The Double-Whammy of Console Death

Jeff Carter emailed me a nice sympathy note about my bike wreck, but it was me who ended up feeling sorry for him.

Just listen to this gamer horror story:

I haven't been online lately due to my 360 suffering the RROD the day before I was hosting a Rock Band party. Luckily one of my co-workers brought his 360 over, but it's been two weeks now with no 360 - brutal!

In fact, my withdrawal was so painful, I actually broke down and bought a PS3 to keep me company. Karma was not with me however. The optical drive was DOA right out of the box. At least the 360 worked for 2 years before giving up the ghost! Now the PS3 is in a box to Texas (I couldn't return it to a store because I bought it at the SonyStyle store online).

All my consoles are in Texas. Maybe I should move there.

I wrote to Jeff to express my condolences and to suggest he not buy a Wii unless of course he's hoping for the screw-you-trifecta. I was going to also suggest he not move to Texas then stopped short of typing it when I remembered he lived in Florida. That's a toss-up.

Fortunately (for those who find pleasure in others' misfortune) Jeff expanded on his tale of woe:

As for the PS3, it being broken right out of the box was pretty shocking. That’s a first for me, and I’ve bought ‘em all, including the 3DO (I never said I was the smartest guy in the room). The fact that it coincided with my 360’s untimely (?) demise was just mindblowing.

What was even more depressing was that the unit gave no indication of being broken – it booted, I messed with the settings, set up my wirleless network, signed up for the PlayStation Network, even started downloading the demo for “The Club”. Then my wife was like, “Throw that Spider-Man 3 Blu-ray in there and let’s see what this bad boy can do.” Nada. Threw “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune” in there, which I had bought just that afternoon. “Great game,” the GameStop employee had said. Zilch. Threw my kids freakin’ Peter Pan DVD in there. Squat. I was crushed with disappointment. The Sony CSRs were taken aback as well, “This almost never happens” said the surfer dude who answered my call that night.

My bad karma continues – last night I came home to a note on my front door from FedEx, “Tried to Deliver, No One Home” with huge handwritten letters on it, “XBOX”. I crumpled the paper in my hand and raised a fist to the sky, ruing the day I had been given the soul of gamer. WHY?! I cried! WHHHHHYYYYY?!? as the camera pulls back to reveal the neighborhood, the state, the country, the continent, the globe, and finally the cold, vast emptiness of space... then a satellite beeps by.

Talk about cruel and unusual punishment! Thanks for having the courage to relive such an agonizing part of your life, Jeff. If we were sitting on aluminum folding chairs in a circle, I swear I'd come over and hug you.

I've been lucky in that my original first-gen Xbox 360 (purchased 6 months after launch) is still alive and kicking and that the only consoles I've ever had problems with were the NES (like everyone else in the world, I fixed it with lots of blowing and sideways shimmying of cartridges), the PSone (fixed it by turning the console upside-down), and an original launch-day Xbox which I had to ship back to have the disc drive replaced after 2 or 3 years.

But Jeff does remind me of something important... The Club. It's an utterly fantastic hard-core action game for those who are passionate about their Leaderboards. I wrote the strategy guide for it (giveaway next week) and definitely recommend going online to grab the free demo on Xbox Live or PSN.

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