Microsoft believes that measures put in place to deal with 360 hardware issues can be turned into a positive – and actually drive sales of the console at retail.
Batting away any suggestion that the firm’s admission of ‘unacceptable numbers of repairs’ over the infamous ‘red ring of death’ could spawn trepidation amongst UK consumers, Euro boss Chris Lewis told MCV that the firm’s new three-year warranty deal will actually give the console an advantage over its competition.
“This undertaking is completely voluntary and we are talking to sales professionals in retail to make sure they understand that,” said Lewis.
“Indeed, some of them are now seeing the three-year warranty as another USP for 360. It’s ostensibly a very positive message for the consumer,” he added.
Leading High Street retailers have agreed – and commended Microsoft’s decision to earmark £500m to assist consumers that have difficulties with the hardware.
GAME’s commercial director Tricia Brennan told MCV: “We know that consumers like the peace of mind that extended warranties provide so this, and the arrival of Halo 3, will ensure that the 360 remains a major force in the market. It’s a very open and honest strategy.
HMV’s head of games Tim Ellis added: “Giving the consumer peace of mind over a three-year warranty period has to be good news. Microsoft is effectively upping their commitment to the consumer. If handled fairly by the media this can only be a positive.”
Director of indie chain ePlay Ajay Kejriwal was more measured with his praise. He said: “Microsoft’s admission of possible issues should be a positive for consumer perceptions, but it all depends on the execution of the warranty plan.
"Consumers need to see a proactive response from retail and Microsoft’s own customer service, without which Xbox will lose customer goodwill fast.”