Mandatory Xbox 360 Update Breaks Some Consoles, Microsoft Claims 'Coincidence'

Last week’s exciting Kinect Dashboard update for Xbox 360 consoles didn’t just ask users to waive their right to sue and make customers pay to be advertised to. It also appears to have caused problems with a number of consoles. Nothing major: it just keeps them from reading any discs…no, wait, that is major. Microsoft representatives say that this is a coincidence, and that customers with freshly broken consoles need to send them in for repair for $100 or so.

Reader JC writes:

I had hoped to catch up on my gaming as work winds down for the holidays. Especially since I had received almost $200 worth of games for my birthday that remain unopened because I have been too busy to play. However, after the last dashboard update my Xbox has stopped working properly.

I updated my Xbox just after finishing playing some Assassin’s Creed Revelations last Tuesday, December 7. Update downloaded successfully and I did not notice any issues, until I tried to pick my game back up last Saturday, December 10. At this point, I noticed my Xbox would not read any discs, prompting me to “open tray” no matter what disc (brand new and freshly opened game, dvds, and my entire game library). I turned to Xbox’s support website to see if there was any trouble shooting I could do and found no relief.

The update was mandatory and had revised user agreement with a “no class action lawsuit clause.” Since the update, my Xbox has been gathering dust being unable to read any game discs or DVDs. I am not the only victim of this problem. Over a hundred other users have been experiencing this same problem. See the Xbox forums.

Since this problem came, I have tried reaching out to Microsoft via twitter (Microsoft responses) and via email. In both instances, the solution they suggested to me (as well as others on the forum thread above) was that my console suffered from a hardware failure and needs to be sent in for repair. My console is a Xbox360 Slim that I bought last summer, and the warranty just recently lapsed. I have never had any issues with my console or any updates prior to this latest update and I find it a little frustrating that the offered solution to me is to shell out $100 out of pocket for repairs. Moreover it would seem I am not the only one plagued with this problem. In fact as I went through the support forums many other users are having problems much more dire, in some instances resulting in a bricked console.

JC isn’t even the only Consumerist tipster with this problem. John has experienced the same issue with his son’s Xbox, which is unfortunate because he was planning to get his son some cool Kinect games for Christmas. He wrote, in part:

I called Microsoft and after 6 hours on the phone with them over 4 calls it still does not work. I did everything but buy a new kinect to get it to work as they suggested. The final resolution was to send it in for servicing and it would cost me $90.

It worked fine the day before the update and they want me to pay to have it fixed. When I told this to one of their reps they said that he knows about the problem because he has gotten alot of calls about it but there was nothing that he could do about the charge. So here it is a week and a half to Christmas with a paperweight for a kinect.

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