Xbox 360 launch marred by unit stability problems

Microsoft's Xbox 360 launch hasn't exactly been the smoothest-running event ever. Overall reviews and game impressions have been strong, but a tremendous supply shortage has kept the kept the unit out of the hands of even people who pre-ordered it months ago. Microsoft denies that the shortage was artificially created, but it's still not a situation that'll win the company any friends. Shortages, however, may be the least of Microsoft's problems. Early reports coming in from Xbox 360 purchasers may indicate that a number of units are defective, with some overheating and crashing right out of the box.

Screenshots are available at Xbox-Scene, and a video of the crash can be downloaded here. Coverage is also available at 1UP and Ars, for those of you who want to stay abreast of the situation. Remember, however, that there's no proof that the Xbox 360 has a widespread problem or issue. Not only will a certain percentage of products always be defective, but those numbers could be inflated thanks to rushed shipping and improper vendor handling. The Xbox 360 launch was a long-awaited, much-hyped event, which means those users who do end up taking home a broken product are going to be pretty darn angry about it.

Hopefully there's no real issue here. A major defect at launch could not only tarnish the console's reputation, it could make purchasing one that much more difficult, as Microsoft would (probably) have to allocate new units to replace defective ones, rather than putting them on store shelves.

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