i just recently read a report that the failure rate of an Xbox 360 is as high as 30%. that is unbelievable. however, it hit home because just a week prior MY Xbox 360 failed. no, it didn't go out in a glorious red ring of death - rather, it just stopped reading DVDs and games.
i actually don't think the 30% number is that far off from the truth. think about it - out of the people you know that own a 360, how many of them have said theirs crapped out on them? almost everyone knows someone that has had a 360 fail on them, if they haven't had it happen to themselves that is. what other console can you think of had a failure rate even close to this? nothing even comes CLOSE.
i've owned quite a few of the major consoles starting way back with the original NES and other than having to blow in a cartridge every once in a while to get it to work, only one other console failed on me - the PS2. it was purchased after the first-run ones, but still it was an early model (bought it 6 months after release). it slowly stopped reading DVDs and games about 3-4 years after i bought it. the good thing? i could go inside and fix it myself by realigning the laser. it's played like new ever since.
now, my 360 failed rather abruptly - one day it started freezing when playing, the next it just refused to play at all - and it happened only 6 months after purchase. all i can say is thank god for the 1-year out-of-box warranty Microsoft has... but they upped that from 90 days after all these problems started happening. so why aren't they admitting something's wrong?
my warranty on the replacement (or refurbished, if the problem can be fixed) 360 only goes as long as the original warranty, so i can either take my chances on it lasting 3-4 years without incident, i can buy the extended warranty, or i can buy a new upgraded one once the replacement/refurbished craps out on me in another 6 months.
thanks Microsoft. you have a good console with great games, and your Live structure is wonderful for online gaming... but do something about the hardware. i've got 360 games to play and no 360 to play them on for a month. you're lucky this happened now and not this fall when all the AAA titles come out.