Let’s be honest here. You love your 360. It’s your baby. But after years of use that white casing is looking more yellow than white. It’s got dings, scratches and that little USB door doesn’t close any more. But under the skin she’s just as good as ever. So maybe it’s time to breathe some new life into the old girl. But since it’s long out of warranty why not splurge and create that 360 you’ve always wanted? Today we present you with the first in a multi-part series on making that old console look new again. We’re going to inspire you by starting with some of the greatest custom 360s ever made. Some are merely case mods, some are so extreme as to turn the console into an on-the-go laptop.
The Iron Man console (above) is just, well, awesome. Not only does the fat console have the classic red and gold color scheme, but there’s a custom arc reactor that lights up when the console is on. Creator Zachariah Perry put the console on eBay in 2010. We were unable to obtain any data on what it went for. Additional pictures can be found on Zachariah’s site. We only wish he’d customized a controller to match.
Roughly two and a half years later Zachariah Perry wowed us again with another Marvel superhero-themed console. The Captain America console utilized the Xbox 360 Slim form factor, and the level of quality carried over from the Iron Man build. The shield actually sits a bit above the case to allow the vents to cool the console’s innards, which means no red rings for the greatest super soldier of consoles. Perry made no mention of the buyer, but did not he enjoys working on commissioned art, so we assume this was a privately funded project.
The Darksiders 360 laptop
Ben Heck is one of those guys who knows a lot about everything technical. His custom Darksiders laptop is the perfect showcase of his talents. While obviously bulkier than your average laptop, this little unit made the 360 portable for the first time. THQ commissioned Heck to build the laptop as a prize for a contest promoting the game. The internals include a Falcon motherboard and the laptop houses and Xbox LIVE Vision camera, so yeah, it’s kinda dated. It’s an impressive build for early 2009 standards, and a one of a kind console.
There’s cool, and then there’s the ‘my console is an astromech’ cool. But that level of cool comes with a hefty price. For $1,300 US Major League Mods will build you this little guy and two themed controllers. If you provide two controllers and a console you can drop that price to $1,000, but then there’s the risk of used products failing, and frankly if you want to drop that much green you might as well upgrade to all-new hardware. The tray ejects from one of R2’s panels, and it comes with a built-in projection unit. Additional inputs are available on the back of the droid’s feet and power/AV are at the bottom rear of the torso. R2D360 stands roughly 18-24 inches and is small enough to fit on an end table.
A custom console for the common man
While most of us will never have the money to purchase beauties like these, never fear. Over the coming weeks you’ll find that customizing your console with a new look is often not as difficult nor expensive as you might think. Next time we’ll take a look at some of the better inexpensive replacement cases, and later on we’ll talk about what you can do to ensure your 360 lives a long and healthy life.