Microsoft to expand Xbox 360 warranty

The software maker will cover the game console for up to three years for certain hardware failures.

Microsoft said on Thursday that it will expand its warranty on the Xbox to three years for certain hardware failures after an investigation showed the game console can be vulnerable to problems.

"As a result of what Microsoft views as an unacceptable number of repairs to Xbox 360 consoles, the company conducted extensive investigations into potential sources of general hardware failures," Microsoft said in a statement. "Having identified a number of factors which can cause general hardware failures indicated by three red flashing lights on the console, Microsoft has made improvements to the console and is enhancing its Xbox 360 warranty policy for existing and new customers."

The company said it will cover machines that experience such failures for up to three years from the date of purchase. To cover the cost of the new policy, Microsoft said it will take a pre-tax charge of $1.05 billion to $1.15 billion in its just-ended quarter.

"The majority of Xbox 360 owners are having a great experience with their console and have from day one," Entertainment & Devices Division President Robbie Bach said in a statement. "But, this problem has caused frustration for some of our customers and for that, we sincerely apologize."

Microsoft said it will reimburse customers that have already paid for repairs for the hardware problem that is indicated by the three flashing lights.

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