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
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
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
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!

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