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Chris Kennedy's picture

Generation FAIL: How I Struck Out with the 7th Generation of Consoles (Part 2)

Sony's Playstation 3 was released as more than just a game console. Some may argue that it was released as everything BUT a game console. It was expensive, it played Blu-ray movies, and it didn't really have significant launch titles as far as I recall. It quickly became the victim of smack talk among the gaming community.

I bought my first HDTV in 2004. I was already a fan of home theater and had adequate 5.1 surround at the time. Blu-ray and HD-DVD hit the market, and it was time to jump on an HD format. I chose DVD over Divx many years prior - a no-brainer, honestly - and elected to go with Blu-ray for this next generation of media. I purchased the 60 GB PS3 - The SKU with the wincingly high price of $600. Some might have called it crazy, but for me it was a Playstation that had HDMI out, played Blu-ray discs, had backward compatibility with PS1/PS2 games, and ushered in Sony's next era of gaming at home.

It was a worthwhile investment... that lasted for about 3 1/2 years.

In March of 2010, Square Enix released Final Fantasy XIII. I had been a Final Fantasy fan for a long time, so I picked it up. I'd logged a good chunk of hours over several weeks when I had the game freeze on me one night. It was quite frustrating because it had been some time since I had last saved. I was preparing myself to make that save and take a break.

I rebooted the PS3, and the most curious thing happened. The "symphonic warm-up" of strings on boot stuttered as it was playing. The wispy lines had a jerky motion, and the PS3 froze once again. "What the heck is going on here?" I said aloud as I walked back over the PS3. I powered down the PS3, gave it a few seconds, turned it on once more, and my eyes grew wide. I could hear the hard drive accessing the data. The hard drive is very quiet. The only way I would be able to hear it is if NO FANS were working. This was not good a good sign.

I powered down and gave it some time off. I gave it a gentle shake, turned it on its side - tried anything I could to remedy the slight possibility that I had some dust or some sort of blockage preventing the fan from turning. I powered it on again after about an hour or so. Same problem.

New solution.

I resolved to fix the issue by just running out and buying a new PS3 Slim. Sucker? Maybe. But the bottom line was that I had an RPG I had spent numerous hours playing, and there was a newer, quieter, Slim model PS3 with a hard drive that had nearly 200 more GB than I had on the launch PS3. There was a store several blocks away from where I lived - it was just a matter of walking out, buying it, returning, and somehow retrieving the save games for Final Fantasy XIII.

If I 100% cold-booted the original PS3, I could get about 30 seconds out of it before the thing froze. Not missing my first opportunity to find out what I could do, I booted it with a flash drive in the USB port and managed to rescue my saves before it locked up. I got my profile synced up on the new PS3 and lived to fight another monster - all without having to start the game over from scratch.


So I lose yet another console, and this time there is no warranty to cover me. I never received a yellow light (that I can remember) on that model of the PS3. I assume that I only lost the fan. Those early models certainly have their problems. The "yellow light of death" is an unwelcome sight. I imagine my launch console was/is headed that direction. I told myself I would buy a replacement fan some day and use it as an excuse to open the launch PS3. I have a small hobby in electronics - why not give it a go?

Well, it still hasn't happened. I have a working PS3 that does everything the first one does. Well...almost everything.

What I am going to do with all of those PS2 saves that are still sitting on the broken PS3...?


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