Above the lore

When I lost my poor old Xbox360 a few days ago to the infamous RROD, my football gaming hit another hiatus. Or better to say, it extended the hiatus it was already in

My football gaming had been a 360-only affair since I started playing the peerless Valkyria Chronicles on the PlayStation3. And I was already missing a few days of football gaming on the 360 after having to move all my gaming stuff out of my room for some new radiators to be put in. That was a few days (not) to remember, let me tell you.

Then when I set up the 360 again, it went straight into the RROD routine. No, this has not been a great week.

I don’t know about anybody else, but I hate having random workmen, no matter how ‘sound’ they otherwise are, in my personal spaces and able to see my personal stuff. I’ve got nothing that’d really make me feel embarrassed or ashamed—and even if I had I’d bet they’ve seen it all before and then some, making my shabby little room seem rather tame. But it’s the principle. It’s my room and it’s my precious limited free time, and I wanted it back but I couldn’t have it back until they’d finished and gone.

Getting back to the Xbox360 issue, I was in a quandary. On the one hand I’m easily within Microsoft’s extended three-year warranty to cover the RROD phenomenon. So I could pack the broken 360 off to wherever they go and receive a refurbished replacement in 2-3 weeks, on average. That’d be fine. Or I could just go into town immediately and pick up a new Xbox360 Arcade, stick my hard drive on it, and carry on regardless. Or I could do both… which is what I did. Yes, I do have more money than sense—but with the Arcade model relatively cheap (£129), it was too tempting. A no-brainer.

The new Xbox360 works like a dream. It’s one of the newer models. (Jaspers or something?)  The power supply unit is of a lower wattage, and the console seems to run quieter overall, even with a disc in the tray and spinning at full speed. I stuck my hard drive on the end and was up and running with minimal fuss. The only downside is that I had to reinstall my games—FIFA09 among them—all over again, for some obscure DRM-related reason. But that was a minor bump in an otherwise smooth road. I’m very happy with the new and better Xbox360. I think I’ve done the right thing. When the refurbished 360 comes back I’ll take it into GAME and trade it for some games (hopefully NHL09 among them).

My old 360 was collected this morning by a man in a grey uniform who was driving a grey van. In RROD lore, it’s traditional for this man to impart grim news about all the hundreds of Xbox360s he spends his working weeks collecting. And he goes on to divulge (in a throaty whisper) the fact that there are warehouses dotted around the nation full to their brims with broken 360s waiting to be shipped on somewhere. However, this man just smiled without looking at me in that way that busy deliverymen do, got me to sign a form, and drove away with my ex-console in the back of his van.

I’ve played about 5 more matches in my Coventry City career in Manager Mode on the new 360. I lost a couple quite badly and feared the sack, but turned it around with a draw and a win—a lucky 1-0 from a deflected goal. I drew the fifth match and remain perched precariously at the foot of the table, with a manager approval rating of 39%. It’d only take another defeat or two to get me the sack. Having somehow made it this far into this career I don’t want that to happen.

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