When the Xbox 360 first made its appearance, it looked like a clear winner was in the offing. Not only were there more games on hand, but the system actually cost significantly less than its competitor, the PlayStation 3
. But the triumph didn't last long as the greatest horror Xbox gaming had ever seen arrived on the scene in the red ring of death phenomenon.
The good news here, however, is that Microsoft
seems to have learned its lesson from the Xbox 360's disastrous past. The Xbox One may not be shipping until November, but some new details have arrived showing that the Xbox One will be much less likely to fail than its earlier-model counterpart. The issues in question trail back to a combination of power cycling problems and a packaging issue, according to chip analyst Kevin Krewell, which had the chip running hot, and in turn, led to the three red arcs that indicated a costly, catastrophic system failure. The new system, however, is likely to better regulate heat and head off many of the same potential issues.
It didn't help that, according to reports, Microsoft pushed hard to get the Xbox 360 out the door, to the point where viable yields suffered significantly, causing a variety of failures. But with the new design, the end result here should be a much more durable overall model that runs cooler and is thereby less likely to fail. Indeed, the company has even had an opportunity to see how the console will perform, which led in turn to a few other changes, like a rewritten driver that takes out PC-only features and makes it optimized for the Xbox One.
This is a good result for Microsoft, who needs a home run right out of the gate. It's already coming from behind following a disastrous E3 in which it was forced to backpedal through much of its original plans; the absolute last thing it needs is another “Red Ring of Death
” controversy to kick in and destroy the momentum it's been building of late.
This particular part of the console wars may well be one of the tightest races to date, with much of Microsoft's early lead from the Xbox 360 lost to the missteps at E3. But with a bit of a recovery in progress for Microsoft, it may well be that Microsoft can recover and get back the position it so desperately needs to keep it viable. Only time will tell how it all comes out, but it's going to be an event to watch in the meantime.