i won the lottery again

Sun Sep-14th-2008 // Filed under: Games

This is actually the second Red Ring of Death I’ve encountered. The first one happened with Pelaaja magazine’s Xbox 360, back in the day — a debug machine, actually, as a I recall. (The main difference between a debug 360 and an ordinary 360, from a reviewer’s point of view, is that the debug machines are a lot louder. Yeah. Louder.) I was supposed to review Far Cry Instincts: Predator, but of course that gig had to be reassigned in a hurry.

There’s a kind of a pleasant symmetry here, because this time I was supposed to review Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise for them, and again it turns out I can’t do it because of the Red Ring. I’ve had this machine for about a year and a half, and just about all of that time I’ve been wondering how long I have before this happens. I think it says something about the console’s reputation when it’s decidedly not a question of “if” but “when”.

That said, though, credit where it’s due: Microsoft does make the process of getting the machine fixed without any cost to the user just about as easy as it realistically can be. Still, would’ve been nice if they’d manufactured the damn things so that this didn’t happen in the first place.


  1. I’m on my third 360 by now. It’s just bad design. Just take the thing in your hands and feel it – compared to the rock-solid construction of the PS3, the 360 feels shoddy. It’s too bad, since I really like the platform (Live, library), but there are some major issues with the hardware, even this late into the cycle.

    The 360 hardware has always been the thing you don’t want to think about, but need in order to play games. And my god, the noise. They do say that current models are quieter, don’t know about that. Certainly all the devkits and testkits we have in the office are much quieter than what I put up with at home.

    Comment by Joonas — September 15, 2008 @ 1221484188

  2. From what I understand, the debug machines the media has — at least the ones that have been in media use for years now — are mostly some of the very first machines ever produced, so they really hadn’t properly optimized them at that point — so the coolers go at full blast all the time, even when they don’t need to. (Not that it seems to do much good.) That’s a lot of noise, right there.

    Anyway, once the UPS man comes along and picks up my 360, and eventually returns with the new one, I guess I’ll have some idea of whether the replacement is any quieter. I’m not sure how new the units they ship out as replacements are — my old 360 doesn’t have an HDMI port, for example. Am I gonna get one back with the port? Or just another older model? I guess I’ll find out.

    Honestly, though, the noise hasn’t bothered me that much, since I keep the machine on the bookshelf (with appropriate space for ventilation, obviously), and I find that the books absorb a lot of the noise. Which doesn’t make it quiet, but, you know.

    Comment by Mikki — September 15, 2008 @ 1221484792

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