Console Post of the Week: Addendum, Which Makes It Not So Short AnymoreTwo things.
First, if you want a PS3 but don't want to pay $499, how does $365 sound?
From PS3mods (thanks Destructoid.com), here's the deal: go to Sony Style and put a $499 60GB PS3 into your shopping cart. When you go to check out, apply for a Sony Style credit card (O% interest for the first twelve months, and you'll have cancelled the card long before then). That card comes with a $150 rebate on your first purchase of $299 or more.
In other words, $500 + $15 shipping, minus the $150 rebate. The $150 credit on your statement takes 8-12 weeks to process, but since you're paying 0% interest initially, you're still golden.
The PS3 (to me) is a crap deal at $499. At $365, it's persuasive.
Here's a link to a detailed walkthrough of the deal.
Second thing, and this is something I can't believe I didn't think of this before. The problem with 360 repairs, to me, is not transit time for the unit--it's transit time for the box. Waiting two days (or longer) to get a box isn't acceptable to anyone.
UPS is the carrier that picks up 360s for repair. UPS also owns Mail Boxes, Etc., a packaging and shipping store with nearly 5,000 locations in the U.S.
Well, Microsoft, put some paper coffins in each MBE location. Then, if someone wants to drop off their 360 immediately instead of waiting for a box, they can do so at the nearest shipping store. No waiting for boxes. Same-day shipping. And you're not even having to deal with a separate vendor, because UPS owns the company.
That's an easy one.