Microsoft has admitted that they have had complaints from owners of the new Xbox One console. The complaints involve the disc drive, with some users saying that it is making very loud noises when a disc is inserted, and more worryingly, others state that it simply does not read the inserted discs.
Although Microsoft says only a very small number of users are affected, more than 150 disgruntled users contacted the gaming site Kotaku, with some loading YouTube videos of the problem.
The new Xbox One was launched on Friday 22nd November, and the first new console from Microsoft in eight years. It proved to be the fastest and best selling console of the last decade, with over 1 million units sold in the UK and 12 other countries, in the first 24 hours. The console is now said to be sold out at most retailers, with Microsoft promising additional stock within the next few days.
In response to the number of complaints, Microsoft first issued a rather generic statement which read: “We know that with a hardware launch of this magnitude customers will have questions and we have many avenues for customers to get the answers they need and get back in the game as soon as possible. Rest assured we plan to take care of our customers. Any customer who believes they are experiencing an issue with their Xbox One should reach out to us.”
However, after the nature of the problem showed to be one of a specific nature, they issued a further statement, promising: “We’re working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange programme,” and they assured customers: “The issue is affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers.”
However this is second time that Microsoft has had to deal with problems after the launch of a new console; in 2005, after the Xbox 360 was revealed, some users complained of problems with the hardware, which led to three red lights flashing on the front of the unit. This became known as ‘the red ring of death’ to users.
Analyst Spencer Izard spoke to the BBC about launch problems: “Microsoft suffered very significant quality control problems with the early Xbox 360 consoles and has put significant effort into its hardware design and manufacturing process to minimise faults,” he added: “For launches over multiple countries the volume of manufacturing required by both Microsoft and Sony will always unfortunately yield a minor amount of hardware failures, in one form or another, and we are seeing this with this launch cycle.”
Microsoft are currently going head to head with Sony, who launched the PlayStation 4 in the US in the previous week. The two consoles are expected to be high on consumer’s Christmas lists, but each company wants to win the battle of the consoles.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 will be available to buy in the UK and Europe from 29th November, and it will be then that the real competition between the two companies will become more evident.
Microsoft are not the only company to experience launch problems however, as Sony also had to deal with technical issues with their PS4, after users complained about a continual blue flashing light on the console which affected the operation.
A spokesperson for Sony, Satoshi Nakajima, issued a statement regarding the problem that read: “[This] leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of PS4 units,” he added: “We also understand that some units were reportedly damaged during shipping.” With the PS4, it is understood that less than 1% were affected.
Mr Izard commented that due to social media and online forums, users were becoming more aware of problems nowadays than in the past, and this could lead to people making an informed decision on purchasing: “Overall, I do not believe we will see significant manufacturing problems with either the Microsoft or Sony console but due to social media the relatively few that do occur will become more apparent to those looking to purchase over this holiday season.”
If you are experiencing problems with the disc drive on your Xbox One, visit the Microsoft website.