Marring a Friday night launch that has seen Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) sell over one million units of its new Xbox One, both users and the company itself are acknowledging problems with the drive on the console.
In the race between Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) and its PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s first release since 2005 in the Xbox One, both makers are hearing a litany of complaints from early purchasers.
Both consoles have their problems
In the case of the Playstation 4, which was released a week ahead of the Xbox One, users are experiencing technical issues that have a blue light continually flashing on the front of the console with others reporting that the unit is inexplicably turning itself off without prompting.
“[This] leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of PS4 units,” Satoshi Nakajima, a spokesman for Sony, told Bloomberg.
The Xbox One’s problems seem, for now, to be more significant with the disc drive making horrendous screeching noises or simply not functioning at all.
Microsoft says only a very small number of users are affected.
“The issue is affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers,” said Microsoft in a statement.
“We’re working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program.”
Unfortunately for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), they will now need to focus on exchanging these units that are experiencing problems rather than stocking the empty shelves in the twelve countries that the unit launched in on Friday. This will certainly slow down its efforts to outsell the PlayStation 4 in the all-important holiday season.
Not a new issue for Xbox users
This is not only poor timing, but deja vu for the Redmond, WA-based company. In 2005, when Microsoft launched the Xbox 360, users reported a hardware fault that saw red lights flashing on the front of the console ultimately leading to the breakdown of the machine. The press and users alike adopted the expression “red ring of death” to describe the problem.
“Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) 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,” Spencer Izard, an analyst with IDC told the BBC.
“For launches over multiple countries the volume of manufacturing required by both Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) will always unfortunately yield a minor amount of hardware failures, in one form or another, and we are seeing this with this launch cycle,” he added.
The problems, which are certainly unwelcome news to both companies, are as fixable as they are likely to be exasperated by social media sites. It was awfully difficult to tweet about a problem with the Xbox 360 in 2005.