I was testing a Xbox I repaired this weekend with an Assassin's Creed II disc that SHOULD NOT have been in my hands. AC2 was accidentally left in a broken Xbox I purchased on ebay, so I'm sending it back to the seller. The Post Office has these neat little machines that print out shipping label stamps for you with the weight and all. Too bad it wasn't good enough and they returned the disc to me demanding another $0.58 postage on Saturday. Since it wouldn't go out until Monday, I actually decided to play the game.
I do my Xbox repairs in my kitchen. I don't really have a desk or workbench, so I end up using my counter and kitchen table. It's doubly convenient since I already have a wireless network bridge and a working Xbox in the kitchen. Last night however, I discovered that the SD LCD screen fails horribly at these new games. When it comes to visually searching paintings for clues in AC2's "Where's Waldo" type minigames, your eyes are going to bitch. Apparently, the slightly red orbs in all the paintings were apples. There's no way I could see that in standard def, especially on a 19" screen.
After having strained my eyes multiple times over the course of several hours, I had enough. The Xbox was performing fine, so I shut it down and migrated back to my bedroom with the 42" HD Plasma. So much better....I could actually see the details! Solving those puzzles took half the time.
With all the hubbub on Capcom putting miniscule text on Dead Rising and other games, I'd say it's probably time for gamers to get over it and just go HD. LCDs and Plasmas have dropped significantly in price, so there's less excuse not to bite. Besides, those heavy CRTs are a safety hazard, and I vote properly recycling them ASAP. Your eyes will love you for it.
As for Blu-ray...I'm still not sold. With the passive nature of movies, the HD is a perk, not a necessity. The occasional (and cheap) HD streams from Netflix are good enough for me.