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Originally published Saturday, November 26, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Gamers report glitches playing new Xbox 360

Microsoft's Xbox 360, the much-anticipated video game system that made its debut earlier this week, is apparently experiencing some technical...

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Microsoft's Xbox 360, the much-anticipated video game system that made its debut earlier this week, is apparently experiencing some technical glitches.

Microsoft played down the number of complaints, saying the company has received only "a few, isolated reports" of Xbox 360 consoles with problems.

At gamer-oriented Web sites, Xbox 360 owners have reported system crashes in games such as the space-marines-vs.-aliens title Quake 4.

One owner complained that his new console tries to read the shooter game Perfect Dark Zero as a DVD movie. Another posted a video file of the game Project Gotham Racing 3 freezing up before the player had even finished the first lap of the driving game.

Brian Crecente, who runs the game-fan site Kotaku.com, said his Xbox 360 locked up three times, causing him to lose a couple of hours' worth of progress in a Western-themed action game called Gun.

The problems with the gaming console don't appear to be widespread based on feedback from visitors to his Web site, Crecente said, but it's "enough to make me wonder."

In a poll of 557 users on teamxbox.com, 16 percent reported problems with their machines.

Technical glitches are not unheard of in new-game-machine launches — some early buyers of Sony's PlayStation Portable this spring complained that the device came with dead picture elements on the screen of the handheld game device.

For the Xbox 360, "The call rate is well below what you'd expect for a consumer electronics product of this complexity," said Microsoft spokeswoman Molly O'Donnell.

"We are making sure that the people that are having problems are getting their issues resolved quickly," O'Donnell said.

Crecente said the stakes are high for the new console as it aspires to also be a multimedia hub for the living room, connecting wirelessly to the user's home network and a number of other digital gadgets.

"You don't expect your VCR to crash when you hit the eject button," he said.

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"Once [a game console] makes the transition from your back bedroom to your living room — you're on Broadway now. You can't have any misfires."

Microsoft has said it hopes to sell 3 million units of the new game consoles in its first 90 days. The consoles cost up to $400, not including games.

Information from Bloomberg News is included in this report.

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