GOODBYE XBOX

In late 2006 I managed to win an Xbox 360 Pro console in a Pepsi contest. Thanks to a certain Gwilli for letting me know about the contest. When I received my Xbox it was nearly 2007 and I was painfully behind the times in terms of console gaming.

At the time, I was working on a “next-gen” game (I guess we call it current-gen now), yet I didn’t own a next-gen console and I didn’t know anything about high-definition standards. I couldn’t have told you what 480i or 480p meant, though I was pretty sure 1080 was better than 480. Anyways, because I got that 360, I was able to learn what modern console gaming was all about. It certainly made me a more knowledgeable person at work.

My 360 was manufactured in September of 2006, making it one of the original designs for the 360, also known as the Xenon design. As the years went by, there were numerous reports of 360s failing in high numbers. I personally know many people who had their 360s fail. Finally, Microsoft acknowledged there was indeed a problem. Despite all of this and despite the fact I had a 360 design that was most prone to failure, I played on and on. I would play hours at a time, afternoons would blend into evenings, yet my faithful 360 churned on, not a blip or hiccup to be heard or seen.

So much time had passed that I thought that I might have lucked out. I might have one of those rare launch consoles that was ok. Just to be safe, I rarely moved it from where it sat. Most of the time, it was on a small end table next to my desk, in its vertical position.

When I moved to my new apartment, my 360 went not in my bedroom but into my living room. I put in on a bookcase shelf basically by itself with plenty of room around it. Now in a previous post, you might have seen my 360 on the fireplace mantle. That’s where I had it temporarily until I got my new TV. Once my TV got delivered, my 360 went back on the shelf.

This weekend, I finally got around to adjusting my TV settings to something that could pass as calibrated. This meant, the picture would look much better than what I had been seeing in the break-in period. First, I tested my Blu-rays which looked great after calibration. Then it was time for the actual HD TV channels. Last but not least, it was time for my 360.

When I turned on my 360 it actually turned on fine. When I got to the dashboard, I decided to put in a game, that’s when things went wrong. The game didn’t load and my Xbox appeared to freeze. Undeterred, I turned it off and then turned it back on. This is when I really knew something was wrong. Instead of powering up like normal, I got the infamous three red rings. This was an indication of a serious hardware error. In my case, it was indicating an overheating problem which was interesting since the console had been off for several weeks beforehand.

I turned it on and off over the course of several minutes but each time it would not start up. A few times it would not get the three red rings and instead just freeze. Realizing that this was not a recoverable error, I gave up. I then went to the Xbox web site to start the repair process. Within minutes, I had a pre-paid UPS label sent to my e-mail. It’s good for ten days.

I’ll have to ship my broken Xbox to Don Mills in Ontario, of all places. Microsoft will likely not repair my console but instead give me a refurbished one. I’m hoping that the one I get back will have HDMI since my didn’t.

Well, it was a good run. I have no stats to back this up but I’m thinking I had one of the more resilient original Xbox 360s out there. Nearly three years before it decided to break.

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