The Xbox One’s borked disc drive is a real problem, Microsoft has admitted, but has stressed it only affects a “very small number” of consoles.
Xbox fans who bought the new machine this weekend quickly took to YouTube, gaming forums and Amazon reviews bemoaning the broken Blu-ray drive, which sounds “like a robot vomiting”, according to one particularly vexed Amazon user.
“The issue is affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in statement to CNET. “We’re working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange programme. Rest assured, we are taking care of our customers.”
The console, which went on sale on Friday, outsold its predecessor the Xbox 360’s launch weekend by two to one here in the UK, according to sales monitoring group GfK Chart-Track. It’s believed to have sold more than 1 million units, closely matching its rival the PlayStation 4.
While launch day stock has sold out across the country, Microsoft’s Phil Harrison promised there would be more ‘boxes on shop shelves before Christmas.
The PS4, which is £80 cheaper, goes on sale in the UK this Friday, two weeks after its North American launch. Amazon has been sitting on thousands of consoles in its warehouse in Milton Keynes for over a week, taunting us with their unplayability.
Sony’s console hasn’t been without its own troubles, with widespread reports of a ‘Blue Light of Death’ heralding the PS4’s demise. Sony maintains less than 1 per cent of consoles are affected and has blamed damage caused by shipping, rather than a manufacturing fault.
“There was substantial concern some months ago that the fact that the Xbox One has three interlaced operating systems would cause the software to be unstable,” says industry analyst Richard Windsor. “My research found that there was a massive effort on Microsoft’s part to stabilise the software prior to launch but in the scramble, the hardware seems to have been overlooked.
“Hardware defects are far easier to rectify than software,” Windsor adds, “and so Microsoft looks to have made the right choice in prioritising the software development.”
How’s your Xbox One getting along? Are you glad you didn’t pre-order either console, or desperate to get your hands on your PS4? Let me know where you stand down in the comments, or over on our strictly neutral Facebook page.