The Red Ring of Death might be a term that immediately sends shivers down your spine. It could be argued as one of the biggest hardware malfunctions in the history of video games. Despite the prevalence of those blinking lights of death, we tend to overlook the significance of how Microsoft salvaged a massive blunder.
Stop Skeletons From Fighting decided to look back at the Red Ring in a 28 minute long video. In the channel’s Past Mortem series, the topic this week was the RRoD and the history of the error. The Red Ring was a constant fear for early 360 owners and caused understandable ill will to the Xbox brand. Yet Microsoft’s response and goodwill saved the Xbox.
In the video, SSFF takes excerpts from interviews and news stories surrounding the now infamous “General Hardware Failure”. Peter Moore was the face of the Red Ring serving as the a head of Microsoft at the time. Moore has had an illustrious career in the video game world and stands as one of the figureheads across generations. In 2015, the Xbox 360 had its 10th anniversary that year and some members of the team were looking back at the beloved console.
IGN’s Podcast Unlocked’s Episode 201 featured Phil Spencer (the current head of Xbox), Seamus Blackley (the creator of Xbox) and finally Moore himself who what head of EA Sports at the time of interview. Moore, as one of the heads of the Xbox brand at the time of the RRoD was asked about the behind the scenes. Below is the excerpt on Moore’s memory of those three terrifying red lights:
As someone who had three different 360’s succumb to the RRoD, it will always stick with me. Hardware failures occur and often times it falls to the unlucky. The Red Ring was something much worse where the odds were way too high for comfort. What should have been the 360’s coffin was turned around due to Microsoft taking a financial sacrifice. The PR move might have caused a loss for Microsoft but ultimately saved the Xbox. It stands as the greatest comeback in terms of consoles.