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Xbox Series X/S FUD or fail: Videos of Microsoft's next-gen consoles smoking, not turning on, and not loading games inevitably appear

Alleged malfunctioning Xbox Series X. (Image source: @Arek_Adamowicz)
Alleged malfunctioning Xbox Series X. (Image source: @Arek_Adamowicz)
Numerous videos of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in various states of malfunction have started appearing online, with clips of the next-gen console blowing out plumes of smoke being the most widely reported. While many of the videos are likely fake, some of them do appear to be genuine, especially when showing signal issues and disc-reading problems.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have been available for barely a day and there are already plenty of videos surfacing online of the consoles breaking down, smoking, or simply not functioning as they should. While this is naturally expected after a huge hardware launch (the same will happen to the PlayStation 5 after its initial launch on November 12), it’s possible that not all the clips of the Xbox Series X malfunctioning are FUD based (fear, uncertainty, and doubt marketing strategy). There may be a few hardcore PlayStation fans out there whipping up fake videos of the Microsoft device in mid-meltdown, but the Redmond-based company has acknowledged that there are some teething issues at least.

An Xbox Series X/S fail compilation video has already hit YouTube and arguably the most disturbing, and already viral, videos are those of the console with smoke billowing out of its top end. However, these have already been somewhat disproven, with Xbox Studio demonstrating how the use of a vape device (electronic cigarette) can create the illusion of the console making a great impression of an erupting volcano. However, while some of the clips are clearly fake (mainly for amusement’s sake) there are some that are both disconcerting and realistic.

So pressing the power button on the Xbox Series X shouldn’t lead to inappropriate loud moaning sounds (NSFW @2:47 in the video embedded below) and you cannot expect the next-gen console to react to voice commands either, no matter how loud you shout at it. But in between the silly moments are plenty of examples of the console simply refusing to power on, clips of the drive struggling to read game discs, moments where the controller fails to interact with what’s on the screen, corrupt signal delivery, strange electrical noises, surprisingly loud operating noise (possibly FUD as initial reviews suggested a quiet machine), and various crashes and freezes. Of course, when millions of units are being shipped around the world, there are going to be some unfortunate souls receiving faulty consoles. But how widespread are these issues?

Microsoft has started offering feedback, with a list of known issues already published for the Xbox Series X/S consoles. This includes a fix for signal problems with certain TVs with 4K@120 Hz and workarounds for dealing with corrupt images. Unfortunately, the current solution for disc-reading problems is the tried and tested “switch it off and on again” method. However, there is no mention yet of what to do if the hardware simply won’t turn on or boot up fully (prepare to fill out a returns slip)…and while the “smoking” videos have already gained some notoriety and are likely fake or feature the console situated in a disconcerting cable mess/accident waiting to happen, it has stoked the flames of the rumor that the Xbox Series X runs too hot.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 11 > Xbox Series X/S FUD or fail: Videos of Microsoft's next-gen consoles smoking, not turning on, and not loading games inevitably appear
Daniel R Deakin, 2020-11-11 (Update: 2020-11-12)