Generation FAIL: How I Struck Out with the 7th Generation of Consoles (Part 3 - Final)

Chris Kennedy's picture

Microsoft made a huge splash with the first successor to their XBox gaming console with the XBox 360 in November 2005. I was an early adopter, although I am not sure why. Perhaps because it was the first generation released after I had seriously started to collect consoles several years prior. By this point, I had a pretty decent run of home consoles starting with the Atari VCS. Perhaps it was a simple matter of the fact the world was moving into true HD territory, I owned a fairly new HD TV, and it was time to give this new console a try.

I had no idea what sort of troubles that I would be getting myself into, and I was not the only one.

I remember getting the XBox 360. It was a semi-late Christmas gift that I received around New Years 2006. The things were a huge problem to find as it was the Christmas gift of the season. I was lucky that one was tracked down locally at a mega mart and placed into my hands right at the start of the year. It was the Xbox 360 Premium, and it came with a colossal 20 GB hard drive.

To be honest, I never truly adopted the Xbox 360 as my own. I guess I was experiencing such a personal surge of retro gaming, general collecting, and experiencing old games for the first time that I just didn't really find the need to play it. It didn't take long for the FPS to gain representation on the console. Fighting games were clocking in, and even Xbox Live Arcade seemed like a great idea. Of course, I couldn't help but ignore the convenience of XBox Live Arcade by standing by the simple fact that these games were already released for older consoles & could honestly be easily emulated via MAME. There just wasn't a hook to hold my interest too long during that first year, and the release of the Playstation 3 promptly pushed the XBox 360 into the background.

I still had some fun with the XBox 360! The XBLA release of Street Fighter II was awesome, and I even ended up building a custom arcade stick for a co-worker.

Users began to experience the Red Ring of Death with their XBox 360s while mine sat there, gathered dust, and experienced no problems at all because it was never powered up. In all honestly, I should have tried to break it. I should have thrown towels over it, caused it to overheat, fire off that red light, and then received the Xbox 360 replacement offered by Microsoft.

Well, I didn't do that. It wasn't until 2011 that I found a reason to truly fire it up to play a certain game, and what do you know - it had problems. It wasn't even a RRoD. The system would just freeze. Reminded me of the DOS days, really. I would reboot the system. It would boot and then hang again. It would eventually hang even while trying to write Xbox on the screen. I knew what was up. I knew it was overheating, but I couldn't get any error codes or anything to try and diagnose it. I felt it was safe to simply take the approach that the inevitable had happened, and it was time to see some internal action.

My first move was to simply go buy a new 250 GB Xbox 360 Slim. I mean, WHY NOT? The hard drive is over 12 times the capacity, the thing is smaller, quieter, has HDMI output, and just feels so much more modern than the original. Not to mention the fact I was sorta kinda playing a game at the time.

The second move was turning my eyes toward tearing the original apart and fixing it. I don't know what I would do if it worked again. Perhaps I would put it on a second TV? Hook it up to the computer monitor? It didn't really matter. It was simply a pursuit that was getting inside the Xbox 360 and having fun.

The inside of my original Xbox 360:

This isn't intended to be a write-up about how I went about repairing it - The repair procedures for the Xbox 360 RRoD have been around a long time. I will say that I was pleased with how simple and straightforward it was. I elected to go with the X-Clamp replacement kit from XBRdepot. I bought it off Amazon, and it cost all of $12. Not bad. There was no soldering involved. I did use the dremel tool a bit to reduce the height of the risers for the motherboard, but it was otherwise just a matter of sitting down and using their step by step PDF guide.

I spread the work over a few days. There was no hurry. Admittedly, I was holding off on writing my third part of this series of blogs until I had attempted the repair so I could mention it here. That delayed the last blog entry, and here I am getting around to the last part after repairing the console a few months back. Obviously, this is good news - the operation was a success.

I even acquired a faceplate from Espgaluda II to cap off the operation.


Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
I consider my Xbox 360 to be

I consider my Xbox 360 to be one of the best decisions I've made regarding gaming. I still regularly fire it up (Fallout New Vegas & Tell-Tale's Walking Dead lately). Sure, the games on the PC are more diverse and cheaper, but it's still nice having an alternative; especially nice since it's in the livingroom where it's cooler.

The only real gaming I do on my PC nowadays is the MMO Guildwars 2. I should probably do a podcast about it. Sadly, I seem to be a lot more into it than my friends, and it's just not as much fun if you're running around the world by yourself all the time. Still, I hope we can maintain interest long enough to do some of the PVP stuff.

Joined: 01/21/2009
Matt Barton wrote:

The only real gaming I do on my PC nowadays is the MMO Guildwars 2. I should probably do a podcast about it. Sadly, I seem to be a lot more into it than my friends, and it's just not as much fun if you're running around the world by yourself all the time. Still, I hope we can maintain interest long enough to do some of the PVP stuff.

I hate to say it. but i think the Love we had for new MMORPG longterm is never going to happen again. At least not for us oldtimers who grew up with the orginals. GWII really hooked me, it felt new in alot of ways.. but now that i have an 80 (yes our guild is full of dipshits that think endgame races is the way to play) and i am trying to get another past 30.. im losing interest fast. In all honesty this was my own fualt. letting guild force me into several days of racing to top level. I knew better but let peer presure (yes i said that.. silly I know) get the better of me.. We already had almost 20% of guild drop out ( as never online) now that they hit 80 so fast.. Catch 22.. grindy like Everquest and its BORING and HARD, easy like WOW and its to easy and nothing to do.. cant win with us RPG's i guess. I think there is some value in playing the other classes (engineer seems OP, ican effectivly take somebody out of a fight with knockdowns (flashback to Rogues in WoW in thier glory days of Stun Locks).. and own um pretty simple PvP, i expect a gimp real soon).

Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006
Agreed. I have been waiting

Agreed. I have been waiting for a game to suck me in like the old MUDs or WOW did. I loved the getting up in the morning, playing all day and late into the night, and struggling to stay awake just to play a bit more. TERA was more like...okay, I guess I'll play for an hour or two. All right, now I'll go watch Breaking Bad. GW2 is more like--I'm leveling so fast I'm going to get too far ahead of my friends to really be fun.

I tried starting an engineer but it felt really repetitive.

Also, as fun as the dynamic events go, they do start to feel samey after awhile. Escort that bull...AGAIN. and again. I think they should probably cut back on those by 25% or so. It'd make them feel more special and exciting rather than just a way to level.

I think it's too early to tell what's going to happen with this game. Very strong start, but if they start making huge patches and nerfing classes, it's going to piss a lot of people off...

I have to wonder, too, if part of my attitude is that I have played WOW to death. What would I think of GW2 if I hadn't ever played WOW? Judging from my brother's reaction, only so-so.


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