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Xbox users claim Kinect broke their consoles

Xbox owners have accused Microsoft's new Kinect motion-sensing controller of breaking their consoles.

Online gaming forums have experienced a number of reports from users who claim to have witnessed an error message of three flashing red lights - commonly known as the 'red ring of death' - after plugging in the hands-free peripheral.

Disgruntled 10-year-old gamer Adam Winnifrith told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme that he'd only used the new Kinect he'd got for Christmas a couple of times before his Xbox 360 failed, just weeks after its warranty expired.

Adam's father, James, told the show: "It's very disappointing. We were planning to have a big New Year's Day party with karaoke microphones and a Take That competition. But now the Xbox is just sitting idle."

The Winnifriths' problems are echoed by a number of posts on Microsoft's official Xbox gaming forums.

Microsoft yesterday denied any link between Kinect and the 'red ring of death', which indicates a general hardware failure.

In a statement, the company said the Kinect had been "designed to work with every Xbox 360 sold to date."

"There is no correlation between the three flashing red lights error and Kinect. Any new instances of the three flashing red lights error are merely coincidental," it added.

CEO Steve Ballmer, delivering the keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 in Las Vegas, claimed the controller had been a huge success, outstripping Microsoft's expectations by shifting eight million units since launch, against the company's initial estimate of five million.