An era has come to a close this evening. I am officially OUT of the Xbox360 business. Mine crashed this afternoon. But no, not at the hands of the Red Ring of Death, but thanks to another common problem – screen freeze. It’ll either go black, orange or distorted after a game loads up.
I came across this problem because I freakin’ bought GTA IV today. First, I get a message in half english/half japanese telling me to insert the disc into a 360 (which I was pretty sure I had already done). So after getting past that after a few tries, the game loads fine, the cut scene comes up annnnnnnnnnnd freezes towards the end. Well, I can only imagine it was towards the end because I NEVER GOT TO WATCH THE CUT SCENE IN ITS ENTIRETY! I was able to skip the cut scene, and there I am in a car, but 5 seconds into the game– FREEZE!
Surely, it must’ve been the disc right? Perhaps scratched? Well, I check it and it’s fine. I eject the disc, turn off the console multiple times and everytime I get the same result of freezing. So I popped in Assassin’s Creed (which occasionally will freeze 2-3 times when starting up, but then works fine) and once I got into the actual gameplay, it froze. So THEN I pulled out Dead Rising, which has never messed up on me, again, once past the menu– it froze.
I checked the Xbox site, did all trouble shooting they suggested and none of it worked. The final option is to cough up $95 to Microsoft and that’s not going to happen. It’s not bad enough that I spent $300 for a used Arcade version and used HD along with Assassin’s Creed & Dead Rising back in May, it’s not bad enough that the first 360 I bought I had to return the same day because the disc tray wouldn’t pop open, it’s not bad enough that they dropped the Pro version down to $299 just a few weeks after I bought a used Arcade version, but now I’m supposed to drop $95 so they can work on their own faulty hardware?
Look, it’s used, I get that. I don’t expect perfect condition, but it says right on the back that it was manufactured in February ’06. There is no excuse for ANY of these common 360 problems and no excuse for a console dying out 2 1/2 years into its life. So I’m done. I returned GTA IV and got my money back and traded in Assassin’s Creed & Dead Rising for credit. I will not be paying Microsoft money to clean up their own mess. I will not be buying a new 360.
I’ll just focus on my Wii from here on out (does that sound dirty?). Virtual Console, WiiWare and a promising scheduled list of upcoming titles will have to satisfy me until the next next-gen systems and who knows? if Nintendo and Microsoft decide to inch closer to PS3-level prices by that point, I’l probably just walk away from modern video gaming.