Well kiddies, it finally happened. No, I'm not going slightly mad; my Xbox 360 has officially decided to call it quits. the Red Ring of Death has arrived and refuses to leave. In the coming weeks -- perhaps months -- I will be chronicling its repair here on X3F.
The Red Ring of Death made its first visit about a week ago, after some extended sessions of Crackdown. It popped up on a few other occasions throughout the week, but would go away after a brief period of downtime. Finally, after a quick local session of Bomberman Live with my friends, the next power cycle produced a red ring that won't go away. For the record, my 360 was situated as you see it above. It was vertical, in completely open air, and placed at a diagonal angle behind my TV in a very feng shui kind of way. Considering that fateful game of Bomberman had been the first time my close friends and I had played the game since the Saturn Bomberman days of yore, I find the timing to be somewhat poetic. Or perhaps overtly cruel. Depends on how you look at it I guess.
Gallery: Red Ring Chronicles
The next day (yesterday) I placed a call to Xbox customer support. The first step in one of these calls is to argue with an unhelpful automaton for a few minutes. After exhausting every combination of unplugging, replugging, and hard drive removal, I was finally directed to an agent. Or, rather, I was directed to some very upbeat hold music. After several minutes of tapping my toes to the beat, I was connected with a human being. The agent was perfectly polite, no hassles or anything like that. He took down my shipping info and told me that my coffin would ship out in 5 to 7 days. He then hit me with gut-wrenching information that the repair itself would take 4 to 6 weeks. Ouch. And yes, if you've extended those dates out to their extremes, that gets my Xbox back to me just days before the release of Halo 3, and that's without adding any shipping time. Now I know what it's like to live every moment of my life in fear.
Next time on the Red Ring Chronicles: the coffin.