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There are three different DVD drives used in the manufacture of XBoxes: Samsung, Philips, and Thomson. Here's how to tell what you've got:


Now, the bad news. If you've got the Thomson drive, you are almost certainly going to run into problems playing games released on dual-layer DVD's. This means most newer games. Some of the highest profile games are GTA III Double-Pack and Morrowmind. It gets worse. Microsoft will not acknowledge that these drives do not meet spec and will try to charge you to 'repair' them. Could it get worse? Yup. There's a pretty decent chance, even if you do send it in for repair, that you'll end up with another Thomson drive. No worries you say? You don't have an XBox yet? Getting one for Christmas? Well, they are actually on the shelves at your local retailer with Thomson drives in them! You could buy one off the shelf that doesn't work with new games. Don't believe me? Check out the Microsoft hosted XBox Technical Issues Forum and see for yourself. Or, you can see the details of the petition being put together by all the people stuck with these drives.

Why isn't Microsoft addressing this you ask? One very big reason: Christmas sales.

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