Why are defective units at launch a thing?

Why are defective units at launch a thing?

Mar 13, 2017
I understand it's a common problem but I don't understand why. How is that only the launch consoles have many problems and as time goes by most units are fully functional? Is it because those problems were found during launch and later fixed in factories or is it because of some other problem?

» 17 Answers

  • Lilith Valentine Best answer
    Mar 13, 2017
    Mass production with attempt to meet demand. Even if these issues are found during testing, they often don't have enough time to fix them and no one wants to wait anymore for delays.
  • raystriker
    Mar 13, 2017
    I guess defects happen all the time, even in later models. It might be more in new products because the design or the machining process isn't as optimized or realized to the fullest. Probably because there's a wider documentation on what can go wrong that is available the to QC guys?
  • tech3475
    Mar 13, 2017
    My guess:
    1) Rush to market.
    2) Lack of testing.
    3) Gradual Improvements e.g. die shrinks, manufacturing improvements, etc.
    4) Lower QC standards to increase yields.
  • vinstage
    Mar 13, 2017
    Impatient majority. Some people won't wait long periods of time, even if the console is perfect as an end result. I think they'd rather gradual improvements, led by defects.
  • Jiehfeng
    Mar 13, 2017
    Thanks for the answers guys, makes much more sense now.
  • StarTrekVoyager
    Mar 17, 2017
    Nope. Just statistics. Even if no defect is detected, there will still be some.
  • Hells Malice
    Mar 18, 2017
    It's not just 'launch' units. Literally every electronic item, and hell actually pretty much ANYTHING made in a factory can have a defect. That's why most products have a warranty.
    That's just the modern world for you. The more parts and more complex a product is, the more there is to go wrong.
  • x65943
    Mar 18, 2017
    The difference is that at launch ~2 million are sold in a very small window (2-3 weeks). So the small percentage of defects seem larger, because more are noticed in a smaller amount of time.

    The inherent rate is the same though at all times.
  • Subtle Demise
    Mar 18, 2017
    The issues don't always get fixed during production. 360 Slims still get the RRoD don't they?
  • WeedZ
    Mar 19, 2017
    If you've ever spent any time in a factory you'd see there is a lot that can go wrong. From the mold casts, to assembly, machining issues, understaffed/poor quality control. Plus they're all built in china.
  • kehkou
    Mar 19, 2017
    It's only 2017, give it a few centuries...
  • gamesquest1
    Mar 19, 2017
    @Subtle Demise well its the red dot of death now, M$'s fix for the RROD was to remove the ring :P

    but yeah, everything has been covered, its basically the first lot off the presses are kinda like the trial run (ofc there will have been smaller batches of a few thousand for dev systems etc that were the true first batches) but basically the first batch tend to have more defects as there is just defects/issues that miss the initial quality assurances, and for example the joycon sync issues, Nintendo now know of the issue and their engineers will rush to make a more reliable revision, probably by relocating the antenna or giving it a slight boost, its just standard for any type of mass production, its always going to be getting refined and as issues start to arise manufacturers can look into the reasoning and develop fixes

    plus you have to realise day one buyers are going to be 1 million times more vocal about issues, and press/rival companies are going to have vested interest in collecting all the stories, packing them into one video to make it seem like there is so many DOA systems, then the truth is its probably like 1:100000 which is well within reasonable expectations for DOA systems(although it would still suck if your that 1), most manufacturers I would imagine keep a small reserve of systems about on launch if they are expecting to sell out, just to cover their arse for DOA systems, as it would suck to rush out and buy a system for a day 1 release and then have to wait 3 weeks for a replacement XD
  • DarkWork0
    Mar 22, 2017
    I think it's more like the company wants to recover the money as quickly as possible. They need to hit a launch window and if there are minor bugs in a few (or a major one in all ala xb360) they will worry about it later. It's also a case of getting more QA without having to hire more people to do so. Think of it, you can find bugs and defective units easier when you have (possibly) millions of eyes on your product for extended periods vs the few on staff that have a timeline.
  • dAVID_
    Apr 5, 2017
    @Crystal the Glaceon A.K.A China.
  • jefffisher
    Apr 5, 2017
    i just bought a brand new xbox one from best buy last tuesday the latest special edition model, disc drive dead on arrival defectiveness is not limited to launch.
  • jt_1258
    Apr 10, 2017
    new production lines for a new product, they have yet to work out the issues that may have slipped by, the public is the biggest test in the world, which is also why there are betas to help this issue when it's possible for games at least, that and giving units to reviewers to help test
  • Foxi4
    Apr 15, 2017
    Every launch is basically the biggest possible beta test - factories adjust to the DoA rate and the machines are gradually adjusted based on the issues that pop up. You can test a thousand units and find no issues, but when you test millions, a small percentage will always be defective since no two components are exactly the same, not to mention the occasional error during assembly. It's a fact of life, it's why revisions exist in the first place.
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