I didn't know about this on the 360s. However I wouldn't put it past M$ for a quick buck. Seen Vista lately? :D As for the problem so long as you purchased in the UK take it back to the place of purchase. Under the sale of goods act you are entitled to 12months warranty on it and it has failed through no fault of your own so long as you did not do anything you are not supposed to such as open the machine.
I'm starting to feel even more glad in this heat that I got myself a PS3. Sadly this makes me even less likely to get a 360 at Christmas.