How, exactly, did Microsoft wind up shipping a notoriously defective Xbox 360, resulting in thousands upon thousands of gamers burning through temporarily working consoles and over a billion dollars in warranty expenses? That's largely answered in Venture Beat's massive feature on the birthing pains of the console, one designed under the gun and hastily revised with a software "ship and patch" philosophy. Venture Beat's Dean Takahashi talks to numerous on- and off-the-record sources close to the manufacturing of the Xbox 360, providing insight into how ill-conceived certain aspects of the first-to-launch console were. For example, VB writes that in August of 2005, just prior to launch, some 68% of consoles coming off the assembly line just didn't work. It's a fascinating read, from the console's early engineering gaffes and compromises, to Microsoft's reluctant admission of defective hardware. Some of it may be familiar territory, but it's a comprehensive look at the console's history, if nothing else. Xbox 360 defects: an inside history of Microsoft's video game console woes [Venture Beat]