Reports of the Xbox 360's E74 error have dramatically increased since the release of the New Xbox Experience, according to the results of a poll conducted by Joystiq.
Though it's nowhere near as infamous as the fabled Red Rings of Death, the Xbox 360's E74 hardware failure might become as well known soon enough, if the results of a Joystiq survey are to be believed. The error, which is apparently caused by a faulty scaler chip, AV cable, or GPU, results in all sorts of graphical weirdness on screen, followed by a single flashing red light and an unsightly error code screen on bootup.
Joystiq held an open call for readers to write in if they've ever been victims of the E74 hardware failure, and, after receiving dozens of replies, have compiled the data. The first thing they noticed was that the frequency of E74s has increased dramatically since November of last year, which, you'll recall, was around the time that Microsoft launched the New Xbox Experience. It doesn't take a genius to work out the cause-and-effect logic here - the immediate conclusion is that NXE is making the 360 work so hard that it becomes more prone to error.
The blog noticed that the errors had nothing to do with when the system was bought - people who have owned their 360s for anywhere from one to three years reported having the issue. So, whatever type of 360 you bought with whatever special motherboard might not keep you safe from the error.
So, is this survey just scaremongering or should we actually be on the look out for what could become the dreaded "Red Light of Death?" Well, there is some of your hard-earned cash at stake here: while Microsoft's well-publicized extended warranty covers RRODs, it does not cover anything else. So, if you get an E74, you'll have to pony up some serious dough to get Microsoft to fix it (though, naturally there are a whole slew of DIY fixes).
Joystiq reached out to Microsoft to see if the company could back up their data (which they're ready to assert is far from scientifically prepared), but the company was predictably reticent on all fronts, only saying that the "E74 is a general hardware error on Xbox 360 indicated by a single red flashing light in the Xbox Ring of Light and an error message visible on the television. This error is unrelated to the three flashing red lights error and there is not a single root cause."
Have any of you guys gotten this error? And was it before or after getting the New Xbox Experience?