Console hardware problems we can never forget

Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death

The Xbox One X is new hardware and while it is exciting to own and play on, there is always this fear that new hardware might lead to some nasty issues when used.

We don’t know what we are getting ourselves into when we buy new things and history has shown that sometimes we cannot rely on new tech.

Here are some examples of tech that just failed to work as intended, sometimes so bad that they had to launch plans to recall them.

PlayStation 2 Slim

If you thought the Xbox 360 was bad and had the highest failure rate then think again. The PlayStation 2 was actually a problem during its lifetime especially when it came to its second generation model, the PlayStation 2 Slim. This tiny console suffered from some unfortunate DVD drive issues where the device would fail to read discs and the lens would give up the ghost.

Some gamers went through at least one console a year due to its hardware failure and delicate design. The flip-top disc cover stopped locking into place, and the DVD drive failed to load games.

We all know the feeling of waiting for that “PlayStation 2” logo to appear, anxiety hoping that your drive has not failed on you.

According to reports, the console had at least a 2% failure rate which dropped over time, especially when Sony released the last slim model. Still, if you had a PS2 Slim and it lasted throughout its life cycle then you were extremely lucky.

PlayStation 3 Phat 80GB Model

While Xbox 360 consoles were being hammered and driven over by its angry owners, PS3 owners thought they were immune to hardware failures. They were wrong. The original PS3 80GB model might have been able to play PS2 games, but if you were unlucky it was not able to play anything due to the infamous Yellow Light of Death.

This issue was caused by the thin layer of thermal paste on the console not being enough to last a good few years.

After a while, the paste would wear off and it would cause the console to hit a high temperature on the chips and then freeze and switch off. Users then would be unable to boot the console up due to the hardware check that is done as soon as you pressed the “on” button, failing to proceed due to the issue on the board.

The phat PS3 would then be as good as a paperweight as it would be able to do nothing at all until you sent it in for repairs. Unfortunately, the issue was much more common than we all thought and even repairs would be a temporary fix.

The PS3’s hardware failure rate was as high as 10% at one stage of its lifecycle.


The Nintendo Wii was an awesome console that had some of the best games in history release on it. It, however, was not without its faults. Throughout its lifecycle, Nintendo struggled with some nasty hardware problems mainly due to the console’s lack of future-proof build.

Two issues came to light when the console was on the market. The first one was WiiConnect24, a service that allowed the Wii to stay connected to the internet while the console was on standby caused a number of launch consoles to brick, rendering them completely unusable.

The second issue was when Nintendo released the first wave of dual-layered DVD games that needed the second layer to fit more data onto it. Almost every Wii had issues reading these discs due to the dirt on the lens that built up over time.

Nintendo launched a program to repair Wii consoles and also offer free lens-cleaning kits if your console would not read the disc. Problem was that Super Smash Bros Brawl was one of the first games to make use of the disc so it was not good publicity for the game’s launch at all.



The original Xbox was a pretty great console with almost no issues at all unless you bought the launch models. Throughout the console’s life, Microsoft struggled with piracy as modders would install third-party chips into the console to allow the disc drive to read copied games.

To counter this, Microsoft released a few DVD-Rom revisions that were harder to mod.

The issue here is that earlier consoles were made with a less reliable DVD-Rom so not only were they vulnerable to failure but they but they were also unable to read newer discs due to the tech behind the discs that created them being mastered for the better, more anti-piracy proof DVD-Roms.

They were also cheaper and had been prone to jamming shut. Microsoft repaired these earlier consoles but chances are you would have bought a new one due to the unreliability of the launch batch anyway.

Xbox 360

Last but not least is the infamous Xbox 360 that had the highest failure rate of all consoles in history. The infamous Red Ring of Death will haunt Microsoft for all time as it was reported that almost 68 out of 100 consoles suffered from this technical issue.

No one knows what caused it, and Microsoft has never come clean about what it could have been the culprit, but if you had the ring of death then your Xbox 360 was bricked and useless. The failure of the console was limited to the launch units and cost Microsoft $1.15 billion to fix.

This included FedEx collecting your console in an Xbox 360 coffin, the repairs and delivery.

The issues did not end there though as while Microsoft was facing the RROD, gamers started to complain about scratched discs coming out of their Xbox 360s.

If you moved your console while the disc was inside then it would scratch the disc due to the lack of mechanisms inside the console to keep the disc in place. It got worse when discs started to scratch by themselves with movement at all too. It was a cost cut that caused this as Microsoft stated that if they included a buffer it would have put up the price by 25 percent and if they decreased the spin, games would take longer to load.

Microsoft then launched a disc replacement program to fix the scratched games.

Since then Microsoft ships all consoles with a sticker warning users of the possible disc damage if you were to move the console when it is on. A nice way to avoid any lawsuits from this issue.

Now read: Razer unveils new water-resistant keyboard

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Console hardware problems we can never forget

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