Xbox One launch day hardware issues abound, but fortunately no sign of the red ring of death yet

Xbox 720/One, with the red ring of death

After the absurd and complicated roller coaster ride of the Xbox 180 pre-launch debacle, the Xbox One is finally finding its way into the living rooms of consumers. While many users are happily channel surfing and playing with their Xbox Ones, some users are hitting major issues. From faulty Blu-ray drives to unexplained buzzing to iPhone-like scuffs, the Xbox One launch is far from perfect. Hopefully, these failures don’t turn out to be an issue on par with the Xbox 360′s now-infamous red ring of death.

By far, the Xbox One’s most obnoxious day-one issue is the broken Blu-ray drives shipped to a number of consumers. When a disc is inserted, you’re not greeted with a nice loading screen or even a sad-faced error message. Instead, all you get is a shrill clicking noise announcing to the world that your shiny new console is broken. It’s almost as if the drive itself is mocking you, really.

Not to be outdone, this video shows an Xbox One making an eery buzzing noise without any explanation. Did something come loose inside the case? Is the fan scraping something? Nobody knows for sure quite yet, but I know I couldn’t stand to listen to this YouTube video for more than a few seconds before I had to shut it off.

Some forum denizens over at Neowin have reported that some Xbox One models are being received with noticeable scuff marks. Long streaks, missing hunks of plastic, and ugly dings leave the console looking like it lost a fight in a pub parking lot. Actually, this seems very familiar to Apple’s iPhone 5 “scuffgate,” so it’s not hard to believe that a high-profile device like this could ship in such a banged-up state.

Xbox One Scuff

Infuriatingly, some users have had problems connecting to the servers to pull-down the Xbox One’s day-one patch. While this hasn’t been directly attributed to a hardware issue, it’s quite frustrating nonetheless. This time last week, I couldn’t connect to PSN at all on my PS4, so my console was effectively useless for a few hours. Connectivity issues will vary wildly based on network setup and server load, but we can expect this problem to solve itself after launch-day traffic dies down.

Keep in mind, it’s still too early to tell how wide-spread these issues are. Some failures are absolutely unavoidable for a consumer electronics launch of this scale, but we have a valid reason to be wary. After the huge number of broken units last generation, Microsoft is being watched under a microscope. Worse, I’ve heard reports of Microsoft support phone queues extending past two hours today, so getting help will be a real chore if you do run into a problem. These issues aren’t reason enough to panic just yet, but holding out on your next-gen purchases for a few months wouldn’t be a terrible idea.

Now read: Blue light of death: Is the PS4 the next Xbox 360, or is the web blowing it out of proportion?

[Image credit: Neowin]


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