Thursday, November 4, 2010

Investing in the life span of Fruit Flies

So, let me sum up my gaming experience for the past 12 months:

a) got all my game stuff stolen (Nov)
b) replaced my 360 with an elite (Nov)
c) sent my elite back for repairs for not reading disks (Feb)
d) received a brand new replacement elite (March)
e) sent new replacement in for repairs for not reading disks (June)
f) bought a new backup Arcade while waiting for my replacement (June)
g) received a new replacement elite straight from the manufacturing plant (June)
h) gave my backup Arcade to dain so he could play (June)
i) sent my new new replacement elite in for repairs for not reading disks (Oct)
j) borrowed back my new Arcade from dain (Oct/Nov)
k) while waiting for my new, new, new replacement console to be shipped back started having problems with my Arcade not reading disks (Nov)
l) will make arrangements to send my new backup Arcade in for repairs once my new, new, new elite replacement arrives (Nov)

Notice a pattern?

Since when does Xbox 360s have a 3-4 month life span? I think this is just ridiculous. If the place I worked had such a low standard for the products we put out we would be out of business within a year. Microsoft, on the other hand, seems to be above all that. "If you want to play our games you'll just buy another system" seems to be their company motto. Over the course of my Xbox 360 playing days I've purchased 4 separate 360s (including replacing what got stolen). In that same amount of time and longer I've used the same refurbished original Xbox, GameCube and Super Nintendo. I did have to replace my fat PS2 with a slim PS2 after the break in. My Super Nintendo is still going strong today. Why can't Microsoft make a product that last half as long as that?

When I bought the backup Arcade console this past summer I swore that that would be the last time I bought a system in this generation. That was before the new "slim" versions came out and I was tempted. But I figured Microsoft has received enough of my money for the last 5-6 years that I wouldn't be feeding the hog anymore. Unfortunately I'm tempted again to look into getting a "slim". If it was a guarantee that I wouldn't have any of the problems I've been having I would do it in a heart beat, but it's Microsoft and the only guarantee from them is that they think their customers are suckers.

I use to think that it was great that certain games were exclusive to one system or another. I had all the systems so it didn't matter to me. Besides, it was nice rubbing it into the faces of my friends that I owned a game that they didn't just because they didn't have the system for it. When Final Fantasy XIII was first announced it was only going to be for the PS3. Dain and I both said we wouldn't get a PS3 until then. When the announcement was made that Final Fantasy XIII was going to be released on the 360 at the same time (instead of months or years later) I had no real reason to go out and get the system (other than the fact that I just wanted it).

Microsoft seems to think that gamers are so hooked into playing the games that they can only get on their system that if those systems fail those gamers will not wait for repairs and go out and buy another one. Red Ring of Death? Buy a replacement. E4 error? Replacement. Failure to read disks? Replacement. You want to play games like Halo, Fable and Gears right? Well there's only one console to play those on and if it breaks, oh well. Buy another one.

I remember when the RRoD was in full swing. A couple of kids from Texas started a class action suit against Microsoft because of the problem. I don't think the lawsuit is over yet but if/when it is it won't mean much to everybody. So Microsoft gets fined? So what? They've got money coming out of their asses. I was angry then because a couple of punk kids could have really messed things up for the rest of us (and I don't like someone else telling me how to feel about something). If that all happened now with the way that I feel I would say "burn them all to the ground". I'm tired of being used, mistreated and cheated. This debacle of a manufacturing and quality assurance system has got to change. If it doesn't then I might have to.

And I don't want to.

Xbox Live did one thing right. It helped me meet some great friends. If I walked away from my 360 and said "never again" I would be walking away from people I've come to know and love (or at least pleasantly tolerate). Maybe some of my friendships would still survive if one or both of us give up the 360 habit and turned to other forms or entertainment. I suspect most of them wouldn't. And that makes me sad. As great as those friendships are they might not last as long as the life span my 360 seem to have lately. But then again, it might get to the point were fruit flies live longer than 360 consoles. I just hope I'm not still buying them then.


Zak said...

That really sucks. Talk about bad luck. I hope you get your elite back soon. They should give you a year free of xboxlive. I think that lawsuit went through already and what came out of it was the extension of the warranty from 1 year to 3 years.

Helll Weasell said...

My 1st 360 had a lifespan of less than 10 hours - and that was when they cost $500. It's crapped out a couple of times since then. And that doesn't count the amount of money I spent replacing my hard drive when my original 20GB'er crapped out. The boy has my old 360 right now. I also purchased a console off of eBay as a spare that has crapped out once. I foolishly spent money to get it fixed - the fix cost almost as much as an arcade console.

I have one of the new black "slim" 360s with the integrated hard drive. It hasn't crapped out yet, (knock on wood) so... so far so good. It runs really smooth and quiet. The wireless connection is fast. It certainly seems like a well built system.

I don't want to talk about how we've been screwed over the years. I've come to realize a something: When Microsoft gives you a deal on something, it's because they want to clear out the "old" stock before the "new" stock comes out.

Examples include:

- Weekly deals on DLC just before the "deluxe edition" or whatever they call it hits the shelves with all of the DLC on the disc.

- Offering 800 microsoft points to extend your membership for 2 years just before the "family pack" comes out.

- Telling us that the 250GB hard drive is available only on the "exclusive" console bundle, only to offer it separately a month later.

They have a loooong history of doing this to us. But I'm with you. I'm grateful for some of the friendships formed over Xbox live. Sony does not have a comparable online environment. I'll tell you that and QJB will tell you that. We tried it briefly with the PS3 and it's not very good. The 360 might be the least reliable console of this generation but the online experience is still second to none.

Zenra Nukenin said...

Maybe your new place has that toxic drywall/sheetrock that emits sulfur and destroys electronics?

Pengwenn said...

geeze thank Zen, that's encouraging....especially since I've been having phone problems too.

I didn't make the connection with the DLC and deluxe games Weasell. Now it makes perfect sense.

No matter how bad things get in an online session in a game I always come back to Xbox Live because of the people......I just try to play a different game with them. That's why I bought a refirbished replacement the other day. It was for those friendships and not because of a specific game.

Anonymous said...

Pengwenn do you live in a high wind prone area. Is there a lot of dust storms. My buddy was having the same problem. The way we stopped the dust from messing with his new xbox was to put a small fan aimed at the back of his xbox and he used a can of compressed air every week. Also we put his xbox on four(4) lids to plastic bottles. It looks a little redneck but it works its been almost a year since he bought a new system. I guess I am one of the lucky people I have the same 360 i bought the first Feb it came out. I only got the ring of death once sent it back and had no probs with it ever since but it is time for me to upgrade to a 250gb since i still have my 20gb and its getting a little crowded in there. Good luck i hope i could help you out a little see ya online. P.s. I am getting a local job soon (hopefully) and i will be back online.