When a new video game platform comes out, there are problems. Whether the issue is games freezing, sound problems, Internet connection or compatibility issues, gamers and consumers can spend hours sorting out these difficulties.
Now, Microsoft appears to have taken a step in the right direction to lessen these issues for users of its Xbox 360. On Dec. 22, the Redmond, Wash., company announced that it will change the Xbox 360s warranty from 90 days to one year from the date of purchase in the U.S. and Canada.
By expanding its warranty offer from 90 days to one year, Microsoft will give its North American customers the same guarantees and hardware protection the company already offers to Xbox 360 users in other parts of the world.
Microsoft officials could not be immediately reached for comment about the announcement. The company has said that there have been ongoing issues and problems with some of the hardware used in the Xbox 360.
In September, Microsoft told IGN Entertainment online that there were problems with many of the consoles that were made before Jan. 1, 2006. As a result, the company offered refunds to customers who had already paid for repairs.
With the new warranty extension, Microsoft has promised customers who have already paid out-of-warranty repair charges within the first year of owning an Xbox 360 that they will receive reimbursements within 10 weeks.
Microsoft is not the only console maker experiencing problems with hardware. PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii are also having issues with their platforms such as sound, compatibility and Internet connections. As a result, Sony and Nintendo have also offered expanded warranties as way to address the concerns of their own customers.
IGN reported in November that the PS3 was having compatibility issues when it comes to running select PlayStation 2 titles such as Tekken 5, Devil May Cry and Gran Turismo.
IGN has also reported that there have been hardware problems with PS3, such as physical memory cards, multitaps and USB specifications, which have created problems when trying to use PS2 games on the PS3.
In order to fix these problems, IGN reports that Sony plans to make hard disk-based PS2 games compatible in a future system software update.
Users of the Nintendo Wii have also been reporting issues with their platforms on the Nintendo Wii Chat Web site, such as the Wiimote disconnecting, problems with the Internet connection, sound issues and the system freezing on the screen.
One Wii user wrote of problems with the consoles sound.
"After playing for a bit, the audio goes full FUZZ. Static if you will," the user, who goes by the name CasopoliS, wrote on the site.