If you should stumble upon this blog, please heed this missive before you buy an Xbox360. Buy the warranty in the store, or find a store to purchase your system that has a liberal return policy.
Attempting to get your system fixed once it breaks will be a nightmare, trust me. If you don't trust me, trust the countless others on messageboards around the world or on famous gaming blog sites like Kotaku, Evilavatar, or Joystick. You will find hundreds of horror stories about the customer service and the poor quality of the Xbox360.
Spare yourself what I am going through for example. My 360 broke sometime last summer, I didn't want to pay the 150 dollars to repair my unit because of the poor 90 day warranty that Microsoft had so I just held on to the system wondering what I was going to do about it. December 22, I heard that they changed their warranty policy to a year to try and cover the multitudes of broken systems that probably are pouring in along with all of the complaints of their customers. So, I decide to go ahead and try to fix it.
First they get my address wrong and send the box I need to send the machine back to them in to someone elses house. After some phone calls, I got it delivered to my work. A day later I ship it out, wait 2 weeks without ever hearing whether or not it arrived, got fixed, or anything. I eventually had to call them, found out they were shipping my machine to the wrong address and had to call UPS again and have them ship it to my work again to make sure someone didn't just steal my 400 dollar game system.
I get the system, bring it home, hook it up, and it crashes after 10 minutes of use. No game playing, just looking through the new TV options in the browser menus. Over and over it crashes. They send me a defective machine.
So I call them, they send me a new box, I send it back out, and now two weeks have gone by without a word. I check the support page on their website and it says I have no repairs pending. I email their customer service, and they say the can't tell me about repairs by email. What the hell is email customer service for then? So, right now 2 weeks have gone by, I don't know if they got my system, if they fixed it, or if it is heading back to me. No clue. Their email customer service couldn't tell me any of this, and now I have to call during business hours to find out what the fuck is going on.
Don't bother with Microsoft Customer Service. You will only be pissed off like I am and thousands of others. Buy the EB games warranty or whatever warranty you can get so you can just take it to the store, because it WILL break.
All of these people who go around talking smack on websites saying that customers like myself are lying about our problems are horribly deluded and will fall off of their high horses all the more painfully when they are put through this as well. Its not a matter of if your 360 will fail, it is a matter of when.
For the record, the only game system to ever fail me in the past was a PS2. It died after about 3 years of use, and actually worked pretty well, but I let a friend mess around with it's guts, because he thought he could give it a cleaning and dropped a screwdriver on the board and fried it with the power on (yeah i know, stupid).
Of the current gen systems, my Wii has crashed once on me. My PS3 has never crashed on me even once.
All of this is coming from a guy that has worked in the game industry for close to 13 years. I've worked on ALOT of game systems. I've never seen hardware fail as much as the 360. Had I still worked at Midway, I probably would come across bricked systems as part of my daily routine of supervising the QA department. I am curious about this actually, I might ask the guy in charge of inventory over there, but generally dev systems are different than what you and I play at home.
I'm do disappointed by this. I love the system, its games, and especially its online connectivity via xbox live. It's too bad that this house that looks so great from the outside is made of cards.