SOURCE: SquareTrade


September 01, 2009 09:03 ET

SquareTrade Study Finds Nintendo Wii Most Reliable Game Console

Despite "Red Ring of Death" Abating for the Xbox 360, Wii Is Nine Times More Reliable Than Xbox 360 and Four Times More Reliable Than PlayStation 3

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - September 1, 2009) - SquareTrade, the largest independent warranty provider in the world, today announced the results of a study comparing malfunction rates for the top three game consoles -- Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) -- and found that the Wii is the most reliable system on the market, with a failure rate just one-fourth of the PS3 and one-ninth of the Xbox 360. Even when adjusted for the lower rate of usage, the Wii leads the pack by a comfortable margin.

While the study found the Xbox 360 to have the highest failure rate, it also had good news for Xbox 360 fans. SquareTrade's data shows that the introduction of the "Jasper" chipset in late 2008 has likely solved the well-publicized "Red Ring of Death" (RROD) problem, which renders the device unusable and has plagued the system since its launch in 2005.

SquareTrade also examined the factor of usage in the analysis of each game console. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are widely regarded as the consoles of choice for hardcore gamers who tend to play for longer periods of time and the Wii skews toward a more casual, family-based demographic.

After accounting for usage, the Wii still ranked as the least likely to fail, with a 0.31 percent failure rate per day of use. By contrast, the PS3 failed 75 percent more frequently. The Xbox 360 also benefited from the usage-based analysis, but still lagged far behind, with 435 percent the failure rate of the Wii.

Highlights of the study include:

  • During the first two years of ownership, 2.7 percent of Wii owners reported a system failure to SquareTrade, compared with 10 percent of PlayStation 3 owners and 23.7 percent of Xbox 360 owners.

  • Excluding RROD failures, which are covered by Microsoft's three-year warranty, 11.7 percent of Xbox 360 owners reported a failure.

  • While the RROD problem continued to be the major issue for Xbox 360s purchased through 2008, early indications point to the problem abating in 2009.

  • The most common types of problems seen with the PS3 and Xbox 360 were disc read errors and output issues. The Wii had more power and remote control issues than the other 2 systems.

The full study is available for download at:

SquareTrade randomly selected over 16,000 Game Consoles under SquareTrade Warranty for analysis. Only malfunctions reported directly to SquareTrade are included in the data. Other malfunctions, including software issues handled directly by the retailer, problems associated with product recalls, and those fixed by software/firmware updates, may not be represented in this data.

About SquareTrade
Founded in 1999, SquareTrade makes warranties that make sense, offering fair prices, a no-pressure way to buy online, and no-hassle 5-day service. Buy your item anywhere (online or in a store) then get a better warranty directly from or call 877-WARRANTY. SquareTrade offers consumers an alternative to big retailers' or manufacturers' overpriced and under-serviced warranties and costs 50% less on average than big retailers. SquareTrade is the only service consistently rated 5 of 5 by consumers. SquareTrade is the largest independent warranty provider in the world for consumer electronics and appliances. Privately held, SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, go to

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