So with the Wii U launch date close by I felt it time to drop a bit of serious pessimism into these happy waters of anticipation by taking a look back at previous consoles and the unfortunate issues they launched with.
The Playstation 2
Or as it quickly got known the Playsnothing 2. For a brief period after launch before console re-releases and changes were made the PS2 held the title (and still does) of most launch console failure. Figures of the failure rate vary wildly but put the figure up to 77% failure. The problem was with the console reading the game discs and in some cases scratching them or leaving them with laser burn. Sony to their credit acted upon this and spent a rather large amount of money on a fleet of vans roaming the country. When a console packed in you phoned up Sony and within 24 hours an unmarked van would turn up at your home and take your PS2 and give you a working one back, there on the spot.
The Nintendo Gamecube
Wait the gamecube had a launch disaster is what you’re probably already asking. Well it did sort of. The gamecube itself released fine but when Nintendo release its Modem add on for the gamecube, well things went a bit wrong. Turns out Nintendo’s gamecube servers weren’t secure enough and within a week of release hackers brought down the gamecube’s servers or at least the systems for online connection. Due to these issues and apparent lower sales companies stopped bothering with the gamecube online and with Nintendo no pushing it only 4 games were ever made to use it. As far as launch issues go I think this counts as it meant even the PS2 could better compete against the xbox with online play than the gamecube could.
The Xbox 360
Fresh from their major success of the Xbox, Microsoft released the Xbox 360 in 2005, little did the consumers know what was instore. The first batch of Xbox 360 consoles had a serious problem with overheating leading to the dreaded red ring of death. Stats put the red ring of death failure rates as high as 66% meaning it was the least reliable present gen console. The problem was so bad even 2nd batch and some 3rd batch units have had it. There are even still reports of the problem hitting a few of the slim consoles. To their credit however Microsoft honoured the EU sales of goods act and went slightly beyond it giving people 3 extra years warranty, if the console suffered from the red ring they’d fix it free. True you had to send your console off for repair but you did get 1 month of xbox live time given to you as an apology and to make up for any time you lost.
The Playstation 3
That’s right Sony managed to make the list twice as while they made sure the console wasn’t going to fail on launch day (other than sales wise) there was however an issue that raised its head. The Yellow light of death. Due to again the issue of overheating or at least the theory goes. According to the theory the console was heating up so much it was melting the solder in the processor removing causing the chip to partly detach. So what did Sony do to sort this out considering their previous form of roaming teams designed to replace the consoles. Well Sony did very little infact out of the standard 1 year warranty they refused to fix the console unless they got paid £60-£80 per time. This was kind of a poor show by Sony there.
The Nintendo Wii
I know shock the Wii also made this list, show what launch failure did the Wii manage ? Well this is a weird one, apparently the US and EU release found that consumers were making stronger movements than the Wii you Wiimote than the Japanese consumers and due to this the wrist straps supplied with the console were breaking causing numerous smashed TVs and windows. Nintendo within a week had wrist straps made to a new specification and shipped out offering consumers replacements (replacement wrist straps that is not TV’s and windows). So while it may not have been a big issue it was probably one that cost the most to consumers.
The Wii U ?
Ok so it’s probably not going to have any huge issues as this is Nintendo after all and their consoles work but technically its having its first issue with a patch being require for the Nintendo online and shop system.