Top 5 Xbox 360 "Fails"

Like any other game console, the Xbox 360 has had its successes and its failures, but some of its shortcomings have just been unforgivable. This article expands on some of its greatest failures, and is meant to pair with Top 5 Takedown’s previous article, Top 5 PS3 Fails, because both consoles deserve some scrutiny by the clearly divided gaming public.

Now, this list may seem self-explanatory to many, as a lot of the missteps that Microsoft has made with the 360 have been widely publicized, but it’s important to take a look at these problems in conjunction with each other to get some perspective, as well as to see what Microsoft could possibly do better going into the future. Obviously, Natal is certainly an effort at expanding the Xbox 360 customer base, but will it succeed where the 360 alone has not? Let’s take a look back at the console’s history to see what mistakes should NOT be repeated.


5. Dual-layer DVDs

Yes, it’s true that Blu-ray is Sony’s own proprietary optical format, so it would be difficult for Microsoft, a direct competitor, to support the high-capacity discs early in the HD-DVD/Blu-ray format war. But still, one had to expect that at least one of the new types of media would catch on, and with the full support of a brand new videogame console, Blu-ray became that winner. In the modern era of HD content, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Blu-ray was the smart route for Sony, and that Microsoft missed out, especially once HD-DVD dropped out of the race. I mean, 8.5 GB of dual-layer DVD space vs. 25 or 50 GB of Blu-ray space seems an easy choice to me.

tv web browsing

4. No Internet Browser

This wasn’t really a problem to begin with, but became more and more apparent with the increased success of the PS3, and eventually with the Wii. Overall, the PS3 functions a little more like a computer, but its internet browsing capabilities really brought websites to the TV screen. This was a revolutionary change that computer-assist devices had been unable to really capitalize on before, and the 360 absolutely should have been able to deliver in that way. Even the Wii has a legitimate Internet browser these days! The Wii! C’mon, Microsoft, this one should have been a no-brainer.

youre in the movies

3. You’re in the Movies

The failure of this title is also really the failure of the 360’s first experiment with a game-compatible camera. For anyone unfamiliar with this title, You’re in the Movies asks players to stand in front of their TV’s and pretend to be in B-movie scenes which the camera can record and play back for you. It was a solid idea to begin with, but the execution is pretty atrocious. Here’s what some reviewers had to say (Review snippets taken from Metacritic):

GameSpot – You’re in the Movies is a box-office bust, despite featuring your own recognizable stars.

IGN – The pacing is bad, the activities are boring, the Vision Camera is an annoyance and handcuffs the entire experience, and the payoff for all of your hardships isn’t fulfilling in the slightest.

Eurogamer – People don’t live in movie studios. They live in houses and flats that are lit for comfort, not to fulfill the technical requirements of an aging webcam. If you really want to put yourself and your friends on the TV, leave this failed experiment on the shelf, and put the money towards a digital camcorder instead.

xbox live money

2. Paying for Xbox Live Gold

You know what really grinds my Gears? Seriously, this is such an egregious wrong-doing on the part of Microsoft to their "valued customers." $50+ dollars a year? If they really need the money to provide the service, then Sony would be charging as well. But they aren’t. I could see the charge being worth it if there were tons of extra features on XBL that became available by being a Gold member, but everything the gamer gets for their yearly penance to Microsoft amounts to exactly what Sony offers FOR FREE. In my opinion, if you’re going to charge that kind of dough, you have to make up for it in some way. I’m still waiting.

star wars red ring of death

1. Failure rate at 54.2%

This is almost certainly the greatest failure in the 360’s history, but there’s some interesting information to go along with it. First of all, though the PS3 has a significantly lower failure rate (I think somewhere around 10%) and higher ranked, faster customer service, the Xbox 360 continues to outsell the PS3. Why is that? Well according to a study done by Game Informer, only just under 4% of 360 gamers said that the console failures (affecting over half of them) would cause them to not buy another Xbox system. Wow. That’s some dedication. Granted the rate of 54.2% is slightly inflated due to the longer hours of console usage the 360 gets over other consoles, but still. As an Xbox 360 owner (who, by the way, has experienced those fabled red rings), I’m appalled and impressed by the ability of this console to fail so hard and still do so well.


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Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

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