As gaming consoles get more powerful, the propensity for the systems to break down has increased, too. Case in point: the Xbox 360. Microsoft's latest console has had its share of operational woes, to the point where the company has declared that any defective launch console will receive repairs on the house. For those not lucky enough to have a pre-2006 system, your best defense against overheating problems is an efficient cooling system. Pelican offers the Xbox 360 Fan Stand for $15.
The Pelican Xbox 360 Fan Stand lies underneath the console when it is positioned vertically--you can't attach it when the console lies on its side--and is powered via one of the system's USB ports. While the cord can reach around to the front, it's more beneficial to feed it into the rear port. For one thing, it looks much more stylish that way. Also, since the connector is a pass-through port, the narrowness of the rear USB is no longer an issue. The Fan Stand is the same off-white color as the Xbox 360, with small storage spaces on the side for a remote and a game. It doesn't seem as though there's any circuitry resting in the storage areas, but we'd wager that it's there for balance. As it is, it adds a lot of unwanted width to the console.
We ran the Pelican Fan Stand for an afternoon of gaming with an oft-loading title, Kameo, in the system. Our 360 hasn't been prone to many glitches, and we can't say the game ran any smoother as a result of the fan, but the console did feel slightly cooler to the touch than it did when we played the console without the accessory. We compared its performance to the Nyko Intercooler ($20) and found that the Pelican didn't cool the system quite as much, but it ran much quieter and was a lot easier to attach, remove, and turn on.
So which cooling system is right for you? If you're a stickler for space and don't mind a bit of noise, go with the Intercooler, as it's a better-performing product. If you have your Xbox 360 in an open space and heat is still an issue, then the Pelican Xbox 360 Fan Stand should alleviate your fears.