Here's what happened; a little while ago this little company called SquareTrade, which said it was responsible for issuing warranties for Xbox 360s, announced the failure rate for the console as 16 percent. Microsoft, embarrassed and embittered obviously, promptly came back and asked who the hell SquareTrade was.
Microsoft claimed never to have heard of SquareTrade and said that therefore the reliability and methodology of such a report was suspect.
Now though, SquareTrade has revealed the methodology behind it's testing and broken down the figures for Microsoft. Nice of them, innit?
Apparently the company bases it's figures on a case study of 1040 Xbox 360 consoles which were all sold between April and July of 2007. Of those 1040, 171 consoles failed and 102 of those failures were caused by the dreaded red ring of death.
Other common errors and failures for the console included video cards failinging, HDD freezes and disc read errors.
SquareTrade also notably points out that because the figures don't count consoles returned directly to Microsoft then the failure rate is probably higher than the 16 percent rate they've seen.
Have you ever had an Xbox 360 fail on you? Let us know in the forums