Microsoft knew about Xbox 360 disc scratch issue in 2005

Microsoft have admitted to knowing about the long-standing issue whereby its Xbox 360 console scratched discs in the optical drive.  According to program manager Hiroo Umeno, who is cited in a motion [pdf link] against the company, the problem was acknowledged before the 360 even launched, back in 2005; Microsoft is also believed to have rejected at least three possible workarounds, a decision partly based on avoiding an extra part costing just $0.50 per console.

"This is ... information that we as a team, optical disc drive team, knew about. When we first discovered the problem in September or October, when we got a first report of disc movement, we knew this is what's causing the problem" Hiroo Umeno, program manager, Microsot

The three possible fixes Microsoft is believed to be working on included a stronger magnet in the disc tray, throttling down the optical drive spin speed, and the addition of soft "bumper" patches to the drive tray itself.  Microsoft rejected the first as it "would allegedly interfere with the mechanism that opened and closed the disc tray", the second as game load times would have increased, and the third as it would be too costly to implement at $0.50 per console.

As of April 20th, 2008, Microsoft have apparently received 55,000 complaints about the issue.  While the company does have a replacement plan in operation, it only applies to Microsoft games and there's a $20 fee demanded. 

[via Ars Technica]