Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Monday, December 05, 2005

The heat is on....

Xbox 360 not running well? Perhaps help (other than MS's excellent repair program) may be on the way.

A Chicago man has decided to sue Microsoft, citing a design flaw that causes the console to overheat. According to the Reuters article, the power supply and the CPU overheat, which in turn affects "heat-sensitive chips" and cause the console to lock up.

If that's really the wording of the lawsuit, I don't think that MS will have too much trouble taking this guy on. I could see the PS overheating, or not being sufficiently vented, which in turn affects the CPU and causes lock ups, but the wording used in the article isn't clear and doesn't make a ton of sense (but before you jump on me saying that I'm wrong, I do think that the wording of the article could also be correct; however, I think the way I have worded it is more plausible).

I've read that people have been having trouble with their new systems, but that's a common occurrence with any new console; there are always a few bad ones. Microsoft has an excellent repair program set up (from what I've read) for Xbox 360 problems: they overnight a postage-paid return box to you (I believe it's via UPS), so you can get the console back to them ASAP. That's certainly a lot more than I can remember Sony ever doing.

But if this guy has found a real design flaw, I think that would be pretty interesting. I can't think of any examples from the past of a person brining a lawsuit against a game company and forcing design changes because they found real design flaws (Sony did have their "jittery-screen" problem with the PS, but I don't remember a lawsuit for that).

I've argued for a years that recent consoles are not designed well (the original build of the PS2 being a glaring example, and the GameCube being a system that bucks the trend), and that I'd like a lot more reliability out of my systems. When you drop $300+ on an electronics component, you want it to last. My NES still works, but my original PS had major problems (which required expensive Sony non-warranty repairs), and my PS2 is dying. On top of that, a majority of PS2 owners I know either have replaced their console, or they're having trouble with it and it probably should be replaced. My first Xbox also crapped out on me, but my second has run pretty well (it's had some odd issues with loading games, sometimes it just refuses to load a disk). My Genesis? Works great. SNES? Same thing.

Companies like Onkyo and Denon need to build high-end version of game consoles. That would ROCK! Can you imagine this kind of design quality in a console? It would be more expensive, but it sure would be great to have.


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