Embracing The Ring

Sometimes a company has a monumental screwup so big that they simply want to move on. Never look back and never talk about it again. For Microsoft, that is certainly the 2007 "Red ring of death" debacle during the days of the Xbox 360. That video game console had a green ring surrounding the power button. However, if it turned red and remained that way, the console was dead.

This "red ring of death" was immensely infuriating to gamers. The system would brick due to a design flaw and it would come out of nowhere. The system was basically overheating and no matter what a person did with their system, it would eventually 'red ring'. Now, we fast forward to 2021 and Microsoft is giving a weird nod to this flaw. Andrew Cunningham at Ars Technica has more.

Microsoft is now selling $25 "premium posters" to commemorate the "Red Ring of Death," a systemic hardware failure in early Xbox 360 consoles that cost the company over $1 billion to fix. The posters are part of a marketing push commemorating the 20th anniversary of the original Xbox, a campaign that includes a six-part documentary called Power On. Despite being made and marketed by Microsoft, the presence of an entire episode about the RRoD debacle suggests that it's not intended as a hagiography.

Ars Technica

Whether this Power On documentary is good or not remains to be seen. It consists of six chapters and the entire 5th installment is dedicated to the 360's flaw. However, it's fascinating to see Microsoft sell posters of this blemish on the Xbox's history. I could never see Apple selling a kernel panic shirt or Google selling a poster showing the ungodly amount of resources Chrome uses up.

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