Kinect might be the Xbox 360's future but it appears an all too familar face from its past has been causing users trouble. According to numerous sources, users of the Xbox 360 have been suffering failures that are being linked to the revolutionary motion sensor peripheral.
One such claim comes from the BBC who report that users of Microsoft's Xbox 360 console have experienced instances of the infamous Red Ring of Death when attaching the Kinect peripheral. Console owners have been telling the BBC that these breakdowns are occuring in consoles that previously showcased no issue but that are reaching the end of their warranty period. One such user was 10-year old Adam Winnifrith, a young boy who told BBC Radio 4's "You and Yours" about his sad Kinect experience.
"We plugged it [Kinect] in the day we got it but only played it a few times before we got the red lights... The next day when we tried it again we still had the red rings of death and haven't been able to use it since."
Microsoft has hit back at these claims, insisting that the Kinect has been designed to work with all models of it's Xbox 360 console and that there is no link between the new peripheral and Microsofts console failures.
"There is no correlation between the three flashing red lights error and Kinect... Any new instances of the three flashing red lights error are merely coincidental."
"Red Ring of Death" was a name given to instances in which the Xbox 360 consoles hardware failed; causing the console to break and become unplayable while displaying three red rings on the console's power button's outer lighting. While Microsoft eventually repaired many of the affected machines and reportedly fixed the underlying issue, it left a lasting impression with gamers. Any link between Kinect and the flashing red rings would be a disaster for Microsoft, desperate to distance itself from the entire debacle.
As GameRant reported, Microsoft has high hopes for Kinect and has already promised 2011 will be the year of Kinect. The peripheral has already sold 2.5 million units in its first month on the market, clearly exciting users with it's unique gaming experience. Even scholars are exploring the potential of Kinect to aid in physical rehabilitation. One can only hope that these instances of consoles breaking are not the first in a new wave of console breakdowns.
Would you still buy a Kinect unit if you felt there was a chance it would cause your console to break? Have you ever experienced a Red Ring of Death yourself?
Microsoft's Kinect is currently available exclusively on the Xbox 360.