Study: Wii nine times more reliable than Xbox 360, four times more than PS3



SAN FRANCISCO, CA–SquareTrade, the largest independent warranty provider in the world, today announced the results of a study comparing malfunction rates for the top three game consoles — Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) — and found that the Wii is the most reliable system on the market, with a failure rate just one-fourth of the PS3 and one-ninth of the Xbox 360. Even when adjusted for the lower rate of usage, the Wii leads the pack by a comfortable margin.

While the study found the Xbox 360 to have the highest failure rate, it also had good news for Xbox 360 fans. SquareTrade’s data shows that the introduction of the “Jasper” chipset in late 2008 has likely solved the well-publicized “Red Ring of Death” (RROD) problem, which renders the device unusable and has plagued the system since its launch in 2005.

SquareTrade also examined the factor of usage in the analysis of each game console. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are widely regarded as the consoles of choice for hardcore gamers who tend to play for longer periods of time and the Wii skews toward a more casual, family-based demographic.

After accounting for usage, the Wii still ranked as the least likely to fail, with a 0.31 percent failure rate per day of use. By contrast, the PS3 failed 75 percent more frequently. The Xbox 360 also benefited from the usage-based analysis, but still lagged far behind, with 435 percent the failure rate of the Wii.

Highlights of the study include:

  • During the first two years of ownership, 2.7 percent of Wii owners reported a system failure to SquareTrade, compared with 10 percent of PlayStation 3 owners and 23.7 percent of Xbox 360 owners.
  • Excluding RROD failures, which are covered by Microsoft’s three-year warranty, 11.7 percent of Xbox 360 owners reported a failure.
  • While the RROD problem continued to be the major issue for Xbox 360s purchased through 2008, early indications point to the problem abating in 2009.
  • The most common types of problems seen with the PS3 and Xbox 360 were disc read errors and output issues. The Wii had more power and remote control issues than the other 2 systems.

The full study is available for download at:

(Thanks for the tip, Markus)


  1. ahahahahaha

    nintendos are always built to last. gotta love that about them. i abuse the crap out of my ds and it keeps plugging away. good stuff.

  2. This is no surprise. Nintendo has been around for such a long time and they haven’t been able to achieve it without knowing a thing or two about creating stable systems and making a profit right form the launch date, unlike two other companies I know of.

    Anyway keep up the good work Nintendo, you’ll run both of them right out of the gaming business soon enough.

  3. I’m a little surprised. I thought the PS3 and Wii had similar failure rates. Guess not. I’ve had no problem with my PS3 or Wii. Only my 360.

  4. Hmm… I wonder what the total hours per game comparison is for these systems. I know Brawl is the number one most played Wii game… I wonder if it matches up to the number 1 most played PS3 or 360 game… That would be an interesting comparison.

  5. My Wii has a fried GPU (most noticeable in RE4 with some rainbow-colored vertical stripes)… but my PS3 is going strong so far. To be fair I’ve had the Wii for a longer period of time.

  6. I had my wii since launch and its holding up well. The only problem i had was when brawl came out and my lense was dirty and couldnt read it. Got a cleaning kit and used it only once a week ago. Its my primary game machine and i play it alot, so the whole time thing doesnt really apply to me. Nintendo always makes good stuff, i still got my orignal gameboy!

  7. The report states that the Wii’s biggest problem is power, followed by disc read issues. My Wii’s disc player is often noisy, which I have read happens for others. I keep expecting it to go bad at any time.

  8. @gojiguy: The #1 software played on the 360 is not a game at all: it’s each owner’s favorite movie/music!

    (Jokes aside, this is an important thing to notice: the 360 is more likely to be left on hours on end just playing music or movies than the other two consoles, which will raise the chance of it RROD’ing.)

  9. I had 2 XBOX 360’s break down on me and eventually gave up on it because I bought a launch PS3 and Wii. The PS3 is still working perfectly but the Wii is breaking down and Nintendo wants me to pay $75.00 to fix it and $10.00 to ship it. This is kind of frustrating coming from a platinum member of Club Nintendo and have owned every Nintendo system and a ton of first party games.

  10. Yeah, I think we all knew that. Go Nintendo!

  11. Burnt GPU on mine sadly. Only Nintendo console I’ve had a problem with.

  12. Within the first week of getting my Wii, it would turn on and give the black screen with the health warnings, but not show the “click a to continue” deal.
    Sent it into Nintendo got a new Wii (lost all of my Wii Sports and Twilight Princess data T_T) and since then, the only problem I have with the machine is the controllers- sometimes they want to cooperate, sometimes, not so much.
    Other than that, no problems.

    I have yet to have any issues with my PS3.

  13. I have to say the PS3 is the most reliable for me. My Wii fried 3 months in. My 360 RROD after about a year and a half…well the first time. It’s now RROD’d again in less than a year.

    The 360, while gamewise probably my favorite this gen, is a crappily made product.

  14. I also had a burnt GPU on my launch Wii. Issue with the NIC and WiiConnect24 which was fixed in software. This happened about 13 months after purchase. Luckily, I had registered my Wii and got a 3 month extension for free. Nintendo fixed it promptly, and extended the warranty by another year.

    Seeing as I’ve used my Wii for extended periods (30+ straight hours during Mario Marathon 1 and 2) I can attest to the systems stability.

  15. I personal experience is similar.
    My Xbox 360 had a RROD, even though I’m hardly using it at all.
    My PS3 and my Wii both never had the slightest problem. But the Wii is the console I use the most, so one could say that it was the most reliable of the three consoles.