The red ring of death was a problem that haunted the Xbox 360, the second video game console Microsoft ever released (unless you count the PC) – and now Xbox is selling posters of the infamous red ring of death error code.
Originally spotted by The Verge, the “Power On: The Story of Xbox ‘Red Ring of Death’ Premium Print” sells for $35.95 in Australia, direct from the Xbox Gear Shop with international shipping.
It’s an ominous looking poster that’s eerily reminiscent of the glowing neon lights of Dead Space, or the original poster art of Alien. It’s also a bit like looking into the eye of HAL 9000, although your Xbox 360 wasn’t capable of saying “I’m sorry Zac, I’m afraid I can’t do that”.
It’s a little morbid, don’t you think? Supposedly the red ring of death cost Microsoft over $1 billion to fix, with the company vowing to extend the warranty of Xbox 360 consoles by three years as recompense for the hardware failure
The red ring issue was widespread and far more common than a typical error code should be. It was usually triggered by a hardware fault or a lower power supply than necessary, but it affected Xbox consoles to the point of bricking them entirely. The error has been immortalised as a meme.
After all these years, with the Xbox 360 now 16 years old, Microsoft is selling red ring of death posters commemorating the catastrophic hardware fault. Why? Oh, for a documentary.
Power On: The Story of Xbox is a documentary going up in six parts on the Xbox YouTube channel – it’s quite a revealing and transparent series, as you would suspect, given there is an entire episode dedicated to the red ring of death, along with red ring of death posters.
In the comments of this video, people are hailing Xbox for their willingness to talk about such a controversial part of their history.
“Major props for this video, instead of trying to sweep it under the rug. I had three 360’s that all failed and your repair service was excellent,” one commenter said.
It genuinely does seem like Xbox has been going to great efforts to be more transparent and be more pro-consumer. Phil Spencer, the CEO of Xbox, is a big fan of game emulation, a problem that gamers have put up with for generations.
So, if you desperately want a poster commemorating the hardware issue that plagued a generation of gamers, you can pick one up here.