For the 3rd time my Xbox 360 has broke Ė now Iíll be playing on my 4th console since it launched. What makes this even more upsetting is I just got a malfunctioning unit replaced 8 days ago! Fortunate for Microsoft Iím a big fanboy of their console, operating systems, games and online services (i.e. Live). With that said, the option of switching camps to Playstation 3 is not even a considering factor (maybe if I didnít want to stress over which games to purchase out of the large selection of AAA titles coming out for the 360). To top off my frustration, the GameStop extended warranty Iíd have to repurchase each time Iíd return a unit at $50 a pop now requires the hard drive to be included with the exchange. That means everyone in my family loses all their saved games. My son would cry if his 80+ hours invested in Viva Pinata was lost, and I probably would too. Also, transferring saved game data to a memory unit does not work for all games since some data is DRM protected (like Forza 2 and Viva Pinata).
The issues with the GameStop warranty are 1) you have to buy a new one each time they replace a console since itís tied in with the unitís serial number and 2) you now have to exchange the entire package (hard drive, controller, cables, etc). The advantage is you get a brand new console and its same day service. The issues with the Xbox warranty are 1) more than likely they send you a refurbished unit and 2) itís about a 2 week process. The advantage is itís free for 1 year and you only have to send the console in, not your hard drive (unless they determine itís a hard drive issue). So which one?
Fortunately, GameStop will refund my recent warranty and I will start to use Xbox support instead. Itís not nearly as convenient but Iím tired of spending $50 on warranties especially with the new policy in place to return the hard drive. Iíll be sending my console in after this weekend so I can get some time with The Darkness which just came out yesterday. Hopefully my console will last that long.