Xbox Decoded – Technical Difficulties

Gaming

Arrghhh! Again and again and again this keeps happening (Rage Level: Over 9000). No, it’s nothing to do with the website, I should be blabbing on about some Xbox game next week hopefully. Nope, it’s not even anything to do with my internet either, nothing computer based at all. You guessed it, it’s my Xbox. It keeps overheating, and this technical fault has led me on to let all of you know what main problems you may run into when buying an Xbox of any generation.

The original Xbox, the founder of Xbox gaming, known to the other generations as ‘The Overlord’. If you were wanting to pick one of these up, you could possibly find a pre-owned one at your local gaming shop, if not then you can buy one off eBay for around £10 to £20 (games and controllers included). If I’m perfectly honest, you aren’t going to have any problems with this Xbox, they were made to look like bricks and be just as sturdy, but that doesn’t mean you should build a house with them. Be wary of a few things though, a main problem was the disc tray. I had this problem a few times, where the tray would just jam like Chuck Norris was pulling on the other side. The best way to solve this was to keep tuggin and Chuck would eventually give up, but it was a huge hassle and sometimes meant games would be stuck in the tray for a good few hours before it unstuck. Not a massive problem though and like most old consoles I can guarantee the laser inside will not be its former glory and running some games could be slow. All of the problems of the original Xbox can be solved though by just buying and Xbox 360 or Xbox slim, which both play original Xbox games anyway, so no trouble there.

Xbox360-ringofdeathNow we move onto the Xbox 360. This came in many forms, like the Elite and the Arcade, which is the one I got, and can now be picked up for around £30 to £60 from Amazon or eBay, dependant on what’s included with it. I have had my Arcade through all of my secondary school life, and it has survived some absolute bombshells. The first time I lost it was to the ‘Red Ring of Death’ (RROD), which it fell foul to twice and it still working(ish) today. This was named because of the three red sections around the power button, and generally meant your Xbox was screwed and had to be sent off to be repaired as there was a ‘General Error requiring service of the Console or Power Adapter’, and messing about with this yourself basically writes of any form of warranty you still have. But Microsoft are generally good with this and will have your Xbox back to you ASAP and fixed, so it’s not a massive issue, although I wouldn’t risk the damp towels method and other tricks because water and electricity are a like accidentally putting a Playstation game into an Xbox in front of your friends, it just not going to end well for the Xbox or yourself.

615px-Xbox_360_Error_codes.svgThere are a variety of combinations these red sections can make; my problem is the two right hand red sections. Overheating has become a massive problem for me, not even allowing me to get 10 minutes of a game before the whirring stops and my screen goes black. I was actually hoping this would wreck the system and I would have a reason to go and buy a Slim, but no, good old Arcade is still here. After trying every solution possible without digging in my pocket or wrecking my Xbox, I decided it was time to splash out £8.99 on a cheap Argos desk fan to keep it cool and it seems to have done the job, just be careful of what surface you place your Xbox on as carpet is a killer, and cubbyholes can stack as much heat as a ‘Hadouken’ from Ryu. You can get inter-coolers for your Xbox, but more often than not they cause more problems for yourself and usually a light vacuum around the fans will clear any unwanted dust, but be careful not to damage any of the parts inside. The overheating is caused by the build-up of hot air around the fans, so if worst comes to worst and if like me, you feel your Xbox building up a bit of a sweat on its back, then whack your air conditioning on or buy a simple fan to just get rid of some of that build-up.

Onto the Xbox Slim, which is like an upgraded system of the 360, bringing a better system for hooking it up to your Wi-Fi with a built in wireless router, instead of a 360 one that cost something like £50, it made less noise, was much less susceptible to lag when playing high graphic games and is the best looking of all the generations by a mile. On its release, I believe a few people ran into overheating problems and even a couple with the RROD, but the clever clogs over at Microsoft fixed all problems quickly and I can assure a safe buy with the slim, it’s even got a touch sensitive power button so you pretend you’re part of the U.S.S Enterprise. There is always the possibility of you throwing it out of a window after being killed by a 12 year old camping loudmouth in a game of Call of Duty, it all happens to the best of us. A slim is the oldest generation you can buy directly from the Xbox website and will set you back £200, but you could get a second hand one for around £150 with a controller and maybe a few games, although memory could be a problem.

Finally we come to the Xbox One, and you would expect this paragraph to be short as a brand new console that costs £400 and is new and modern technology wouldn’t have too many problems, and I’ll save you the reading because it is. As any new console on release, there are always going to be small hiccups that a handful of people get, but everyone I know who has had an Xbox One has been pleased with its performance, it’s just whether its additional content is what you’re looking for in a gaming console.

So now you know the problems to look out for and what looks like the best console for you, I hope |I’ve helped at least one person out with this article as I know how annoying it is to be performing constant repairs to your beloved Xbox. If anything goes really wrong with my Xbox in the meantime, don’t be expecting any reviews out soon, but I will keep you updated on the news of Microsoft and any articles I think you may find interesting.

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