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If Your Xbox Gets Stolen…..Because Mine Did

Yes it happened.  A gamer’s worst nightmare.  A couple of weeks ago I came home from work just like any other day.  As usual I was looking forward to having no plans and no one to bother me while I vegetated on the couch and played video games instead of something crazy like working out or being productive in general.

Ironically enough I had finally remembered to bring home a new battery pack for my 360 controller since my old one was just about dead.  I approached the cabinet under my TV and noticed its doors were closed.  I never close the doors and there was nothing lying on the floor in front of them either so I felt strange right off the bat.  I opened the doors to find……nothing.  No console, no games, no cables, not even the wire I used to charge my controller when it was in need of battery power.  Everything was just gone.

If there was a silver lining to all of this it was that not too many things were missing:  Only my Xbox 360 and games, a couple rings my roommate owned and my digital camera which to be honest was 5-6 years old and I had used it maybe half a dozen times since then.  Believe it or not if you’re unlucky enough to have someone break into your house and only a handful of things are missing it DOES help soften the blow.  In our case we had a ton of electronics (2 flat screen TVs, 3 laptops, a PS3 and an additional Xbox 360) that weren’t touched, not to mention other valuables and personal items.  Fortunately it seemed as if our burglar was most likely a local kid trying to grab a few “cool” looking items instead of a full-blown cat burglar intending on cleaning us out.

After the shock and anger wore off a couple days later I was faced with the reality that I needed a new console.  I didn’t kid myself into thinking I wouldn’t want another one and putting it off because I didn’t want to spend the money was pointless.  So having been robbed on a Monday I purchased my new 360 on Thursday.  Keep in mind when you report something like this to the police it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to all the shootings, fires, and everything else on their plate so reclaiming your stuff isn’t very likely.

I figured I could rebuild my games library over time so I wasn’t too concerned about that.  At this point it consisted of a few music games like Guitar Hero and a handful of others, most of which are probably available used in the $20-$40 range.  Not bad all things considered.  However I was worried about all the additional content I had downloaded through Xbox Live such as games, themes, and in particular the long list of songs for the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises.  Also, my credit card information was located right on my Xbox for whoever happened to log on to it now that it was out of my possession.  I gave Microsoft a call to figure out what the repercussions were.

Honestly I thought I was in for a major battle to re-download all my purchases.  Boy was I wrong.  The support staff at Microsoft was extremely helpful, so much so that it only took a few minutes to connect with someone, get the answers I was looking for, and hang up.  Now granted I’ve been on hold at least that long in the past so others might have a different experience but the fact that I got through swiftly even once is a pleasant surprise any time you have to call tech support through any company.  Shockingly, they explained to me how since my gamertag is linked to everything I’ve ever done on Xbox Live I can re-download all my content for free using my new Xbox.  Also, once I log in on the new console and import my gamer tag there is no way someone can use my credit card info on my old system.  The only thing they recommended was changing my MSN password just to be safe.

If this ever happens to you at least you know from my experience that your online content is virtually 100% safe.  All you need to do is transfer your gamer tag to your new console by connecting it to the internet and following a few simple steps, go to xbox.com and log in, then find your download history that’s linked to your account.  At that point you can simply add everything one by one to your download queue and you’ll begin regaining all your stuff.  It only takes probably 1/2 hour or so and you’re back in business.  

I’m assuming Sony has a similar policy with their online content but if you own a PS3 you might want to call and inquire just in case.  You can never be too careful and someone breaking into your house, apartment or dorm is one of those things you think will never happen to you until it does.

Categories: Video Games (Main)
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