The Red Ring of Death, for so long the dreaded sign that your Xbox 360 has kicked the bucket, is no more.
Earlier this week at the E3 expo, Microsoft revealed the Xbox 360 S, a slimmer, quieter successor to the old 360. While it gained plenty (notably a 250GB hard drive and an extra two USB ports), it also lost the most potent symbol of Xbox hardware failure: the three red lights that would appear when your console had died.
Obviously, this doesn't mean the system will not break. But when it does conk out, it will communicate system failure in different ways: with a circle of green lights! The Green Ring of Death lacks the same hook.
Anyway, it's pretty interesting to me that Microsoft is now distancing itself from the Red Ring of Death. It's certainly understandable, for the RROD has become one of gaming's biggest memes, in the process helping to reinforce the Xbox 360's image as an unreliable console (a deserved image, according to evidence such as this).
As Phil Spencer, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Game Studios, told IGN:
"Now obviously, the box has a way to communicate to you if something has happened...but yes, three red lights are not part of our sequence of telling somebody something is wrong."