At the weekend I was playing LittleBigPlanet but after I had completed a particular level, instead of the next one loading up the screen went totally white and the system seemed to freeze. The PS3 then restarted and spat out the disc. I’d had enough gaming for one night anyway, so I turned the system off and went away.
I came back to the PS3 the following day only to find that none of my PS3 disks would load. It was the same with DVDs and CDs. I have to admit, I then panicked. But it was weird because apart from that, the rest of the PS3 worked totally fine. I could play games that were on the hard disk, connect to the PlayStation Network, and browse the PlayStation Store. But what use is a PS3 that won’t load game disks?
I had a look online to see what the problem might have been and whilst PS3 failure rates are very low, if anything is to go wrong, it’s more than likely to be the PS3’s disc drive due to its Blu-Ray capabilities. Bear in mind that I’m not talking total system failure here, like the Xbox 360’s ‘red ring of death’ but the damage is sufficient enough to render the system unusable for general use as a games console.
With my PS3’s disc drive broken a few days before Christmas, a solution was needed fast. Dealing with Sony directly might have taken too long and would have been too costly as the PS3 was a couple of weeks out of its one-year warranty. In comes the three-year extended warranty to save the day.
I took the PS3, all boxed-up to Currys, explained the situation at the customer service desk, and presented the warranty information. Whilst I was expecting a repair or replacement, what actually happened took me by surprise.
The customer service representative called the Sony care line (the same line any customer would call) but told the operator her name and store code. The Sony operator decided that as it was a disc drive problem, authorisation would be given to have the console replaced with another.
Now, Sony don’t manufacture any 40GB models any more, and the next one up was the 80GB model with (ironically) a free copy of LittleBigPlanet. However this model cost more than the model bought last year and I’d have to pay the difference between the two models. Another call to the Sony care line and not only was authorisation granted to make this swap, but the difference in price was waived! All that needed to be paid was £22 to extend the warranty for another three years.
The original extended warranty cost £55, but with the console costing the best part of £300 it was money well-spent. Without this extended warranty, I’d be without a replacement console, and would have to pay Sony to repair the disc drive.
It just goes to show; on many occasions I haven’t even bothered with any kind of extended warranty, especially if the cost of the warranty meets or exceeds the cost of the product itself! Heck, even my PSP isn’t covered at all, and that cost me £179 back in the day.
It’s amazing how different you’re treated depending on whether or not you are covered by a warranty of any kind. The laptop I got for Uni isn’t covered either (stupid me), and I’ve been quoted all sorts of stupid prices for fixing the fan and/or any problems with it. But that’s another story.
So my advice is that if you’re buying yourself or someone else a PS3 (or any other expensive electrical product for that matter), then get an extended warranty, as a year or two down the line, you might regret it and be left out of pocket.
PS3 gamers- if your PS3 has failed (hardware failure, for example) within its standard one-year warranty, then depending on the circumstances it might be worth dealing with where you bought your PS3. If it’s something like a fixable software error message though, then Sony should be your first port of call.
I’ve admitted what I haven’t bothered covering, so have you got anything expensive that is out of its standard one-year warranty? Also, have you had a piece of equipment fail on you? I’d like to hear your experiences on these matters- particularly any fellow PS3 gamers.
If you’ve read this far then I hope that this article has been of some use to you and given an insight into how faulty PS3s are dealt with, highlighting the consequences of being covered by warranty and being without.