It has haunted your dreams. You’ve awoken with cold sweat dripping down your face, too nervous to leave your bed and check your console. You’ve tried animal sacrifice to avoid it. You’ve prayed to the gods of gaming that it will never happen to you, but still it comes. The Red Ring of Death has plagued gamers (and Microsoft, for that matter) since the launch of the system and while reports of it occurring have steadily died down there is still a question yet to be answered? Why the hell is this happening!?
Well, Gartner, a consulting firm that helps businesses with IT, thinks they have the answer. Bryan Lewis, research VP and Chief Analyst at the company, has stated that the RRoD is because of a faulty graphics chip. A faulty graphics chip that was made by Microsoft themselves. Speaking at the Design Automation Conference in California Lewis said, “Microsoft wanted to avoid an ASIC vendor,” thus cutting cost. They then went straight to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing on-the-cheap. Evidently the newer systems have a better graphics chip in them made by a real ASIC vendor, which is most likely ATI, and that is why we aren’t seeing the RRoD anymore. The really funny thing is that ‘on-the-cheap’ ended up costing Microsoft over $1 billion. Of course losing $1 billion dollars could only be funny to someone as rich as Bill Gates, to the rest of us it’s just stupid. No word yet from Microsoft if any of this is true but I doubt they’ll want to reply anyway.