Microsoft today retroactively extended the Xbox 360 warranty for US and Canadian customers to one year. Unlike most of the rest of the world, it had been 90 days in those countries. Customers who paid for out-of-warranty repairs within the one year period will be reimbursed. Ed Oswald at BetaNews suggests some motivations:
Microsoft is locked in a fierce battle with competitors Sony and Nintendo to maintain its lead in the next-generation console race. While the Wii carries a warranty of 90 days, much like the Xbox 360 originally did, Sony has guaranteed its hardware for a period of one year.
Video game console repairs can sometimes be an expensive endeavor once the console falls out of warranty: depending on what breaks, those repairs can sometimes run into the hundreds of dollars.
Xbox 360′s 90-day warranty has already gotten the company into legal trouble. One frustrated console owned filed suit against the company after an update “bricked” his console and Microsoft refused to repair it without charging the consumer.
It is not clear if these legal issues had anything to do with the warranty extension.
I’m sure they didn’t hurt.