Requiem for a PS3

Just over 8 months ago, my 60GB PlayStation 3 suffered the Yellow Light Of Death (YLOD). I sent it away for a repair, the repair was successful, and from that day to this—8 months later—I had enjoyed trouble-free gaming on my faithful old PS3. Post-YLOD, I must have played 350+ hours on a variety of games, chiefly PES2010 of course, but also Valkyria Chronicles, Final Fantasy XIII, Uncharted, and several others.

On Monday just gone, the YLOD returned to spoil my morning. There was no sign of anything unusual right up until the moment it all went kaput. That’s always the way with catastrophe. In retrospect you look back and marvel how normal everything was until the dreadful moment.

I had some breakfast as normal and then switched on the PS3. I started up PES2010, after first signing out of PSN to prevent the game downloading new advertising boards from the Internet, which has caused occasional freezes of the entire game.

It’s season 17 of what has turned out to be my most epic Master League career since the balmy days of PES5. I still haven’t won a Treble in this career, and I’m very keen to change that fact. I’ve actually been struggling in my Champions League group. I won the opening fixture but I lost and then drew the next two matches. My fourth match, against the current group leaders Besiktas, was a mammoth game. That was to be the first match of Monday morning’s session.

I spent a minute or two picking my team. A lot of injuries recently, and more blue and purple arrows than usual, gave me a selection headache. My final team choice was a bit of a patchwork job, with Pires playing up front and Gattuso—still young and unreliable—having to play at DMF. I started the match. Besiktas kicked off.

I will remember the next few seconds for a very long time to come. I won the ball just outside my penalty box, played a pass up to Munitis, and turned with him and started to run at the AI defence. And the screen froze. Hmmm, I thought. I have never had freezes during a match. This is something diff—

There were three rapid beeps from the console. The screen turned black, then the universal blue of the HD era. My PlayStation3 expired there and then.

As a YLOD veteran, I knew immediately what had happened. My console had just died and this time it would not be coming back. I went through the routine anyway. Switching it off and on. Pulling all the leads out. Pressing and holding various things while pressing and holding various other things. Going out of the room for a few minutes and coming back in, pretending it made a difference.

No. Nothing brought it back. After last year’s repair, I had a 6-month warranty from the company that carried it out (the excellent Console Doctor). I’m 2 months past that warranty now. I would not pay to get it repaired again.

There was one pressing problem: the PES2010 disc was stuck inside the console. There is a trick to get them out even in the aftermath of a YLOD incident. It didnt work. I ended up having to buy a special screwdriver with which to take apart my beloved 60GB PS3. Look at the obscenity of these pictures and pray that it never happens to you.

It was fairly traumatic, digging into my PS3, seeing things I was never meant to see. Just removing the faceplate (picture 1, above left) was torment enough. Things were to get much worse as I delved deeper into the innards. I had to unscrew an awful lot of screws to get at the blu-ray drive (picture 2, above right), and then a lot more screws on the drive itself to make a gap to slide the disc out of (picture 3, left).

When it was all over I didn’t put everything back together. No. I scooped together all the screws, (about 20 of them, of many differing sizes) and put them into a small jiffy bag. Then I went into town and bought myself a new PS3. This month is a tough one financially and I had not planned to spend £250 on a new games console, but that’s what I did. How could I not?

Back at home I set up the new Slim PS3. First thoughts: okay, so it’s slim, but why is it so bleedin’ wide? And as I sat there in a mess of cardboard and polystyrene and miscellaneous wrapping material, I couldn’t help thinking: this shit again? I have now had 2 Xbox360 consoles and 2 PlayStation3 consoles in this generation of gaming.

I put the old PS3 in the new one’s empty box, carefully placed the jiffy bag with the screws alongside it, and put it somewhere out of the way. Technically, it could all be put back together again, and possibly even returned to working order. I don’t want to think about it for now. I’m still kind of grieving.

I remember the day I got my 60GB PS3 home. August 2007. It was a Monday, the same as the day when it finally died. I think I had more hair back then. I was so thrilled to be a part of the next-gen, finally. Oh, and I was looking forward to PES2008, which, AS WE ALL KNEW, was going to take the PES franchise to the next level. It would be like no other football game on earth, the greatest football game ever… Oh, such innocence!

Ever since the YLOD first hit me last year, I have meticulously backed up all my save games and other data to a USB stick after every session of play. This disaster has robbed me of my 60GB PS3, but it has not impacted my Master League at all. My previous session was on Sunday, and I backed up after it as usual. After I signed into PSN on the new PS3, the saves transferred over and worked, in-game, absolutely straightforwardly.

There was just one little wrinkle. Whenever I change my kits, usually at the end of every season, I back up my Edit data too. But this season I had forgotten to do so. The Edit file on my USB stick was from a whole season ago, and it reverted me to last season’s kits (left and right). I could have re-designed my newly Edited kits for this season, but I didn’t. I’ll keep the old ones as a reminder of this sombre period.

If I do win the Treble this season, it’ll be in memory of my 60GB PS3. Farewell, old friend. I will never forget you.


  1. RIP 60GB original PS3.

    You’ve had pretty bad luck on the console front. I’ve never (touch wood) had a broken console, and that dates back to the Atari, Nes, Megadrive etc..

    When you mentioned the backing up on USB on a previous post, I did think it was a bit over the top but now it’s fully justified. I may even back mine up tonight. Good foresight!

    Still, at least you got the excitement of getting a new(ish) toy, even if it is essentially the same as an old one.

    I guess the Castolo update is coming on Friday then?

    I finished 7th in the Div 1 and won the Cup. Next season will bring Europa League football, 10 minute games and hopefully less purple arrows. It’s annoying as i’ve lost a season of growth for about 7-8 players.

  2. Liam—it was a manic Monday for sure, and yes, I’m on my 4th next-gen console when I’d spent all previous gens with just one console for their entirety, and I go all the way back to ZX81 days.

    You should have seen my PS1 console when I finally got rid of it – it was a kind of deep yellow-brown colour from age and dust and the accumulated nicotine of years of heavy smoking whilst gaming. (I’ve given up smoking since then.)

    USB back up is essential! Even if you just do it once a season instead of after every play-session, as I do, it’s better than nothing. Think of it as insurance.

    Castolo update on Friday, yes. In a nutshell: the boy’s coming good. Not great yet, or even very good yet, but still good.

  3. Liam- get your coaching lev’s up if u can afford it and should sort out those form arrows.

  4. The coaching arrows had all increased from the first season, that’s what was so confusing. They’ve been upped again for season 3 so hopefully i’ll see some good form and stat increases in this season ahead.

  5. sorry to hear that not-greg, very bad luck with the PS3. For what it’s worth, the PC version seems very stable, I’ve had no crashes at all (which makes up for the 6 months it took me to get Bioshock working!!)

  6. Nice one, looking forward to hearing about the myth/legend again! He’s now 35/36 in my game and still banging them in!

    Changed to 10 minute games in the default challenge, and although I got knocked out of the cup straight away, i’ve got a league record of W6D1L1, so all is going well.

    Still can’t find any of the retired players though so could end up with a very small squad before long!

  7. abbeyhill—I doubt the game had anything to do with my PS3 dying, although with all those freezes over so many months you never know if it was a contributing factor.

    I’ve got some time off work coming up and one of my many things to do will be installing PES4 or PES5 on my Windows laptop, hooking up a PS3 controller, and wallowing in nostalgia!

  8. Liam—Take a look at my latest 2 Twitter posts today for a stylish Castolo goal (love the way he tees himself up for it), and some screenshots of his latest stats aged 22.

    It’s genuinely disappointing about the lack of classic players in ML this year. I would have used them too. I’ve got them enabled and I’ve got a fair few unlocked by now, but there’s absolutely no sign.

  9. No classic players??? Why don’t you win the World Cup with Holland and sign Bergkamp?!?!?!? When you won the D1 Champ double that should have unlocked a load of players, every different league/cup you win unlocks players.

    I’ve had a lot of my fav classsic players in recent times, the laudrups and Skovchov my favs. Spelling on the former? hes a SC/CF with the best left foot in the game 96,95,96 shooting stats and going bold quite gracfully…

    So anoyed that Bekenbower(spelling i no) isn’t in the game this year!!! no so worried about Pele always preffered Maradona in my team.

  10. @Not-Truman,
    Beckerbauer is in the game (Classic Germany), but he’s called Behrengauna instead.

    I’ve been doing some testing and it seems that the players you get for winning the League in ML (and the Cups, etc., all in ML) do appear after 2 seasons (though not all at once it seems), but the other ones won’t unless you restart your ML. I’ve finished unlocking all of the players from winning the Cups now, and just need Classic Argentina and Classic France from the Classic teams and then I need to unlock the ones for winning all the leagues. It shouldn’t take too long (I’ve set the speed to 2.5 times faster, 5 minute matches, and on beginner so I set up a lead then let it play out while doing something else).

    Also, Castolo does look very good. Which playing cards does he have?

  11. Not-Truman—unlocked players from other modes don’t appear in existing MLs as far as I’m aware – ? No doubt the ones unlocked by winning the trophies inside the ML are around somewhere, but I haven’t noticed them. Who should I be looking out for? I’d pull out all the stops for Stoichkov – one of my all-time favourite PES players (lethal in PES3). I’ll get on the player search in my session tomorrow morning.

  12. Darshan—a few seasons ago now I spent £2m on training Castolo to play as AMF, knowing that it’d increase the amount of playing time he can get in my team – and it has done so. I also spent £2m on two skill cards – first touch, and quick turn I think (might be 1-on-1).

  13. not-greg he’s called Skorimilvo in this years but because of his age he losses pace after 2 seasons but still is a deadly finisher. You unlock him by winning the league in ML. I always have him in my ML dream teams, theres no1 how can hit a long ranger like him!!!

    Darshan- are you playing on PS3 or PSP? because the first team i unlocked was Classic Germany just because i love Beckerbauer as my DMF but to my disspare he nor Behrengauna are in the team. I looked into this months ago and people said it was because of liscensing or something, same reason Pele isn’t in the game…

  14. @Not-Truman,
    I’m on the PC.
    Here’s Beckenbauer.

    And Pele.

  15. @Darshan – The teams are different on the PS3 or your using an option file? which one is it? 😀

  16. @Not-Truman,
    I was using an option file, so I cleared all my saved data (temporarilly) and unlocked Classic Brazil (I couldn’t be bothered to spend another half an hour unlocking Germany, sorry). Pele (or, Palm as he is called) is there:

    It must be a PS3 thing; I was reading;jsessionid=0279FB4D97A93DA3D53B76D1987DB3A5
    (read the posts near the end) and it seems they are missing. That’s just plain lazy on Konami’s part.
    Out of interest, what is the squad of Classic Brazil then? How many players does it have?

  17. I can relate to your pain not-Greg; due to circumstances out of my control I had to sell my PS3 before Christmas. What a sombre day that was, I can tell you. I’m enjoying my PS2 PES experience but can’t wait for the day I get my sweaty paws one of those shiny black boxes once more.
    Speaking of the old ZX days, I remember the problems I had with my whizz bang new ZX 128k + back in the 80’s.
    That little plus sign at the end rendered approximately 3/4 of all previous and some new games incompatible. And you didn’t know which wouldn’t work until you had waited 10mins for the game to load up and received the dreaded loading error.
    The kids of today eh? Don’t know they’re born!

  18. Not-Truman—thanks for the info, is there a full list of the classic players and their unedited names anywhere? I found Stoichkov/Skorimilvo in my ML, he’s currently 27 and 87 OVR. Disappointingly, he looks nothing like Stoichkov to my eyes—in PES3 the likeness was very good. El Pistolero was my main man in that PES.

    I tried to sign him but the negotiations broke down. Clearly I need to win that Treble to attract these players.

  19. Darshan—thanks for the links and pics, all good info, and have you got a list anywhere of what all the classic players are called after they’ve been unlocked? In my innocence/naiveté I was expecting to see them all under their actual names.

    Although by this stage of my ML career I’ve done without them for so long that I might see it through to the ‘end’ (i.e. the Treble), and only get them after that point.

  20. Chris—the black boxes are no longer shiny! Wait until you get a Slim—they’re made of dull unreflective plastic. After a couple of years with a 60GB model the Slims take some getting used to, but I love mine now.

    Hey, I’m real old-school. My Spectrum was the rubber-keyboard, original 48K model. I sold it in 1987 and bought a guitar with the money (never learned to play it), and that was the last computer I owned until 2003. You kids with your ‘plus’ models…

  21. not-Greg,
    Here are the unlockable players (it’s not complete sadly – it doesn’t have the players you get from winning things in ML):

    The Classic Teams are here:

    The lists seem accurate on the PC, not sure about on PS3 though.

    Regarding Stoichkov, he seems to be one of those that will be unlocked by winning the ML trophies (he is certainly in there). I took a screenshot of all the unlockable players (though, some of them are renamed):

    Sadly, there’s no way (as I far as I can tell) to see which players get unlocked with which trophy.

  22. Darshan—many thanks for the screenshots. Iwam Russell!

    I’ll be looking up a few choice names in my next session and seeing if I can correlate what I’ve unlocked at this stage with the lists. I’ve not noticed any of the famous names so I suspect not many. I have won all the trophies at various stages so I don’t know what else I would have to do—unless there are a load of players sitting around unused somewhere.

  23. OK to find out what players you have already unlocked go to PES main menu and go into the Gallery, there a few pages that show all the players you have unlocked and how you did it and the players you haven’t unlocked and what you need to do. The players you have yet to unlock show up as ??? so you don’t what who they are just how many and there positions.

    When unlocking classic team players they go straight into the bosman list so no transfer fee!!! but the wages are normaly very high..

    months ago i do remember coming accross a few complete lists of all unlockable players and even there real names but i don’t remember where… Maybe on PESFAN o Gamespot…

    Skirmilov at 27 will be reaching his prime snap him up if you can!!! i think he comes into the game at 28 if i remember correctly at 30 he starts to lose a point or to but is still great into the 30’s.

  24. looking at those screen shots the PC version is a different game!!! Even the ability points are different!!!

  25. on the PS3 Skirmilov has different stats and he is not a AMF and look at the skill cards there one called middle shooting! lol and his skill cards are different…

  26. he was so young, why…oh why couldnt god have taken pes 2008(ps3) instead.

  27. Not Truman—thanks for the tip on where to look. There’s a whole world of stuff in the game I never look at, I always go straight into ML and get busy playing.

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