So far the Xbox 360 has had its fair share of hardware problems, both large and small, and while Microsoft has dealt with most of these challenges by extending warranties and offering up free fixes, it usually takes its own sweet time to come around, which seems to be the case here. After completely ignoring a minor public outcry over what appeared to be a problem with a decent number of the 360s produced in December 2006 -- where a missing part in the drive caused the Xbox to scratch the disc it was reading -- Microsoft is finally confessing that there might actually be a problem and promising to look into it. This statement comes after Dutch TV show "Kassa" gave the movement some PR and ran its own tests on the 360, proving it to be the scratching culprit. Microsoft's still pretty wishy-washy about the whole thing: "We are not able to respond in detail on the results. It is possible that scratches on discs originate from frequent use. However, we have no indication that the results of the tests from Kassa are a large scale problem." But at least now Microsoft is willing to hear out customer complaints on the matter, and recommends that affected users contact support to deal with the issue. We're not quite sure what kind of pyrotechnics it'll take for Microsoft to actually run its own tests on these things, but at least things are moving in the right direction.

[Via gadgetzone.nl]

Update: Microsoft hit us with its actual statement on the matter, since a bit of the meaning got lost in translation. The truth is a bit more encouraging: "Due to the fact that we did not participate in the experiment done by Kassa and have little insight into the methodology that was used, we cannot comment specifically on the outcome. While we are aware that discs can potentially be scratched through normal wear and tear, we have not received any widespread reports of the issue highlighted here. There are millions of Xbox consoles in use today and we know that the majority of our customers are having a great gaming experience. That said, it is important to us that all of our customers have the best gaming experiences possible, and these claims are obviously very concerning to us. We encourage any Xbox customer who believes that their discs have been scratched in the same manner as identified by KASSA, to contact us at www.xbox.com/supportor 1-800-4-MY-XBOX for additional information. We will examine the console and make appropriate repairs if necessary in order to restore the console to full working order, as well as provide customers with information on how to obtain replacement discs should they need them."

Toshiba intros line of portable hard drives