In the last two weeks, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have both launched, and with the WiiU already having been out for a year, the 8th Generation of video games is now in full effect. Mud-slinging continues from fanboys on both sides of the spectrum (because let's face it, the WiiU is kind of D.O.A. with no third-party support and only two main franchise games out for it in a year) and even the PC crowd is getting into it talking about the hardware failure rates of both of the new machines. Sony stated originally that they predicted a 0.2% failure rate which was bumped up to 0.4% after reports of minor issues with the consoles coming in such as bent HDMI prongs and having to re-attach the hard drive. They have been diligent and expedient in their customer service and in getting new consoles out to those affected.
Microsoft on the other hand has not only a bigger stigma to deal with (the Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death), but they have a larger problem on their hands. It seems that many (at least more than the PlayStation 4 early adopters) Xbox Ones are being affected by faulty Blu-Ray drives.
"I first wrote about the issue yesterday morning, and over the past two days, I've received roughly 150 e-mails from people who say their systems were affected. Some sent videos; others just echoed what we've been seeing since the console launched on Friday. Some complained that they'd had to spend hours on the phone waiting for someone from Microsoft customer service to answer.
I've received about 150 e-mails in two days—for context, last week after the PS4 launch, Stephen [Totillo] asked anyone affected by hardware failure to reach out to him, and he received a few dozen e-mails in two days." - Jason Schreier of Kotaku
Of course, Microsoft is being quite mum about the situation, only stating that a "small number" of units were affected and there doesn't seem to be any quick fixes for these drives. They just ask any media outlet that inquires about this issue to tell people to call customer service, which according to Mr. Schreier can take hours at a time.
Hardware failures are to be expected at launch. Not every piece of electronic equipment is pristine. The thing that bothers me about this however, is the knee-jerk reaction to more casual gamers and PC gamers alike saying, "Well fuck that shit! I'm just gonna get a PC! Way to buy a $400-$500 paperweight! My PC has had that equipment in it for years!"
This is absolutely nuts to me, because you never hear a PC gamer swear that they are going to go to console gaming because they bought a faulty video card or their power supply was bricked.
High-end PC gamers that build custom towers from ground-up spend THOUSANDS of dollars doing so. In the PC world, there are brands you can trust, and brands to avoid. I have only briefly dabbled in PC building, and even I know that.
I have a CoolerMaster power supply in my computer. PC guys will tell you CoolerMaster is one of the best brands out there, but even in the reviews for the one I bought, people had stated that they got defective units. It was not a top-of-the-line model by any means, but still decent enough. I wouldn't have sworn off PC gaming altogether if I had received a faulty unit. I would have exchanged it, and moved on.
Like all other people on the earth, and in gaming culture especially, people are looking for a reason to be pissed off. These hardware failures are a reason for the PC crowd to act like they are better than the console crowd, and for Sony fanboys and Xbots to fight with one another. I use my PC for most of my online gaming, and consoles as my main source of gaming. Having an array of gaming hardware can make the market competitive as well as spurn new ideas.
The only person you are hurting by saying that you are swearing off a console due to hardware failure is yourself, because you are missing out on a lot of good games to just be part of a crowd and contributing to gaming entitlement culture as a whole, which keeps the persistent stereotype that all gamers are a bunch of butt-hurt basement dwellers.