Plugged In

Harry Potter and the Red Ring of Death

As an avid sports gamer, today should be a glorious day.  But instead of enjoying two of the most hotly anticipated sports titles of the year — EA Sports’ NCAA Football 08 and 2K Sports’ All-Pro Football 2K8— I’m mourning the untimely death of my Xbox 360 console.

And it’s all Harry Potter’s fault.

My 360 had been relatively bug-free since the day I brought it home. Yet with one swish of his wand, everyone’s favorite boy wizard turned my console into an ugly, pale-white paperweight.

OK, maybe I shouldn’t blame Potter directly. But after downloading the demo for his latest virtual adventure, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, my Xbox 360 began flashing the dreaded red ring of death, three blinking red lights that signal a general hardware failure. Expeliarmus, indeed.

Luckily, Microsoft recently announced plans to extend the warranty on the Xbox 360 to three years from purchase to protect consumers against just such failures. You can read the full announcement here.

If all goes well, I should have my system back within 4-6 weeks. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll read the final book in the Harry Potter series. And if there’s any justice in the world, “The Boy Who Lived” will meet the same fate as “The Console That Died.”