A recent firmware update for Xbox Live left owners of older Xbox 360 consoles out in the cold with malfunctioning hardware, but Microsoft will soon make it up to affected owners.

Microsoft will send out new machines (the 250GB slim model) and offer one year of Gold Membership to Xbox Live for those affected by the recent update. The update caused some consoles to face disc error messages, claiming the inserted disc is “unreadable” or “unsupported” — an unforeseen and unwelcome side-effect.

However, this has nothing to do with the upcoming firmware update that is designed to battle piracy and prepare console owners for the new XGD3 disc format which will add up to one more gigabyte of data on Xbox discs.

“Following a recent update to our system software, we have become aware of an issue that is preventing a very small number of Xbox 360 owners from playing retail game discs,” a Microsoft representative told Eurogamer. “We are also able to detect this issue over Xbox Live and are proactively reaching out to customers that may be impacted to replace their console.”

Microsoft advises 360 owners to visit the Xbox support page to confirm if their console is affected. The company has a history of hardware failing on people and with Sony’s recent issues with PlayStation Network, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Microsoft has quickly responded to this problem with a generous offer.

Now, if I could only convince Microsoft to replace my overheated PlayStation 3 and the Wii my cousin sat on last summer.

Source: Eurogamer

*UPDATE*: The patch causing Xbox 360’s disc drives to malfunction is actually a previously released patch, we’ve recently been told. Changes have been made in the story to reflect this update. Thanks goes out to readers who pointed this out.

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