Here’s a list compiled of the Top 5 Epic Fails This Gen. Have a look and what was the top 5 biggest disappointments we encountered this Gen. Embrace yourselves gamers, fanboys and fangirls, this list is going for the jugular.
Xbox 360’s RROD
Seven years, that’s how long it has been since Microsoft launched the successor to the original Xbox, the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 was met with much praise from both critics and consumers alike. It featured a robust online system the likes of which had not been seen on any other home console, amongst other features that would make even the manliest of men salivate. Although the console’s launch was successful, it wouldn’t be long until the fabric that Microsoft had taken care to knit would start to unravel.
Fast forward a few months and you have a problem that spread like wild fire. Left and right, Xbox 360’s were suffering a “general hardware” failure commonly referred to the Red Ring of Dead or RROD for short. The RROD was signified by three flashing lights around the Xbox 360’s power button. This problem rendered your shiny new console useless. It wasn’t long before temporary fixes started springing up on the internet, while some of these fixes guaranteed a working, stable console, others only sprung a temporary spark of life into what was a doomed system.
In a statement to Microsoft back in 2006, EA games reported that between 30-50% of their consoles were failing. Naturally, Microsoft denied these claims. It wasn’t until the problem escalted that Microsoft finally acknowledged the fault.
On July 5, 2007 Microsoft finally acknowledged the RROD and infamous 50% failure rate through an open letter. In this letter, Microsoft announced that they would be extending Xbox 360 warranties worldwide to three years. Since then, the standard warranty for the Xbox 360 has remained at three years just in case something were to happen again.
Microsoft’s initial handling of the overall situation was admitedly poor. They shouldn’t have rushed the console just to be the first on the market. While many consumer have remained loyal to the Xbox 360, and rightfully so, it does have an excellent list of exclusives as well as probably the best online infrastructure to date. However others have jumped ship. Microsoft’s attempt to entice some users to stay with their device was, for the most part, succesful. Sales for the console are still climbing, at CES 2012 they reported that 66 million units have been sold worldwide. Now while this is good and I’m happy that Microsoft has found solid ground within the gaming industry, you have to wonder something. How many of those 66 million units are unique? I’ll leave that for you to ponder as we look at a more recent failure by Microsoft.
Microsoft’s E3 2011 Press Conference
Ah the E3, a precursor to Christmas for gamers around the world. The time when the big three, along with many developers, show the world what they have in store for the gaming world for the coming months, or even years. E3 2011 is surely an E3 that will go down in history: Nintendo debuted the Wii U, Sony formally announce the name of their next generation portable device (the Vita) and Microsoft had Halo 4 and Kinect. Yay?
Depending on whom you ask, Microsoft’s E3 was either a hit, or a miss. For me, it was a miss for the most part. The Press Conference hardly addressed the core gamer. The main focus of the conference was upon Microsoft’s new motion sensing peripheral, Kinect. Microsoft effectively alienated their core fans while also introducing soccer moms, children, and eveyone inbetween to this new device. Some of the highlights of the Kinect Conference were:
- Sesame Street Kinect
- Kinect Disneyland Adventures
- Microsoft’s Partnership with TV networks to bring Live TV to the Xbox 360.
- HALO 4, 5 and 6
Ah, yes, the HD-DVD. I’m sure we all remember the “format war” between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. Shortly following the launch of the 360, HDTV’s started taking off, and with that, a new medium had to be introduced so consumer would be able to take advantage of their new 1080p television. Microsoft saw this, but more importantly, they saw that Sony’s PlayStation 3 would ship with an internal Blu-Ray drive which aimed to catapult Blu-Rays to the top of the format war. In early 2006, Microsoft announced that their new console, the Xbox 360, would be receiving an “optional” external HD-DVD drive that would allow consumers to play HD-DVD’s on through their Xbox 360s.For months, Sony and Microsoft went head-to-head, each company trying to knock the other out of the format war. Knocking Blu-Ray out of the picture would effectively cripple the PlayStation 3 since it’s main medium was Blu-Ray itself. In the end, the HD-DVD proved to be a failure; it fell, and with it, so did the HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360.Microsoft should’ve included HD-DVDin their XBox 360 from the get-go. Doing that would’ve ensured the HD-DVD a victory given that the Xbox 360 had a head start on it’s competitor, the PS3. With it’s steep retail price, the PS3 would have been playing catch up before it left the assembly lines.