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Report: Wii is most reliable console; 360 has highest failure rate

Excluding 'Red Ring' issues, Microsoft console still 4 times less reliable

The Wii is the most reliable console on the market with only 2.7 per cent of owners reporting a system failure compared to 23.7 per cent of Xbox 360 owners, according to an independent report published by warranty provider SquareTrade.

In the study, which covered just the three current-generation home consoles, the PlayStation 3 came out between its two rivals with malfunctions reported by 10 per cent of owners.

It also determined that the Xbox 360's failure rate couldn't be attributed solely to the much-publicised 'Red Ring of Death' hardware issue covered by Microsoft's three-year warranty, since 11.7 per cent of Xbox 360 owners reported different problems.

The study, conducted by the US-based independent warranty provider, randomly selected 16,000 games consoles under its SqaureTrade Warranty for analysis.

As well as looking at failure numbers, it also compared usage amounts, which concluded the PlayStation 3 was the most used of the three home consoles.

Owners used the Sony console for an average of 19.9 days over 24 months, compared to 17.6 days for Xbox 360 and just 8.6 days for Wii.

Breaking down this data into failure rate per 24 hours, the study concluded the 360 was still the least reliable with a 1.35 per cent chance of failure (0.67 per cent excluding RROD), while the PS3 came out at 0.50 per cent and the Wii 0.31 per cent.

Disc read errors and output issues were the most common reported among both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners, while the Wii had more remote control issues than the other two systems.

The report did acknowledge however that the introduction to the Xbox 360 of the Jasper chipset in late 2008 has now "likely solved" the RROD issue.

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Kath Brice