It’ll never happen to me…

Last week I had to move all my gaming equipment to another room during some work being carried out at my place. I unplugged and bagged the PS3 and the 360 and all of the various leads and plugs. Yesterday evening I moved them all back and set up everything again just as it was. A small voice in my head told me to switch everything back on and check the health of both consoles. The PS3 was fine—thank God—but the 360 was… not fine.

I’ve had my Xbox360 for about sixteen months now. On it I’ve played what for me is still the greatest ‘proper’ game of the next generation: Bioshock. It’s hardly been used otherwise—maybe one hour of play for every ten hours I’ve used the PS3. I’m a careful console owner. They never get banged or moved about (except for the past few days, through necessity).

I’ll cut right to the chase. When I switched on the Xbox360, this is what I saw:

I’ve read up on all the troubleshooting and self-help advice there is. I’ve unplugged and tested and cleared the memory cache and done all sorts. I refuse, on principle, to try the ‘towel trick’.

I never really thought it would happen to me. Well, I knew it was a theoretical possibility, and a very strong possibility given the 360’s notorious reliability issues. But I thought that the care I take of my 360 and the lesser amount of time I spend using it should count for something. Seemingly not.

I don’t know what I’ll do yet. Famously, Microsoft would accept delivery of my broken console and ship me a refurbished one in a few weeks’ time. I might go for that option. Or I might just buy a new Arcade model—they’re so cheap, and I would prefer to have a new console instead of a refurb—and attach my hard drive to it. I’ll see how I feel. I’ve got a great Manager Mode career going on FIFA09, and plenty of other unfinished business on the 360 besides. I’ll definitely do something. The 360 is a fine console with a great range of games, many of which I was looking forward to playing over the next months.

I am considering getting the PS3 PES2008 out of mothballs and starting a BaL career, but with Valkyria Chronicles still to fnish, I’ll probably put off BaL until then. In the short term, it looks as if I’m sticking with my PSP PES2008 Master League career. I’ve moved onto season 2023 and ditched lots of my bloated squad. I made a great start in the league capaign but lost a few matches, and then lost the first match in my European Cup group. Overall, though, there is no reason why every season on PES2008 shouldn’t be a Treble-winning one, and a massively high goal-scoring one as well. Assuming that I don’t run out to town later today to pick up a new Xbox360 (as I’m actually kind of itching to do), I’ll return to my PSP ML career tomorrow.

Updated: 24th February 2009 — 09:22


  1. OMG, that’s really unlucky what happened to your Xbox 360. Tbh it was a creepy sight. It felt almost UFO-like =]. Good luck with your PSP ML career and all other games you will be playing.

  2. After reading your blog it inspired me to leave my Tottenham ML in which i’m at the end of the 3rd season(only had ps3 a month or so), have signed a few stuppidly good players and am on for the trebble.

    I started a ML with PES United defualt superstars, on normal settings, Top Player and 10mins. I amtempted this on 2008 and 2009 on the psp but couln’t handle getting beat every game and never even reached the mid season window on both accounts.

    This blog really did inspire me and i promissed my self i would play a few seasons and see if i could manage to win at least one game.

    This could turn into my very own blog so i’ll just get to the point.

    At the first transfer window i got lucky numerous top youth players appeard at once, Orrellano, Chapi, Gambino, Gunther, Bostos, Kaiser, Kim sumthing sumthing GK i also signed four others i’d never herd off with values of 500-750points. At least i’d be able to sell/trade them later, turns out three of which peak around 90 and the other a DMF you’d love called Herrero has stamina 84 or more, is bigish and has long shooting ability. i also play 433 in the mould of Barca.

    up until the window i haddn’t won a game and my 4 goals came from corners. my deffence against CPU has always been very very good i drew three games 0-0, in all the other games i scored in the CPU swtiched to GOD mode and they pegged me back. only lost 2 in the league and once in the cup but i can’t score a goal from open play to save my life!

    First 7 games after the break i’ve won 3 drawn 1 and lost 3(just). My losses were due to my youth’s not being fit. I never had trouble making scoring chances with the defualts but they just can’t finish or run. Now my hard work is rewarded by at least a shot on target most of the time.

    Anyway i had a point to make, i find that as soon as i sign a couple of TOP players i amost never lose and i didn’t really care becuase i didn’t really take it seriously. This time i’m looking for a challendge and to give the game a much longer difficulty curve i’ve came up with my very own house rules.

    1. Squad limmit of 26 players.

    2. Every single player signed from the newcomers list.

    This way my team should only gradually get stronger over the seasons but ultimalty when they reach 25/26 i’ll have a squad full of superstars.

    3. when they reach there peak sell and get a regen/youth in.

    what do u think?

  3. I have modified all the teams in PES and all the players in order to recreate the 1996/97 Third Division Championship winning season that Wigan Athletic enjoyed.

    It’s just a normal league, but I’ve altered the best teams in Europe to closely match Fulham (who we edged out on goals scored) and Carlisle United (who finished 3rd). I have the G-Force up front (Graham Lancashire and Graeme Jones) and it’s much better than the pants Master League.

    Playing Mansfield Town in the pouring rain at Field Mill is massively gratifying and beats going to the San Siro anyday (I have been to both in real life however, and I must admit that in the flesh, the San Siro just about edges it).

    As for your console not-Greg. Bad luck mate.

  4. You might just have a loose cable. Because when i got four red lights it turned out the only problem was a loose AV Cable. Hopefully that will be the case 🙂

  5. steph_wheeler – yep, I really thought I’d got lucky with my 360. I thought that if the RROD was ever going to happen to me, it would have happened long ago. It was a shock, but I’m over it now.

    Max – they’re great rules, but they’re tough rules. You mention that you struggle to play for long when losing game after game. Being only able to sign Youth players, that period would go on for a good bit longer than it would (depending on the Youth players of course – some of them arrive with great stats already, but most are mediocre, not much better than the Defaults).

    I still say go for it, but I worry that you’d give up after a season or two.

    Big Al – modding your game to recreate “the 1996/97 Third Division Championship winning season that Wigan Athletic enjoyed” (there’s a sentence you don’t come across every day) shows some serious commitment. Having been through several seasons of ‘vanilla’ Master League myself, I can see how the vanilla experience soon fades. If I had more time I’d look into recreating 1987 with Coventry City. Even on the console version I’m sure it’d be possible. Hmmm. Special project for the future perhaps? No, no, no, I’ve no time…

  6. Patrick – 4 flashing red lights is specific to the loose AV cable. The RROD, alas, is 3 flashing red lights as shown in the clip above. I’ve had the 4 lights before, and at first I thought (hoped) that’s what it was this time again. The AV cable on the 360 is very easy to leave half-pushed in, making those four lights go off. Alas, there were three red lights, the infamous RROD. I spent a solid two hours looking up stuff on the internet trying to make them go away and my console to work again, but it was not to be.

  7. Terribly unlucky mate!

    Thats why I’m always skeptical of 360’s and why when given the choice I got a PS3 (not all have the luxury of owning both! :P).

    Personally I don’t see why you should give MS anymore money for a fault is so well known and still unfixed. Get a refurb!

  8. Paww – I’ll reveal all in a post on Friday about what I’ve done re. the 360. (Incidentally, after this difficult week is out of the way with, I’ll be going back to daily posting.)

  9. that’s absolutely superb, Big Al! Why the Div3 winning team rather than (for example) Wigan’s Championship promotion team 2004-5 with Roberts, Baines etc? The closest I’ve got to this was recreating my Saturday morning team on PES2

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