On to Xbox 360 Number Four

Gaming comments edit

It happened again last night.

Jenn and I decided we’d sit down and watch some of Heroes Season 1 on HD DVD.  (We were specifically interested in some of the cool special features, like revealing the hidden helix in each episode and so forth.)  I fired up the Xbox 360 and noticed there was a dashboard update.  You can’t really decline to take the updates, so I took it.

We got about halfway into the first episode when the screen froze.  Picture still on the screen, but not moving and no sound coming out.

Well, sometimes crap happens, and I’ve accepted that.  It’s not too often, and usually a reboot will fix it.  I turned the power off, then turned it back on and it never got past the startup logo.  Halfway into the logo it froze again.

I’ve been through the troubleshooting steps before:

  1. Cycle the power.
  2. If that doesn’t fix it, make sure to remove all of the discs in the machine and cycle the power.
  3. If that doesn’t fix it, disconnect all the peripherals including the hard drive and any memory cards and cycle the power.
  4. If that doesn’t fix it, leave the peripherals disconnected, unplug the console from the wall, wait one minute, plug the console back in, and turn it on.
  5. If that doesn’t fix it, call support.

I did all that, ended up calling support, and long story short, I’m sending the console in again because the guy says it sounds like the system software is hosed.  This part of the support call was the most awesome:

Me: I can’t get past the initial startup logo. It freezes halfway in. Support Guy: [Runs me through all the steps I already did.]  Is it working now? Me: No. Support Guy: Is the console set to the correct time? Me: I’d tell you, but I can’t get past the initial startup logo. Support Guy: …oh.  Right.

This will be my third repair, yielding my fourth console (assuming they send me another refurb).  The first time, the console stopped registering discs in the drive.  That was when I first learned about the wacky DRM scheme and the problems you have after repair.  The second time, I got the Red Ring of Death and got to go through the DRM hassle again.  I don’t want to discourage anyone from an Xbox 360 because I truly love mine - I wouldn’t put up with this garbage otherwise.  But this does seem pretty ridiculous.

Here are some things Microsoft could do to make it up to me:

  • Send me a second console free.  I think there should be some sort of lemon law or something where if you get to the fourth console you get a second console free to use as a “backup” for the next time you have trouble.
  • Send me two repair boxes.  One to send my console in now, and one with a pre-authorized RMA number so I can skip the hassle of calling support and just send the next console in when it goes tits up.
  • Give me a medal.  Sort of like a Purple Heart, but for severe Xbox trauma.  Something that says, “We know you’ve put up with a lot, and we want to recognize you as one of the die-hards.”
  • Free Xbox Live Gold for life.  And maybe a couple of games, just for being a good sport.

I’m also thinking that there should be some sort of gamerscore achievement.

Three Console Repairs - Achievement

There’s a forum on the Xbox site about this update.  I guess I’m not the only one who got hosed by this update, but I’m sure that happens with every update.  I’ve heard about previous updates where people got hosed but I was just fine.  YMMV, I guess.