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Ring of disc death (Xbox 360 annoyance #008)

Vladimir Cole

Since our first experience with the Xbox 360 disc-scratching issue, numerous anecdotal reports from around the game-o-sphere have given us a better feel for the conditions under which the issue occurs. This is a wrap-up of those issues and of the annoyance:

  • vertical orientation alone does not scratch DVDs

  • horizontal orientation alone does not scratch DVDs

  • movement of the Xbox 360 during play scratches DVDs

    • movement could be someone running through the house and sending shocks to the system through your floorboards

    • movement is often done on purpose when friends try to show friends the cool way in which the ring of light reorients itself with its fancy mercury switch

    • movement is often accidental, as when annoying controller cables are tripped over in the dark, jarring the Xbox 360

    • sometimes, people just get sick of poorly designed boss fights, and kick their Xbox 360s in frustration

    • and sometimes, customers are committing fraud by purposefully destroying games that have been played to completion so that they can be exchanged for store credit that is used to purchase new games

This annoyance falls into the "so annoying we want to kick the family pet" category. I have moved various home electronics devices while they were spinning DVDs and audio CDs and not once have I hosed a media disc so thoroughly. I regularly move my laptop while its hard disk and DVD drives are spinning, and no damage has occurred yet. Sure, a console is meant to be stationary, but if fault tolerance is the norm amongst home consumer electronics devices, it should be the norm for the Xbox 360 as well because customers have come to expect that base level of fault tolerance.

We understand that no product is perfect, but we challenge ourselves here at Joystiq to make sure that we don�t lose our ability to think critically about the products that we review. To fall in love with any product would be an unforgivable sin that would undermine the quality of the writing that we bring to you every day.

As much fun as we�re having with it right now, the Xbox 360 has some flaws and some issues that annoy us that we�re cataloging through a series of posts, one by one. Because the first five posts in the series really ruffled some fanboy feathers, we need to remind readers that Sony and Nintendo will each get the same treatment once we get our hands on their next-gen consoles.

Previously catalogued Xbox 360 annoyances: 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007.

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