New (to us) Xbox

We got our new (replacement) Xbox last night. Best Buy didn’t have any more of the translucent green Halo Limited Edition versions, so we just got a plain old black one. I checked the manufacture date, to make sure it was recent (5/8/04). I also noticed that the one we got was manufactured in China (our original one was made in Mexico).

When I swapped it out at home, I noticed that it seemed a bit lighter than the old one, and much, much quieter (thank goodness!). The old one was very noisy (mostly fans) during normal operation, and once the power supply fan started failing, it got almost unbearable. The new one is whisper quiet, which is great.

I was wondering what make of DVD drive we would get. There are three different DVD drives (Thompson, Phillips, and Samsung) used in the Xbox. The Thompson drive is generally considered to be the least reliable, while the Samsung is considered to be the best. Besides reliability, the different makes have varying abilities when it comes to reading CD-R/CD-RW/DVD-R/DVD-RW media. Based on the photos in this thread on, our new Xbox has a Phillips drive.

Seems to be pretty reliable, but not able to read many kinds of recordable media. Oh well – not a huge deal to me.

We did get a two year replacement plan, which will let us get a complete replacement if anything goes wrong. Normally, I avoid extended warranties/replacement plans as a waste of money, but as I’ve discovered in the Pocket PC realm, they can be quite handy for something you pretty much know you’re going to replace within the coverage period. To me, it was worth an extra twenty bucks to know that I can take it back and get it replaced if so much as a controller dies on me in the next two years.

I also noticed that the cord on the included Controller S is just plain black rubber, instead of the fancy translucent green of my other original controlers. Again, not a huge difference, just something I noticed. At least I have 4 controllers now (2x original and 2x “S”), for games that support 4 players.

I was able to copy all of my save games and my Live! account over to the new box using my memory card. It’s got a capacity of about 500 blocks. Most games (PGR2, Soul Calibur II, Crimson Skies, Rainbow Six 3, etc.) only took up a few blocks, but I discovered that Halo saves are huge – over 250 blocks. I thought it was interesting that the Halo saves were so much larger than the others. I never really paid attention before, because with a 9GB hard drive, running out of space for save games was about the last thing I was worried about.

The last thing I have to do is re-download all of the downloadable content I had, since that was way too big to transfer via memory card. I downloaded the Paris Booster Pack for PGR2 last night, and played around with it. It was pretty cool – I love the Ferrari 288 GTO, and it was great to get to drive it.

If anyone out there is on Xbox Live!, and wants to add me to your Friends list, my GamerTag is Seraph. I’m not online too often, but let me know if you ever want to set up a game.