The wonderful technology and nifty gadgetry inside the PlayStation 4 is not immune to damage in need of repairs, especially the product launch versions that will most likely have design flaws. This was evident for some PS3 launch consoles that had side jobs as pancake grills and paperweights. The dreaded YLOD (yellow light of death), Sony’s equivalent to Microsoft’s red ring of death (RROD), was sometimes seen due to any number of annoying causes.
Similarly, the PlayStation 3 would sometimes simply fail to boot its core systems properly and refuse to do so until repaired. These hardware and software issues are not unique to PlayStation consoles and are akin to computer parts failing to properly synergize with each other. Common repair tips generally revolve around tightening loose screws, repairing damaged wires, or properly installing new hardware.
With the PlayStation 4 preparing its maiden voyage this holiday season, it might be wise to look back at the common hardware and software issues on the PS3 and speculate on the viability of some repair options. Even though these two consoles are different on the outside, they’re still pretty much computers with computer-related problems.
Common PS3 Problems
Some of the most common PlayStation3 issues were generally user-solvable since they were of the correcting compatibility variety. Hooking the PS3 up to a standard definition television versus an HD one or correctly replacing the HDD with a new one were common places people found problems. On launch consoles mostly, there was also the issue of hardware getting overheated to the point where some circuitry “shifted” or perhaps even melted causing the entire board to fail.
Sometimes, the PS3 would face the YLOD because of a faulty power supply or even a corrupted hard drive. Core components needed to operate a game console like power and a storage space to access data are common sources of damage. Since the PS4 and presumably all future consoles rely on those same core components, there will always be a risk for damage in need of professional repair.
Of course, there were the more general issues with computer processes that caused havoc on the PS3 like bad firmware updates and drivers that fixed one thing but broke another. These kinds of console issues are definitely continuing on with the next generation simply because no one is perfect. Code is not really flexible when it comes to executing commands in a certain order at certain times. Even adding one line of additional command could causes unforeseen damage on another part of the console.
Considering there are many, many “moving” parts on a PS4 with a variety of different configurations once the console launches into the hands of owners, there will always be a subset of gamers facing problems via updates. There are then time-related issues that could cause any console to fail like the loss of thermal paste, which could increase the rate of overheating on a console. Dust and debris getting past the fan and into the guts of the PS3 also had devastating effects depending on where the gunk landed.
Common PS3 Repairs
If you were to do a Google search for “PlayStation 3 console repairs,” you would see entire websites dedicated to fixing your console for a hefty price. You would also see home remedies and DIY fixes that come with the obligatory “this will void your warranty” and “only do this if you know what you’re doing.” In this regard, most owners seemed to avoid going to Sony directly for their repairs because of the long wait time and hurdle just to speak with a human on the other end of the phone. Unless you had the warranty, you pretty much had to wait a long time to get your console working again. Most people also say that if your console is damaged enough to go back to Sony, you’re probably better off buying a new console than spend money on repairing one.
For some adventurous PS3 owners out there, repair simply means opening up your PlayStation 3 console and adjusting a few screws loose. From replacing the power supply and operating fan to simply placing your console in a cool area, there are many, many fixes that could be done without Sony’s help. This shouldn’t discourage anyone from trying Sony in the event one does not know how to work with computer parts, but there is definitely a ragtag group out there offering solutions at less cost than Sony.
For the more hardcore computer techies, maintenance on a PS3 means completely replacing parts inside and outside the console to make it run more efficiently. This often solved the overheating issue. On the software end, this is essentially up to Sony and how fast they can send out a repair to a firmware update. Unless you’re an evil genius who can run their own OS on the PS3 console, you either have to rollback your data to a previous version or wait until Sony releases a new non-bricked firmware update.
The PS4’s Problems and Repairs
As previously mentioned, the PS3 and PS4 are different in terms of different hardware and software configurations. However, they’re essentially computers and computers no matter how advanced have these kinds of issues. The question remains whether Sony learned anything from the previous generation (they did) and applied it to the design of the PS4 (they have). In terms of future repairs for launch consoles and beyond, there will most definitely be a need for them as well as DIY solutions from owners.
Remember when the Xbox 360 had the RROD scare and people claimed you could prevent it by wrapping your console with a blanket? The PS4 launch consoles will undoubtedly have problems due to the mass manufacturing of equipment. However, it’s doubtful the PS4 will revisit the same kind of hardware problems that plagued the PS3 like overheating consoles and disc read errors based on the design appearance of the PS4.
There will be a host of other problems in addition to the OS and software updates probably, but it’s again doubtful that there will be major issues after launch that would require Sony to repair consoles en masse. Based on the look of the PS4, the only problems expected would be faulty hardware over design flaws and OS and software bugs over compatibility issues.
Article by - Collin Mak
Insert Date: 7/31/2013
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