Microsoft is now selling its own Xbox Red Ring of Death poster to commemorate the release of the Power On: The Story of Xbox docuseries. The six-part documentary is a warts and all look at 20 years of Xbox highs and lows, including the infamous red ring of death.
The Xbox 360’s red ring of death was represented by three out of the four LEDs on an Xbox 360 turning red, a problem that affected a lot of initial consoles as failure rates were incredibly high. It indicated a hardware failure, and it meant Xbox 360 owners had to send their console in for repair.
In chapter five of Power On, former Xbox chief Peter Moore reflects on the mistake that cost Microsoft more than $1 billion to fix. “By the time we looked at the cost of repairs, the loss sales that we factored in, we had a $1.15 billion problem,” says Moore.
The Red Ring of Death poster is $24.99, which won’t go very far in making up the $1 billion loss, but I’m sure those who worked on Xbox 360 would never have imagined Microsoft would be selling a poster about the failure more than 15 years later.
Power On also documents the origins of the first Xbox, released 20 years ago, featuring interviews with those who helped bring it to life. Even former Xbox chief Don Mattrick makes an appearance in the docuseries, discussing the Xbox One launch and the problematic focus on TV, Kinect, and always-connected digital approach.
If you’re interested in the history of Xbox or video games in general, Power On is certainty worth a watch. While it’s created by Microsoft, the company doesn’t shy away from acknowledging its failures, the strong Sony competition, and its impressive achievement of creating a new game console. Power On: The Story of Xbox is available on Redbox, YouTube, IMDbTV, The Roku Channel, Microsoft Movies & TV, and elsewhere.