- Computer giants Microsoft are facing a £500 million ($990 million) repair bill after their Xbox Elite consoles were hit by the notorious "red ring of death".
The console was originally thought to be immune from the problem, which permanently freezes the unit after a ring of green lights on the power control button turn red.
Now, hundreds of angry owners are sending back their £290 consoles, which are being shipped to Germany for repair. But the fault remains a mystery.
, 16, from Gomshall, Surrey, said: "I got my Xbox in September and it packed up eight months later in June. First, it kept freezing, then it developed the red ring of death."
In a statement, Microsoft simply said: "The majority of Xbox 360 owners enjoy a great experience with their console. "Anyone with a problem should call Xbox customer service."
Last year, the company had to recall 230,000 Xbox steering wheels worldwide after complaints that they overheated. And it spent £500 million recalling power cords supplied with units made before 2003 after 300 caught fire and burnt seven gamers. To date:
- 12m Xboxes have been sold since 2005
- 33% Xboxes will overheat say experts
- 230k steering wheels were recalled in 07