Sweet and Sour

August 5, 2008


A few weeks ago I came across a deal that I couldn't pass up: a factory re-certified Xbox 360 selling for $200. This is $100 off the normal retail price, and I have had pretty good experiences with refurbished hardware. After receiving approval along with "conditions" from my financial adviser (Heather) I ordered the console.

I waited anxiously for the console to arrive, refreshing the UPS tracking page at least once an hour for updates on where my new toy was on its shipping adventure. As soon as I picked it up off the doorstep I took it into the living room and connected it to our television.

First off, the Xbox 360 is truly a "next generation" gaming device. If you have an HDTV the graphics are absolutely gorgeous, and the internet connectivity of this device is exploited elegantly. You can download demos for games before buying them, you can purchase games online and download them to your console, and you can even download additional content for games. For instance, if you have Guitar Hero III, and want more songs to play you can download more of them off of Xbox Live (the online service), there are even some songs you can download for free. The other great thing about Live is the way friends are managed. I can log on and see which of my friends are playing on their consoles, what games they are playing, and also voice chat with them online regardless of what game they are playing. This also makes playing games online with friends very easy. I definitely think Nintendo can learn something from the Xbox when it comes to online gameplay...

If you are in the know, you will recognize the picture at the top of this post. It's known as the "Red Ring of Death" and it means that my Xbox is broken... Fortunately Microsoft is going to fix it for free, but this means that I will be without my console for an indeterminate period of time. It doesn't help that I had the console for less than a week before this problem occurred, but I suppose I would rather the problem happen within the 3yr warranty period that covers this specific issue.

I am looking forward to getting a working Xbox again, and cannot wait to play games like The Force Unleashed and Too Human when they come out. I'm used to waiting when it comes to having an Xbox, and I suppose another 2-3 weeks won't kill me...