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Geek.com investigates XBox disk scratching, Microsoft prepares response

KitGuru’s earlier story about XBox 360 disk scratching being reported by customers seems to have resonated with press and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic. Uber tech site Geek.com has now taken an interest. Here’s a quick update from KitGuru.

When you consider what you get, what it does and how little you pay for it, the modern console is a bit of a miracle. Issues to one side, you can’t really spend £150 on a PC that will give you as much as you can get from a 4GB Xbox 360 s. It really is good value.

Unfortunately, issues can occur (with any product) and they need to be dealt with. Issues which can destroy game disks costing up to £40 a time need to be nailed and eradicated, fast.

When going live with our initial report, we also contacted the appropriate people at Microsoft. We followed up again when we saw (a) how many people were posting similar stories from the KitGuru community – and (b) how the same story seems to have been repeated across many other sites.

KitGuru has now been assured that Microsoft is investigating and will come back to us shortly to clarify the situation.

We had been worried that the reported issue would be ignored, but it seems that Microsoft loves its customers a little bit more than many give them credit for and is happy to respond.

Just to be clear, things can go wrong at any time – batches can experience issues etc. What KitGuru is interested in most is the situation where someone buys a brand new XBox 360 and a Kinect device. Then, while using it properly (i.e. bouncing around like a lunatic – following Microsoft’s advice to ‘jump to it’) the vibrations seem to help cause disk scratching. If that happens, who is responsible for replacement media?

We feel fairly safe in calling ‘normal use leading to chewed disks’ a hardware issue. So it’s not the fault of the game manufacturer. It also seems unfair that the store who sold you the XBox 360 console should replace a game disk which you could have bought from another store.

Right now, it seems that the customer is being asked to foot the bill, but it’s not user error either. We’ve seen this exact question posted on the official XBox 360 forums and there seem to be quite a lot of other Kinect owners posting with similar problems. Surely that can’t be right?

With the cost of a replacement disk so high, Brett James from Geek.com is also keeping an eye on this story and how it appears to affect Kinect owners on both sides of the pond

If a similar number of disk scratching issues were found on the web regarding PCs, PlayStations or Nintendo Wii consoles, that would be one thing. But it doesn’t seem to be that uniformly experienced by customers.

KitGuru says: We have been given an assurance that a repsonse will be forthcoming shortly. We have also asked about the Wikipedia entry which seems to show that the European Commission asked Microsoft for a policy statement on this back in 2007, but no one has updated Wikipedia to way what that response was (if it was, indeed, given).

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