MS knew of disk-scratching danger on 360's even before launch

By Mel

Reading through my previous posts, I think it is pretty apparent that I have taken Microsoft to task for the shoddy quality of the Xbox 360. I am not in any way a loyal PS3 or Wii user but with money so tight right now, I won’t spring for a console that has a more than 30 percent chance of getting the dreaded RROD or, equally as common, scratching my game disks.

Even though Microsoft has already admitted to the defect on the Xbox 360 by extending the console’s warranty to three years, disk-scratching has remained a problematic thorn on the side of Xbox 360 gamers, so much so that a gamer actually filed a class action suit against Microsoft last year.

Now, new details on the case revealed that the company actually knew about the console’s ability to scratch disks even before it was officially launched in 2005. The culprit seems to be reorienting the unit while a game disk is spinning.

The more disturbing part is that three solutions were given to address the problem but all three were also rejected by the company. The first solution, to increase the magnetic force on the disk was rejected because it would intervene with the operation of the tray. Decreasing the drive rotation would increase load times, and putting bumpers on the tray would mean an additional expense that would total up to $75 million.

Microsoft’s solution was to indicate this damage potential on the manual even though it acknowledged that it would not do much because very few people read manuals.

Microsoft has said in a statement that only one-half of 1 percent complained about disk scratching. But like its initial statement about the RROD, I think the company is downplaying this again. If it’s really as small a number as they have indicated then why do establishments like EB Games sell scratch warranty on Xbox 360 games?

What about you Forever Geek Xbox 360 owners out there? Have you experienced disk scratching on your consoles?

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