Backwards Compatible PS3s Must Be Cursed
PS3

A long, long time ago, I told you about my used Xbox woes and lamented the instability of Microsoft's original console. I'm kinda over that, though I still have a sneaking suspicion that my used Xbox's disc drive will fail. We laughed, we cried, we threw shade at Microsoft, and everyone had a generally good time. Now, after another console death and epic garage-sale fail, I'm here to ask what's going on with backwards-compatible PS3s.

So, Cheat Code Central Internet denizens, what’s up with those PS3s?

My current tale of woe began earlier this year, though it feels like it's been decades. My PS3 died on me. It was beautiful: an 80GB, backwards-compatible model I had gotten used. It lasted three glorious years, and we were very happy together. Then, one day, I was going to download my weekly PlayStation Plus freebies, and it died. I had started The Cave and Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi downloads, set it so it would shut down after downloading both, and then I heard it.

The tell-tale BeepBeepBeep.

The light was yellow. It was over. It had been over two months since I had remembered to backup my game saves to the cloud.

I really can't say anymore. It hurts too much.

I took it in for repairs, and the repair place tried to fix it, but the guys there sent it back saying it was a lost cause. I had to go and buy a new Super Slim PS3. (Because no way am I living without a PS3.)

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That started to give me pause about the backward-compatible PS3s, but my concerns about them being crapbuckets waiting to die were confirmed yesterday. (Shh! Don't listen to my rant, Super Slim PS3. You're awesome... for now.)

I have an awesome neighbor who holds kickass garage sales. About a month ago, I got 3 Studio Ghibli DVDs, a sixer of in-the-box GBA games (including Demi Kids Light Version), two bags of Meanies beanbag toys for my friends, and a bunch of X-Men and Watchmen comic anthologies for $30. (There was also a wind chime for my mom, but I figure you all don't care about mushy stuff like that.) He had a table full of tabletop RPG stuff and miniatures, and a friend of mine came and cleared him out of it.

Said neighbor had another one of these sales Wednesday. It was just as lovely. Though, this one was more console centric. There was a Genesis, Saturn, GameCube, and even a PS3. The last one caught my eye. It was a backward-compatible PS3. The four USB ports were a dead giveaway. The problem was, it only had the component cables. There were controllers and no power cord. I was skeptical, but my neighbor said his nephew, the one who had given him all the geeky and gamer stuff to sell, said it worked.

With a promise that my money would be returned if it would fail, I handed over $30 and walked home three houses to give it a go.

To this backward-compatible PS3's credit, it didn't yellow light of death on me. When I plugged in my old PS3's power cord, hooked it up, and flipped the switch, the light was red. But my initial joy was dampened when it wouldn't actually turn on.

PS3

You heard me. It wouldn't turn on. What could have been my best thrifting score ever turned into a lump of spare parts. I tried resting my finger over the on switch for 10 seconds, to see if it would trigger the diagnostic. I tried pressing the Home button on the controller, in case it was just a case of a broken switch. I scoured the Internet.

It was another crapbucket.

Which leads me to question Sony's reliability. The PlayStation I got used years ago and the PlayStation 2 I bought at Best Buy for Final Fantasy X still work perfectly. So why haven't I had a PS3 in my care last longer than three years?

I'm trying to be optimistic now. I bought my Super Slim PS3 new, and it's yet to give me any problems. Still, that disc-drive lid is awfully flimsy, and past experience has lead to my backing up my save games every two weeks. I suppose time will tell if we'll be able to drag out and play our PS3s 20 or 30 years from now, the same way we do with our Atari 2600s, Intellivisions, Nintendos, Super Nintendos, and Genesis...es.

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada
@JMariye

Contributing Writer
Date: 10/04/2013

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