Eulogy For An Xbox 360
My 360 was a legendary workhorse. It’d seen it’s share of battles, having been re-built after it’d taken a RROD to the knee a few times. But it kept on though long tours of Rock Band and Guitar Hero, and survived countless skirmishes in various Halo games. I still remember the day I bought my first 360 — my wife had been away on vacation for a week with her sister — and I bought the Xbox with one game: Kameo, for some reason. It was a console that my wife even used, having played more hours of A Kingdom for Kieflings than any sane human should subject themselves to.
Over the years it’s status diminished in the house. I acquired an Xbox 360 Slim not too long ago, to supplement the original Xbox 360 Phat when Microsoft added the account portability. TV time was scarce in my house back then, and having another Xbox on another TV in the house meant I could use it more frequently, but the older box didn’t have wifi, so it sat alongside the “watching” TV while the Slim went to the “gaming” TV.
But the time came when the next generation arrived. Everyone I knew was going with PS4 this generation. I needed to find a way to afford a new PS4. Trading in my unused stuff was the best option, but no one wanted to pay top dollar for an aged Xbox Phat, so I released the Slim and a bunch of games and accessories and came home with a new PS4.
The writing was on the wall. There were still games being released for the 360, but…why? I had a next generation machine to play next generation games on, like Destiny and The Elder Scrolls Online. All my friends were on PSN, I’d let my nephew take all of our Rock Band gear with him to college, and I’d completed all the Halo games, sometimes multiple times. The Xbox sat neglected in the corner.
It recently came to my attention that Microsoft was offering a bounty: $100 off a new Xbox One if you traded in an Xbox 360 (or PS3). I laughed at this: there’s no way they’d want my Xbox 360. It was ancient. It was refurbished. It’s Ethernet port had failed. The best it could hope for was to end up at a yard sale for some 8 year old whose parent’s didn’t know any better. At worst, a landfill someday. But I couldn’t just consign this old soldier to that kind of fate. I owed it to him to give him one last chance to do good, so I crammed him into an uncomfortable box with his cables and a lone controller, and drove down to the Microsoft Store in Salem to see if they’d honor my 360.
I watched as the sales guy removed the 360 from it’s box and plugged it into a waiting TV so he could check it’s functionality. I silently hoped he wouldn’t be checking the network connectivity which I knew would invalidate the mission. But he declared everything was in order. My old Xbox 360 came through, once last time.
I don’t look at my new Xbox One and think of it as a replacement; it’s a succession. With the newly announced backwards compatibility that’s truer than ever. In this day and age, when there’s so many different platforms vying for time, I don’t think I’ll ever actually be able to give a console the same attention that my string of previous Xbox machines received, making my last 360 a machine worthy of respect. I’m keeping as a memorial the dust-ring where the old 360 spent it’s last days. Considering how often I dust around the house, my Last Xbox 360 will never be forgotten.