Microsoft has denied claims made by a South African distributor that “Xbox360 has had a rather rough time in South Africa”.
Apex Interactive director Quinton Davie told MCV last month that the console “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.”
However, Microsoft South Africa’s product and marketing manager Yvette van Rooyen has dismissed the claims.
“I think that Quinton is referring to three specific toy stores that currently don’t stock Xbox 360 and haven’t since the initial issues with the high failure rates over three years ago,” van Rooyen told MCV. “However, since then not one retailer has refused to stock Xbox or discontinued stocking Xbox due to this reason or any other reason.
“We have eight retailers from South Africa attending E3 this year in support of the great line-up Xbox 360 has to offer the retail environment going forward, so again, I doubt this would be the case if they didn’t have faith in the brand.”
The exec does concede, though, that the initial technical problems that plagues Xbox 360’s formative years did pose a problem initially.
“Initially when we launched Xbox 360 in South Africa back in September 2006, there was a high failure rate on the original chassis, but this was rectified,” van Rooyen adds.
“It was inevitable that there were a number of faulty consoles already in the market so to accommodate this situation, Microsoft then announced that they would extend the warranty on the console to three years to ensure that if any of our customers experienced the red ring of death the console would be replaced. If they were going to fail it would definitely be in the first 3 years and they would be replaced.”
van Rooyen adds that Davie last year pitched for an account with Microsoft, saying “I am not sure why he would do this if the retailers in SA were still refusing to stock Xbox 360”.