Yay, I can finally join the not-so-exclusive club of having my first 360 die, with the ever so fashionable E74 error code. I don’t have a launch machine, whose failure rates are legendary, I have the 2nd revision (‘Falcon’), and it’s about 18 months old now.
The ‘Falcon’ chipsets are not supposed to be quite as error prone as the launch machines, but still the failure rates are above what is usually expected of consumer electronics, so I seem to have fallen into that statistic (no official numbers, but thought to be around 16%, or 3-5 times the expected average). The issue is usually the GPU lifting off the motherboard because of excessive heat - the ‘Jasper’ machines dropped the die size of the GPU so this was less of an issue, but the ‘Falcon’ machines only had a die shrink on the CPU - which helps, but not as much.
I knew when I went into this that the 360’s thermal design was poor so I’m pretty resigned about it; it was always a risk, and the RRoD extended warranty made me feel content enough to take that risk given the rest of the deal. Of course, this isn’t the RRoD, but luckily Microsoft just recently added a clause to the extended warranty to cover the E74 error too (which is apparently very similar), so I’ll get it fixed for free. I’ve already logged it, just have to wait for them to send me a box. I also might be able to borrow a ‘spare’ from my brother-in-law in the meantime, although I’m travelling next week anyway so I won’t miss it so much in the short term.
Thank goodness for swappable hard drives though - a friend’s PS3 died recently (YLOD) and it was only then that I discovered you can’t move your hard drive to a new PS3 without losing all the data on it. For me, being halfway through Fallout 3 that would suck on a planetary level.