Nobody expects the Yellow Light Of Death

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:

Link: FIFA09 freekick

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.


  1. Hi not-Greg – bad luck on the PS3 – I had to get a replacement 60GB PS3 from Sony. Shame that the “Continuous Play” service they had has been suspended. You could have joined for a five and had a replacement in a couple of days.

    BTW I have been giving manual shooting a go – I think it brings a new element to FIFA09 – the ball seems more free and long shots are much more possible 🙂

  2. It’s a sign that you should give WE9LE PC a spin 😉

  3. Man, that’s hard to take. I wouldn’t wish a ps3 melt down on anyone, even el hadji diouf. Fingers crossed it’s sorted soon enough.

    As it was a bank holiday weekend in ireland and i was doing 5 minute games, i suprised myself by finishing my 2nd season in the default master league challenge. It was all going so well up to christmas, i was 3rd but then collapsed a bit in the second half of the season and missed out on 6th place on goal difference to villa, so no european football next year. Still, 7th and a cup semi final was beyond my expectations.

    Goal scoring was a problem, i only scored 32 league goals, and 4 of them came in a crazy 12minute period against city. Gutierrez won the golden boot with a paltry 13 goals but no one else really contributed much. Him and foque’s stats have improved by 6 points each though.

    Only one retirement and so far at the end of last season when huylens hung up his boots. Now have him as a very raw 17 year old. Unfortunately no one retired this season despite having the oldest squad about.

    I’m suprised at how much i’ve enjoyed it, and think i’ll do even better in the coming season.

  4. Alan Brazil—Yep, I had the YLOD a few months too late on a couple of fronts. Sony were offering free out-of-warranty replacements for consoles the same age as mine until quite recently.

    FIFA09 is simply a whole new football game with the full Assisted settings turned off. I’m still not brave enough to give full manual a go. Not yet. I’m enjoying the game with the settings I have too much to want to jeopardise it for now.

  5. Liam—It’s been a bad generation for me and console hardware. I never had one single console break down on me in the PS2 era, the PS1 era, or the MegaDrive era. Going all the way back to the ZX Spectrum/ZX81 days (I am old), none of those ever broken down on me either.

    Now, in this era, I’ve had two consoles break down on me, and both of them were quite young: just over a year for the 360, just under two years for the PS3. And neither of them ever had anything like the hundreds of hours of play those old consoles and computers had.

    Good to hear your progress on the ML – ‘only’ 32 goals? Only?!

    Tomorrow’s post is PES-oriented, and a lot more will be in the weeks to come. The loss of my PS3 has had a surprising knock-on effect, put it that way.

  6. TareX—the YLOD was a sign and it has pushed me towards another PES game, but which PES, precisely, will be revealed tomorrow…

  7. Yeah but that was in a 38 game season, so less than a goal a game. Fortunately i only let in 27 which is one of my best ever defensive performances. Jaric and ruskin were great for me. Pretty hooked again, so much so that i want to pull out of my real match tonight in order to play pro evo!

    You’ve had really bad luck. I’ve never had a games console/computer break going back to the commodore 64 and atari (i’m oldish too, though they are vague memories). I’ve had plenty of trouble on lap tops and pc’s but never lost my games.

    I look forward to the next posts.

  8. Liam—I think you in particular will be happy to see the latest developments, particularly from Friday on when things’ll really get going. All I’ll say is that you’ll be seeing a lot less of FIFA09 on the blog for the foreseeable future. Not because I’m necessarily on a downer with FIFA, more because I’m on an upper with something else…

  9. hey not-Greg…. I think it’s a pleasant surprise to you (well to me too and to everyone) that PES2010 will have 360 degree movement!!!!!!

    It’s been 99% confirmed (look at the diagram on…. I did not see that one coming… Looks like PES2010 at 50% was a totally different game that wasn’t worth the playtest negative feedback…

  10. TareX—I didn’t see that one coming either, and I won’t really believe it until it’s 100% confirmed. What does it mean for the d-pad players! I’m not one myself, but they won’t be happy. And re. that 50% playtest—what was the point of it if such a major element of the gameplay was completely missing? Why go to all that time and trouble? Unless they were working on 360 dribbling for PES2011, made great progress, and decided, very late in the day, to get it into PES2010 (something similar happened to Football Manager 2009 and its 3D match, with mostly good results IMO). Part of me thinks the announcement will be 16-way dribbling, which would still be really great news.

  11. Tarex, that’s great news. I just went on to that site after your post (i’d never heard of it before and thankfully i can access it at work). That diagram can’t mean anything else surely?

    The king is back!

    Good day so far, 360 movement on pes2010, pro evo post to come from not greg, and west ham linked with luca toni!

  12. Well not-Greg, I’m perfectly ok with 16-way movement…. but the leak seems to be a full blown 360 degree movement in PES2010…

    I am a d-pad keyboard player. Even though I have dualshock controllers, I prefer to play with the keyboard… So 360 movement for me will only mean that in PES2010 players won’t be running in diagonal rails (like the playtest and every other PES)… maybe down the line, I can starting using the gamepad…

  13. And yes, it does seem like they weren’t sure they should include it in PES2010… We all know Seabass rejected it for PES2008 (it’s been in development for THAT long), but I believe after the feedback regarding FIFA10 in comparison to PES2009, they made a call to bring it into this year’s game… very true

    Also, it explains why most animations were lacking from the 50% version.

  14. TareX—exciting times, and it’s been a long 24 hours since the almost-certain news broke… but there’s still nothing definite, confirmed, 100%.

    Only two sites are actively discussing the 360 dribbling, EvoWeb and WENB itself. PEsfan in particular is oddly silent. I would have thought the whole PES community would have been in uproar by now.

    But I think if it wasn’t true then WENB would have moved to dampen speculation on their forum by now (everyone’s just so excited!), so it’s looking pretty good. Pending that 100% confirmation, I am officially gobsmacked, stunned, amazed, all of it… Talk about a game-changer. No one saw a twist like this coming (if it’s coming).

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