Sunday, October 18, 2009

Well, my PS3 died

Yup, just as soon as I'm actually getting into Uncharted 2, my PS3 up and suffers one of those Yellow Light of Death issues. For some reason I hadn't really heard of these very much, unlike the Xbox 360's RRODs, which were all over the gaming news sites for months. My own 360 red ringed about two years ago when Bioshock came out, which was annoying, but at least getting it repaired was free. Not so with Sony, who charges you the indignity of a $150 repair fee to get "refurbished" model, which could just as very well break again. Mine's not even that old - it's a 40 GB I bought a few weeks before MGS4 came out back in June 2008 or so.

Again, it's funny that this hasn't been publicized to nearly the extent as Microsoft's blunder. The closest I could ever find - the only time I'd heard of it in the first place - was in this article in which Sony preemptively blasted a BBC report about their inadequacy in fixing it. And that was only for the United Kingdom. It's clearly a widespread issue, as this thread on Sony's own forums can attest.

This isn't a "real" post so much as griping, but hey! Know that you have a Playstation 3, you're probably on borrowed time! Enjoy!

Interestingly enough, there are some lawyers looking into a class action lawsuit: PS3 YLOD: Lawyer Seek.


  1. This is a worrying entry - though I've heard about the YLOD before. When you have the system repaired by Sony, do they transfer over your HDD's contents? Because the Demon's Souls save file can't be copied, it can only be backed up when installing a new HDD. The thing is, when you back up your entire HDD, it will only work on that same PS3 model - so my concern is that some save files won't transfer across if it's a new unit.

    Also, how did you use your PS3 previously? I try to keep mine away from heat/cold sources, and when not using it for extended periods cover it to minimise dust. The fan seems pretty quiet. I store it vertically.

    It's a 120GB model I think? Or maybe 80GB. I can't remember.

    I'm just trying to work out if there's anything you can do to maximise the lifespan.

  2. My PS3 actually shut off a couple times during the weekend, but was able to turn back on, so I backed up all of the saves that I could. Demons Souls didn't make it, of course, but I'd only logged an hour and I was going to restart as a different class anyway, so no big loss. But no, from what I hear, you're basically given a whole new (refurbished) system, so your saves are more or less boned. I was able to get my game out of the system at least - thankfully it wasn't a Netflix DVD or anything that got stuck because that would have sucked.

    Mine's on a hardwood floor, running horizontal, and I actually have used it more for DVD playback than gaming, since it's a much better upscaler than the 360. It's a 40 GB model, too, but I hear it happens a lot on 60s and 80s. I'm sure this'll be popping up more now than Uncharted 2 is like the game of the season.

    I guess people have been saying to actually switch off the power (on the back) when it's not in use, although I don't know if that'd actually do much.

  3. Good thing I never got rid of my old PS2. If this keeps happening then eventually they'll have to replace a broken system that can play PS2 games with the newer model that can't.

    Honestly, if it wasn't for Blu-ray (barely) and Metal Gear Solid 4, I never would have bought a PS3.

  4. I hadnt heard of this before. Your article has scared me enough to go after work and buy a can of compressed air to blow my ps3 out with heh.

  5. I switch everything off at the wall so no power reaches it - so far no system of mine has died.

    Still, that sucks.

  6. Hmm, beside the fact that it sucks that you have to basically pay for half of a new console, the lesson here seems to be to make sure to routinely back up your saves? For some reason losing saves gives me near panic attacks.

    My old Xbox died and I completely lost all of my saves on that one even though I had every opportunity to back up with one of their memory cards beforehand. I was pretty upset. After repairing a broken DVD drive on my second original Xbox much ater, I then realized I probably could have saved the hard drive from the last system (which I threw out) and somehow recovered the games from.

    Anyone know with this new generations of systems, most notably the Ps3 and 360, if you can pull the hard drive out and back up/keep your saves if your system dies and you are no longer under warranty or have a cost effective way of replacing your same system?

  7. It depends. 360 hard drives will work fine when transferred, but for any XBLA games you've bought, you NEED to log in online to play them, otherwise they'll be stuck in demo mode. Microsoft also requests that you keep the hard drive when you send your console to repair. Sony asks that you ship it, for some reason, I think.

    Most saves SHOULD work when transferring drives on the PS3, but as mentioned, some saves are locked to specific consoles so it's on a case by case basis. I've heard that hard drives from the regular models won't work with Slims, but I can't verify that. It's weird that they wouldn't.

    Certain Wii save games are also copy protected, so you're also screwed if that system goes down, and their system to give you back your Wiiware or VC games is far sketchier than Sony or MS. At least the system itself seems to be pretty sturdy, as far as failures go.

  8. Uh, the reason it hasn't gotten as much publicity is because it happens with much, much, much, much less frequency than MS' box of (seemingly, if the failure rate is anything to go by) spare parts. (And don't jump on me, Xbots: I don't actually play much PS3 or 360, but facts is facts.)

  9. The problem is that it's impossible to find real numbers, plus the same logic Microsoft used to marginalize the RROD issues until they realized that, no, wait, the 1-2% failure rate was actually closer to 30-something%. The PS3's issues don't really seem as widespread, but even looking around a bit suggests it's not an isolated issue, and it's only going to get worse from here.

  10. I think that, in the case of the 360, we certainly have a reasonable, factual, basis to make the claim that it is amongst the most shoddily-constructed, mass market, CE devices ever. (And easily the worst console failure rate of all time, easily eclipsing the horribly unsound PlayStation.)

    Furthermore, nobody would argue that the PS3 failure rate is isolated (and of course it'll get worse: all products will fail more readily over increased spans of time--that's just common sense) but to even entertain the seeming implication that this is gestating into a billion dollar debacle like the 360 is pushing credulity to its edges. (Even just looking at anecdotal evidence, there is nowhere near--even remotely--the hue and cry over PS3 failures that accompanied the 360 from about 6 months after launch up until almost the present day.)

    Again, I'm no PS3 fanboy (it gets even less use than my 360 which is pretty laughable considering I haven't turned my 360 on in months) but the facts, at present, pretty clearly cut hard against MS and do not support a contention, even in the most generous reading/interpretation, this is remotely an issue on the same scale.

  11. @Sean Lane:
    Imagine a game where if you died, it not only erased its own save (like Steel Battalion), but a random save from another game. Oh yeah. The next Silent Hill/Resi/Fatal Frame game would be that much scarier as a result. I hope to someday play such a game.

    Otherwise I wish companies were more open about this, and told us what it is we could do to minimise the problem. Is it one of heating? Damp? Dust? Damp is my worry - the UK is very damp, especially in winter, and I fear the corrosion.

  12. Sketcz, that sounds like the most mean spirited game ever.

  13. @Sketcz: That's almost like if the Japanese version of Gunstar Super Heroes actually WENT through with it's promises!

    @Discoalucard: My condolences to you, sir.

  14. @Mewchu: I'd not heard of this GSH thing you mention. Please do elaborate! Did the Japanese version threaten to delete save files?

    I can also think of Banjo Kazooi's mole character threatening such a thing, but never actually deleting any data.

  15. @Sketcz: ...



    Dude. It was mentioned in the HG101 article, y'know, the site you WRITE FOR. 0_o

    And I quote:
    " There's also a curious change in Black's dice palace. If you overshoot the boss, you're taken to a square called "File Crash". In the Japanese version, it shows a grave warning message stating that your save game will be deleted if you fail this section, and instructs you to reset if you don't think you can take the pressure. The gravestone that comes pounding down reads "RIP - Save File - 2005.5.16 - Today". Of course, it's just an empty threat - if you die, it won't erase your save, you just need to continue as normal. This warning message was completely removed from the English release. Instead, the tombstone reads "RIP - Gunstar - 2005.5.16 - Today". "

  16. Let's be fair, I was the one that wrote the Gunstar Heroes article, not him. I've been in charge of the site for six years and I don't always remember each and every bit of detail for everything up there.

  17. I've been reading HG101 for about five years, when I've got time, and to this day I am still discovering not only gems of information like this GSH factoid, but whole articles which I missed when they first came out.

    Also, I tend not to read features if I've played the games a lot already - in the case of the Treasure features, I skimmed them only briefly.

    Why in the world would they remove that from the English version? That sounds like the most ingenious, brilliant thing I've ever heard. A bit like in Eternal Darkness where it tricks you into thinking you've deleted all your save files.

    Man, I LOVE stuff like that in games.

  18. My bad, I didn't mean to come off like a jerk, it was just pure shock to me that you didn't know, but I can understand your position on this and I apologize. :(