A mandatory firmware update has the unintended side-effect of breaking certain Xbox 360 consoles.
If your Xbox 360 has been having trouble with game discs, you might want to blame Microsoft. The console manufacturer has acknowledged that a recent firmware update has essentially bricked the disc reader on a small number of Xbox 360s, and they’ve already offered to replace any defective platforms.
“Following a recent update to our system software, we have become aware of an issue that is preventing a very small number of Xbox 360 owners from playing retail game discs,” said Microsoft in a statement. “This issue manifests itself as a unique 'disc unreadable' or 'disc unsupported' error on the screen and is unrelated to our recent public beta. We are also able to detect this issue over Xbox LIVE and are proactively reaching out to customers that may be impacted to replace their console.”
Microsoft will replace any affected Xboxes with a brand new 250 GB Xbox 360 S and directs people to their customer support website to “verify if the console has been impacted.” The offending firmware update was supposedly designed to combat piracy and prepare the Xbox 360 for the new XGD3 disc format.
While part of me wonders how the hell Microsoft could have built an Xbox 360 firmware update that breaks the Xbox 360, I have to give them credit for dealing with the problem in an expedient and consumer-friendly fashion. Sending away for a new console is a bit of an inconvenience, but if Microsoft is willing to cover the costs, you can’t really expect much more from the company.