If you're looking for a cheap Xbox 360 and don't care about online features, Microsoft's recent decision to ban about a million (that's 106, not a figure of speech) users from Xbox Live for hacking their consoles has led to a glut on Craigslist and elsewhere. It shouldn't be too hard to pick up a warranty-free box loaded with games for considerably less than the $200 or so you'd pay for a new, game-free console. That also means there are jackasses out there trying to pass off their modded discards as the real thing, so caveat the shit out of your purchasing decisions.
Microsoft said it's all about piracy, and while that's certainly a factor, they couldn't be too upset to see mods that help gamers cheat go down as well. Unfortunately, some of the banned consoles were modded only to permit homebrewed or foreign games. It seems oafish to ban them along with the pirates and cheaters, but MS has never shied away from oafishness when it comes to exerting control over their market. When is Google going to bust out with an open-source gaming console?
The Stranger Testing Department is Rob Lightner and Paul Hughes.