A leading South African distributor has told MCV that many of the country’s major retailers refuse to stock Xbox 360 consoles due to reliability concerns and the infamous Red Ring of Death (RROD).
“The Xbox360 has had a rather rough time in South Africa,” Apex Interactive director Quinton Davie stated. “It has been plagued with an extraordinarily high failure rate on the hardware when it was initially launched, which has seen it been removed from some of the important retail stores in our territory.”
In 2007 the problem was investigated by the BBC’s consumer rights program Watchdog.
Microsoft has claimed to have significantly increased reliability with recent hardware revisions that have reduced the heat it generates and stiffened its chassis against heat-related warping.
Davie added that the PS2 is still a strong performer in the region: “South Africa still has strong sales on the PS2 console, even though it is not strong in Europe. PS2 was still one of the highest volume movers for last Christmas.
“Wii is also performing well in South Africa. DS has had a much slower up take in the marketplace – so much so that Nintendo released the DS Lite, skipped over the DSi and then launched the DSi XL at the end of last month.”