Xbox One Issues Demonstrate that Hardware Problems Don’t Pick Sides, and Neither Should You

The Xbox One launched today, and many reports are already surfacing on issues that range from the “green screen of death” to the fact that the console “eats discs.”

It doesn’t really eat discs, mind you: the nasty grinding noise you can hear in quite a few videos already out in the wild is probably the drive’s worm motor slipping, and that doesn’t touch the disk at all. But turning the console into a Disc-eating cannibal is fruit of the usual tendency of the internet to overdramatize, and create flashy names like “green screen of death” of “blue line of death.” They do a much better job at drawing attention than just “frozen screen” or “Blu-ray player issue.”

Of course many are taking reports as the evidence that the Xbox One has some nasty and widespread hardware issue, exactly like they did with the PS4, only to discover afterwards that the problems affected less than 1% of the consoles Sony sold, which is well within industry standards for electronics.


While the exact diagnosis of the specific hardware issues may differ, the problem is exactly the same: with several hundreds of thousands of units sold at the same time, there are going to be several hundreds of reports of malfunctions emerging at the same time. It’s the natural effect of the combination of the wide reach of a complaint expressed on social media and simple statistics dictating that within a large number of units of any consumer electronic device there will be a proportional number of faulty ones.

Of course the most extreme areas of the PlayStation fanbase (and some media outlets) are now scrambling to make the issue look as serious and widespread as possible, while many just point fingers and laugh. The typical excuse I’m hearing is “Xbox fans did it to us first!” but let’s not hide behind the proverbial finger here. If Xbox One launched first and its issues were discovered earlier, we would have had exactly the same situation. That’s the nature of the internet beast.

Maybe it’s time for everyone to stop picking sides on this kind of issue, and cease the futile attempts to demonstrate that the other camp has it worse. The ones that have it worse are those that got a faulty console, and it is sad to see that a large percentage of those that are most vocal on the internet, and most ready to point fingers, experienced no issue at all. Luckily the faulty consoles will be replaced or repaired on both sides, and people will be able to finally move on to playing games. That’s why we have warranties.


The only thing proven by the malfunctions on the Xbox side is that hardware and manufacturing issues don’t pick sides, and every electronic device has a failure rate. The PS4 has one, the Xbox One has one, the iPad has one, PCs have one as well. It doesn’t matter what devices you’re looking at, some are going to malfunction because they’re all manufactured in less than perfect conditions (and perfect conditions don’t exist), and often by interns or by other human beings (who have a failure rate as well) tired after a long shift at the workbench.

Mind you, decades of automated production in several fields demonstrated that even robots can make “mistakes,” as they are influenced by external and unpredictable circumstances to which they are less prepared to react.

This is the nature of the consumer electronics market, and something that we’ll never shake off. Whenever we open the box of a new console, there will always be that momentary thrill in which we’ll wonder if it’ll really turn on. Unfortunately there will always be people for which that thrill will be followed by disappointment because the console won’t work.

It’s disappointing, annoying, and frustrating when it happens to us, but it’s the poison we’ve picked for ourselves when we made of technology our hobby. Luckily now the launch of both consoles is in the past, so maybe we can just move on to have fun with the games, shall we?

Join the Discussion

  • Eugene Paluch

    garbage ?

  • Howard Katz

    I don’t remember the older consoles pre 360 ever having these problems. I really think it is a quality control problem.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Of course you don’t. Social media wasn’t there back then telling you that the issues existed. The most you had were forums and newsgroups, that were a LOT more niche than Facebook and Twitter.

      Also, older consoles were MUCH simpler machines. The higher the complexity, the higher the potential for issues (and they still had plenty, I had two broken PS2, one gamecube, one NES and one PS1).

      • Howard Katz

        Although there is more complexity, the training to build these machines should be intact . So I do not agree with your complexity statement. Also you are wrong about the media…there was plenty of online media during the Xbox,Gamecube,Ps2, and Dreamcast era. I am not saying that there were not problems but not of this magnitude and not RIGHT OUT THE BOX.

        • Giuseppe Nelva

          The online media (forums and newsgroups mostly, and IRC) you’re talking about were used by a negligible fraction of the people that use Twitter, Facebook and Youtube now. We simply live in a different world.

          Hell, at that time the most relevant source of gaming news was still the printed press.

          I used to participate a lot in some very dedicated gaming newsgroups during the PS1/PS2 era, and the issues definitely surfaced, even on launch day. There just were a lot less people writing, and a lot less people reading and acting as a loudspeaker themselves.

          And if “training” remains stable (I guess you mean of the manufacturers) and complexity increases, it’s obvious that the potential for issues does increase.

          • Howard Katz

            No you are wrong here. I never read or herd of a major gaming critique company [like IGN or Gizmo] having the same problem out of box as consumers do. I don’t know what country you live in but reports of problems were never reported out of box by companies like IGN,GIZMO,Gamespot or N4G and they have been around for a long time now. There are more reports now because there are more problems with these next gen consoles.

            The inability to learn new and more complex tasks should never be a reason for this and is a weak argument IMHO.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            LOL, mate, you’re reaching. I’m sorry. N4G has been around since 2006, AFTER the Xbox One launched and just before the launch of the PS3.

            Just to bring an example PS2 had serious manufacturing problems during its first year, related to disc reading issues and more. I suggest googling it. You’ll find plenty info.

            You’re completely ignoring the boombox effect of social media, which irremediably flaws your point.

          • Howard Katz

            Don’t forget IGN and Gizmo and Game Informer. This is not precedented. Anyhow 2006 is almost 8years which is a long time in technology time so what is your point? Like I said I do not know where you are from but there is no way the pre 360 consoles had these problems right OUT OF BOX like now. Social media was very powerful back then too at least in my country . So I do not know what you are talking about. The internet is not several years old.
            Your of a totally misguided from your distorted poor historical recollection. Like I stated,, yes there have and always will be flaws with these devices but not of this type and magnitude we see now and it has nothing to do with the effect of social media as you say but rather the effects of political and social problems in the sweat shops where these things are made!!!

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Sorry, it’s hard to have a discussion with someone talking science fiction.

            The internet is international. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. Social Media was nowhere as “powerful” as it is now in March 2000, when the PS2 launched. Facebook launched in 2004, Youtube in 2005, Twitter in 2006.

            You don’t even seem to know what “social media” is, since you compare it with IGN, Gizmo and Game informer, that are *not* social media, and have nowhere a similar effect in giving a voice to every user. Those are fairly traditional one-way media outlets.

            Also, you have no way to gauge the actual “magnitude” of today’s problems, exactly because your vision is warped by the influence of social media.

            I suggest checking your facts (and the definition of social media) before calling someone else’s correct historical recollection “distorted” or “poor” to support your false point 😀

            Again, you should start with google. You’ll find plenty articles and information on the widespread failures of past consoles (especially the PS2, that had very large failure rates in its first two production batches, including the dreaded disc read error).

          • Howard Katz

            Maybe not as powerful but certainly powerful enough that if something was really wrong with a device ‘out of box’ then it would be reported on a huge level. Social media is not just Google or Facebook but rather anything or everything media related…even a newspaper is a form of social media!! I think you need to check your semantics. My perception of this issue is not warped but rather well educated and substantiated from informative media.

            Again your points are invalid. We should agree to disagree.

          • Howard Katz

            You speak as if social media 5-6 years ago was like using smoke to send messages!!

          • towhomitmayconcern

            no he’s not, its you strawmanning his point.

          • Howard Katz

            Strawmanning ??? Is that an American word? It’s not in my dictionary.

            I cannot debate with people who make up words.

            Anyhow my point remains..has anyone noticed the XBOX ONE problem? This is not commonplace especially right out of the box and more so when an IGN reviewer receives a faulty one . This is unprecedented indeed.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Social media is a form of collaborative media that gives every user a voice. A newspaper is a form of one-way media where a journalist writes, and you read. There’s no feedback and your voice is not heard. It’s media, but it’s not social at all, and its effect is completely different, as it completely lacks the loudspeaker effect social media has.

            Back then the social media definition wasn’t even used, and one of the few comparable things was Geocities, that allowed everyone to have his own website (of which I had two, mind you, so I know it pretty well), but even then, it required a LOT more effort than today’s social media, and it was a LOT less used.

            Again. I suggest doing some research.

          • Howard Katz

            ‘Back then”…it is like you are talking 20 years ago. You are so misguided if you think that anything internet related 10 years ago was not powerful media. Maybe in certain parts of the world it was but not in the USA which apparently you have no clue about…mate.

            This issue has even been addressed on television.

          • Nate Brown

            As someone who has been working in the IT field for quite some time i can tell you that gap in technology between 10 years ago and now have been unbelievably substantial. The same goes with social media. Back in 2005 social media was still something of a niche product. Most people still used printed media to acquire the majority of their information. Hell the internet as a whole didn’t even become something mainstream until about 2002. Now I’m curious if you still think its a regional thing seeing as i was born and raised in New York, NY.

          • Howard Katz

            Regardless of what you said, if such a problem with those/these consoles had been so rampant right out of the box,enough people would have been alerted to it whatever the means of media would have been back then.

            This is unprecedented in any tech era and this decrease in quality control has spread since the 360 and I don’t think it has anything to do with ineptness as one person suggested. I do tend to believe there is a social/economic upheaval in the far east-Asia.

          • Anthony Maxwell

            Giuseppe, I think you just became my personal hero.

            Plus, Geocities was a nightmare to use – and if you had two; then I tip my hat.

  • Giuseppe Nelva

    They’re blown out of proportion exactly in the same way.

  • foureyes oni

    i hope the xbox one issues completely blows out of proportion just like the ps4’s did. At the same time though i wouldn’t wish a bricked next gen console on anyone.

    • Michael Norris

      I agree..just sucks for those who have a broken Xbox or Ps4.I own two Ps4’s..both work great,i fully expect most Xbox ones work great as well.

  • Shu

    Ps4 faulty rate < 1% = WIN

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Why I’m not surprised that someone would have taken the chance to try and pull some more console war stunts?

      Both consoles have issues, like every single electronic device, and the number of different issues has nothing to do with their frequency.

      As for hardware design and quality, you simply have no way to gauge them, so it’s a moot discourse.

      • Howard Katz

        What you fail to grasp is that social media is relative to the gaming population. There were not as many people playing video games 7-10 years ago as there are today. However the media had just as much impact percentage wise as it does today. Not as grand or vast but powerful all the same relatively speaking and statistically speaking.
        I have been playing video games most likely before you were born. In that time I have never seen problems 360 and post 360 as I have now.
        I can also say that there is a definite social/political/financial uprising that is happening in Asia as I type and I believe this is a big part of the problem.

        By the way, I responded here because your last ignorant post to me has been inactive for over 4 hours and I could not respond there.
        Please stop being prolix and stop trying to come across as some semantic and social media expert. I have done no harm to you as you suggest for you have done this to yourself quite well.

        Later… or shall I say cheers like you people say.

    • Bankai

      Fact: day 1 isn’t over yet and there are more Xbone complaints then you care to acknowledge, so both systems have identical magnitudes of failure.

      And while not as powerful, smartphones pack a lot of power and they’re crammed into an even smaller chassis than the PS4, yet they run fine. So the PS4’s casing will hardly impact its failure rate – another good example would be gaming laptops and smart TV’S.

      And you’re right, people did get what they pay for: a $400/$500 gaming console with a minimal failure rate. Now stop looking for issues where there are none and put your fanboy flag down.

    • TristanPR77

      You are the same exact scum that the article is referring to. I cannot believe that after that article, which is pretty good and promote peace and stop the war, you just write a comment like that. A-hole

    • You are flat out wrong

      Xbone already has a higher failure rate. I deduced this though Amazon reviews like Xdrones did last week.

      Deal with it, Zaire.

      • Shu

        No thanks 😀

        You are flat out wrong, as your name indicates.

  • JinOntario

    Yes, and of course you can rely on the, “less than 1%” number as they’re reported respectively by Sony and Microsoft. I trust neither, to be honest. In fact, I heard the same thing when my 360 RROD twice (one being a launch unit). It wasn’t until MS had no choice other than to admit that the launch defective unit numbers was, in fact, considerably higher.

    Nobody should be naive about either camp and their own self-serving reports about defective launch units.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      They have much better data to compile those “self serving reports” that you’ll ever have. You’re aware of that, yes?

      • JinOntario

        Would you suggest that there is not a vested interest in skewing numbers? Be naive if you wish.

  • TristanPR77

    Nice article and I like the message. The problem is, if one side agrees to have peace the other side will keep firing and the other side will have no choice but to defend.

    This is why I loved the PS2 era so much, everyone had a PS2, no one was fighting over console stuff, everyone was focus on games.

  • Anthony Maxwell

    A decent sensible article, written by someone with an actual brain which has been engaged.
    All the recent fanboy stuff (from both camps) has become so frustrating. People stating opinions as facts – If a customer is unlucky enough to get a dodgy console then send it back for one that works – simples.

    This transition to the eighth generation of gaming was supposed to be something we could celebrate as gamers, but instead it’s brought out the worst in people. I was told recently that I shouldn’t be able to have the choice to watch TV through my console – after 1 day, this is a feature I adore – I can’t wait until the guide is fully functional in the UK – Anyway, the guy was trying to be a smart arse, until I mentioned that I was actually buying both consoles at Launch – then I was told, “We’ll just see which one you play more” – As I’m writing this I still cannot quite understand why this whole ‘picking sides’ business has even become an issue – it’s a playground mentality – which makes me wonder, how many of these people writing comments are still of the age when they need to get a note out of gym. Fanboys from whatever camp are an embarrassment to themselves and more importantly, an annoyance to me.

  • Cayal

    I couldn’t help but feel a sense of karma when this happened to the XBox One after all the crap the PS4 got, but I do feel bad for those who are having issues.

    That said, this is precisely the reason why I never get a launch day console.

    • Shu

      The karma of RROD is yours now, not theirs 🙂

      A mad groupie from this site is trying hard to drag the XONE into a “failure” bliss after the bad karma they’re experiencing. Somebody need to pass them tissues or tampons real quick. 😀

  • You are flat out wrong

    I’d feel bad, but let’s be honest: what goes around, comes around. Learn from this, Xbox Mafia.

  • RealityCheck2013

    I just don’t understand why the Xbox haters online(who made out last weeks ‘SMALL’ PS4 problems look worse online & most gaming sites to) thought the Xbox ONE wouldn’t have any problems for, with Microsoft’s DREADFUL past hardware problems(& RRoD has been the WORSE of them all so far) I never laugh at someones console dying tho because it’s not nice when Tech stuff die :-/

  • Woohoo!!

    I feel for the people who got faulty hardware, but I have to say that this is really the best possible outcome, other than both consoles being trouble free (as if that were possible). Either side would have been intolerable if they had a smoother launch, maybe now some of it will die down

  • Woohoo!!

    “and it is sad to see that a large percentage of those that are most vocal on the internet, and most ready to point fingers, experienced no issue at all.”

    Or never bought either console in the first place….

  • Howard Katz

    There were not as many people playing video games 6-10 years ago so the social media is relative to the gaming population. However if this had happened pre 360, percentage wise word would have spread just as much as today.