Saturday, February 19, 2011

System Failure

I believe the number of people that I know personally to have had a console take a shit on them is staggering. I don't know what the exact number is really, but I do know staggering sums up how I feel about it. There was a time around the year 2007 that I personally felt like I had started the Xbox 360 revolution within a group of gaming buddies which at the time consisted of about a dozen guys. One by one they each went out and bought the 360 not long after I initially "jumped in". Oddly enough, one by one they each watched their sometimes days, hell, in one guys case hours, old machine take a crap on them and flash the three red lights of death or the RROD.

I wasn't safe from the rash of faulty equipment that Microsoft stuffed into the market. Matter of fact, my first system purchased was an early model that I grabbed at the local K-Mart only two months after the November 22nd (right?) launch of the Xbox 360. I had to be at work at 2 p.m. that day and got back to the house after buying the 360 at K-Mart around 1:15 p.m., plenty of time to test drive the sonuvabitch! The first thing I tried to play was an Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) demo disc with none other than King Kong the demo on it!

I couldn't even get past the loading screen and the damn thing would lock up. This was on a demo. Now at first thought I figured, "This could very well be one of the demos with issues. Not uncommon..." I didn't pick any games up when I bought the system that day before work, but my wonderful, beautiful wife Cyndi surprised me when I returned home later that evening after work. She had gone and done some shopping, particularly, some game shopping! What she wound up picking up was the perfect welcome to your new Xbox 360 triple play!

Condemned: Criminal Origins, an instant and forever classic was the first game I saw in the three high stack. Under it was a copy of what I swear sold one to one with the 360 at launch, Call of Duty 2. Finally, at the bottom of the pile was Quake 4, and I shit you not when I say this, I have yet to finish this game but do in fact still own a copy! Either way, at the time these three games were notably some of the best titles to own in the early stages of the 360's life.

Condemned crashed on the loading screen. Call of Duty 2 I could only play multi player. And Quake 4 I could play the single or multi player but only for an hour at a time which would then result in the system locking up. Back to K-Mart the hunk of shit went.

The replacement unit lasted six months. I have had other 360 units fail as well including an Elite from early 2009 that had the Ethernet plug go bad. The latest of the bad news is my relatively brand new 250gb Xbox 360 S I picked up back in October of 2010 I think? Maybe a bit earlier, either way, the damn thing isn't very old. It has a simple problem. It will not read discs. I don't mean it tries and tries and then says dirty disc error or cannot read disc, or take better care of your shit, idiot. None of that oh no. Once you close the tray with any disc in it, the message on the dashboard immediately reads "Open Tray" meaning the drive doesn't even recognize anything in the tray. Dead laser? Damaged laser? Fried PCB? Who knows, the damn thing doesn't work and all it is good for now is playing my downloaded arcade games, demos, and Xbox Originals. What a joke.

Oh do not for one second think that my only fits of rage a induced by the predominant hunk of shit on the market. Sony's PlayStation 3, of which I own an 80gb Phat model (Fat? Phat? Which is it nerds?), one of the backward compatibles machines, has encountered technical difficulties while in my possession in 2010. The console, which I bought at Wally-World in 2008, had sounded for many months like a 757 taking off in my gaming room. This started not too long after the buy, and of course I gave the machine lots of blow jobs hoping to keep the insides cleaned out.

Not a difference was made, and unless I wanted to void my warranty, there was nothing I could do to rip the bastard apart and make sure the thermal paste was freshened up and all the resident dust bunnies had been evicted. Airflow was extremely prohibited I believe in my unit which lead to the untimely death. Nevertheless I chose to replace the 80gb unit with a new slimmer model and went shopping recently to check on what kind of packages were out there and what prices looked like.

In the end I chose the 320gb Move Bundle! Let's see how long this things lasts! It will get some heavier playtime that did the old fat bastard, that is for sure. It feels nice to once again own a functional PlayStation 3 because I get play a favorite title of mine, MAG. Of course, before there is any MAG to be played, the dead machine has to be tore apart because my MAG disc is trapped inside!

With the way I have been enjoying my PC gaming hobby as of late I am starting to feel this machine will be my final attempt to enjoy this generation of consoles. I have spent more money on consoles, controllers, headsets, annual LIVE memberships, Microsoft Points, PSN Bucks or whatever the fuck they are called than I have on my decently equipped gaming rig. I am not saying that I want to place the PC at the top of the pedestal and never look down on the inferior consoles as I do get equal enjoyment out of both formats. It's just that, I haven't needed four PC's in the last three years, you know?

Tomorrow my PC may melt on me who know, and it likely wouldn't surprise me with the luck I have been having as of late, but Even if such a horrendous thing was to happen, there is no way the I would retire from this great hobby. Even as mad as I am about the quality of the consoles produced these days, the gaming experiences people have with them seem to out weigh the bad hype. End rant. I just thought I share a thought or two today.