When you think of the Xbox, what do you think of first? The most common answers are probably Xbox One X, Halo, Microsoft or maybe … Red Ring of Death?

The first Xbox was huge in size. Big, heavy and “ugly and noticeable” to the point where Robbie Bach , the former head of the Xbox development team, had to say it was too ugly. Indeed, Robbie Bach revealed that when Microsoft designed its first gaming machine, Microsoft didn’t care about appearance. They choose the internal components first, then the back cover. The result is an oversized machine, but at least it works normally.

Red Ring of Death

The “ancestor” of the Xbox family.

A few years later, Microsoft wanted to introduce a new, more powerful and trendy console. ” It has to be designed from the perspective of a designer, ” – Microsoft decided. And so they made the case first, then chose the components that would be tucked inside. Microsoft engineers had to do their best to create a machine that could run inside the new flashy shell.

Then the Xbox 360 broke

At first, only a few people complained that their new console was no longer working. When they turned on the device, they did not meet the familiar green lights but were greeted with ugly red rays. It signals that something is wrong with the hardware, or the power supply. There is nothing the user can do in this situation, and the error is spreading all over the world.

Red Ring of Death

Red Ring of Death

Red lights are everywhere, and YouTube, game-tech sites are flooded with news about the Xbox 360 , processing tips and the like, and Microsoft can’t promptly replace gamers’ devices. yourself. Although the Red Ring of Death (RROD) only appeared on Xbox 360, it threatened to kill the Xbox brand and “smeared the husk” on Microsoft faces if not handled quickly.

Red Ring of Death

One of the first Red Ring of Death cases.

At that time, although the case of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica had not happened, Microsoft knew that such a communication crisis should be fixed immediately, instead of letting it “ferment”. The most important people at Microsoft: CEO Steve Ballmer , president of equipment and entertainment Robbie Bach , vice president of interactive entertainment Peter Moore met to find ways to solve the problem at a meeting in 2007. .

Peter Moore recalls that when he was sitting in front of Steve Ballmer, he was quite scared but still came up with a crazy sounding solution: spending $ 1.15 billion to recover, repair and deliver the Xbox 360 to its owner. of them. “If we don’t do this, the Xbox brand will die.” But to the surprise of Peter Moore, Steve Ballmer did not hesitate to take a second and nodded immediately.

Red Ring of Death

Peter Moore

“I will never forget that moment. If you’re an Xbox gamer, you can thank Steve Ballmer for not hesitating. If we didn’t decide at the time to try and cover the problem, Xbox and Xbox One wouldn’t exist today. ”

A sincere apology

Before embarking on regaining the trust of Xbox 360 gamers, Peter Moore felt he should apologize. He wrote a letter to all gamers, apologizing and saying that “we will be responsible and change to ensure that every Xbox 360 owner will continue to have great experiences.”

Red Ring of Death

A packing line for “timer bombs” for Microsoft.

For Microsoft, not only the Xbox360 has been sold, but also the machines lying on the shelves are also “time bombs”. To regain customer trust, the Xbox 360’s warranty period is increased from 1 year to 3 years, and will replace the machine if it is completely Red Ring of Death free of charge during that period. Even people who have to pay to repair the machine and have to pay for shipping the machine are paid by Microsoft. According to Peter Moore, $ 240 million was paid to FedEx as part of this campaign. “Their shares probably went up over the next two weeks,” he joked.

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In his apology letter, Peter Moore said that Microsoft had experimented and found a few factors that could have caused the Red Ring of Death at the time. They have taken some measures to improve the problem, but unfortunately that is not enough. Until 2009, two years after Microsoft announced that it had increased the warranty period and solved the problem, there were still gamers like Andy Phifer, with the Xbox 360 having the Red Ring of Death bug, sent to Microsoft. to fix and still get the error as soon as you get it back 3 times in a row !

Microsoft thinks it needs to tear it off and start over.

Red Ring of Death

Xbox 360 S

In 2010, after three years of repairing and exchanging new machines for customers, Microsoft revealed a completely new design: the Xbox 360 S. It has a lot of changes compared to its predecessor, from Wi-Fi support, Kinect, touch power button, and most importantly a completely redesigned set of hearts to eliminate the Red Ring of Death. . Robbie Back said that it was not until this machine came out that RROD really became a thing of the past. But many people still joke that the Xbox 360 S can not be RROD because Microsoft has … removed the ability to display the red LED around the power button of this machine.

But where is the Red Ring of Death?

The game unfortunately has to tell you that the official answer to this question has never been revealed. From the first Xbox 360 to the Red Ring of Death until the release of the Xbox 360 S, Microsoft has not once revealed a technical error that caused this problem. All they say is just a “design problem” (in the words of Robbie Bach), the end.

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Journalists and hardware experts began to dissect the Xbox 360. One of the most plausible explanations was probably Bryan Lewis, saying that Microsoft wanted to use a separate ASIC board because I designed it instead of buying from another company to save tens of millions of dollars. There is only one small problem: from the past until now, Microsoft has always been a software company and a game, not a famous hardware company. Their ASICs generated too much heat and heated surrounding components, fueling a huge $ 1.15 billion afterward.

Paul Thurrott , a technology author who once visited Microsoft, said that he saw them using three PowerMac G5 connected to each other to simulate an Xbox 360, but the Xbox 360 was just a tiny box. . When asked how Microsoft could fit the 3 PowerMac G5’s processing power inside the plastic shell, the Microsoft representative replied, “We have people who have found a way to do that,” and bared their teeth. smile like a second hand car salesman.

Xbox 360 và những chuyện chưa kể về

Pretty small Xbox 360

Although this is only an outsider’s judgment, it seems to be very reliable because in Xbox 360 S, Microsoft has relied on the support of an outside company to design a completely different ASIC board.

Expensive lesson

With the first generation of Xbox One , it was the largest console in terms of surface area that Microsoft had ever launched. So you don’t have to Google yourself, the game has helped you do that: Xbox One measures 333 x 274 x 79mm , and Xbox is 320 x 260 x 100mm . They did not want an event similar to the Red Ring of Death, and so did everything they could to let the Xbox One components breathe as comfortably as possible. It seems that they succeeded: Xbox One has never had a big problem like his brother Xbox 360, although Microsoft later reduced the console to Xbox One S and Xbox One X.

Red Ring of Death

Xbox One.

For now, both Microsoft and Sony may have temporarily postponed plans to launch a whole new generation of consoles, focusing on upgrading the existing version of existing consoles. It is unclear when we will get the Xbox 2 (or Xbox 9, Xbox 361, Xbox 720 … the game loses, it is impossible to guess how the technology firms count), but one thing is for sure if this new console is available. launched, Microsoft will do everything to avoid paying the “foolish” amount of $ 1.15 billion again.