Yesterday morning, I woke up planning on thoroughly enjoying my day off. I shuffled into the living room and smiled as I turned on the Xbox. I was going to be stepping into the boots of Commander Shepard again and tackling "The Arrival". My Xbox is the old 120GB Elite model. It has served my family well for the past two years. From the day I brought it home and the kids christened it with Kung Fu Panda to my nightly sessions of Call of Duty with friends and family, it has been there.
I pushed the button to open the tray and it whirred, then nothing happened. Kim joined me out in the living room and saw the panicked look on my face. I tried to open the drive again with no success. A cold surge of adrenaline rushed through my veins, much like the feeling one has in the seconds before a car accident. You know the one, where time slows down and you realize you're screwed. I removed the faceplate and turned the machine back on. It whirred to life and I pushed the eject button. Success! It opened without any issue. I replaced the faceplate and continued to test the tray by opening and closing it. It closed on the second time and refused to open. I checked the plate again and could see nothing that would be jamming the tray. With a heavy heart, I announced to Kim that the Xbox was on its last legs.
We had been having issues with the thing that had become the center of our entertainment universe. It was taking longer to start up. It wouldn't recognize the wireless network until we went to the network settings and ran a scan. Plugging in a USB device would disconnect Xbox Live. It was a sad thing to admit, but like Old Yeller, it would have to be put down.
We debated it for a few hours and were still undecided until we received an error while watching Netflix that we had never seen before. That was the final nail in the coffin. With the system out of warranty, we had no choice but to go buy a new console.
We upgraded to the new 250GB slim model. It was sleek and shiny. It had a dedicated port for the Kinect and more USB ports than what we knew to do with. I removed the old system and in its place went the new. I hooked up the old system to the AV input and prepped the systems for data transfer. I used an old 8GB USB stick to transfer all of the data. It only took a few hours to transfer over 50GB+ of data. By the end of the night, the new console was up and running without a hitch. Well, there was a hitch. Our downloaded themes wouldn't work. After downloading them again, everything was as it should be.
I was hoping that we wouldn't have to get a new console. This is only the second time I've had to replace a console. The first was when my PS2 fat refused to read any media inserted. The new Xbox is a good fit, and looks nice with the rest of the entertainment center. But I felt a tiny sense of guilt as I pulled the trigger and formatted the hard drive on my old friend. If I can get the tray to work again, I'm sure Gamestop would be more than happy to take it and sell it to a new family at extortion rates. A new family for my favorite console of this generation to entertain. I can't imagine a better ending.