XBox 360 Manufacturing Problems

Many of my friends bought XBox 360’s when the system launched.  As it turned out, many of them had problems with their systems.  The problem was described as the "Red Ring of Death."  The systems would just die and instead of showing the normal green lights around the power button, the lights would turn red.  This was a common problem and it took Microsoft a very long time to recognize and acknowledge.  I recently encountered a long article the summarizes the problem and talks about what Microsoft knew and why the problem happened.  It is very long and an interesting read.  You can find the complete article here.


I have fond memories of my Atari 2600 system.  It was my first videogame system and at the time was truly cutting edge.  Who can ever forget the games such as Combat, Pitfall!, Breakout, River Raid or Kaboom!.  That system is antiquated at best compared to today’s technology, but it holds a special place in my hear.  Thus, it is interesting that I recently ran across a long article on the history of Atari.  It is about 20 pages long and so you may not want to read it all at once, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Halo 3 Hack

I recently ran across another hack from the MIT folks. They snuck over to Harvard and modified the statue of John Harvard by adding a Halo 3 mask and rifle. The picture is quite humerous because at first glance, the statue does look like Master Chief of Halo fame. Of course, upon closer inspection, it is obvious that they only made minimal changes. The thing that is impressive is that it looks like they made the helmet look kind of like aged copper like the statue.  It really blends in rather nicely!  Here is a link to a picture: MIT Hack

Halo 3

Today is a big day because it marks the release of Halo 3. I am a huge fan of Halo 1 and Halo 2 and was interested to see the results of the initial reviews. Unsurprisingly, the initial feedback is quite positive. Metacritic has a good roundup of reviews. As expected the reviews are very positive.

Ironically, while I was a huge fan of Halo 1 & 2, I have no time to play Halo 3 these days and in fact don’t even own an XBox360. This is particularly ironic since I used to own every major videogame system, but my priorities have changed. I will enjoy the experience vicariously through my friends who have a 360 system.

Videogame Systems

It has been eons since I have posted on the Videogame console wars and I thought that I would post on it. Currently, there are 3 platforms shipping and they are the Xbox360, PS3 and Wii.

The biggest surprise is the Wii. This system is probably the least powerful of the three and so one would think if graphics is what matters most then the platform would have limited success. Interestingly, the platform is extremely successful due primarily to the unique gameplay with the motion oriented controls. I tried playing it recently and was impressed. Of course, the games I played were just simplistic sports games with limited graphics. That said, the system is still lots of fun, but graphics is not its forte.

The jury is still out on the XBox360 vs PS3 battle. The platform battle is also a microcosm of next gen HD DVD standards as well since the 360 supports HD-DVD (with add-on external drive) and the PS3 supports Blu-ray. These two different technologies continue to compete and it is unclear which will dominate.

The other issue with the PS3 and XBox360 is that neither platform has a truly killer game. That is, a game that makes it worth buying the consolve for. Most of the titles available feel like they are not fully optimized for the new platform and thus do not take advantage of the additional procesing power. IMO, a key indicator in the battle is which system gets the most compelling games sooner and the verdict is still out. Halo 3 could be a killer for the XBox360 and I am intersted in the PS counter to this release.