I thought I was one of the lucky ones. Alas, there is no escaping faulty manufacturing practices. There may be an occasional lemon in a crate of mangos, but there is no such thing as finding a diamond in a box of lemons.
For two and one quarter years, I sat comfortably in my couch enjoying my Xbox 360 whenever I wanted to while friends and strangers alike watched their systems succumb to the vicious red rings of death. Those who have been plagued with this merciless killer know it simply as RROD. A plague so heinous it has even spawned its own greeting card.
Well, friends, the diagnosis isn't pretty. I have early-stage RROD. Oh, the console's immune sytem is fighting a valiant battle to keep the lights green, but constant screen freezes and the outbreak of red checkerboard-shaped rash tells me the end is near. Countless posters across the internet tell me that this is but a sign the RROD are on their way. Would xx!uSuxBallz!xx and Ma$TerCh!EF lie to me? I don't think so.
The irony in this is that since I don't technically have RROD -- yet -- the extended warranty Microsoft made universal to cover up this little embarrasment of theirs doesn't apply to me. So my choices are to 1) pay a $99 repair charge, send the system back on my own coin, and wait 2 to 3 weeks for it to come home, 2) sit and hope RROD one day finally shows itself, despite not being able to play for more than 2 minutes before the screen freezes, 3) go and buy one of the new Elite units with the HDMI output and the 120gig harddrive, or 4) take advantage of the recent price drop to repurchase the same damn console I have now and hope that MS truly did fix the bloody problem.
I've had to turn consoles upside down to get them to work, I've had to blow in them, I've had to tap them a few times, but I've never, ever, had to repair or replace one before.
Oh, wait, yes I did.
I had to send my original Xbox back for repairs too. Congratulations Microsoft, you're 2 for 2.