Xbox 360 Class Action Moves Forward, Court Rules

Microsoft continues to face Xbox 360-related legal trouble, as the Xbox One console continues to leap forward in sales (as previously reported in the Inquisitr.)

As per an article in theToronto Sun, on Wednesday the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle has ruled that a lower court judge applied the law incorrectly in finding that console owners in the United States could not sue for damages as a group, although it did not conclude if a class action should be certified.

That being said, the lawsuit has been approved to move forward and Microsoft will have to face class action claims in a lawsuit covering millions of Xbox 360 owners. The class action suit alleges that the Xbox 360 has a design defect which causes game discs to become gouged and rendered useless.

Although the Xbox 360 is now quite dated, new games are still being released, with newer AAA titles such as Dragon Age: Inquisition or Battlefield: Hardline retailing for $69.99 — nearly half the price of a new Xbox 360 console directly from the Microsoft store.

According to Gamespot, plaintiffs have leveled some very unequivocal accusations at Microsoft and the Xbox 360.

“[The optical drive is] unable to withstand even the smallest of vibrations, and that during normal game playing conditions discs spin out of control and crash into internal console components, resulting in scratched discs that are rendered permanently unplayable.”

Microsoft’s primary response is that, of the 84 million Xbox 360 consoles sold worldwide, the vast majority have no problems with damaged discs, and released a statement saying that only 0.4 percent of Xbox 360 systems (336,000) suffered from disc-scratching issues and further alleged that the main cause of damaged media is consumer error and misuse, and not a product defect.

“We’ve won in the lower court previously and believe the facts are on our side.”

Wednesday’s ruling on the Xbox 360 case did not in any way address whether Microsoft was at fault, or the validity of the complaint. The ruling, from Circuit Judge Johnnie Rawlinson, indicated that when the case was originally dismissed by U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez in Seattle, he relied on a ruling from a similar case in 2009. However, that decision was later reversed in 2010, two years before Judge Martinez’s own ruling.

“Plaintiffs’ breach of express warranty claim presents a common factual question-is there a defect?-and a common mixed question of law and fact-does that defect breach the express warranty?

The district court erred in finding that individual issues of causation predominate over these common questions.”

In summer of 2013, Microsoft followed industry trends in updating their user terms-of-service on the new Xbox One to block class action lawsuits against the company, a policy which has not yet been tested in court. It is currently unknown when the Xbox 360 trial will proceed.

[Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images]

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