Fifteen years ago, Xbox gamer Gabriel Roland purchased a Pac-Man ghost gamerpic for his Xbox 360. The little avatar cost a measly 80 Microsoft Points way back in 2006, but for Roland, it was a long-term investment he intended to make use of for many years to come – even when Microsoft’s newer consoles pushed him to change it.
Indeed, each new console generation brought significant upgrades to the gamerpic and avatar systems within the Xbox ecosystem, and as the years wore on, Roland soon found that the picture began to shrank in size rather drastically. Nevertheless, he remained determined to hold out, and nearly two decades after the fateful day of his gamerpic purchase, all of that perseverance finally paid off.
Taking to Twitter a bit earlier this month, Roland shared his history with the gamerpic to the world, even including a photo of how significantly it had shrunk. Now appearing as little more than a dot in the center of the modern day gamerpic circle, the little Pac-Man ghost no doubt looked mighty out of place. Defiantly, though, Roland once again declared his intentions to never back down, stating, “I bought this gamerpic for 80 Xbox Points in 2006, and I’ll be fucked if it won’t remain the best dollar I’ve ever spent until the seas boil over.”
In a surprise twist, Xbox engineering lead Eden Marie happened to catch wind of Roland’s plight and decided to step in and try to solve the problem. In a response to the initial tweet, she expressed, “Listen, I can’t promise anything, but I’m going to make it my personal mission to fix this.” Soon after, she had purchased the very same gamerpic as Roland and set out on her quest to provide an answer.
Marie discovered that Xbox 360 gamerpics are forever locked to 72 x 72 pixels, but with some finagling and clever workarounds, she managed to find a way to increase the size of Roland’s avatar after all, ultimately proving that there is hope yet for all of the other old gamerpics – though it’s an update that will have to roll out on newer consoles at some point in the future.
And how did Roland feel about Marie’s hard work? He reiterated once again, “I have never and will never feel better about a dollar in my entire life.”