If anything negative can be said of the Xbox 360â€™s first year on the market, itâ€™s the unfortunately exaggerated number of damaged consoles that have plagued gamers since its launch in 2005. Whether it was overheating or dashboard update mishaps, numerous affected owners made sure the world heard their cries of outrage, even resulting in a class-action lawsuit against the company. The consoleâ€™s paltry 90-day warranty in the U.S. and Canada certainly didnâ€™t help matters. Thankfully, the manufacturer is taking steps to rectify its biggest mistake.
Today, Microsoft announced that it is increasing the standard warranty on all Xbox 360 consoles in North America from 90 days to one year, to be consistent with the warranty length that was already standard in other territories. Every customer who experiences hardware issues within that year can have the console replaced at no cost. The retroactive move also covers all consoles that were purchased in the past.
â€œOur number one priority for the Xbox 360 is customer satisfaction,â€ said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of Global Marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.
In addition, Microsoft also plans to reimburse everyone who paid to have their hardware replaced within the first year of ownership. Checks will automatically be mailed to all affected customers, who can expect to receive their belated Christmas bonus within the next two or three months.
With a warranty in North America that finally matches the competition, a robust library of great games and the excellence of Xbox Live behind them, it looks like Microsoft is ready for a great year in 2007.