Ready for some numbers this morning? Some scary, scary numbers for Xbox 360 gamers? Game Informer, current king of the smoldering ruins of the print gaming magazine empire, polled about 5,000 of its readers to get a feel for their gaming experiences, including just how many of them had unlocked the fabled "Red Ring of Death" achievement. We'd heard estimates ranging from 16 to 30 percent, but even the most pessimistic guesses don't line up with the survey's findings of a staggeringly high 54.2 percent failure rate. That's five times higher than the PS3's 10.6 percent, with the Wii coming in at 6.8 percent. Mind you, the Xbox 360 was the most played console, with over 40 percent of Xbox gamers button mashing for three to five hours a day, compared to 37 percent of PS3 gamers, and less than an hour's worth of gaming per day for 41.4 percent of Wii owners. However, game consoles should be designed to shrug off marathon sessions and just keep on spewing polygons, something that the first revisions of Microsoft's baby obviously couldn't manage.
That said, there are some problems with this survey; as far as we can tell there was no verification made that respondents actually own the consoles that they indicated they did, and we all know how people like having fun at Microsoft's expense. Also, the survey was naturally only of readers of the magazine itself, who don't necessarily line up with the gaming world at large. But, it's impossible to deny there's truth in these numbers. Indeed, it's hard not to think they're too low, as you'll be hard-pressed to find an original Xbox 360 that hasn't thrown up the three-light salute. Even so, there's nothing to be proud of in Sony's 10.6 percent failure rate, or even Nintendo's 6.8, particularly given that system's relative lack of attention. All are much higher than the three percent most consumer electronics companies strive for -- and that Microsoft initially (incorrectly) claimed its console was managing.