I know what you're thinking: this is about the red rings of death. Nope. While the red rings of death caused Microsoft more than a billion out of their own pocket to fix the problem, another class-action lawsuit has been building over the years centered around a disc-tray issue with the Xbox 360.
Reuters is reporting that a class-action lawsuit that was originally dismissed in 2012 is now back up and running after the 9th circuit court reversed the dismissal and had the judge reassess the case.
The case centers around defective disc trays in the Xbox 360 that caused the discs to become damaged with even the slightest bump or vibration. This happened a couple of times with the early units for some of the staff from VG Core way back when the 360 first came out. However, in one case a writer thought to turn the Xbox 360 on its side while it was turned on and playing the 2005 rendition of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, resulting in the disc getting scratched into oblivion. On a less ridiculous occasion a copy of Halo 2 was damaged in one of the early units when it was bumped ever-so-slightly. I'm guessing most people just thought it was their fault and that they shouldn't have moved the console or allowed it to have any sort of vibration at all.
According to Microsoft the issue of the disc tray killing games due to any sort of vibration was a problem that only affected less than 0.4% of all Xbox 360 units.
Back in March of 2012, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez in Seattle, Washington dismissed the class-action suit against Microsoft over the defective disc tray. However, this was deemed inappropriate by the appeals court, noting that Martinez made a mistake in referring to a previous ruling in 2009 where the case was dismissed on similar grounds.
According to circuit Judge Johnnie Rawlinson, it was stated...
"Plaintiffs' breach of express warranty claim presents a common factual question-is there a defect?-and a common mixed question of law and fact-does that defect breach the express warranty?"
The case was then returned to Judge Martinez for proceedings after the ruling by the 9th circuit court.
Microsoft seemed pleased with the results, with a rep stating...
“We've won in the lower court previously and believe the facts are on our side,"
This comes at a time when the Xbox 360 is no longer turning the profit it used to for the company, and Microsoft is also having trouble getting the Xbox One up and off the ground.
While the sales for the Xbox One picked up significantly during the holiday season where Microsoft managed to beat Sony in November and December on the North American NPD charts, it hasn't been enough to effectively offset the slow start for the console throughout 2014.
Even though Microsoft isn't too worried about the class-action suit, compounding the 360 suit with the Xbox One's still moderately slow uptick in sales post-holiday, could be a problem for the Xbox brand. I'm sure consumers are hoping this suit goes through and Microsoft is hoping it can get dismissed again.