Five years late, but I’ve finally got an Xbox 360. It’s a launch model with a manufacture date of November 26th, 2005 and it didn’t come with a hard drive; but hey, it works—for now at least. *Knock on wood*
So now instead of only writing articles about PC stuff that nobody reads I can also write about Xbox 360 stuff. Exciting! My first write-up will be a review of ‘Splosion Man, a game I’ve wanted to play for quite a long time and couldn’t because there was no PC release. Beyond that I’ve also reached far into the 360 back catalog and bought used copies of Halo 3 and The Darkness which I may write about in some capacity if I can feel motivated enough.
Given the age of this 360 and the platforms sordid history of smearing shit on your carpet and subsequently bursting into flames I’ll have to take very good care of this thing if I want it to last long enough for me to get through all of the games I’m interested in. I’m assuming that because this system is not only way beyond the 3-year warranty period but also because I don’t have an original proof of purchase since it’s both used and won from a giveaway I’d probably have a better chance of being struck by lightning than I would have of Microsoft servicing it. Considering that, I’ll have to break the warranty seal and periodically open up the system to clean it out. Heck, maybe I’ll even mod it if I get bored enough—mod as in increase the cooling efficiency in some way, not as in adding phat spinners or neon lights.
I initially thought I’d be able to get away with exclusively using external storage devices for the system, but it appears that it might be more of a pain in the ass than it’s worth. I’ve determined that some older titles which were developed before Microsoft added support for external storage to be used for things that were previously limited to the official HDD have issues utilizing my USB HDD. Halo 3 is particularly egregious in its inability to recognize it as a valid storage medium. It constantly complains about being unable to add things to my download queue, even interrupting single player and multiplayer gameplay to inform me. The types of multiplayer playlists I can use are also limited and I can’t play co-op. I assume this is because Bungie programmed Halo 3 to look for the presence of the official HDD specifically rather than tell it to utilize any device present that has sufficient storage space. Obviously, the 8GB of space that’s free on the 16GB of reserved space the 360 created should be more than enough for what the game needs to do, but it just doesn’t see it that way.
Various other things need to be considered as well; if I want to play with my friends I’m going to need to get a headset for party chat and an Xbox Live subscription so I can play online without having to constantly scavenge 48-Hour trial codes. I was going to get myself a new keyboard, a CPU heatsink and maybe new headphones this holiday, but I may end up spending money on my ticking timebomb of a game console instead. Le Sigh.
One last thing: third-party cables can be a blessing or a curse. In my case, it was the latter. I now find myself in need of a better VGA cable. Luckily, this one only cost me $1.16.