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The Red Ring could’ve killed the Xbox 360, but love kept it alive

by Eric Frederiksen | May 4, 2016May 4, 2016 4:20 pm PST


For years, the Red Ring of Death loomed over the Xbox 360. A manufacturing mistake – whether due to oversight or corner-cutting – resulted in millions and millions of Xbox 360 consoles dying. It should’ve toppled the system and Microsoft’s console business, but it didn’t.

Speaking at the GamesBeat Summit, former Xbox exec Robbie Bach talked about what should’ve been the system’s legacy.

“If you have a product people like and you take care of your customers, they’ll give you some grace,” he said. Despite the disastrous defect, Microsoft’s customer satisfaction rate didn’t drop during that period, Bach said.

If this had happened with the original Xbox, Bach said, it definitely would’ve killed the business.

“People liked Halo, but they didn’t really like the Xbox system itself. They liked Xbox Live and a couple of games,” he said.

The mistake cost the company at least a billion dollars, but a relatively quick response from Microsoft including an extended warranty helped save the system.

So maybe the Beatles were right. All you need really is love. And an unbelievable amount of money.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...