We recently jumped back into the world of gaming with the purchase of a new Xbox 360 Kinect bundle. As a Mac user, I am a big fan of all things Mac- the stuff just works. Maybe they didn’t coin it, but they have certainly defined plug and play in my eyes. However, when it came to setting up the new Xbox Slim with its built in Wi-Fi to our network created with our Apple Airport Express, we were stumped. The Xbox wouldn’t even detect our wireless network. As far as it was concerned, it didn’t exist. While attempting to trouble shoot the issue, we tried everything we could think, searching online through countless Xbox and Mac forums using “Xbox not working with Apple Airport Express Wifi” as our search terms. Sadly, I was unable to find a solution to my issues. After a day or two with much effort and zero results, I contacted Xbox support online. After waiting a day for a response, I tried calling the support line, and waited through the long hold to speak to a support agent, only to find that they had no clue on how to resolve our issues either. In fact, they referred us to Apple’s customer support.
Fortunately, I purchased Apple Care with my MacBook Pro, as customer support won’t even bother to speak to you unless you’ve done so. However, our call proved fruitless, as they were unable to help us either. Among suggestions I was given was to upgrade to an Airport Extreme base station with a second ethernet port option and set up the Xbox with a wired connection. That would be acceptable, except I just spent over $400 on the Xbox and accessories. Having to spend more was unappealing, especially since it seemed like something simple could resolve the issue- it was a bit ridiculous that they couldn’t help with the problem.
Social networking to the rescue
Vexxed, I threw my problems out to the Twitterverse. I was stoked when I received some sugguestions right away- not only was it possible to run Airport Express with the Xbox, but in my case, it was an easy fix.
The first thing we tried was changing the wireless security settings using the AirPort Utility. Our main issue was that the Xbox couldnt’ detect our network. I was already running the lowest level of security WPA, as my girlfriend uses a PC to log into the network. That didn’t do it. (Apple support suggested this as well.)
The next thing Twitter friend @thephotoduck suggested was to change the network settings from “802.11n only” running at 5ghz, to 2.4ghz. And it turns out it was as simple as that. My wireless network reset itself, and after rescanning for networks on the Xbox, my network showed up, and the Airport was now broadcasting it’s SSID in a way the Xbox could understand.
The irony? Apple care couldn’t help. Combing through forum postings didn’t help. Microsoft help? Fail. I love me some Twitter. Thanks again @thephotoduck.