09 July 2011

Red-ringing: Part 2

My friend, John Teti, who is a very passionate and very lovely man (see for yourself here), apparently tapped out an ambitious comment that expounded on the reasons why we remain faithful to the 360 despite its tendency have more breakdowns than Liza Minnelli.

Unfortunately, Blogger, in all of its unstable glory, decided to jettison the comment into the void where all ambitious comments seem to go. (Blogger has jettisoned more than a few of my ambitious comments in my lifetime.) (Why it does this, we may never know.)

Anyway, John somehow found the time and energy to recreate the comment. He emailed it to me privately, because, to quote him, "I don't care to have my time FUCKING WASTED all over again."

So, without further pomp or circumstance, here's the recreated comment, in all of its uncensored, passionate glory:

"The reason we always go back to the 360 is that we semi-consciously anthropomorphize consoles, and the Xbox 360 is a friendly sort.

"What do you see when you turn on the 360? A bright, colorful screen that says 'Welcome.' A smiling, dancing cartoon version of yourself, maybe playing with a pet. A seemingly endless, verdant tableau of games, video, and other fun stretching off the right side of the screen into eternity.

"What do you see when you turn on the PS3? A gloomy background occupied by a tiny strip of bland icons. About a million features you will never use, each with their own barely readable text label. Perhaps an advertisement fades into the screen, reminding you to buy some Sony film from the Sony PSN Store brought to you by Sony. (Don't just stand there, kid; buy something.) Everything is so goddamn corporate, like you are clocking into work instead of getting ready to play a game.

"But all of that is relatively tolerable. What really makes the PS3 so irritating is the attitude.

"I have a spare Xbox 360 hooked up to my computer that I use for video capture. Last week I started it up for the first time in a year. I knew I would have to update the system software, and install the requisite updates to the game that I was playing (L.A. Noire.) Do you know how long it took me to get up and running? THREE MINUTES. That's it. That's the 360: 'Hey, buddy, happy to see you!' It's almost embarrassed that it has to tidy up a little bit before the two of you can get down to FUN!

"Meanwhile, the PS3's attitude is 'Where the hell have YOU been?' Can you imagine what this experience would have been like if this were my spare PS3? I think we all know: it would be an ALL-CONSUMING INFERNO OF BOREDOM. The PS3 fucking PUNISHES you if you ignore it for even a couple of weeks. 'What's that, you want to play that new downloadable game you heard about on the TV? How about you sit there and FUCKING WAIT while I update my firmware; I have to delete some of my features because Sony thinks you don't deserve them, and you know what? I THINK THEY'RE RIGHT!!!'

"So you sit there while it updates or upgrades or installs or whatever the fuck this umpteenth progress bar is supposed to be doing -- you don't even know what the progress bar MEANS anymore; by this point the very concept of a progress bar has lost all ability to signify -- and the PS3 is just loving every minute of your misery. Because it's like an insanely possessive friend whom you can never, ever please. 'This is what you get when you don't pay attention to my every need! How DARE you do anything but play with your PlayStation? DON'T YOU LOVE ME?????'

"No, I don't love you at all. I hate turning on my PS3. I'm not talking about the games. The games for the console are great, every bit as good as those on the Xbox 360 (since they are mostly the same games, after all). Gaming on the PS3 is, though, like eating at a restaurant where the food is fantastic but the manager is a total prick. You know you'll enjoy yourself in the end, but the guy running the show has such a bad attitude, you don't want to give him the satisfaction.

"As for the Wii, who gives a shit.

"So yes, of course we keep going back to the 360. He may be a sickly little guy, prone to keel over at a moment's notice. But dadgum it, he's always been our friend, greeting us with an easy, natural smile every time we drop by for a visit. And when you have friends like that, you stick by them."

Thanks, John.


  1. Nice, John has a new fan! But all that said I still want to get a PS3 if only for the console specific titles, otherwise I love my xbox and will stick with it sickly or not


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This post would have been better off lost

  4. I don't know why you guys are being assholes; I thought it was a fun read. Never really thought about my 360 that way, but it makes sense. Good work John.


  6. i feel the exact opposite the xbox menu is so unhealthy youve already paid a considerable ammount just to get it online and it never gives you a break- theres ads Everywhere! ps3 is this kind of cool sleek thing that doesn't try and make the online section look more appealing then the game section everything on it is regarded as equal. and to overlook a flaw like the red ring is quite unreasonable considering the only thing xbox can do that the ps3 cant is halo and splinter cell. $60 a year plus guaranteed month of no gaming when it inevitably red rings for all the same features as ps3, except for halo!

  7. The PS3 interface is more adult. The Xbox's, while attractive, has a somewhat juvenile feel to it, more toyish. When I see a 'smiling, dancing cartoon version' of myself playing with a puppy it makes me feel a little guilty I'm still playing video games at my age (well, well into adulthood). Come to think of it I started my Xbox up a while back for the first time in some months and I seem to remember quite a few unexplained progress bars following one another before I could do anything. I guess no console is perfect :)

  8. But clearly you did download the puppy -- it doesn't just magically appear; you have to explicitly request it -- so maybe there is more kid in you than you are willing to admit!

    Kidding aside, you're right that no console is perfect. They're each flawed in their own, kind of hilarious ways -- human in that respect.

  9. very humorous and astute post

  10. I have both systems and I have to agree with this post.

    Everything about the 360 dash is more intuitive and fluid than the ps3. I also have no problem paying for a service like xbox live either, because the online usually works flawlessly. Which doesn't seem to be the case with the ps3.

    I bought the ps3 for GOW and Uncharted and those games are fantastic. I would say they were definitely worth the cost of the console. Aside from those exclusives I rarely play my ps3.

  11. its cheaper to play cod on ps3 then on 360 technically

  12. The RROD, monthly access fees, cheap dvd player, and lack of real options (bluray playback, built in wireless, swappable hard drive, and better games), make it clear to me, the X-Flop has you all fooled. Maybe you are all patriots, and blindly support an inferior american product. Either way enjoy the lower end product, the x-flop....

  13. This "Red-ringing" problem is the main reason why I will never get an Xbox 360. I want a console that can at least do one of its basic functions: play video games. If it can't do that, then what's the point?

    Great online capabilities, cute avatars, Halo, etc... they don't even matter if you can't even turn on your console!

    I also find it hilarious that waiting for your PS3 to update its firmware (which can take minutes) is worse than waiting for your 360 to get repaired (which can take weeks). And if the console's beyond repair, guess what? It'll probably end up in a mountain full of broken 360s in some faraway shithole.

    From an economical perspective, the Xbox 360 is nowhere near from being a long-term investment. But if you like to waste money, go ahead and buy a 360!!

  14. Yeah, the whole premise of Jones' original post and my reply is that our allegiance to the 360 is completely illogical. You guys act like this is a rational argument when the point has already been conceded that staying true to the 360 makes no rational sense. We are pretending that our machines are people, which is dumb. Chachi, you "find it hilarious" that waiting for a firmware update is supposedly worse than waiting weeks for the 360 to be fixed -- good, it is supposed to be hilarious. (I know you didn't really find it hilarious and were just being condescending, but still. Your instinct is right on.)

    By the way, let's not pretend that PS3 lovers are this enlightened, hyper-logical breed of Nietzschean superman. You stick up for the PS3 like it's your little brother, when in fact it is an unthinking hunk of plastic and silicon made by a multi-billion-dollar company that routinely treats its customers like shit -- in other words, pretty much the same as the 360. Console loyalty is inherently stupid, and also inherently human, the end.

  15. But it plays Blu-rays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!