i(didn't)Fixit

Alas, my PS3 is officially no more. My attempt at a repair on my Playstation 3 YLOD, courtesy of the iFixit repair kit, was an ignominious failure. I didn’t have too many problems with the actual process of working through the instructions, even though it took almost one and a half episodes of Foyle’s War to get through all the steps. I’m pretty familiar working with the interiors of PCs, but I have to say that the interior of a PS3 is certainly one of the most complicated bits of electronics I’ve ever worked with, at least from a construction standpoint. Everything’s bolted up so tightly that it’s kind of a wonder this thing didn’t overheat years ago.

do not try this at home

In the end, getting into the insides of the machine led me to realize that I’ll probably never run a gaming console in a vertical formulation again. Maybe that’s a bit of an overreaction, since the machine was working fine for many years while being vertically oriented, but just looking at all of the heatsinks and thermal pads makes me suspect that the machine would’ve made it to the PS4 launch if it didn’t have the added sideways stress of having the processors and pads effectively hanging in space. Laying horizontally, gravity would seem to naturally keep the thermal pads in better contact with the chips.

needed some extra chomps after this misadventure

But what do I know? I’m the guy who managed to disassemble his PS3, apply new thermal pads, and then reassemble it with only two screws mysteriously left over. Maybe that had something to do with the system’s continued non-functionality. At any rate, I did manage to eke out a minor improvement in that the system stays on for around five seconds now before the fans blow out to their maximum speed and the YLOD repeats itself. Long enough for me to pop my GTAV disc out of the blu-ray player, at any rate.

At least I got a heatgun and screwdriver kit out of all this, though; unfortunately the attempt at self-repair, while noble and manly, probably prevented me from exchanging the system with Sony, since I had to rip off the no-tamper sticker from the side to get to the screw that allows you access to the machine’s guts. That’s a shame, but oh well.

So now I’m looking into my options regarding continued Playstation 3 usage, mostly just because I still have a copy of GTAV for that platform. Common sense would dictate just trying to get a copy of the game for the 360 and playing that, but I’d still like to have a Blu-Ray player to match up with my new television, especially since I don’t know when I’ll be able to pick up a PS4. Borrow one from the office? Borrow my girlfriend’s for a week or two? Buy a new one?

I’ve been tempted to just plunk down for a new one, since I suppose I’ll probably want to play one of the PS3 games that I own at some point in the future, even after the PS4 comes out. What’s curious to me right now is the odd range of Playstation 3 SKUs on the market. Here’s a look at the bundles and the price ranges from Best Buy and Amazon:

500GB Bundle with inFamous 2 and Gran Turismo 5 XL$300
250GB Bundle with Medal of Honor: Warfighter and God of War Saga$290
250GB Bundle with Uncharted 3 GOTY Edition + 1 year PS+$250
500GB Bundle with Grand Theft Auto V$270
500GB Bundle with ACIII$281.50
12GB MicroPS3$199
handheld chomps are the best chomps

It is, as far as I can tell, impossible to just get a regular old Slim PS3 without a game getting packed in, aside from some odd deals from third-party sellers on Amazon and refurbished systems at GameStop, with neither option really appealing to me.

All of these options are interesting, but it’s curious to see the pricing disparity between the new 12GB flash console and the Grand Theft Auto V bundle; you pay effectively an extra ten bucks (discounting the cost of the game) for a 500GB hard drive. I suppose a lot of that is Sony attempting to shift inventory before launching the PS4, but I'm sure they'll be manufacturing PS3s for a while yet. That makes the 12GB option largely pointless unless you're really on the razor's edge of being able to afford a console at all. Anyone who’s attempted to install a game or two to the PS3 should know that a 12GB hard drive is wholly unsuited to the demands of modern gaming. A 12GB PS3 is more a fine Blu-Ray player with occasional opportunities to play games than a gaming console, really.

Still, tough to justify shelling out $300 for a console that’s about to get obfuscated and a game that I already own, even if I could turn the game into a gift for someone or a site giveaway. My options are apparently limited, though. I wouldn’t be stressing if GTAV hadn’t just come out and the PS4 wasn’t around the corner. Damn you, planned obsolescence!

49 Comments
49 Comments
Posted by Video_Game_King

Is it ironic how closely YLOD and YOLO resemble each other?

Posted by slyspider

RIP, my ps3 started to sound bad lately so I'm afraid mine might break :(

Posted by Flappy

I was pretty bummed out that you weren't able to fix your PS3, but my heart melted when I saw those pictures.

Posted by jimmyfenix

Somewhere...Probably in space.....Krazy Ken is still laughing.

Posted by SunBroZak

Three PS3s I've had it happen to me with. Although one of them was faulty from the start, but I can definitely sympathize with something who has went through this before. Three times I've had to 100% LittleBigPlanet. Three times.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Well hey. At least you tried, right? You could always get a refurbished PS3 on the cheap from Amazon or whatever, but yeah, none of those options for a brand spanking new one seem especially great.

Posted by Korwin

Shop around for a second hand 2nd model PS3 (the best one), can probably get that on the cheap.

Posted by TruthTellah

I'd get a cheaper used one to tide you over until you go full PS4. Buying new seems like a pretty big investment for this close to the end of the generation.

Posted by DeF

The PSU of my OG launch PS3 "Went to the Farm" a few years ago and I was tempted to try a self-replacement. Ultimately I was too afraid to break something so I commend you for going through with that and documenting it even! Interesting read.

Posted by bigjeffrey

Craigslist no taxes, meet new people.

Posted by PimblyCharles

Damn that's a lot of thermal compound on those heat sinks.

Edited by crusader8463

I am still offended by your lack of kitten pics.

If you are just going for a temporary solution, then just go buy a used one. With the new systems around the corner trading sites like kijiji are flooded with people lowballing each other to try and get anything they can for their current gen stuff to help pay for next gen before the price drops super low.

What do you guys do at the office with all the old gen stuff once the new stuff comes in? I assume there must be a bunch of them that are just going to be boxed up somewhere or thrown out? Snag one!

Posted by Nightriff

Sorry to hear it Rorie. I'm still rocking a 60 GB Backwards Compatible PS3 and still surprised that the damn thing is running.

Posted by Milkman

Doesn't the office just have PS3s laying around? Would they really miss one? I bet no one would even notice...

Posted by Sgtpierceface

I don't want to make any assumptions, but Jeff seems like the kind of guy that'd have an extra PS3 lying around.

Edited by Gruebacca

I've taken apart my old broken launch PS3 countless times. It still amazes me how tight everything is packed into there. That pic brings back old memories, many of them bad.

Posted by Aetheldod

So ad about them news @rorie ... why dont you get one from your office or from Jeff ... he must have plenty lying around

Edited by JayEH

I'd just borrow one. Spending $300 bucks on a PS3 seems ridiculous when the PS4 comes out in a month for only 100 more. Remember the days when older consoles used to be like $100 when a new console was announced?

Edited by TheManWithNoPlan

That's too bad Rorie. I got my Ps3 slim back in 2010, so I expect it to last for a while, but I can certainly empathize given I've gone through 3 Xbox 360s.

Posted by mordukai

@rorie said:

But what do I know? I’m the guy who managed to disassemble his PS3, apply new thermal pads, and then reassemble it with only two screws mysteriously left over. Maybe that had something to do with the system’s continued non-functionality. At any rate, I did manage to eke out a minor improvement in that the system stays on for around five seconds now before the fans blow out to their maximum speed and the YLOD repeats itself. Long enough for me to pop my GTAV disc out of the blu-ray player, at any rate.

Suggestion. Next time you have a project that involves taking device apart, grab some Dixie Cups and use them to store the screws for each individual component. It helps to label them but if you got a good memory then it's not necessary.

My dad likes to put a piece of tape when he does projects like that. Like so.

Posted by Rorie

Yeah, I'll look into nabbing an office PS3, if only to finish off GTAV. We'll see who has one hidden away under a desk.

Staff
Edited by louiedog

The 12 GB still has a place to take a HDD, right? If my PS3 broke right now, and ignoring any bundles making for a better deal, I'd probably just get that and throw my current HDD in it, especially with the PS4 so close.

Of course I'm a PS+ subscriber. The older system with 1 year for $250 is them basically throwing in a 250 GB HDD for free.

Edited by cooljammer00

The answer is a new live show where Rorie plays GTAV. Grand Theft Rorie or something equally cheeky

Posted by Rorie

@louiedog said:

The 12 GB still has a place to take a HDD, right? If my PS3 broke right now, and ignoring any bundles making for a better deal, I'd probably just get that and throw my current HDD in it, especially with the PS4 so close.

Of course I'm a PS+ subscriber. The older system with 1 year for $250 is them basically throwing in a 250 GB HDD for free.

Hmm, that's not a bad point. I don't currently have PS+, so that might wind up being the best option here. Used PS3s aren't that much cheaper than $200.

Staff
Edited by bunkerbuster05

@rorie said:

@louiedog said:

The 12 GB still has a place to take a HDD, right? If my PS3 broke right now, and ignoring any bundles making for a better deal, I'd probably just get that and throw my current HDD in it, especially with the PS4 so close.

Of course I'm a PS+ subscriber. The older system with 1 year for $250 is them basically throwing in a 250 GB HDD for free.

Hmm, that's not a bad point. I don't currently have PS+, so that might wind up being the best option here. Used PS3s aren't that much cheaper than $200.

PS plus is THE BEST RORIE! It gives you so many free games, and discounts too. Highly, highly worth it.

Just some of the games I've gotten and played for free:

XCOM, Hitman Absolution, Saints Row the Third, Battlefield 3, Sleeping Dogs. Next month is Shadow of the Colossus HD!

Posted by Tearhead

@rorie said:

@louiedog said:

The 12 GB still has a place to take a HDD, right? If my PS3 broke right now, and ignoring any bundles making for a better deal, I'd probably just get that and throw my current HDD in it, especially with the PS4 so close.

Of course I'm a PS+ subscriber. The older system with 1 year for $250 is them basically throwing in a 250 GB HDD for free.

Hmm, that's not a bad point. I don't currently have PS+, so that might wind up being the best option here. Used PS3s aren't that much cheaper than $200.

Don't you have to format the HDD before you can use it. Just saying in case you are worried about loosing your saves. My 2nd PS3 crapped out this year (house flooded during the night and as luck would have it, I left my ps3 on the floor that same night) and all of my safes would have been gone if it wasn't for PS+ automatically backing up my saves on their cloud.

Posted by BlackLagoon

Beware that the 12GB model requires an official mounting bracket to fit a new HDD. (I suppose the one from your old PS3 might fit, but I believe the different models have different designs for the HDD slot.)

Posted by mintyice

@rorie A new blu-ray player + a copy of GTAV for 360 is less than $100. Just sell your PS3 copy on amazon/ebay. If you still really want a PS3 then get a used one.

Posted by Rorie

@blacklagoon: @tearhead: Ah, sorry, I meant the 250GB with PS+ model. Crazy that anyone would buy the 12gb model when you can spend $50 more and get Uncharted 3 and a 250gb hard drive and a year's worth of PS+.

Staff
Posted by Winsord

@rorie said:

@louiedog said:

The 12 GB still has a place to take a HDD, right? If my PS3 broke right now, and ignoring any bundles making for a better deal, I'd probably just get that and throw my current HDD in it, especially with the PS4 so close.

Of course I'm a PS+ subscriber. The older system with 1 year for $250 is them basically throwing in a 250 GB HDD for free.

Hmm, that's not a bad point. I don't currently have PS+, so that might wind up being the best option here. Used PS3s aren't that much cheaper than $200.

I thought there was something weird with the Super Slims and how they handled swapping HDDs. I want to say it didn't come with a 2.5" tray as it's got the 12GB Flash Memory instead of a proper drive, or something similar to that, and as such you would also need to have a tray that would fit to boot.

Maybe I'm totally wrong on that, but it'd be worth looking into before jumping on a 12GB model.

Posted by NickLott

@rorie I say buy the GTAV bundle, keep the pack in game sealed and sell on eBay. You can probably get 40-50 bucks for it.

Posted by Demoskinos

Man, I dunno I'd say buy the GTA bundle then sell GTA V and recoop around $50 or so of the price back. Id also suggest to not get one of the top loading PS3's I've...not really heard good things. Best of luck duder I hope you get your situation figured out you really do need to play GTA V! =)

Online
Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles

@korwin said:

Shop around for a second hand 2nd model PS3 (the best one), can probably get that on the cheap.

Posted by backsattack

Yea the inside of those things is nuts. Just borrow one and buy a Blu-ray player or get a Blu-ray drive if you have a PC hooked up to your TV. No need to spend ~$300 for just a few games.

Edited by PimblyCharles

@rorieYour PS3's insides are surprisingly clean for how old it is. Reapply thermal paste on both CPU & GPU heatsinks before calling it quits. Recommend Noctua NT-H1 or anything else besides local store bought.

Posted by Mafuchi

@rorie you didn't void the warranty since it had expired. I think you can still get Sony to replace it, and if you can find the original hdd they will trade you a slim ps3 for 100 bucks or so. Just call them and ask, I've had good luck.

Posted by Hailinel

@rorie: I just bought the 500GB GTAV bundle myself two weekends ago to replace my original model, myself. I still plan to get plenty of use out of my PS3 games for the foreseeable future, so even with the PS4 on the horizon, it's not really a big deal for me.

Edited by GaspoweR

Goodness gracious that 500GB bundle GTA V bundle looks like an absolute STEAL...But I need to hold out since I can't spend my money needlessly right now. Also that sucks you weren't able to fix it, Rorie. :(

Edited by Slag

dang @rorie that stinks.

and you've freaked me out about my own, I'll be flipping mine horizontal pronto.

Edited by csl316

That is sad news.

But life still has meaning!

Posted by Korwin

@rorie said:

@louiedog said:

The 12 GB still has a place to take a HDD, right? If my PS3 broke right now, and ignoring any bundles making for a better deal, I'd probably just get that and throw my current HDD in it, especially with the PS4 so close.

Of course I'm a PS+ subscriber. The older system with 1 year for $250 is them basically throwing in a 250 GB HDD for free.

Hmm, that's not a bad point. I don't currently have PS+, so that might wind up being the best option here. Used PS3s aren't that much cheaper than $200.

This doesn't work, the hdd is encrypted and keyed to the system that it was formatted for (unless they've changed it in recent years). I tried something similar after dropping my hdd from one machine into another, no go.

Posted by Rorie

@winsord: @korwin: I was replying more to the second point about the PS+ sub. Uncharted 3 plus PS+ plus a 250GB PS3 slim seems like it'd be worth the $250.

Staff
Edited by Nekroskop

Just get the 12 GB version. You can put a HDD in there. The only problem is that Sony forgot to include a HDD-caddie, so use the old one you had in your PS3.

My PS3 of 6 years died a week before Dragon's Crown came out too. I haven't attempted to fix it though.

Edited by spraynardtatum

Noooooooo

Edited by Sweetz

@rorie said:

@winsord: @korwin: I was replying more to the second point about the PS+ sub. Uncharted 3 plus PS+ plus a 250GB PS3 slim seems like it'd be worth the $250.

If you do end up buying a new one, that one would certainly be my vote.

In case you need help making up your mind: It's 5th gen hardware which typically means it'll be super solid - especially given that they got rid of the slot loading drive. My circa 2005 slim PS2 still works fine. PS4 won't be backward compatible, so barring us seeing a glut of "Full HD" remasters of PS3 games as we got HD remasters of PS2 games, you'll need it if you ever want to revisit a PS3 exclusive game (Journey always worth play through every once in a while). If you have a bedroom TV or end up getting one, can always use it as a Blu-ray/Netflix device for that.

Edited by Fattony12000

PS4's out next month.

Posted by demonknightinuyasha

I had to disassemble my bluray drive to get my Catherine disc out. I ended up not getting my ps3 working (only enough to get my saves off and upload the rest with PSplus) (and I actually used the backwards compatibility ;_; ) then fixed my buddy's. It ended up dieing 6 weeks later (he was cool though and never made me actually pay for it as a result XD) so at that point I just grabbed the uncharted 3 bundle (I actually almost bought a normal one until they guy at Target pointed out it was the same price lol). My other buddy also gave me his broken one to try to get the saves off of, thinking about it, I never did that...>_>;;;

Posted by Humanity

I'd say get Jeff's version for the 360 since he isn't playing it anymore and hold out for the next 6 weeks without a Blu Ray player until the PS4/XBO launch. At this point it seems like a huge waste of money to get another PS3 since after the new consoles are released I'm sure people will be selling their old consoles for pennies.

Online
Posted by probablytuna

Oh shit I've been hanging it vertically for the past few months or so when playing GTA V. I guess I better place it back down horizontally.