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Xbox 360’s notorious ‘red ring of death’ has finally been explained by Microsoft

It sends shivers down the spine of gamers.

  • Microsoft has finally revealed the reason behind the Xbox 360 red ring of death
  • It seems some people were right – kind of
  • Consider this information ‘closure’

Published on Feb 15, 2024 at 7:21PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Feb 15, 2024 at 9:49PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Alessandro Renesis

While it might still be causing anxiety dreams for those over a certain age, Microsoft has at last told us what was behind the Xbox 360 red ring of death.

And it seems your suspicions might have been right all along.

For those of us who enjoyed the early days on the Xbox 360, circa 2025, the ‘red ring of death’ will still send a familiar shudder down your spine.

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Frustratingly, it meant that hours of gaming progress, memories and achievements could be lost foverever in the blink of a light.

Disappointingly it signalled that your beloved Xbox 360 consoles was effectively dead.

Only a feature on the original Xbox 360 – subsequent models, including the Xbox 360 S and Xbox 360 E, only had one visible LED.

When these models experience a problem, an error code pops up your television screen – which still isn’t a welcome sight.

It’s not dissimilar to the ‘spinning rainbow wheel of doom’ on an Apple Mac computer and Windows’ Blue Screen of Death – which many of us are, in fact, still triggered by.

Picture this: pressing on the satisfyingly large power button of the Xbox 360 should result in a welcome grren light as it whirred into action.

However, if the ‘red ring of death’ appeared in the same place then the console would fail to load properly.

For many during that gaming era – or those who still love putting the classic console through its paces – it was a real blow.

In fact, there are many vintage YouTube videos of people smashing up their assumed-broken gaming devices.

Speaking of classic, this 13-year-old boy recently became the first human to ever complete Tetris.

The reason behind the ‘red ring of death’ was finally brought to light in 2021 when Microsoft explained the phenomenon.

An entire episode of techumentary, Power On: The Story of Xbox, was devoted to it.

Former head of Xbox, Peter Moore, explained that the problem wasn’t the console overheating – which was thr commonly held assumption.

It was rather the fact that it got too hot and then cooled too quickly.

That apparently lethel chain of events put undue strain on the internal system of the original Xbox 360.

The result: the red ring of death.

“The breakthrough came when we understood that the connections that were being broken were not located on the motherboard, but they were actually located inside the components,” hardware engineer, Leo Del Castillo explained.

“The reason it was breaking was thermal, but it wasn’t because of peak temperature.

“It was because when the unit would get hot and then cold, hot and then cold, every time it did that it would stress the connection [between GPU and motherboard]”.

Consider it closure and – don’t worry – there are two new Xbox Series consoles coming in 2024 and PlayStation 6 could be coming a lot sooner than anticipated.

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