Last night, flush with the pride of performing my civic duty, yet tired from a typically uninspiring day of work, I sat down to lose myself in a few hours of Fallout 3. I loaded my save game file, made sure I was sneak mode, then began creeping forward.
Then something catastrophic happened.
The HUD was still displayed, but behind it was a distressing checkerboard pattern. The ambient sounds from the game seemed to be caught in a loop. The game itself was frozen. The guide refused to appear.
Perturbed, I got up, turned off the Xbox, then turned it back on. I was met with three flashing red lights surrounding the power button. My stomach dropped as I powered it off and on again. Still flashing red. I sighed, looked around the room for some unknown sign of hope or encouragement, then tried it once more. Ah hah! The boot-up animation is star... Oh wait, it's frozen again with that charming checkerboard pattern overlaying it. Hopes fading, I rebooted and once more gazed upon the infamous Red Ring of Death.
I've had this Elite for just over a year. It was my second 360. after my Premium model from 2005 stopped outputting video. Since it hadn't given me the RROD, and was therefore out of the original warrany, I decided to simply upgrade to a new Elite that was hopefully more reliable. I also bought Best Buy's 2 year replacement plan. It came in handy last night.
I packed everything up and drove to Best Buy. I was sadly bemused to see a teenager and his older relative in front of me in line also exchanging their broken 360 for a new one. While waiting for the Best Buy employees to process our returns, the teenager and I chatted and commiserated about our mutual console woes. Apparently his stopped working after he put in his friend's hard drive. That seems like an odd problem to have, honestly. Maybe he tried doing this while the console was on? I didn't think to ask him about it.
Anyway, the exchange went smoothly, though I did purchase a new replacement plan. It was certainly money well spent the last time. The new one is significantly quieter, which is nice. Also, the new one came bundled with Lego Indiana Jones and the game of Kung-Fu Panda. They were supposed to remove them but forgot. Bonus for me.