"High Failure Rate" Possible Cause
Game and sister outlet Gamestation have announced they plan to stop selling pre-owned Xbox 360 models ranging from Core to the Arcade and 20GB non-HDMI models. You can still trade in your old Xbox 360s for cash or store credit, but you will no longer be able to pick up cheap 360 units, as both Game and Gamestation look to restock their pre-owned console shelves with newer models. This is the official word on the decision, although an internal Gamestation bulletin intercepted by Eurogamer blames it on the "high failure rate" of older 360 models
"As of Saturday 3rd of September we will not be selling pre-owned Xbox 360 Cores, Arcades and 20GB non HDMIs," reads the Gamestation bulletin. "This is due to the high failure rate of the console and the difficulty and cost of repairing them." However, the bulletin does admit stores must continue to accept trade-ins, which will then be "sent back to the DC as a regular faulty return where they will exit the business."
Both the Core model and its subsequent replacement, the Arcade, featured an older and more faulty chip-set that would routinely overheat, causing the dreaded Red Ring of Death. It's a well-documented state of affairs, with Microsoft shelling out over a billion dollars to bring in a three year warranty system to assuage fans' doubts over the future of the console.
Microsoft has since updated the 360's chip-set, including both CPU and GPU heatsinks to alleviate overheating issues. It's the current line of models from the past year or two Game and Gamestation appear interested in, so I suggest you cash in on your old 360 models while you can, because it won't be long before they start refusing trade-ins, too.