Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death cost Microsoft $1 billion

The Xbox 360 is perhaps one of my favorite consoles of all time. There were so many great games that I enjoyed on it, and nearly a decade later, I still have my trusty 360 that still gets used from time to time. Of course, I don't have my original launch 360. That device died long ago, as did many other of the originals. After all, the dreaded Red Ring of Death was a serious issue that lasted for years.

I've always wondered how much money Microsoft spent repairing and replacing consoles during that period of time. I remember being fascinated at how far Microsoft extended their warranty replacement program for consoles affected by the RRoD. I had to send off mine three different times before the final replacement period ran out.

In his recent book, 'Xbox Revisited: A Gameplan for Corporate and Civic Renewal' former Xbox president Robbie Bach discussed the failures of the console. And nestled in those pages was the final cost of the Red Ring of Death issue. As it turns out, repair and replacement costs tallied up to roughly $1 billion.

He went on to talk about what lead to the major RRoD issue. As it turns out, it was the fact that they went into the design of the console backwards. They focused on the design and aesthetic, and then worked on finding ways to cram everything into the housing that they designed. As a result, there were thermal issues that couldn't be resolved. While they made a number of changes, the RRoD wasn't truly fixed until they introduced the Slim, which was a completely redesigned version of the console.

While that $1 billion figure seems like an insane amount of money to spend fixing consoles, it was ultimately a wise move on Microsoft's part. By extending their warranty to three years and promising to fix every console that displayed the issue, customers still have faith in the Xbox brand. I think that if they had just tried to sweep it under the rug, it's entirely possible that we might not have gotten an Xbox One at all.

VIA: HotHardware