Microsoft Xbox One launch marred by disc drive glitch

Still, the Xbox One glitch hasn't stopped Microsoft's new console from getting off to a strong start. 

Reuters
An XBox One is seen on display at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles on Nov. 26, 2013.

It wouldn't be a big-budget gadget launch without at least one glitch. 

It happens to Apple. It happens to Sony. And now its happening to Microsoft, which last week officially launched the Xbox One in 13 markets around the world. According to a handful of reports from across the Web, a small number of consoles are hobbled by a mechanical glitch that affects the disc drive, yielding all sorts of crunching and grinding noises when a game is loaded. (This video sums it up pretty well.) 

For its part, Microsoft has said that the problem affects a "very small amount" of devices – although the company did not specify the precise number. 

"We're working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program," Microsoft says in a statement. "Rest assured, we are taking care of our customers. While a replacement console is on its way, we want to ensure our advance exchange customers can stay in the game. We will provide each of them with a free digital download of one of the launch titles published by Microsoft Studios."

A broken console, in other words, earns you a free game.

Of course, there are alternatives, if you're feeling impatient. VentureBeat has a report on a fix that requires users to turn your Xbox One upside-down before giving it a few whacks on the underside. (The evidence of the efficacy of this cure is anecdotal at best; we echo the warning given out by VentureBeat: "Keep in mind that you are performing physical abuse upon a piece of consumer electronics and that you do so at your own risk.") 

The Xbox One has sold strongly out of the gate: 1 million Xbox One consoles in the first 24 hours the device was on sale. In a blog post, Microsoft called it "the biggest launch in Xbox history," and a "new record" for the Washington-based company. Still, the Xbox One doesn't have the market to itself: The PlayStation 4 also sold to the tune of a million units in 24 hours. 

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