They don’t make ’em like they used to

So, given that I don’t give a solitary crap about the Xbox “Slim”, I’m late on this one, but apparently Microsoft’s stylish new black model will fuck your discs up even more horrifically than the original. Hard to believe I know, but there’s the proof positive. I love the Microsoft rep yelling at him for picking it up despite the warning label on the front. How DARE he move it while it’s running. God knows that we have yet to perfect the technology to safeguard a spinning disc from the dangers of being jostled around.

Oh wait, I forgot about this weird thing from 1984

I continue to be insulted by low standards of video game hardware. I think it’s one of the most galling things about the industry these days. We’re dishing out hundreds of dollars for these slick, supposedly fashionable things and they’re made so cheaply that they will consistently break and at times destroy other things while they do it. It’s disgusting.

The Wii is the exception this console generation. It’s well-built, solid design continues the long-standing Nintendo tradition of unbreakable hardware that they started in the eighties with the original Game Boy.


Nintendo caught a lot of shit back in the day when the NES’ fragile, toaster-like cartridge tray started to break with regularity, and in response to the fan outcry they apparently just said “fuck it” and decided to make their next system out of a cinder block.

Seriously, I’m pretty sure that for a while there in the ’90s they started using a couple Game Boys in place of those big blocks they put behind passenger jet wheels to keep them from rolling away or whatever. Had wrecking balls made out of a bunch of  ’em ducttaped together and shit.

Anyway, that picture up there, if you haven’t heard the story, is of an original Game Boy that an American soldier traveled with during the Gulf War. It got shelled in a barracks and ended up losing a single row of pixels in the fight against Saddam, but today it’s proudly on display at the Nintendo World Store in New York and  i t  s t i l l  w o r k s.

By comparison, you could probably bust your Xbox 360 in half by pretending to hadouken it.

Honestly, screw you, Microsoft. The 360 has got to be the weakest major console ever produced. Between the Red Ring of Death and all of the other random failures it’s prone to, to buy one is to just accept that at some point, you’re going to be sending it away for a couple weeks so those idiots can bring it up to the standards that most consumer electronics are held to.

It’s heavy and large, yet cheap and fragile feeling, which is a pretty scary combination. The sides have fucking give to them for God’s sake and the whole thing feel like it’s made out of a weak sheet metal that you could put your finger through if you tried. Every time I open the disc tray and watch it slowly wobble its way out I’m afraid it’s gonna be the last, and the finicky hard drive connector at the top does not instill me with more confidence. And don’t even get me started on the controller. While that particular turd does stop short of Sony’s so-weak-I-have-easily-twisted-it-apart-in-my-hands-on-two-occasions DualShock2, it certainly does not hold up to any kind of punishment whatsoever.

To be fair, I have not had any hands-on experience with the new black 360, so for all I know, it’s a beast. Thanks to Demonoid, though, I can rest easy in knowing that it still scratches discs like a goddamn DJ.

P.S.: This was originally the aforementioned “long post with a bunch of pictures”, but WordPress’ complete inability to work right ruined it for me and I ended up paring it down significantly. Thanks WordPress!


About djsharpecheddar

Have you seen a little girl?
This entry was posted in Original Content, Retro Review and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to They don’t make ’em like they used to

  1. chargedblast says:

    i guess the whole “lets see how much shaking and jostling our product can absorb and still play our disc” mentality was exclusive to the discman. why that product strategy with the disc format never caught on is a fucking atomic mind bomb. you could seriously like THROW those things around and the disc wouldn’t even SKIP much less SCRATCH. like we used to keep those in our back packs walking around in school with our headphone cords in our ears and it wouldn’t miss a beat. i’ve personally ruined 3 whole games just by slightly nudging my xbox 360. guess i better learn to tiptoe around my living room.

  2. Nice post, mans. I’ve never had problems with scratched discs. I’ve even yanked my Xbox out of the entertainment center by accident and no damage. Just lucky, I’m sure.

  3. JW says:

    I bought a box about 6 months ago and only recently it started sounding like a Cessna was taking off in my den. So I popped it open, voiding my warranty with abandon, and noticed the housing for the fan was coming loose. The console has not left it’s spot since I set it up, so what the hell kind of manufacturing is this?

    It’s true what you say about Nintendo. I remember my SNES getting dropped, accidentally kicked, and having water spilled on it. The only thing that finally put it out of commission, after over 10 years of use, was one drunken asshole of a younger brother power-puking on it.

    Excellent site. I’ll be linking to you from my own.

  4. Pingback: My 50 Favorites: #43 – Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins | Why Modern Video Games Suck

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