The Red Ring of Death

You’ve got to give it to Microsoft — no one creates iconic crash messages like they do. The Blue Screen of Death tormented and terrified millions of Windows users and while it’s appearances have been greatly diminished since the release of XP, it’s legend lives on.

Now with the 360, Microsoft has created a new error message that’s quickly burning itself into the consciousness of gamers: the Red Ring of Death. In a functioning 360, the power button is surrounded by a green ring that says everything’s “ok” and notes which controllers are connected. When things go wrong though, this self-same ring flashes red. This signal of doom indicates everything from an unplugged video cable to critical hardware failure.

I’ve been hearing about the Red Ring since the console launched, as it claimed clan member after clan member over at Geezer Gamers.

And now it’s my turn.

Yesterday I fired up Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and was stunned as the game crashed. Rebooting the Xbox brought up the cursed Red Ring. A subsequent reboot saw the ring disappear, and allowed me to play the game for an hour or two. Sunday it returned, and this time, it didn’t go away.

I’ve called Microsoft, and they’ve agreed to repair the machine. Now it’s just a question of waiting for the return box to arrive … and then waiting for Microsoft to resuurect the machine.

Ironically, my Xbox seemed to sense its own impending doom, as recorded by its blog:

NukeHavoc decided to play today. Check out the 1070 gamer score! That is a gain of 40 points over last time! He played Oblivion adding 1 achievement, and then nothing… nothing at all…

“Nothing at all” indeed.

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