Carl Durrek Carl is a gaming fanatic, forever stuck on Reddit and all-around lover of food.

GameStop has been knowingly selling broken Xbox 360s since 2009

44 sec read

Many people who have ever owned an Xbox 360, particularly in the console’s early days, have had to deal with the dreaded “Red Ring of Death”. This would mean that the system’s chip and motherboard aren’t connected properly, indicated by the red ring that encircled the 360’s power button. Well, GameStop has apparently been taking these broken consoles, temporarily repairing them, and then reselling them as refurbished devices for quite some time now. 

The mid-to-late 2000s were a scary time to be an Xbox gamer, with the infamous Red Ring of Death claiming countless consoles seemingly without warning. While Microsoft extended warranties and upgraded chipsets amid the console-killing plague, desperate console owners scrambled for their own homemade solutions. Forums and websites (this one included) filled with talk of the “towel trick,” “heat sink replacement instructions,” and “X-clamp repair kit sets.” Amid all this chatter, apparently, GameStop has been working on its own industrialized solution for the problem, repairing and reselling red-ringed systems as “refurbished” since 2009. As part of an excellent Bloomberg Businessweek report on the state of GameStop in an increasingly digital gaming world, author Joshua Brustein talks about how the gaming retail giant developed and industrialized a method for turning broken, red-ringed Xbox 360 units into resellable, “refurbished” systems.

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Carl Durrek Carl is a gaming fanatic, forever stuck on Reddit and all-around lover of food.

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