Thursday, December 24, 2015

Console Headaches!

With as many video game consoles as I've played and owned throughout the years, I have to say that without question the most troublesome have been the Playstation 2 and the Xbox 360. Even with as famously unreliable the NES connectors are known to be, I've never had to do anything more than take the NES apart, toothbrush and alcohol the connector and slap it back together. The Playstation 2, however, hasn't been too bad, it's just the fact that the Playstation 2 consoles that I have (three in total) seem to eat through reading lasers like they're breakfast cereal.

You could argue that it's my own fault, since I've received all my consoles second-hand. While that is in fact true, I would argue greatly to the fact that I have received all my consoles second-hand, and have never had as much trouble from any of them as I have with the Playstation 2 and the Xbox 360 consoles. My original Xbox was given to me because the laser wouldn't read, but once I installed a replacement the console gave me years of solid service. I did replace the laser in my black PS2 slim, which gave me varying levels of service throughout four years, but ultimately it too died.

Now comes the Xbox 360, in my opinion the absolutely worst conceived console ever. Don't get me wrong, I love my 360s, when they worked, but the console's architecture was absolute garbage and planned to be disposable, either that or by a complete idiot. Even though the Xbox 360's competitor, the PS3, was known to have gremlins of its own, the Xbox 360 far and away will be known as the console that should have never been. Again, I'm not dogging the Xbox 360 as a brand, I'm simply saying that Xbox 360 was built like shit.

If I buy a console that doesn't work properly, it's a rarity, that's just a fact, and most times a console can easily be repaired with a few slight modifications or repairs. The Xbox 360, however has been a terrible case that even once repaired, there is no telling how long it will last. I was given two Xbox 360s because they were giving the RROD, and since they were free I figured I would give the towel wrap trick a try and see if I could get any signs of life from them.

Eventually I had one of them professionally repaired at a local PlayNTrade, but that only last until their warranty had expired, literally shortly after their repair warranty expired the Xbox 360 died another death. Hope wasn't all lost though as with the console being repaired it was easier to towel wrap it and reset the chips, which I did many many times. At some point after I was given a Halo edition Xbox 360, which was plagued with the RROD also. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay another $50 and have the repair only last until the short warranty expired, no, this time I opened the console myself and somehow fixed it by simply shimming the X braces, which seemingly lasted forever.

The Halo 360 lasted a long time, only occasionally needing a towel wrap to reset the chips, which seemed to work much better than it did on the first Xbox 360 I had. The original 360 would go through long periods of acting as if the towel wrap wasn't working, then mysteriously, and many months later, it would fire up as if nothing happened after yet another towel wrap trick.

The point of my rambling is that I'm clearly not the only person who has had these issues with the Xbox 360. I watch a lot of youtubers talk about how they've gone through four, five, even six Xbox 360 consoles, paying retail and still having the console crap out on them. I also know people who still use their original launch era Xbox 360, some people are only on their second Xbox 360, yet the Xbox 360 is, without a doubt, the most troublesome console in history.

Sadly none of my Xbox 360s currently work, and I am sick of having to repair them myself. I've debated buying a slim or even an E model, yet I don't want to be burned by buying a brand new Xbox 360 and having the damn thing die on me, yet again. But with what little spurts of time I've spent with my Xbox 360s, I've enjoyed greatly and have built up a collection of games for the console that I truly wish I could play, just like I do with any other console. Just turn the console on, pop the game in and not sit there for hours on end worrying that after 2-10 hours of playing the screen is going to glitch out and then worry how long it will take for the temperamental console to will itself into working again.