Well, I can finally consider myself a true Xbox 360 owner as I’ve been blessed with my very own Red Ring of Death.
In some ways I’m relieved. Having owned a unit for a couple of years I’ve often felt the sword of Damocles hover over me whenever I’ve powered the unit up. And, to be fair, I play consoles far less than I used to and most of my machines are inactive for weeks at a time.
Curiously, the unit booted fine yesterday and invited me to perform a system update which I dutifully did. Instability followed immediately with the start-up animation freezing or playing but then refusing to go into the 360 dashboard. Sometimes the dashboard would crash. Other times the startup animation would freeze with graphical corruption on it. Needless to say, I’ve reset the unit a number of times and have finally been shown the red card.
Even more curiously, five minutes after seeing The Ring I powered the unit up again and it worked fine. I spent a couple of hours last night wandering around Dead Space and being really impressed. This morning saw dodgy boot sequences and a more permanent Red Ring.
Quite some time back I registered my Xbox and Xbox 360 on the Xbox Service site so initiating a repair has been a very simple process. We’ll see how the rest of it goes. My expectations are that things should run very smoothly – based on the assumption that this is a process Microsoft has had ample opportunity to perfect through repeated executions.
At launch-time I was really impressed with the 360 and with Microsoft’s endeavours around it. As the failure rate issue became increasingly difficult for everyone (even Microsoft) to gloss over I’ve learned much that has made me pretty disgusted with the way the product was launched and the gamble Microsoft knowingly made to get their product out the door first at the expense of the consumer. I’m not one of those guys who picks a fight with large corporations or feels the need to spell “Microsoft” with a “$” in the middle. I use Office, I use Windows. The products work when I need them to and they meet my requirements. I’m content. My experience of the product that is the 360 has changed how I feel about Microsoft and their efforts in the console industry.
With that said, now that the worst has happened, I believe the most can be made of the experience.
A long time back I found transactions being used against my credit card. I’m a cash or debit-card person myself so my trend for spending on credit card is pretty consistent. Big, assorted retail purchases all in one location stick out like a sore thumb. When I spotted these transactions I informed my bank and they handled the situation brilliantly. My card was stopped, a new one issued, the fraudulent charges on the balance were removed. The service to the customer was outstanding. As a result my confidence in credit card use and in how issues are handled is very high – far higher than it was when nothing had ever gone wrong.
So, now my 360 has gone wrong I’m hoping to have my confidence in the product and in those responsible for it to be boosted. I would welcome the opportunity to truly enjoy the gaming it offers without worrying about my warranty. I look forward to making the most of this!