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.