my games up loud for immersion

    4- It annoys me that microsoft feel they are doing me a favour by offereing me this product. You are not! Its a great product but don't push it on your customer base that has already bought in early.

      Since when have they been pushing it on you?

        Well I don't expect microsoft would have brought out this box just for the new market they want to tap into. Ideally they want eveyone upgrading.

          All they did was 'refresh' the XBox 360
          It's nothing that any of the other console Phone or computer makers don't do. (think. PS3-PS3 Slim and all the phones etc)

            Here, here!

            The PS3 Slim featured NOTHING extra. Yet everyone rushed to get it. The DS' are hardly upgrades and the fanboys rush to get them.
            This is pretty much that, except MS just put stuff that was already accessible into the one thing that really should have been done in the first place.

            It's a polishing not really an upgrade.

            Besides if I could list the mistakes from the 360 it would be the disc tray and the HDD that is only replaceable with MS branded hard drives. Installs helped the disc tray (and the noise) but I would prefer one like the PS3.

            I'm still gonna eventually buy this new 360, but I will probably wait until a great bundle with games or even a Kinect bundle - that will probably be the only way I buy Kinect.

      True the old works fine but people will still upgrade to the new console. Its a logical step as your getting a better console overall, with more features as standard. If you were like me and bought the console on release I don't see it stupid that people make move to the future platform, especially since trade ins can cut the cost dramatically.

      sorry dean but i have to disagree with your first and fourth points. as stated above two things original xbox owners are crying out for is wireless N and bigger hard drives. and thats me, i own the original pro xbox with the standard wifi adapter(G not N) and a 20g hard drive.

      so i already own an X-Box which still works, to get my current device up to the 360s specs its $200.00 for a 250g hard drive and $150.00 for the wireless N adapter. so im down $350.00

      now i am not in a rush (i already have an xbox remember) so i will wait for the inevitable Halo: Reach bundle. so a $200 hard drive, $150 wifi adapter, $78 controller(likely custom Reach decal on it) and $110 new release game rolls up to $538 thats $140 more that the 360s costs by itself.

      so yeah, microsoft have done me a favor for once. there selling me a new 360 for less than the sum of its parts at retail, intergrated, kinect compatible(regular 360 consoles will require an adapter, which at a guess takes up a USB port) and with a shiny new warranty.

      the real question is what to do with my old Xbox. sell it, trade it in or keep it and mod it to a media center.

        I'll give you $50 for it! It's $49 more than what Eb would give :P

        I joke. Though because of the new model, I'm seriously contemplating getting a 360 elite, new or second hand. Hmmm.

        Fair points. Maybe its the senseless wastage of resources in our consumer driven society thats eating at me on this. Maybe its also the bitterness of having to buy more than one older xbox 360 consoles due to failures.

      wow relax buddy.. i bought one today and i already own a Xbox 360.. um im pretty satisfied, regardless if it doesnt appeal to you dont get so heated over it, move on... people like to upgrade just like the iPhone market... 2G, 3G, 3GS 4etc doesnt mean its 100% better but still a small change may mean alot to some people no need to geek out over it buddy

        Thanks Dan Yoga class booked in. The above statement was a little tongue in cheek though.

      Dean henderson you are a FREAK dude.

      "If you buy this just because it is new you need to have a serious look at yourself"

      hahahahah i think you need some sex dude, coz you clearly arnt getting any to be soo passionate about something YOU cant have hahaha

      your jelous of the new xbox? YES haha this has made my day.... you freak!

    Changing the warranty to one year instead of three is ridiculous.

      The Xbox 360 has always had a one year warranty. The "three year warranty" was purely for models that suffered the RROD defective hardware, it did not cover anything else (eg disc drive).

    Nice comments ppl!

    Why weren't all these issues "fixed" when the product was being developed in the first place?

    "Microsoft has always been a learning company..."
    I this just another way of saying they don't do research or testing before releasing a product?

    Thanks Sony for doing the right thing by your customers from day one!

      That the same day one where it cost around 500US?

      Strikes me every patch takes away a little more from the PS3.

        Extremely expensive and being told that you'd pay it and thank them for the opportunity because they were SONY DAMNIT!

          You're right, it's much better to sell all those add-ons like Live, HDMI out, wireless controllers and Wifi internet as extras, so you can mask the cost and make your customers pay the same amount but incrementally. That way your fanboys can act all superior and pretend they didn't pay just as much over the years for a console that broke down often enough that you had to change warranty of face class action lawsuits.

            Funny. I always see this complaint, but paying for Live resulted in a far far superior online experience for Xbox users. Sony still haven't caught up.

            And my Xbox came with a wireless controller like my PS3.

            And my Xbox was about $300 cheaper.

      Sony did not get it right on day one either.

      The game selection at launch was a joke and it was marketed on future potential.

      The only reason it truely launced because it was the only Blu-Ray player where one did not need to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.

      "Thanks Sony for doing the right thing by your customers from day one!"

      Are you serious? I think I see a fanboy...

        Hehe - I know a guy who still only uses his PS3 for Blu Ray Movies!

        I only bought a 360 last December so no plans to upgrade - my only complaint is the noise on certain discs but since getting a hard drive and installing all the noisy ones that has ceased to be an issue.

        New model looks good but I've neve been one to get multiple issues - hell I still have the original PS2!

          I noticed the same thing but thought it was my hearing playing up.

          Over time, I have noticed that some game disks play quietier than other. One noicy game I have is Kameo and thinking about it now, I think I recall the disk being thicker than others.

          And i know a guy who uses his 360 to only watch HD-DVD's he picked up cheaply. Whats your point?

      inb4 TrolledHard.jpg

    I'll be definitely picking one up soon, but not today due to current money woes. My reasons are as follows:

    - My launch console's DVD drive has become completely unreliable, so a new (and quieter) drive that actually works is obviously a win for me.

    - My current 16 gig hard drive is far too small to install more than one game at a time (to overcome above DVD drive pains) so 250gig is a big incentive.

    - My current console has no HDMI port.

    - I dig the built-in wifi. I never even considered purchasing one of the wireless adaptors at those crazy prices.

    So those are my main reasons. Would I be getting one if my current 360 wasn't debilitated by drive issues and low storage space? Definitely not. But such is the situation I find myself in.

    (I did toy with the idea of picking up a 120gig elite from jb with a couple of games for $250, but I figure for an extra $150 I can get double the storage and built in wifi, plus I wasn't really interested in the games that came with said bundle.)

      “Yes, we’ve moved from a three year warranty to a one year warranty,” says McLean. “And that’s because we know we’ve built a product where a one year warranty will suffice.

      Hey Mr Wildgoose, does this switch back to the one year warranty only affect the new model, or is it across the board for all 360 models?

        The older models still carry a one-year general warranty plus a three-year warranty for failures indicated the the "three red lights". That hasn't changed.

    "And four, let’s not have any issues around breakdowns and so we’ve built it from the ground up to make sure that that doesn’t happen again"

    So... building a reliable product is a lesson that needed to be learned? And one that's taken what... 3 or 4 years to learn? Surely that should be been pretty self evident from the very beginning, not something that needed to be "learned" to the detriment of your customers?

      Well, when you first build something, you don't initially expect it to fail :P. And designing and building a new anything takes time.

    “Yes, we’ve moved from a three year warranty to a one year warranty,” says McLean. “And that’s because we know we’ve built a product where a one year warranty will suffice"

    Something about that comment just does not sit right with me.

    I'm really not sure about the new console, it looks flashy, and seems to have the right features, but its the auto shut down that has me worried. What if it decides to shut down mid game? Do i just lose all the progress i've made? or will it give me a warning to say its shutting down it 5mins or something?

      It would not surprise me if that very comment jinxs the new model and Microsoft offers the 3 year warrenty again.

      Think of it this way... the old Xboxes have auto shutdown too, except instead of safely shutting down and taking a few minutes to cool down, it broke and needed two weeks to fix.

      Nothing's really different with this auto shutdown, except that your Xbox doesn't fry when it happens now.

    Clearly they think everyone is an idiot by saying we are reducing the waranty because it's more reliable. I aggree with previous posts, if it was more reliable, a longer warranty would not matter and would also be a good selling point.

    They clearly demonstrated they have no faith in the product.

    Oh wow, only 4 years late and for an extra $400

    I was going to replace my limping 1st gen Xbox 360 with an Elite, however the release of the NEW model is beneficial.

    FYI My ol' battler has been through a lot, and it's knocking on death's door about now:

    1) Never RROD'd but in the last 6 months graphically intense games periodically freeze up on me (I've been told this is a pre-cursor to graphics card failure and RROD)

    2) DVD Drive died about 2 years ago, has been replaced by Microsoft but it's starting to run VERY loud again (which is what happened when it broke) so it may die..

    3) I upgraded to a 120gig HD, however I think the damn thing is faulty cause I keep getting disc-read errors randomly (even from games that are fully installed on the HD)

    So I have good reason to upgrade and I might as well invest in the new and improved model!

    Has anyone done a HD transfer from old-to-new yet? From memory my 20gig to 120gig transfer took AGES and I only ported about 6 or 7 gigs worth of data over in the end..

      transferring about 80 gigs worth at the moment. Halfway through with 30mins on the clock. and you no longer need the disc, just plug and play.

    I’ll have to wait and see. If this console is indeed more reliable – and the failure rates are dropped even further – then I’ll be picking one up. I don’t want to get a preowned one because I know the quality of EB games pre owned consoles, also the warranty would be void. So as soon as I sell enough blood I’ll pick one up.

    David, please tell me you looked properly dismissive when he tried the "we have made such a good product we decided to *cut* the warranty" line.

    Its an insult - they would have been better off saying "it was always a one year warranty, the three year warranty was only for [insert RROD euphemism] issues and they have been resolved".

    I'm picking up mine this afternoon.

    The thing that bothers me though is the wireless adapter. If this console is designed to last anothe five years... what happens when there's a new wireless standard? If it's in the bow, how do we upgrade it?

      USB. It has 5 of them.

      This is the part where I'm still kicking myself.. last night (Wed 30th June), my 2 year old Pro console RRoD. The DAY before the new console, GARR!! Kinda wishing I traded it in before having to go through the warranty process. Kinda scared about going outside because with luck like this I could get struck by lightning or falling piano's.

        The worst is when lightning strikes the piano while it falls, infusing it with the power of electricity. It's like getting hit by by one of Raiden's charge attacks.

    Great to hear, I learn from my mistakes too.

    I'll never be a Microsoft early-adopter again.

    I feel sorry for them next generation, the 360 fiasco is going to come back and bite them especially if Sony learn their lesson and release a cheaper next gen console.

    I'm trading my old one in and picking up the new one. I'm only doing this due to the fact im moving house soon and my new bedroom is a while away from our router so I need wifi for xb live.

    I preordered mine and just picked it up. Keeping my old 120GB Elite as well (although it is definiely about to pack it in - hence the decision to get the new 'box). Got it at EB and price matched with Harvey Norman for $389. If I have any issues whatsoever I'll be taking it back. Had about 4 360's/replacements since the launch many moons ago.

    *Sigh*

    Microsoft are not dropping the warranty period because they have no faith in the product. They are dropping the warranty period purely from an accounting point of view. If they offer a longer warranty it means they have to carry an estimated warranty liability for the three years instead of just the one. This makes their balance sheet look better, and also means they do not have to record the expenses of actually repairing consoles after one year, thereby not impacting their profit and loss.

    A three year warranty would be great, but legislation within Australia only means they have to offer a 1 year warranty on something like this, and somehow I do not think they are going to offer above the minimum unless a massive PR bungle hits them once again.

      Australian law dictates a warranty period should be or last for a 'reasonable amount of time'. There's nothing there about one years or three and really, such a generalized piece of legislation means most aussies have an ace up their sleeve if they wanted to pursue the matter further in the court system.

        True, the Statutory Warranty is independent of the manufacturer's warranty, and depends entirely on what a "reasonable expectation" of the product's lifetime would be.

        Most people would expect a console to last ~3 years at least, so you'd be well within your rights as a consumer to demand warranty service if it died earlier than that, regardless of what Microsoft says.

    "And four, let’s not have any issues around breakdowns and so we’ve built it from the ground up to make sure that that doesn’t happen again."

    So they knew before hand the launch that there were problems with the console?

    Be confident in your product. A 1-year warranty would never make me feel good especially after paying that amount of money. I don't expect it to break but Microsoft don't seem so sure?? ..hmmmm.

    Considering the original 90-day warranty and the circumstances regarding the 3-year warranty I think a 2-year warranty would be cautiously confident from Microsoft.

    Seems like a car dealer saying that a new car is so fuel efficient, he's no longer giving a free tank of petrol.. instead you get half a tank. Even if it were true, the perceived value is worse.

    Do you know what really Grands my gears. lol

    I had the Original 20Gb One year later Dead. I put its HDD on back then a 200.00 pound Arcade, Dead. I got a Pro 60GB 6 months later Dead taking with it all my game date. Now I got the 120GB Elite, No problems so far 7 months on. All of this a cost to me, & you guys out there. So why are we paying for the Slim. Shouldn't we get one for free, If we prove we've had 4 dead or more consoles. It sucks.

    Where the one's Low on cash not Microsoft

    It's evident this 360 is to bring in new consumers. MS would be glad to see the current consumer base jump in but it's to appeal to the potential consumer.

    MS are soon to announce a $199USD 360s. I expect that to either be an 'Arcade' or 'Pro' 360 configuration possibly without the Wifi and a worthy console to purchase. Of course those moaning this is being pushed on us or why bother when we own 360's do not understand and like I've been saying; this is aimed toward the new potential consumer.

    I work at Dick Smiths. The new Xbox360, at least through us, still has a 3 year warranty.

    Also, it still uses X-Clamps, which many speculate were the cause of most of the RROD issue with the previous gen.

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