Xbox 360 original model
The original Xbox 360 model. Microsoft

The United States Supreme Court will hear an appeal from Microsoft over whether the technology firm should face a nine-year-old class action lawsuit alleging that a design fault in the Xbox 360's disc drive damaged discs and rendered them unplayable.

On 15 January, the Supreme Court justices agreed to hear Microsoft's appeal, according to Press Association. The company argues that the individual claims of the lawsuit's plaintiffs had previously been thrown out of court.

Microsoft claims only 0.4% of the 84 million Xbox 360 consoles sold have been found to scratch discs due to the optical disc drive being too sensitive and spinning discs so fast that they fly into other parts of the console, damaging both the console and the discs.

The first few years of the Xbox 360's lifespan were infamously marred by the "Red Ring of Death" controversy that bricked numerous consoles, costing Microsoft millions until the Xbox 360 Slim model put an end to the issues.

The disc-scratching allegations also stem from these early years and early console models. The primary cause of the scratches was any repositioning of the console while a disc was in use. Tilting it or moving it with any great severity would dislodge the disc, thus causing the scratches. Microsoft has always argued that it is not at fault for this, as it warns users not to move the console while it is switched on.

Various investigations have looked into why this was the case. In 2007, the European Commissioner for Consumer Protection investigated the problems, as did BBC consumer TV show Watchdog in 2009.

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