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Ask X3F: edition the second

It's time for the second installment of Ask X3F, where readers ask questions and we answer them. This week we take on the issue of blurry text for standard definition gamers, wireless headset woes, Windows Live ID troubles, the ever frustrating world of NAT problems, and oh so much more. If you have a question you'd like to ask, a story you need to tell, or just something nifty you'd like to share with the Xbox 360 Fanboy community, send it to: ask [at] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

It is just me, or is the wireless headset a total piece of #@#^&$@ and a waste of $60?


That's the rumor. We've read online that the Halo 3 edition of the wireless headset is supposed to work better, though we can't confirm this from personal experience. We're also not sure if the improvements are exclusive to the Halo 3 edition or if newer vanilla headsets have received them as well. Both versions retail for the same price, so it's possible that you might be able to exchange your bad headset for a Halo 3 edition. That all depends on when you bought yours and how nice your cashier is, but it's worth a shot.

Can Dustin go a whole day without using the word "anyhoo"?

[Another from murph? Got some free time, hmm?]

No. It's in his contract.
Hey Guys,

I was really excited when the new fall update allowed the option to change the Windows live ID linked to your gamertag. First off, I live in Canada. But way back in the day when I first signed up for a hotmail address, I simply typed in the ever so popular area code of 90210. And said that I lived in Beverly Hills. Now, years later, I am still paying for my mistake. My gamertag as a result is locked in as an American gamertag and I can't change it. I tried the new feature of changing to a new windows live ID with my actual address in Canada, but no luck. My gamertag is still locked in as an American one. As a result, I can't add any MS points to my account. It's frustrating!

Kyle Baker
Cobourg, Ontario
gamertag: chaostheory0982

We asked Major Nelson about this and were informed that you'll have to contact Windows Live ID customer support. To do this, you can use this customer support form. Your 360 only uses your Windows Live ID information; it can't actually change it. If that doesn't work, we suggest the old standby: 1-800-4-MY-XBOX

Hey X3F'ers.

So I picked up an Elite when the SKU launched. So far, no RROD, so
that's good. When I bought it, I was hoping that the Elite might be a
more reliable hardware configuration, but I think that the 65nm
chipsets hadn't reached store shelves back then.

So my question is whether you guys, or the community at large has any
anecdotal evidence as to whether the Elite has been sufferring the
same kind of failure rates as the early build Core and Premium SKUs?


We know of at least one person who has suffered the Red Ring of Death on an Xbox 360 Elite. Beyond that, we have no idea whether or not they're more or less vulnerable. We're fairly certain that the guts of an Elite are virtually identical apart from the HDMI port, so we're guessing it's no more protected than a vanilla 360 manufactured during the same period you purchased your Elite. Any fanboys out there have Elite horror stories to share?

Dear X3F
I have had my 360 for under a year and not until recently have i had trouble with the NAT settings, I repeatedly try everything i can to play with friends and after searching for ages I decided to ask the Gods themselves. I really don't understand what the point of NAT and why all of a sudden its acting up and stopping me from playing Halo, Rock Band and COD4 with my Friends, only some friends i try and join will block me out saying Unable to Connect to Host. What makes even less sense is how my brother on the same internet connection in the room right next to me is able to play with them. Any ideas on how to fix this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

We're certainly not experts in networking troubles, but there are a few things to consider. First of all, how are you connected? A wired connection is generally preferable to a wireless one, for example. Is your brother connecting in a different way than you are? If it's an NAT problem it could be your network router. Ideally, you want your NAT to be "open." You can test this under the Network Settings in the 360 dashboard. If your NAT is "strict" or "moderate" you may want to look for a router that explicitly supports Xbox Live. A list of Live compatible routers can be found here. Unfortunately, networking and routers are notoriously complicated and all of them have different interfaces and scads of revisions and firmware versions, so finding out exactly how to fix a problem can be tricky. If your router isn't the problem, your best bet may be some serious Googling.

Hey guys... I was wondering if you have ever heard of one -- or could put together one -- a comprehensive list of free content on Xbox live. I've been on Xbox live for a while, but not since the beginning so I never heard about Aegis Wing being free until a friend of mine tipped me off. Sure not the greatest game ever but always fun to get free content no matter what right? (Yaris). I also have a free episode of Heroes, of course lots of free gamer-pics and themes, and of course maps that have grown past their newness to become free.

I find myself browsing through the TV shows just waiting to see if I can find an episode of the Andy Milanokis show buried somewhere in season 3 that is free. Do you guys have a list? Or is it a moot point because I have all of the free content? (I heard there was a Southpark episode that was free too but I couldn't find it).

Bob -- gamertag: lysernix (pronounced: Lie-sir-nicks)

We're not sure about a comprehensive list (anyone out there know of one?), but X3F is actually a pretty good place to hear about free content. Shameless plug, we know, but Dustin is like a bloodhound when it comes to sniffing out deals. Of course, you can always keep an eye on the official Marketplace Ticker as well.

I've got a regular standard definition tv, and some games I've played have had extremely small font. Games like Crackdown and Dead Rising had small enough fonts that i couldn't read it, no matter how close i was to the tv. It made Dead Rising unplayable because i didn't know what i was supposed to do. I've tried looking around for an explanation, and i've found forums where people complain about the same problem, yet i haven't found a solution. Is there anything i can do to enlarge the fonts, or should i just hope that any future game i get has big font?


Unfortunately, there is no solution for your problem. The Dead Rising problem was highly publicized, and Capcom has more or less stated that a fix is impossible and has no plans of delivering a patch. You might try adjusting your TV settings. Supposedly, setting your TV on widescreen might help, even if it's a 4:3 set. More than likely though, you're probably out of luck. The simple fact is that certain developers got so caught up in High Def development they forgot to test their games on regular Standard Def sets. As for games in the future, we're fairly certain that developers have learned their lesson, so you should be safe from teeny tiny text.

Hey guys - thanks for consistently putting up an awesome show... I have a quick (but frustrating question) for ya:

Every time I want to download a clip/map/variant from Bungie favorites (through the Halo 3 menu on the 360), I get the following error message:

"Unable to start because a player in your party is restricted from playing with user – created content".

I have searched for an answer and everyone says that it has to do with my parental controls in my 360 system... I have everything set to "allowed" and nothing is set to "blocked", so it can't be that (can it?). Can it be that I got banned by Bungie from downloading content? I cant imagine that, since I am a preferred player and have never misbehaved....


Gamertag: SteveJobs

First of all, congratulations on Apple Computers. You must be very proud. As for your problem, you've got us stumped. User-created content has its own setting under parental controls, so you should be good to go as long as you're allowed. We're not even sure if Bungie can ban you from downloading content, but if they have, you're probably out of luck. You might try queuing up a download via and see if you have better results.

And thus ends the second edition of Ask X3F. The question selection was pretty slim this week, so start sending in those questions already!

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