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Nintendo Wii is not only the most successful new-generation video game console, but also the most reliable one, according to SquareTrade, an aftermarket warranty provider. Meanwhile, Microsoft Xbox 360 is the least reliable device. While Sony PlayStation 3 is not as reliable as Wii, it fails considerably less frequently than its arch-rival, the study claims.

According to SquareTrade, during the first two years of ownership, 2.7% of Wii owners reported a system failure to the service provider, compared with 10% of PlayStation 3 owners and 23.7% of Xbox 360 owners. In fact, even excluding the infamous “Red Ring of Death” failures, which are covered by Microsoft’s 3-year warranty, 11.7% of Xbox 360 owners reported a failure.

The most common types of problems seen with the PS3 and Xbox 360 were disc read errors and output issues. The Wii had more power and remote control issues than the other 2 systems.

SquareTrade noted that while the Red Ring of Death (RROD) problem continued to be a major problem for Xbox 360s purchased before late 2008 (based on Xenon, Zephyr, Falcon and Opus designs), it showed signs of finally abating with the introduction of the latest Jasper design in late 2008.

According to a report by Nielsen market tracking agency, the Xbox 360 is the most used video game system. The report says that end-users utilize Xbox 360 for 1191 minutes per month by an average consumer, the PlayStation 3 is not too far behind: it is used for 1053 minutes per month by an average gamer. Meanwhile, Nintendo Wii is used only for 516 minutes per month by an average casual customer.

As a result of completely different usage models, it should be noted that PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 wear out considerably more and faster compared to Wii. Still, the PS3 is still considerably more reliable in many terms compared to its main rival.

This analysis examines customer reported failure data on “over” 16 000 game consoles purchased by SquareTrade customers over the past two years. The service company only included malfunctions from normal usage, and excluded any claims for damage caused by accidents. It should be stressed that SquareTrade did not reveal the split between PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii among the reported 16 thousands. Potentially, this could seriously affect the results.

Tags: Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Xbox, Wii, Playstation, Failures, squaretrade, Jasper

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