Xbox 360: The Pinto of Videogames

Once you’ve chosen the exploding car, it’s comforting to go around picking up your friends. When everyone risks being burned, your own risk seems diminished.” – Gray “The Shape” Nicholson in games™ #77.

Yes, that’s a direct quote from his editorial. It’s an article about how the Xbox 360 matches nicely with Ford’s legendary Pinto. Did you know they sold the Pinto (quite well) for ten years even though it was known to explode upon rear impact? The 360 isn’t likely to end your life, but the comparison sure does ring true. Here we are three years plus from the system’s initial release date and pretty much everyone has had to replace at least one console. Some, like writer Tom Chick, have a red batphone in their house for the almost monthly system swap.

Yet people continue to recommend the system to friends, including Mr. Nicholson, who arrives at the above conclusion after convincing someone that you can get it fixed, and you should just expect to be without it for a week or two every year. It’s insane. He claims the cost is the key, as it was with the Pinto… $200 for an Arcade system that will let you play Grand Theft Auto IV compared to $400 for a low end PS3. Even crazier, his friend buys it despite being someone who lives on a farm and was raised with practicality at her core.

I guess that’s how far we’ve come with electronics. We just don’t care anymore when they fail on us. We simply bend over and take our whipping, then move on to the next box. There’s something really rotten at the core of it all, but I guess people are totally immune to it anymore?



4 Responses to Xbox 360: The Pinto of Videogames

  1. Jon R. says:

    No, that’s just how far we’ve come with games journalism. Let’s see how long it takes for console users to get burned one time too many from some of the same shit that drove them away from the PC. Maybe then companies bent on punching above their weight with their dev budget can declare it unprofitable — likely due to a sudden explosion in piracy that no one can prove — and decide they need to instead start spending 20M on cellphone games.

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