With a small percentage of Xbox One early adopters experiencing problems playing game discs, Microsoft is racing to do the right thing. The firm announced this week that anyone affected by Xbox One hardware problems during the launch period can get a replacement console before they send back the original. And the company is even giving these users a free downloadable game for their troubles.
A small percentage of early Xbox One users have reported that their consoles experience a strange disc-reading problem and refuse to play games or Blu-ray discs.
"The [disc-reading] issue is affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers," a Microsoft statement notes. "We're working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program. Rest assured, we are taking care of our customers."
And they really are.
Microsoft has established an advance exchange program by which customers who have faulty Xbox One consoles can receive a replacement console immediately and then return the broken unit after the replacement arrives. "This means a customer only has to wait a matter of days, rather than weeks to get back up and running," Microsoft notes.
The company is also providing these customers with a free game title—they can choose between Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome, or Zoo Tycoon—and since the game is downloadable and not disc-based, they can play immediately.
"While a replacement console is on its way, we want to ensure that our advance exchange customers can stay in the game," Microsoft statement reads. "We will provide each of them with a free digital download of one of the launch titles published by Microsoft Studios."
Xbox One consoles with the disc-reading issue make a grinding or crunching sound when you attempt to insert a disc. And although it's unclear how many consoles are affected, it appears to be quite small, and perhaps similar to the "less than 1 percent" of PlayStation 4 consoles that were overheating during Sony's launch a week earlier. The consoles have very similar ratings profiles on Amazon.com.
If you're experiencing a problem with your Xbox One, Microsoft provides the following avenues of support:
Phone. You can talk to a live customer support person or have Microsoft call you back if you don't want to wait. The phone number varies from country to country, but you can visit the Xbox Contact Us site for more information.
Web. Visit Xbox.com for support pages and forums.
Twitter. You can reach Xbox on Twitter via @XboxSupport.
Console. From the Xbox One, you can access help and diagnostics by saying "Xbox Help."
There are always fears that the Xbox One will suffer from an issue as calamitous as the "red ring of death" that plagued the Xbox 360 and resulted in a record $1 billion warranty repair bill, but this isn't it. A grinding disc drive is easily fixed and doesn't represent a core design issue.