Monday, December 17, 2007

How I got my new Xbox 360...

Today I made the leap into the 21st century and upgraded my fourth generation gaming console, a Sega Mega Drive (AKA Sega Genesis in North America), to a seventh generation gaming console, a Microsoft Xbox 360.



My old Sega Mega Drive


Yes, my last game console, a Sega Mega Drive, was purchased way back in 1991. It was fun in it's day and is still going fine. In fact now, 16 years after I bought it, I've recently dusted it off and have been enjoying playing Sonic the Hedgehog with my 6 year old daughter Maddie. It's been fun but it's made me think about what the current state of gaming consoles is like. The only other computer gaming I've done recently is some 4-5 year old PC games I've picked up at garage sales or flea markets. I felt it was time to round out my multi-gamer needs.

A couple of months ago I became aware of a game called Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. I've watched the trailers and gameplay on YouTube and I've simply been blown away. This first-person shooter looked so realistic. I was intrigued. Through watching the YouTube videos I became aware of other really cool games. From that I then researched the different gaming consoles and available games. There are a number of great systems available at the moment; the Nintendo Wii, the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox 360. After a lot of time weighing up of the pros and cons of all the gaming systems I finally chose the Xbox 360. However, a purchase of this financial magnitude was not to be taken lightly. It required spousal permission...

Let's stop for a moment and go back in time about eight years. In the late 90's I attended a gaming convention in Brisbane. At a bring-and-buy second hand stall I bought the original set of the three Against The Giants series of AD&D modules. These three original modules were written by Gary Gygax and were the first modules ever printed by TSR in 1978. I paid $7 each for them. I knew they were old and that I'd eventually resell them, but I had no idea of their real value. A couple of weeks ago I listed my $21 investment on eBay and they sold for $601.00! Woohoo! I now had the money to buy my new gaming console! And as I would be funding my new Xbox 360 from the sale of existing gaming possesions it met with spousal approval :)



I turned these into an Xbox 360!

So, I had the cash to buy the Xbox 360, however, during my research I became aware that Microsoft had recently changed the internal electronics of the 360 by reducing the 90 nm CPU to 65 nm. This new chip was codenamed Falcon and was rumoured to be produced in consoles manufactured from September 2007. This change will obviously reduce the manufacture cost for Microsoft but will also reduce the internal heat of the console which has been blamed for the poor reliability of the Xbox 360 since it was introduced in late 2005. The only problem was that nobody really knew with any certainty which consoles would have the Falcon chip. The other new change was the introduction of a HDMI port which the 360 previously did not have.

So I've been patiently reading the appropriate forums and checking the manufacture dates of boxes in stores and waiting for the Xmas rush to flush out all the older systems. From my research I was finally fairly certain that I would get a Falcon 360 if I found one that had been manufactured in November. I knew 360's with manufacture dates as late as 5 November had been purchased in Brisbane. As I had today off work it was the perfect opportunity to go and buy my new Xbox 360.

My first stop was the local K-Mart. It was the closest store to me that sold Xbox 360s. I took with me the latest Big W catalog as they were selling the Premium bundle for the cheapest price that I could find at $498. K-Mart had $538 on the same bundle but when I showed them the Big W catalog they agreed to match the price. I was ecstatic when the first box they brought out had a manufacture date of 21 November 2007. That was only just over three weeks ago! Woohoo! Not only that but they gave a further discount and reduced the price to $494.



My new Falcon Xbox 360!

When I got it home I did the flashlight test to confirm I had a Falcon. Yep! It also had the new HDMI port. My patience had paid off and I had my Falcon!

The Premium Xbox 360 came bundled with two games - Viva Pinata and Forza Motorsport 2.



The two games bundled with the Premium Xbox 360

Ahh, but what about the game that had been the catalyst for the purchase of my Xbox 360? Just 6 weeks ago when it was released, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was selling for $109. Last week in the Big W catalog they had it on sale for $78.84. I was prepared to pay that but when I was at K-Mart I checked their catalog and they had it for $69! Woohoo! Unfortunately, my local K-Mart were sold out.

I then drove to Big W and bought another of the games on my wish list - Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6: Vegas. They had it reduced from $68.84 down to $40. I then drove to another K-Mart where I purchased Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for $69.



Two cool games to scratch that first-person-shooter gaming itch

So that's how a couple of old AD&D modules paid for my new Xbox 360 and 2 new recent-release games. The only problem now is that I've only had the Xbox 360 for barely 12 hours and already my elder daughter and wife have each clocked up more game time on it than I have! Doh!

3 comments:

Ken Lee said...

When you're hooked up to Xbox Live, let me know your GamerTag. I can add you to my friends list.

Ozvortex said...

I'll certainly do that Ken. Should hopefully hook up next month.

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