An independent provider of electronic device warranties has examined data from its own customers to determine the Wii to be the most reliable current console system on the market, and the Xbox 360 the least.
San Francisco-based SquareTrade, which bills itself as "the largest independent warranty provider in the world," compared failure rates of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii in the first two years of ownership, with a total sample size of 16,000 console units owned by SquareTrade customers.
Within that group, system failures were reported by 2.7 percent of Wii owners, 10.0 percent of PlayStation 3 owners, and 23.7 percent of Xbox 360 owners.
The Xbox 360's infamous "red ring of death"-related problems "continued to be a major issue" for the system through 2008, according to SquareTrade, but have significantly decreased in frequency this year.
Still, somewhat shockingly, even when "red ring of death" problems are removed from the calculation, Xbox 360 is still the least reliable system, narrowly edging out PlayStation 3 with an 11.7 percent failure rate.
Overall, Microsoft and Sony consoles were mainly plagued by disc read and video output problems, whereas the Nintendo console's most troubling area was power-related.