I’m a big fan of video games, and so I was well on the hype bandwagon before the XBOX was even launched. I pre-ordered mine from Amazon, and called them daily when they somehow lost my console in transit. I’ve been playing XBOX almost exclusively since the day it finally arrived, and I’ve had tons of fun with games like Halo, Splinter Cell and Kotor. In fact, my eyes hurt when I go back to playing Playstation games (anti-aliasing is your friend). The XBox is my primary game console, as well as my primary DVD player.

Around January, my ‘box started having a ton of dirty disk errors even with brand new games. After a week of having the errors with increasing frequency, I decided to call customer service. It turned out that there was a known issue with some batches of the launch ‘boxes, and they gave me instructions for getting a free repair even though my warranty had expired. They promised to have the new box back to me in 7-14 days, and it was back in about seven. Well, back figuratively, they sent me a new box. It was annoying to have to pack it and ship it (ok, annoying for Sarah), but no big whoop.

Unfortunately, my second ‘box gave up the ghost on Friday. I turned it on to play a few games of NBA Street Vol. 2 and it started making a weird clicking noise. After a few minutes the tray button started blinking red and a message came on the screen advising me to contact customer service. I rebooted the machine a few times and finally it managed to boot into the game. A few hours later I decided to play again, and the error message came back.

I (ok, Sarah) shipped the Xbox to customer service this morning. It’s $99 for the repair, since my warranty period has ended, on top of the $62 it cost me for shipping. This is a big opportunity for Sony to get back in my good graces as I’ve had the PS2 since it’s launch and it’s never even hiccuped. I’m on my second XBox, and I’ve had tons of game disks that had to be buffed to a polish in order to work. I’m annoyed. I can’t imagine I’m alone in my experience, which really makes me worry for the future of the console. It’s great to have a built in hard drive, but not if the things keep breaking down.

I’m very annoyed.