Biting the Bullet – The Tale of my Second Broken Xbox 360

As I posted on my blog on my GameSpot profile, my Xbox 360 has once again taken a one way trip to the afterlife. I knew the end was near once I saw a mosaic of green dots covering the screen during games, as seen in the quick video I captured below.


Here’s a small portion of what I had to say on my GameSpot blog.

As you can see, my Xbox 360 has decided to die once again. Great. This time, a fried graphics card seems to be the culprit and when I tried to turn the system on yesterday, I got an error message, message E 74 to be exact, inviting me to contact Xbox Customer Support.

I called Customer Support only to find out that Microsoft seems intent on screwing me over. Since this is not a “three red lights” issue (only one was blinking on my system) it’s not covered by the three year warranty. To make matters worse, my Xbox 360 is just outside of the one year warranty extension I received from them when my 360 broke down before (I swear they’re planning it like this) so it’s going to cost me $100 to get it fixed. Well, that’s just peachy.

The rest of this post can be viewed here.

Earlier today, after mulling it over for hours, I went up to GameStop and traded in my Xbox 360 for $110 in store credit which I used to buy a new Arcade system, much like the one you see above. This was a very tough decision to make but I’m happy with the choice I’ve made. Somehow forcing the three red lights of death would have allowed me to get my Xbox 360 repaired for free but there were four main reasons why I decided not to do this.

First, as I mentioned before, there’s the risk of Microsoft sending me another defective system. I’ve heard of numerous cases of this happening and I didn’t want to take that risk.

Second, I wanted a system with one of the newer, Jasper motherboards, which runs much cooler than previous models due to the 65nm CPU and GPU. Although Jasper shipments haven’t yet been confirmed, there are many sites that are reporting that Jasper systems have indeed shipped so I’m confident that I have one.

In addition, I was an early adopter and, as you possibly already know, the HDMI port was added retroactively to all Xbox 360 models a little over a year ago so this was something that I wanted, considering my upcoming HDTV purchase.

Third, well, I’m impatient. Time is money and I’ve already committed to doing a few reviews for Talk Xbox which require me to having a working Xbox 360. I tried playing a bit of Mega Man 9 earlier today, but when I turned off the system to go have lunch and came back, the system was once again outputting those telltale dots that blanketed the screen in a sickening green hue (sickening, despite the fact that green is my favorite color). My editors are expecting a fast turnaround and I aim not to disappoint.

Fourth, I don’t want to have to go through this decision process again so, I decided to also buy a one year Product Replacement Plan through GameStop for $20. Given my work experience, I know that when a customer brings back a system with a PRP, there are no questions asked. I plan to use this to my advantage to switch out my system for a new one a year from now, regardless of whether or not it has a problem. Hopefully, Microsoft will have found out what causes Xbox 360’s to break down and fixed the problem once and for all.

So, considering all of these things and that the Arcade system has everything I need, this was a no-brainer. Sure, it does leave a $100 dent in my wallet but I’ll eventually get over it. I purchased Duke Nukem 3D earlier and I’ve been playing that for a few hours since I got home. Being able to relive one of the classics I loved playing on my dad’s computer all those years ago was almost worth the $100 in itself. Almost.

Well, here’s hoping I don’t have any problems out of Xbox 360 #3…at least until October 5, 2009 that is.

About Justin McBride

My name is Justin McBride and I’m a guy who enjoys writing, playing games and writing about playing games. Sound lame enough yet? Well, I have other interests as well such as hanging out with friends, watching TV, going to the movies from time to time, surfing the internet, listen to good music, drive at speeds I shouldn’t be driving at and so on. The problem is, that’s all stuff everyone likes to do, so why write about it? Oh wait, seems I just did. Oops.

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