Microsoft is commemorating Xbox’s biggest mistake… with a poster

Microsoft is commemorating the Xbox 360’s infamous ‘Red Ring of Death’ hardware error with a new poster that costs $25.

The glossy, fingerprint-resistant 18 x 24-inch poster, which is available from the Xbox Gear store and ships internationally, shows the all-too-familiar Red Ring of Death that plagued thousands of Xbox 360 owners 15 years ago – a hardware failure that cost Microsoft more than $1 billion in warranty expenses. 

Alongside the poster, Microsoft is also releasing a six-part online documentary, Power On: The Story of Xbox, which touches on key moments of Xbox history, including the story behind the Xbox 360’s Red Ring of Death debacle.

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Of course, not every Xbox 360 owner encountered the Red Ring of Death, but it’s fair to say that those who did weren’t exactly delighted by having to ship their console off for a repair. Fifteen years on, though? Well, maybe enough time has passed that we can now look back with a more jovial perspective.


Analysis: Xbox is embracing its history

It might seem distasteful to create a poster of a hardware error that seriously inconvenienced gamers – and charge for it – but the Red Ring of Death has certainly gained iconic status in Xbox history. The poster also serves as yet another example of Microsoft leaning into its past failures and criticisms in a way that's won the admiration of many fans.

The team most recently turned the internet’s mockery about the Xbox Series X’s design into an actual consumer product in the Xbox Mini Fridge, which promptly sold out. And Microsoft responded to major leaks, like the Xbox Series S reveal, in a tongue-in-cheek way, much to the enthusiasm of the community.

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With Microsoft releasing a poster of the Red Ring of Death, then, could we see a PlayStation Network hack poster from Sony in the near future? Or perhaps a poster from Nintendo affectionately mocking the Wii U from Nintendo? And might we, in a decade or so, see a glossy fingerprint-resistant poster from Google making light of the demise of Stadia? Time will tell.

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