My PS3: The Death Of An Icon

After 2 and a half years of loyal service, today my PS3 breathed its last breath before going to the eternal console heaven in the sky. It has been a long and eventful discovery through the lifespan of my PS3.

I’ll take you back to day one, sometime in July, 2007. I bought my 60GB PS3 from a local Choices video store (now sadly defunct) with 2 SIXAXIS controllers and 4 brand new games of my choosing for £425. A lot of money, but it was the best deal around and worth every penny. I chose Resistance: Fall Of Man, Ridge Racer 7, Formula One Championship Edition and (my personal favourite), MotorStorm. I rushed home from work, plugged it all in, registered for the PSN and downloaded the free Gran Turismo Concept HD. Wow, downloading games, what a novelty. Only, within two hours of ownership it had died.

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Reluctantly, I took it back to the store, disappointed and anxious to get a replacement. Unfortunately, the shop didn’t have any left in stock and I had to wait another week until I got a replacement. But since then I have never looked back.

Through all the tough times, I stood by my PS3. All the time people would question me about the cost and every time I would tell to look past the initial price and see what you are getting for your money. Friends would constantly lambast me because “the PS3 has no games”. Of course, my response was that it has only been out for a few months and to give them a chance. I thought it was odd that, while the PS3 was the follow up to the PlayStation2, at that point the most successful console ever, it wasn’t greeted with universal praise and wonderment, more of a muted grumble.

But I persevered regardless. I loved the quietness, the sleek black lines, 60GB of memory, the memory card slots (used only once to show off to my family) and the incredible graphics. PSN titles like flOw were really innovative too (“look, motion control, it’s the future, who needs rumble?”). I could even play online, wirelessly, for free. Never one to play much online before (I had tried with various PS2’s, but could never get the blasted thing to work) my very first online experience was with Ridge Racer 7. It took an age to connect to a rival; neither of us had a headset and as soon as the first corner was out of the way, I was left in a cloud of their burning rubber. But I was playing online and for that I had to be grateful.

However over time, things progressed. I’ll never for get the time I got hooked on Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare online, or the time when PES 2008 was released and completely broken. My family singing Wizzard: I Wish It could Be Christmas on SingStar, creating my own quizzes about my friends on Buzz! Quiz World and having an absolute blast playing 4 on 4 Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. Honestly, these last 2 and a half years of ups and downs have for surpassed any other console I have owned. I loved supporting the underdog and watching Sony desperately trying to fight back (recent PS3 Slim sales seem to suggest all is not lost).

But now, all of that has gone to waste. My PS3 started to freeze last week, then flash the red light and turn itself off. It turns on ok, I can use the XMB just fine, but if I actually try to do something it just turns off. If I visit the PlayStation Store, it freezes. If I play a game it freezes. And the solitary flashing red light is all it has to say for itself. I’ve tried changing hard drives, vacuuming all the vents, quick formatting and deep formatting, but no luck. On Friday, it worked fine without a single hiccup. I thought it had mysteriously healed itself, but alas my celebrations were premature and as of today, I can only use it for 5 minutes at a time before the “flashing red light of death” (to coin yet another phrase for console failures).

There’s no yellow light, so it would seem I’m in the minority with a fault that is perhaps unique to my PS3. I’m just unlucky, right?

The sad thing is, I’m a student, so naturally I’ve spent all my money on women and booze (or Assassin’s Creed 2 and fish from Morrison’s). So I don’t have enough money to get it repaired or buy a new or used console. I very much enjoy my PS3 and use (used) it every day, whether it’s to play a game, watch VidZone or PlayTV. But a time has come now were I will be without a PS3 for at least a couple of months (provided I get some work over Christmas). Even when I do get paid (hopefully sometime in January), the first thing to do is a buy a new TV, seen as that broke as well this week (honestly, why now?!). At least this way I will get some university assignments finished, but it’s a sad way for my PS3 to end.

Right, back to the advantages and disadvantages of portfolio analysis for me then.

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