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Earlier | Later

no XBox gaming, though

I've had an XBox 360 for about four years now, maybe a little longer. I've never really used it that much, I just wasn't that interested in most console games. However, I did play and really enjoy the somewhat confusingly-named Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy game, and I also used the XBox on occasion to watch DVDs, as it was more comfortable than sitting at my computer desk to watch them on my Mac Mini (particularly on the rare occasions I had company over to watch movies too). 

Over Christmas, I happened to go into a GameStop store, which had a "buy two used games, get one free" offer. So I took a look through the XBox games, and found three I was pretty interested in: Soul Calibur 4, Lego Batman, and Lego Indiana Jones, all cheap enough that I could get the three for about $25. That seemed pretty worthwhile; I expected to enjoy the other Lego games, based on the Lego Star Wars one, and I've always liked Soul Calibur. So I picked them up, and I've been looking forward to spending some free time relaxing with the games.

Well, I got to play about two hours of Soul Calibur earlier this week, before the game froze up in an odd way. I turned the XBox off to reset it, but when I turned it back on, I got the "red ring of death": three of the four lights around the power button were red, and the machine would not boot up and run anything. This actually happened once already, back in June when Doug was visiting; that time, we checked online and found instructions saying to try unplugging and replugging all the cables, and that did fix the problem then. This time, that fix did not work; I found further troubleshooting instructions on this forum post, and according to that post I'm getting the "Memory Error / Memory Overheating" secondary error code. The official troubleshooting instructions on the XBox website don't provide anything that specific, but do basically say that the machine has to be sent in for repairs. As I've had it for at least four years, it's no longer in warranty, so it will cost me $99 to have it fixed.

So here's the situation. I did just buy three games for the XBox that I want to play, but it's not a terrible loss if I can't (though it's annoying that I spent $25 on them for nothing, and as they're old and used, I doubt I can recover any of that in some fashion). Likewise, I don't really need the XBox to be able to watch DVDs, even though it's more convenient to use that if I have company. And my intention for years now has been to eventually get rid of my TV, get a better and bigger monitor for my Mac Mini, and just reposition it so it's more convenient to use as my media center, including watching DVDs with company. Plus, I'm still really not in a good position to be spending a hundred bucks or so on an XBox I rarely use in the first place. So I'm reluctant to send it off to have it fixed. On the other hand, I'm really not in position to buy a better and bigger monitor for my Mac Mini, so I still can't implement that part of my plan, which means it would still be useful to have the XBox as a separate DVD player. I don't want to buy a new XBox as a replacement; I've never used it enough to justify that, and it would make more sense to pay less to have this one fixed. 

In the short and even medium run, I expect what will happen is that the broken XBox will just sit there under my TV, along with the broken DVD player that's also not worth spending money to fix. I really hate having these broken things just sitting around—which is why the DVD player has been on The List as something to be disposed of—and I also really hate to see them tossed in a landfill when they should be reparable. But I suspect that the price difference between fixing this XBox or getting a new one is small enough that no one would want to take this broken one off my hands and themselves pay to have it fixed—and I'm certain that's the case for the DVD player. So I'm not sure what to do about them in the long term.

In the meanwhile, I suppose this just means I can spend my leisure time on Dungeon World…


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