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Xbox One disc drive defect nets you a free launch game

Microsoft is responding to the "very small" subset of unhappy customers whose consoles can't play discs with a digital copy of one of four exclusive launch titles.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're one of the unlucky few whose Xbox One responds to a game disc by replicating the sound of a garbage disposal, than you can take solace in a free launch title.

Microsoft is offering a digital download of Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse, Zoo Tycoon, or Dead Rising to any Xbox One owner who reports the issue -- allegedly affecting a very small subset of devices -- to customer support and then goes through the Xbox One advance exchange program, Polygon reported Monday evening. That program allows any user who is legitimately affected by the hardware issue to submit the necessary information and receive a new console before being required to ship back the original.

After early reports on launch day last Friday that the Xbox One disc drive was malfunctioning for some users, Microsoft responded, "We're working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program. Rest assured, we are taking care of our customers."

The manufacturing defect timeline took a positive turn this morning when Microsoft publicly acknowledged the specific disc drive issue, reaffirming that it would be getting replacement consoles out as fast as possible yet not concretely outlining how many people may be affected by the issue.

Sony's PlayStation 4 is not without its concerns either. In what is being described as the "Blue Light of Death" to counter -- as Kotaku's Jason Schreiber puts it -- the Xbox One's "Disc Drive of Doom," some PS4 owners have been reporting that the console does not even make it past setup, flashing a blue light indefinitely instead.

Xbox One owners with a bad drive can still play digitally downloadable titles, making the PS4's hiccup a considerably more serious defect -- doom is better than death, right? -- that Sony claims is affecting less than 1 percent of owners. Still, that's around 10,000 people with launch day sales in excess of 1 million units.