My beloved 60GB PlayStation3 died over the weekend. It was a few weeks short of being two years old. There it is, pictured a few hours after its untimely demise.
It was struck down by the Yellow Light Of Death, or YLOD. The YLOD is a known PS3 hardware fault that seems to afflict many of the original 60GB models in particular.
After it happened, after the shock had worn off, I tried various things. I switched it off and on several times. I unplugged all the leads, waited a superstition-filled minute, and put them all back in. I vacuum-cleaned all the vents. I removed the hard drive, in case it was that. Nothing worked.
It was the YLOD. My PS3 was gone.
And it died not long after I played PES3 on it—but that wasn’t the cause. It might have been the trigger, but it wasn’t PES3’s fault. This YLOD didn’t come out of a clear blue sky. The PS3 was acting strangely for a month or so. Even when sitting idle, its fans often kicked in at near-maximum speed for no reason. Watching a film from a USB stick (not even from the disc drive), it would often sound like an old-style Xbox360 at maximum warp.
I’m far more distraught at my PS3’s death than I was when my first Xbox360 got its RROD. I was always braced for the RROD. I expected it to happen eventually. I never expected the YLOD.
I’ll cut the story short: I’m not giving up on my 60GB PS3. I did consider simply getting a new PS3, and exhuming my old PS2 from the back of the wardrobe for my retro gaming needs. But new PS3s are still damn expensive, and I’m reluctant to let my 60GB model go so easily.
I’ve weighed all my options. I’ve spent a lot of time Googling other people’s experiences. Sony was the logical first port of call. Their offer was to collect my console and give me a refurbished one, guaranteed for 3 months, for £145.
But I’ve decided to send my PS3 away for repair to a third-party firm called Console Doctor. I hear very good things about them. The terms of their repair—my own console repaired and returned to me, with a 6-month guarantee, for £70—are considerably better than Sony’s.
So, there’s the saddest sight a PS3-owner could ever see: a plain brown box containing the ex-console. I’ve made all the arrangements. The parcel will be picked up later today. I’ll report back on my experience with Console Doctor. Will I get back a fully reliable PS3? Or one that breaks down again after a few hours’ play? That’s the big fear. For £70 I feel it’s a risk well worth taking.
[EDIT: My follow-up post to this one is here. The PS3 went away and came back fully repaired. I’ll update both posts if there are further developments.]
What does the hopefully temporary loss of my PS3 mean for my football gaming activities? Right now, not much really. I’d all but abandoned PES2009 on the PS3. My football gaming machines at the moment are the Xbox360 and the PSP. I’m still playing and largely enjoying FIFA09 on the 360.
I’ve been netting quite a few free kicks recently. I’m embarrassed to admit that I struggled with free kicks for a very long time in FIFA09. It took me months to score just one. When I read on the forums that they were supposed to be easy, I wondered what I was doing wrong. What I was doing wrong was being too conservative with the power. You need to give a free kick lots of power, even though it feels anti-intuitive in relation to FIFA09’s overall floaty shooting mechanic.
Here’s one of my recent free kick goals:
Overall I’m still struggling to put runs of results together. I’ve finished mid-table in the past few seasons. But I did manage to win the Spanish Cup last season. So at least I’ve got European competition this season. I doubt I’ll be anywhere near winning a Treble by the time FIFA10 and PES2010 arrive, at which stage I’ll probably abandon FIFA09.