It turns out that the "X" in Microsoft's Xbox may just mean e"X"plode after all. Joystiq has the follow-up on last month's news about how some people were having problems with their Xbox consoles suddenly spewing sparks and smoke when plugged into a wall outlet. Microsoft eventually said that this was an issue with faulty power supplies and offered up replacement cords, but now the first reports of a replacement-corded Xbox tossing sparks around have begun to surface. Microsoft continues to state that the Xbox itself is not the problem and offers up as proof some technical jargon that I don't understand. What I do understand is that game consoles aren't supposed to explode. I'm against that.
Assuming the Xbox itself is the cause of the sparks, I really have to question Microsoft's response here. Granted, admitting a product is defective leaves the company open to lawsuits and liability issues, but shouldn't the company at least offer to repair/replace damaged consoles that exhibit the sparking symptom under the condition that they acknowledge no technical issues with the Xbox itself? Treat the sparking as a "Whoa, what'd you do?" situation and offer to repair or replace. It just seems like good customer service and public relations to me. After all, Nintendo will repair any of their hardware for free provided it's under warrenty and will sometimes bend the rules for older products (up until recently they were still replacing dead batteries in NES game paks for a nominal fee).
Sony does charge for repairs, but at least they offer them. Joystiq reports this evening that Sony will not be repairing or replacing PlayStation Portable units with dead pixels. Microsoft's solution to dangerous malfunctioning hardware seems to involve the phrases "Too bad" and "Have you bought Halo 2 yet?"