Xbox Live Marketplace DRM problems with replacement 360s RRS feed

  • Question

  • You've probably doubtless read in countless other stories about how Microsoft has been having problems with a lot of Xbox 360s dying with the "red rings of death".

    In the last few weeks I've heard of at least 3 of the units owned by friends succumbing to this fate.

    As far as I can tell, it's caused by a failure of the thermal material Microsoft has been using to connect the heat-sinks to the processors, although Microsoft hasn't really given much information on what is causing the issue or what they are doing to prevent it from happening on more recently released Xbox 360s.

    Microsoft has been pretty good about repairing/replacing 360s that have died this way, even if they are out of warranty and is even paying for shipping both ways now.

    Problem is that their DRM system is borked when it comes to getting a replacement 360 as you can read on my friend Travis' blog here.

    For some reason, Microsoft decided to tie Live Marketplace purchases to your Live account and to your Xbox as opposed to your hard drive. So whenever you get a replacement unit, you have to call them to get credits in order to repurchase all of the content that you had previously bought.

    As you can read from Travis' blog, this can take quite a while in some cases depending on how many games, movies and other content that you've purchased.

    This is nuts.

    I've written before about other problems that the Xbox Live service has with how it's very difficult, if not impossible, to disassociate a credit card from your Live account once you've linked it to your account, which from a personal privacy and security standpoint is completely mental.

    Xbox Live is such a cool thing and generally done so well that it really is painful when you run into these sorts of problems. And there's really no good reason for things being this way, other than Microsoft and content creators wanting control over the content that we PAY for.

    But when you put the combination of Xbox 360s dying at an alarming rate and the inordinate pain you have to go through to get your system working again as you PAID for it to work, it really just makes one not want to buy content from Xbox Live Marketplace.

    You have to do better than this Microsoft if you want to be a winner in the console wars.

    Heck, Microsoft as a company at large can't really afford to keep having PR problems like this.

    Saturday, April 28, 2007 1:24 PM