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Ask Joystiq Xbox: Not Ask X3F edition


Ha! We bet you thought Ask X3F had gone the way of the dodo thanks to the recent relaunch of Joystiq. Well, okay, technically you're right. Ask X3F is no more. Have no fear though, as Ask X3F has just valmorphanized into Ask Joystiq Xbox. Yeah, it's not quite as catchy but it's all we got. This week we discuss console killing power supplies, backwards compatibility, free Marketplace content and more. Soak it all up with your brain sponge -- or you could just read it -- after the break.

Oh, one more thing: The Ask email address is staying the same for now. It may change in the future, but rest assured that the original address will keep working in the meantime, so keep sending in those questions!

Got a question for Ask X3F? Maybe you have a story or some information you'd like to share? Send it all to ask [att] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

Hey guys,
Now I'm all for change and everything, but with the new ultrastiq and new URL for the fanboy sitesnand listening to the Joystiq podcast about ultrastiq, it sounds like they are trying to get rid of the fanboy name. If so, then what will happen to my beloved X3F? I know the site isn't going anywhere but what about the name?
OMG Aero

The X3F name is still sticking around, in a manner of speaking. While Xbox 360 Fanboy is kaput, the Xbox 360 Fancast isn't going anywhere. As they both have the same initials, X3F will live on in the Xbox 360 Fancast. We realize it's not exactly the same, but we feel that our community will live on in the Fancast and our regular features, like Ask and XBLA in Brief.

Dear X3F,

I think this is like my 5th question but nevertheless, I have to ask. I have a previous gen pro console with the 20gb hdd and no hdmi. That machine has been more faithful than Jared Fogle has been to Subway and it is an amazing entertainment system. Recently, my sister's friends were over my place and they wanted to watch a movie. The 360 turned on fine as well as opening the slot and inserting th dvd. As soon as the girl closed the dvd tray, the screen turned black and got the one red ring on the bottom left. I flipped out and turned off the console. When I turned it on again, the 360 worked fine and pretended like nothing ever happened. My 360 is no longer under the warranty and I'm not sure what to do now. Should I sell the console now while it is still kicking to somebody else or should I let it die and pay to get it repaired?

Also, was the H3 McFarlane theme ever released?

Thanks fellas!

Latin Trident

This is a difficult decision for any Xbox 360 owner to make. Some may try to deny it, but we're definitely of the opinion that you can tell when a 360 is on its last legs. Weird things start happening, things seem to take longer, games crash. We're not positive, but it's probably cheaper to pay for repairs than it is to buy a new console, even assuming you got a decent price for your current box. Unless you just can't bear the thought of waiting a few weeks for a repair, we'd say hang onto your console.

We could be totally off base here, though. So, we put it to you, gentle readers. Has anyone out there faced a similar conundrum? If so, tell us about it in the comments and see if we can't give Latin Trident some good advice.

As for the McFarlane theme, we have it on good authority from Halo fanatic Dustin Burg that it was never released.

Hey X3F Staff,

I have a question I was hoping you all could help me with. Recently I dipped back into my Original Xbox collection and found a lot of the games still aren't backwards compatible. I know most people seem to not care at this point but I do. My copies of True Cimes NY, NBA 2K7, Gun, Tenchu: Return to Darkness don't work just to name a few. And also ones that do like Knights of the Old Republic and PoP: SoT seem to have very glaring gltiches. Do you think the Xbox team just sorta pushed this feature to the wayside instead of following through and updating the bc list often and even fixing problems with the emulators?

Also I was wondering do you think achievements for the Xbox Originals would be a good idea? Maybe toss on a 200 gs achievement list to make the games that much more appealing and worth the price since they are more expensive that used copies in stores or even new ones.

Thanks in advance guys!


Bad news, Floyd, the future of backwards compatibility updates for the 360 looks grim. Just over a year ago, Microsoft more or less confirmed that there were no plans to release any more backwards compatibility updates. Yes, it sucks and there are still lots of great games that haven't made the list. Alas, it looks like we're all just going to have to live with it.

And we have even more bad news, the chances of achievements coming to Xbox Originals are basically nil. Xbox Originals, you see, are comprised of the exact code you'd find on the DVD of the game. That's why Originals all have the same glitches that their backwards compatible counterparts have. In order to make achievements work, the original develoeprs of each game would have to crack into the old code and shoehorn them in there. We imagine most developers, even if the had the option, wouldn't bother to expend the money and resources it would take to do that. They have new games to work on, after all.

Hi, guys. Long time reader/listener, first time question asker. For the first time in almost two years, I have suffered the red ring of death. While waiting for them to fix my last console, I went out and bought a second 360 since I was going stir crazy without it. When my main 360 went down, I moved my backup 360 to the family room and plugged it into the power brick from the dead console. Now, a week later, my backup 360 has suffered the red ring of death. I'm wondering if power bricks are linked to consoles and maybe this power brick is killing my 360s.

Any ideas?

Thanks for the help.


While you may or may not have a faulty power supply, we can tell you that you should not connect to consoles other than the one it came with. As Xbox 360 hardware has been improved over the years, the wattage of the power supply has steadily decreased. We don't know how old your previous console was, but there's a good chance its power supply had a higher wattage than the one that came with your new 360. That means there was a good chance that the power supply you used was pumping out more power than your new 360 required, and that, as you may have surmised, would be a bad thing.

A note of caution: If you're planning on sending in your new 360 for a repair, don't tell the customer service rep that you connected it to a different consoles power supply.

[Mini update: According to commenter Viridium, an older power supply should not cause problems with a new Xbox unit. Based solely on what we've been told by Microsoft, you should only use the power supply that came with your console.]

I am all about the free stuff... call me cheap i guess...

With the new NXE and revamp of the Marketplace I thought it would be easy to find content to dress up the xbox...

How does one go about finding free themes and free picture packs?


hermannsmith has a pretty exhaustive list of free content on Xbox Live Marketplace. It lists free themes, content and gamerpics. Strangely, it doesn't have a list of the free games available, but those are generally pretty bad anyway, with the exception of Aegis Wing. If anyone knows a better source for free Xbox Live Marketplace content, drop it in the comments. And, since we're on the subject, anyone out there have any favorite free themes or gamerpics you'd like to share?

That's it for this week, folks. Keep sending your questions to: ask [att] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

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