Considering their questionable reliability, I’ve been remarkably fortunate with my 360. I got it on release day and had never had even a hardware crash. I’ve had games crash, of course, but it’s never frozen up so badly that I couldn’t quit to the dashboard. I certainly had a scare last night, though.
After a couple of hours of online Rainbow Six with some friends, we adjourned and I decided to try out Psychonauts, having bought it when it became backwards compatible and never played it. I got most of the way through the intro and then it froze completely, with a red chequered pattern overlayed on the screen. I rebooted it and it froze halfway through the 360 splash with the same pattern, and subsequent reboots only resulted in the dreaded three red lights of death. Uh oh.
I left it for about half an hour, and this time it booted with no problems. I played a couple of rounds of multiplayer Lost Planet to test things and then went back to Psychonauts, which proceeded to freeze in the same way almost immediately. I then got the same rigmarole of restarting and getting red lights, so after leaving it for a few minutes I managed to get it to boot again. At this point I assumed it was Psychonauts, so I tried another Xbox game, Shenmue II, which played without issue until it tried to load a new area when I got those all-too-familiar red squares. Probably best to leave it for now, so I unplugged it completely overnight, intending to try again in the morning and ring Microsoft if necessary.
This morning I fired up Psychonauts and proceeded to play nearly two hours of it (brilliant little game, incidentally) without incident. I then left it downloading the GRAW 2 demo – played a bit of Lost Planet in the middle – and went through the demo, all with no glitches.
So, happy as I am that all seems fine (touch wood), I’m at a loss to explain what happened. I miss those days when consoles could be relied upon to work after being in the cupboard for a decade…