I decided to work from home today. I do this about once a week, because I can, and because I get two hours of my life back on days that I do. A short time after my wife leaves to pick up one of our boys from kindergarten, my dog growls. He does this at almost anything that happens outside -- fortunately it's rarely more than just a little growl. "Moroni," I said, for that is his name, "if it's not the UPS man, I don't want to hear it." Seconds later, there is a knock at the door, and Moroni barks. "Oh. It is the UPS man."
I open the door, and there stands a man in brown with two packages. "The Xbox needs a signature," he says.
"You've seen a few of these?"
"Oh, yeah, it's almost a daily occurrence."
I sign for it and bring the two boxes inside (the other is a Christmas gift for my oldest son -- saw a pretty good deal and decided to get it now). I opened up the 360 and checked its "born-on date" -- September 2006. So I didn't get a new one as a replacement. In fact, I think it might be slightly older. Slight disappointment, but as long as it works, I suppose. I spend a few moments disconnecting the old Xbox and hooking up its younger brother. It powers on fine (except for having to re-sync the controllers, which was expected -- in fact, a piece of paper in the box described the procedure for my benefit), and I go through the "initial setup" screens. It then downloads a couple updates (one on the first reboot, one again when I go through the network setup -- I considered giving it the old 360's IP address, but that confused my switches for a while when I did that with the X1's replacement). I powered it off, slapped my hard drive on it, and powered it back on.
First, I found the settings I could remember -- auto-off, background downloading, XBLA auto-download (apparently that one's also saved with the console), and then I went to Marketplace to download a couple demos. And finally, I fired up the Eternal Sonata demo, the one I had downloaded that fateful night three weeks ago.
As I was playing, my wife comes home. "It's not what it looks like," I said. Honestly, I had no way of knowing it would be here today. I guessed that it was on its way based on the serial number change and the recording at 1-800-4MY-XBOX, but I never received any tracking number or shipment date. It's a very good thing I was home, though, because without someone to sign for it, I'd still be Xbox-less until the delivery coincided with someone being home.