Xbox from UK, games from US – OK!

When our 360 went south Paula and I decided that the best course of action was to buy a replacement box instead of waiting for a really long, expensive repair (since it’s an American box it has to be shipped to the US for resurrection).  Since we use our Xbox to watch TV we also didn’t want to wait the couple months it would likely take.

The idea of a new box was all good and well… but I also have a library of games I like to play (including a copy of Lego Star Wars II we just bought but never got a chance to play).  Gears of War I can buy in the company store for €20… but Lego Star Wars and Ghost Recon were going to run me €60 each.  Crap.

After setting up the replace box I wondered: what happens if I stick the US (NTSC) game disc into my European (PAL) Xbox?

As luck would have it, I was pleasantly surprised.  Like DVDs, video games often have region encoding which prevents a game disc purchased in, for example,  Paris from working on a console purchased in Poughkeepsie.  In the case of the Xbox 360, however, the region lock-out isn’t a certainty.  Fortunately for me (and many other gamers) Microsoft adopted the policy of letting publishers decide if their game discs would be region-free.

Not all Xbox 360 titles will work in all regions… but luckily for me my two current faves, GOW and GRAW2, do.  No need to run out and buy replacement copies.  In my quest for an answer as to why my discs worked in my new console I came across a fairly detailed list of region compatibility on  It takes the guesswork out of any future purchases (especially cool since buying games in the US is much cheaper with the strength of the Euro).

My badge holder broke and my Xbox died

Sounds kinda like a country song…


Well, it happened… my decision to not buy an extended warranty on a first revision of a gaming console bit me in the tookus.  You’d think I’d have learned from my experience with my first Xbox (I bought the 2 year warranty… and the box was replaced twice for free).  But, alas, no, I didn’t and I’m now left with a $300 doorstop.

After Dick and Trina lost a couple units I could smell the storm coming… but at over a year past purchase date I knew it was way too late.  It crashed a few times in the past month (video froze while using it as a Media Center Extender) and yesterday we got the red ring of death.  Since we’re in Ireland now it would cost a chunk of change for the round trip to the US and back for repairs… it’s only about $50 cheaper to buy a new box here (with warranty) and we can get it right away.  Oh well… off to buy a European Xbox 360… I wonder if it will have a sexy accent like Gérard Depardieu.

In case you were wondering… my badge holder isn’t under warranty either.

Woo woo!

My current gaming addiction is Gears of War (GOW)… spent almost 4 hours playing it with friends last night (yes, Paula is out of town… aren’t you clever to figure that out).

Every time I play I can’t help thinking: “Hey, that Cole character sounds totally like Terry Tate.”  Well, last night my curiosity finally got the better of me and I looked it up. I was not mistaken.  Agustus Cole in GOW is played by Lester “The Mighty Rasta” Speight, recognized by most as “Terry Tate, Office Linebacker”. 

I can’t resist the Terry Tate commercials… once I watch one I have to watch them all… over and over and over.  Have a little taste of what Terry’s dishin’ out.

HD TV and Movies on demand? Thank you Xbox 360… almost

Mike aggregated some wonderful news about a new feature coming to Xbox 360 on November 22nd: video on demand. HD content will be available for free and for pay to download direct to your hard drive-equipped Xbox 360.

My first thought? SWEET! Living in Ireland has a lot of upside but the downside is no NetFlix and no TiVo. This service is the answer to a huge need.

Xbox 360 Projector

Your 360 is now a great way to watch movies!

Well… it would be the answer to my need if it weren’t for the fact that the service will be for US Xboxes only. I suppose it comes as no surprise given that international copyright law is a deep murky pool… filled with hungry sharks… and with little floaty things edged with razor blades… and all the ladders out are greased… and electrified.

At any rate, Xbox owners back in America: congratulations… [scowl grumble grumble]