When it first came to light that Xbox One owners were experiencing disc drive problems with their new console, Microsoft said that only a “small number” of gamers were affected. However, a recent decision by the company suggests the issue might be bigger than Microsoft is letting on.
Earlier today, Microsoft announced a special goodwill program for afflicted gamers through which they can receive a free digital copy of any Microsoft-published Xbox One game. That means Zoo Tycoon, Ryse, Dead Rising 3, or Forza Motorsport 5.
To be eligible for the free game, all one needs do is start a ticket with Microsoft’s Advanced Exchange Program. Through this program gamers are sent a replacement Xbox One console even before they send their defective one in. As a result, gamers can still play their free digital game without fussing with the disc drive.
“While a replacement console is on its way, we want to ensure our advance exchange customers can stay in the game. We will provide each of them with a free digital download of one of the launch titles published by Microsoft Studios.”
Disc drive problems seem to vary from gamer to gamer, but the end result is the same: a prompt that says, “Try another disc.” That may or may not be preceded by a horrific grinding noise — my Xbox One console spit out said noise — which is a bigger tip off that something is wrong.
Strangely enough, it may take a while for gamers to even realize their disc drive is faulty, what with the amount of content — TV, Netflix, Kinect set-up — that’s available outside of playing games. And even then, there are those who might be going all digital in the next-gen, in which case it could take a while for them to realize their Xbox One is busted. What we’re saying is, “Test your disc drive sooner rather than later.”
While it’s good to see Microsoft is not leaving affected gamers out in the cold, it’s hard not to look at the goodwill gesture as a sign that maybe the disc drive issues have a larger reach then we thought. Two of our Game Rant writers experienced said problem, but both of them exchanged the faulty console through their respective retailer rather than Microsoft.
Luckily, at least for now, it does seem like the disc drive problems are on a small scale, and certainly not on the level of the Xbox 360’s Red Ring of Death. More likely, it sounds as if Microsoft has learned from the 360’s headaches, and wanted to get out ahead of the issue lest it blow out of proportion.
Have you encountered any disc drive problems with your Xbox One? Did you go through Microsoft’s Advanced Exchange Program? What was the experience like?