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Microsoft has finally explained what caused Xbox 360's red ring of death
Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Junko Kimura / Staff

Microsoft has finally explained what caused Xbox 360's red ring of death

Microsoft engineers have explained in a documentary what caused Xbox 360s to get the red rings of death.

The answer to one of the most frustrating gaming questions has been answered and you were basically right all along about the least partially.

The red ring of death. Sounds like a sequel to the Ring of Fire card game, but to gamers, it takes on a whole different meaning.

For those who were lucky enough to enjoy the heyday of the Xbox 360, one of the best gaming consoles ever, the phrase likely sends shivers down your spine.

Because the red ring of death meant all those hours of gaming, achievements, and memories were now lost since your console was basically dead.

A working Xbox 360 should have green lights around the 'on' switch... not red.

You would press the on button on the chunky 360 and then, BOOM, a ring of red would appear where it should only be light green, and the console would then fail to load up properly.

Luckily for me, I never actually had to deal with this and my 360 still works. Millions of others weren't so lucky. Many YouTube videos from the old internet still exist of people smashing up their now-broken gaming devices.

However, the reason behind what actually caused the red ring of death was explained by Microsoft in a documentary in 2021.

Power On: The Story of Xbox documentary had a whole episode dedicated to the phenomenon and the former head of Xbox, Peter Moore, explained the issue.

The problem wasn’t that the console got too hot, but rather that it got extremely hot and then quickly cooled down; that strain on its internal system resulting in the red ring of death.

Hardware engineer Leo Del Castillo also explained: “The breakthrough came when we understood that the connections that were being broken were not located on the motherboard, but they were actually located inside the components.

“The reason it was breaking was thermal, but it wasn't because of peak temperature. It was because when the unit would get hot and then cold, hot and then cold, every time it did that it would stress the connection [between GPU and motherboard].

Well, there we go. Millions of Xbox 360s later, we finally know what the cause of it was.

Albeit this would have been more useful information back in 2007, when the the 360 was in its heyday - but what can you do.

At least we now know the cause, so it's time to hit up the group chat to explain just how right we knew we always were.

Topics: Gaming, Technology, Xbox