As of today, all Xbox 360 consoles are covered by an enhanced warranty program to address specifically the general hardware failures indicated by the three flashing red lights on the console. This applies to new and previously-sold consoles. While we will still have a general one year console warranty (two years in some countries), we are announcing today a three-year warranty that covers any console that displays a three flashing red lights error message. If a customer has an issue indicated by the three flashing red lights, Microsoft will repair the console free of charge—including shipping—for three years from the console’s purchase date. We will also retroactively reimburse any of you who paid for repairs related to problems indicated by this error message in the past.
If I'm reading this right I should get my $140 back, which goes a ways towards making me happier. Of course, I still have a 1st generation system (my current system - the 3rd unit I've owned is OLDER than my original purchased unit), and I got mine what a month before they started putting an additional heat sink in. This all leads me to believe that my 3rd one will croak eventually as well.
So everyone who weighed in my last "I hate Microsoft" post saying I should expect such service - you're wrong :-) Make no mistake about it, this change happened because some European countries were considering slapping Microsoft with some sort of "lemon law" due to the 360 failures. And that only happened because enough people made a stink, such that Microsoft could no longer claim it was "business as usual".
Of course, the DRM situation is still fucked - all those Live Arcade titles become locked. I predicted in the comments of that post that it will continue to worsen until Microsoft does something about the DRM policy. I still stand by that prediction. As more first-wave consoles get the Red Ring of Death, more people will become impacted by the DRM policy, and it will become a bigger and bigger deal. Now I just need to get the EU involved and we'll see a fix ;-)
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