What happens to a console once its natural lifespan has elapsed? Some are kept handy for those exclusive titles that you can’t play anywhere else, some are prized by collectors and kept on show in pristine condition — and some are used as a means of smuggling large amounts of cocaine.
Four men were arrested in Reading, Pa. over the weekend after were caught in possession of an original Xbox console filled with more than $100,000 worth of cocaine. Many are calling the scheme the most addictive Xbox experience since Fuzion Frenzy.
It’s understood that the console was shipped from the Dominican Republic labelled “Video Game Xbox 360 Use” — the sort of rookie mistake that you’d expect from a branch of GameStop rather than a high-level drug operation. U.S. Customs and Homeland Security officials found the packages suspicious as they entered the country, contacting the Berks County Drug Task Force and setting the bust in motion.
More than 1100 grams of cocaine had been crammed inside the console after its internal components had been removed. This may be what tipped authorities off to its true contents; anyone with any experience of the monumental heft of the original Xbox would immediately realize that something was amiss if the console weighted anything less than a metric ton.
Microsoft’s first entry into the console wars was met with mixed reaction; superior muscle and a selection of standout titles like the Halo series, a couple of seminal RPGs by BioWare and strong support from Sega won it a dedicated following. However, many felt that it simply couldn’t offer the breadth of experiences that its competitors Sony and Nintendo did that’s why its life was curt short with the relative quick release of the Xbox 360.
Despite that, the company managed to score a major foothold in the home console space which they would further build upon with the hugely successful Xbox 360. It’s a testament to the impact of the original Xbox that the brand has grown so strong in such a short space of time — as is the fact that fans like the four men suspected of this crime are still finding novel uses for the console more than a decade after its release.
Some would argue that the world of gaming is closer than you might think to the world of recreational drugs, and in fact more and more titles seem to feature drug use in some form. From the innocent use of the occasional super mushroom to more modern representations of narcotics in games like Far Cry 3, it’s not uncommon to see drugs in your games — although it’s a little less often that we see things spill into the real world as it has in this case.
Many would think that hiding drugs in a console represented by child-friendly anthropomorphic cat Blinx the Time Sweeper would be something of a perfect crime. However, those people have perhaps never heard the popular pirate idiom, ‘X marks the spot’.
The four suspects have been charged with delivery of a controlled substance as well as other related offences, while officials continue their investigation.
Source: NBC 10