In the wonderful land of Xbox 360-ville, the sun is shining, the grass is green, and everybody is very, very happy. Of course, that's only if you go strictly by the words of Todd Holmdahl, Microsoft's corporate vice president of the group devoted to gaming and Xbox products. Unfortunately, in Holmdahl's personal vision of Xbox utopia, nobody says anything of substance either.
Last week, PC Advisor’s sister title GamePro addressed the alleged addition of heatsinks to repaired Xbox 360 units in Europe, although Microsoft subsequently declined to comment on these heatsinks despite photographic evidence supporting their installation.
To dig deeper into the matter, the San Jose Mercury News spoke to Holmdahl, and asked him tough questions regarding the Xbox 360's failure rate. However, a good portion of these questions were answered with some form of the words ‘No comment’, but of the questions Holmdahl was authorised to answer, many were dotted with Holmdahl's assurances that the public loves ‘the box’.
"I would go back and say the vast majority of people love their experience," Holmdahl states, in response to a question asking for an explanation for the number of Xbox 360 owners who claim to be victims of a defective machine.
"We continue to go back and address all of these issues on a case-by-case basis. There is a vocal minority out there. We go off and try to address their issues as quickly and as pain free as possible."
But even talk of beneficial upgrades, such as the change from 90-nanometre to 65-nanometre chips, was an off-limits subject for Holmdahl. When asked for a comment on the possibility of a chip upgrade, Holmdahl simply responded: "We continue to redesign the box, continue to drive costs out. We don't talk about the specifics of it."
Holmdahl further emphasised his point by stating that 90-nanometre chips and 65-nanometre chips will yield the same results because the "quality is good at both of those”.
Although Holmdahl did admit that Microsoft willingly performed a number of out-of-warranty repairs on machines specifically manufactured in 2005, he failed to give a specific reason for the repairs, stating that there were "no systematic issues" with the initial batch of consoles. Holmdahl also refuses to acknowledge the existence of any systematic issues with the console as it is now, but he does re-affirm the satisfaction of the typical consumer:
"The vast majority of the people just love the product, have a great experience with it. When there is an issue, we get on it and address it as quickly as possible."