It burns, burns, burns...

Is Microsoft Kinect causing Red Ring of Death for Xbox 360?

Tags: Microsoft CorporationMicrosoft KinectMicrosoft Xbox
  • E-Mail
It burns, burns, burns... Is the software for Kinect too much for older Xboxs?
By  Mark Sutton Published  January 6, 2011

While Microsoft was busy touting eight million sales of the Kinect, and a bunch of new Kinect features at CES, the motion sensing system has been getting some user's attention for not so good reasons.

Reports have started to appear since November that the new Kinect system is causing some older Xbox 360s to fail, producing the infamous ‘Red Ring of Death' (when three red LEDs light up on the console to signal a general hardware failure, which is usually fatal for the machine).

On Microsoft support forums and other message boards, Xbox users are reporting that within minutes of plugging Kinect into their older 360 consoles (not the new slim version) the console has frozen, and in many then displayed the dreaded RRoD. Users are speculating that it may be a problem with latency/response issues with the Kinect hardware, or that the dashboard update which is applied as part of the Kinect installation was causing problems. Others have suggested that it might simply be that older consoles that haven't been used for a while have been dusted off for a game with a new Kinect, but have simply gotten dust or moisture inside the console.

For its part, Microsoft denies there is a problem, and puts it down to coincidence. The official Microsoft statement said:

"Kinect is designed to work with every Xbox 360 sold to date. There is no correlation between the three flashing red lights error and Kinect. Any new instances of the three flashing red lights error are merely coincidental."

The ‘just a coincidence explanation however, just isn't that convincing, is it? There are too many reports of well-maintained Xboxs failing within five minutes of being hooked up to Kinect. Kinect is a pretty cutting edge system, and to get it to run with the older model of Xboxs, which are notorious for hardware problems, may well put undue strain on the console.

One of the big problems is that many older models are now out of warranty, meaning players didn't get to play with their shiny new Kinect over the Christmas period, and now can't play their older Xbox games, until they go out and buy a new console, a double disappointment and double whammy to the pocket. In the name of customer loyalty, Microsoft would do well to be seen to be doing a bit more to investigate the problem than just putting it down to coincidence.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code