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Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest developer of software, announced on Friday that Xbox 360 warranty will be extended to one year from 90 days earlier in the U.S. and Canada. Moreover, the company said that customers, who already got the system less than one year ago still have warranty and may repair their consoles free of charge.

Microsoft extended the warranty in Canada and the USA to be consistent with the standard one-year Xbox 360 warranty that is available throughout most of the world.

The one-year warranty is now the standard for the Xbox 360 console, according to Microsoft. Customers who experience hardware issues with their Xbox 360 within one year of purchase can have their consoles repaired at no cost. Moreover, the new warranty policy is retroactive, so consumers who may have already paid for an out-of-warranty Xbox 360 repair within one year of purchase will be eligible for reimbursement of their console repair charges. Reimbursements will be automatically distributed, so customers need not contact Microsoft.

The extension of the warranty follows a scandal with buggy update for the Xbox 360, which caused malfunction of game consoles of some users. Moreover, the main rival of the Xbox 360 game console – the PlayStation 3 – comes with longer warranty.

Sony PlayStation 3 game console has one year limited warranty, while Nintendo Wii is also backed by one year warranty. Both PlayStation 3 and Wii compete against Microsoft Xbox 360.

“Customer satisfaction is a central focus and priority for the Xbox 360 system. In addition to jaw-dropping features such as high-definition graphics, an amazing catalog of over 160 games, and social online and entertainment experiences on Xbox Live, the Xbox 360 system now offers this extended warranty upgrade. It is truly the industry’s most compelling home entertainment offering,” said Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of Global Marketing for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.

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