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Six Ways To Kill Your Console

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  • Six Ways To Kill Your Console

    Most of these are obvious, but just in case you didnt know. Here are six ways to kill your console.

    Nothing kills electronic devices better than excessive heat. Take the Xbox 360's infamous "red ring of death" issue. A set of design and manufacturing faults left the machine vulnerable to heat buildup -- and drove it to a failure rate that reportedly topped 50%. While those flaws have been fixed, the lesson remains: Minimize heat, and your console will live longer. Make sure it's not basking in the sun, keep it off the carpet, and make sure it has enough air space around it for proper circulation.

    Keep your console in a dusty atmosphere, and you're slowly choking it. As dusty air circulates through the system, it'll accumulate crud on your console's vital organs, clogging heatsinks, jamming up fans, and blocking air vents. In other words, it means more heat -- and that's bad. Keep it clean, and it'll live longer.

    Not using a surge protector
    Yes, your console needs electricity to work. But too much of a good thing can be dangerous. Plug in your consoles without using a surge protector -- or with one that's not connected to an adequate ground -- and you're playing Russian roulette with its precious, oh-so-fragile innards. One fortuitous lightning strike, and zap: game over. Literally. Grab a decent surge protector from an established brand (or, best of all, a whole-house model that'll protect all your pricey electronics) and enjoy some peace of mind.

    Those unauthorized "modifications"
    For years, unscrupulous individuals have been offering to "mod" consoles to allow them to play pirated games. Sometimes, it's as simple as adding an internal chip to bypass its hardware protection, although increasingly common are custom "softmods" that don't involve opening the machine up at all. Either way, they're bad ideas. At best, you'll void your precious warranty. Once you're spotted playing pirated games online, you (or your console) could wind up permanently barred from its various online services. At worst, your precious console could be rendered completely useless. You wouldn't be the first. Leaving aside the numerous moral, legal and ethical reasons why it's a bad idea, it's just not worth the risk.

    Leaving it on all the time
    Be honest. Have you ever left your console on for an extended period, rather than quitting your game properly? Why? Do you want to wear out your console by increasing strain on its (albeit few) moving parts? Do you own shares in your electricity company? Do you just hate this mean ol' planet that much? You'll have a hard time playing Halo XXIV when the melting polar icecaps have submerged your house under nine feet of water. All kidding aside, taking a greener approach to your gaming will pay off with lower bills, longer-lasting consoles, and a happier planet.

    Airborne controllers
    Posing a threat not only to consoles, but to TVs, furniture, and windows alike, there's nothing worse than a flying controller. Whether it's launched through frustration or carelessness, the result's the same. Wear your wristbands -- make sure the kids do, too -- and if you're playing a particularly frustrating game, take a break every so often. Both your console and your mood will thank you.