The Red Ring of Death

The Red Ring of Death

Photo by Andrew Burgess – CC licensed

22nd November 2005 – the day that the XBox 360 launched in the UK, and the day that I queued up at 7am in the morning to pick up my lovely new Premium 360.

Fast forward nearly three years and it was still going strong. Having given me hundreds and hundreds of hours of gaming pleasure, as well as acting as our main DVD player. It had a camera, an HD-DVD drive, two wireless controllers and a couple of headsets. Despite watching my friend’s boxes die a death along the way, my trusty white box kept on going.

Time, I thought, to treat it to an update. The New XBox Experience was a comprehensive UI update launched by Microsoft on the 19th November. As I happened to be working at home that day I turned the ‘box on and…

My time had come – the dreaded Red Ring of Death timed perfectly to mess up my day.

But, in fact, it was timed almost perfectly. Under pressure due to a huge number of faulty consoles, Microsoft had extended the warranty period of the console to three years. Those who noted the previously stated dates will work out that mine failed a grand total of three days before it’s third birthday!

So, with a call to Microsoft to arrange a repair (very simple, they even handled the fact that I’d since moved from the UK to Ireland with no problem) I was happy, if slightly disappointed. Nevertheless, seen as we were without a DVD player now it seemed like and excellent time to pick up a Sony BDP-S350 Blu-Ray player (about which I will probably blog later)

The only problem now was that UPS had not yet bothered to come and pick up the broken XBox, which was probably a good thing as I’ve not yet bothered to get a box to put it in either. However, figuring that I’d likely not see one back any time before Christmas, I wondered about the possibility of buying a replacement.

The only issue being that I didn’t really want to pay for one. However, a quick scout around the house for tradeable items and I ended up taking the following down to the local Game store:

  • A slim PS2 which hasn’t been turned on for over a year
  • Singstar, two mics and a couple of extra Singstar discs for the PS2
  • Buzz the music game for the PS2
  • A couple of other PS2 games
  • Guitar Hero 2 for XBox (with guitar)
  • A variety of XBox 360 games I’ve finished or given up on, including: COD4, PGR3&4, Test Drive Unlimited, Fight Night 3 and a couple of others

That lot, plus €5 on my Game reward card saw me pick up a brand new XBox 360 Arcade, with the game Mirror’s Edge for the princely sum of €1.78. Not bad!

Sticking my existing hard disk drive onto the Arcade was simple and turning it on, it started to update itself with the NXE. Two minutes later and I was in business!

Unfortunately, the new ‘box isn’t one of the latest Jasper motherboard designs with a cooler running GPU, but beggars can’t be choosers, and I have no idea when those will start appearing in Ireland (or indeed where) However, the way I see it is that the Premium will either have it’s MoBo replaced, or the whole box repaired, so when that eventually comes back it’s just a case of deciding which one to keep and which one to eBay!

What’s more important is that I now have an XBox back, and a new Blu-Ray player to boot 🙂