I'm nervous. Hell, I'm terrified. I could cut to the heart of the issue and immediately disclose what's bothering me, but first, a history lesson.
When the Xbox 360 launched in 2005, I was unimpressed. A meagre launch line-up coupled with some well-publicised technical issues led me to believe (erroneously) that Microsoft's second console would be an unmitigated failure. But then I played Dead Rising and Saint's Row, and read about the likes of Gears of War and Bioshock: it was hopeless. Within days my brother and I had purchased the console and a small library of games. We had stepped up to the next generation and abandoned our loyalty to Sony.
It started off well enough. Saint's Row may have been a Grand Theft Auto clone, but it was far more purile and had some original gameplay mechanics that allowed for it to not feel entirely derivative. Dead Rising was truly grand in zombie-slaying scale and felt like something that was definitely not possible on my Playstation 2 (which was acquiring a fine veneer of dust due to neglect). I actually bought a HD TV for the release of Bioshock and to this day it remains one of my favourite games. I also invested what I would hypothesize to be hundreds of hours playing Gears of War online.
I then moved in with my then-girlfriend (now wife) and while the flow of quality releases slowed (I skipped over classics like The Orange Box, Lost Planet, Assassin's Creed however the story must progress), but I still loved my 360. We then went on holiday, and I only thought it right that my creamy white console come along for the ride. Then it happened. I can remember it like it was yesterday.
Carly and I had returned from an afternoon walk, and I started playing Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas when the screen suddenly went green. I could still make out the sprites and the outlines of structures, but this is not how the game was supposed to look (and yes I made sure I wasn't wearing night vision goggles!). I promptly turned off the machine, and didn't turn it on again until we got home. After setting the machine up and pressing the power button, three of the console's power lights emitted a bright red glow. I had become one of the countless victims of the Red Ring of Death. I didn't suffer alone either; between my brother, two friends and I, we had lost ten consoles in total to the RRoD.
Why the history lesson? Well tomorrow sees the launch of the Nintendo 3DS and things are looking shaky. Instead of the RRoD, early adopters have been subject to the Black Screen of Death which is not necessarily a system killer, but it is appearing often enough to have me shit-scared. Apparently there is a system update ready to be applied, and the problem does not often render the system completely unplayable; but it is still cause for concern.
Have I just three hundred dollars on another heartbreaker? Have you guys ever had a console die on you?
Sources: Kotaku, Eurogamer, Gamespot