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May 14, 2009

Filed under: gaming»hardware»failure

Lack of Drive

The Xbox is broken. Again. Nicely done, Microsoft. Just in time for my week off.

At least it's not another Red Ring of Death. In fact, it's something more frustrating: the disc drive has gone bad. Since we probably use it for playing DVDs as much (or more) than playing games, it kind of puts a cramp in our entertainment options. The only other DVD player hooked up to the TV is the PS2, which was apparently designed by utter sadists--there's one button on the controller that, for some unexplainable reason, stops the movie instantly. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't located right next to the button for selecting menu options, or if Sony didn't feel like labeling the controls using cross-region hieroglyphs. Invariably, Belle and I spend fifteen minutes restarting whatever we want to watch after getting the two confused.

Adding insult to injury, the Xbox is less than a month out of warranty, so I'll have to pay for repair. It's a testimony to the quality of the software that I'm actually going to do so, instead of donating my game library to charity and sitting the rest this console generation out. But for three reasons, I'm giving it a shot once:

  1. It's more expensive to replace it with other devices. The repair is $100, which is what we'd pay for one of those lovely Roku Netflix boxes for the streaming functionality I enjoy so much. And we'd still need a DVD player that's not reminiscent of an Ikea assembly process, preferably one that upscales. All told, we'd probably have to spend another $70 for that.
  2. We've got an investment in it. I could probably live without a lot of the games, but we're still bullish on Rock Band parties. We may have to drug Wallace heavily, but one day we swear it'll happen.
  3. Getting rid of stuff is a hassle. Giving up the Xbox means finding a home for all the games, the extra hardware, recycling the broken console, etc. Preferably, it means doing so without helping Gamestop or some other retailer line their pockets on used merchandise. It makes me tired just thinking about it. As annoying as Microsoft's repair process might be, it's generally a pretty smooth ride. I guess they've had enough practice.

That said, this is strike two, Xbox. Don't think I won't replace you with a lava lamp and a Betamax deck if it happens again.

Future - Present - Past