Farewell, my Fat PS3.

After almost 5 years of faithful service, my old Fat Playstation 3 is starting to die. It’s actually kind of depressing really. But, for most people, I’m pretty sure they don’t really get why I feel sad. I mean, it’s just a piece of plastic and electronics, right? And it’s pretty easy to just go out and buy a new one, right? Yes, both points are true. There’s more to it than that.

We've been through a lot, haven't we, good buddy?

We’ve been through a lot, haven’t we, good buddy?

I guess I’ll have to go through a whole lot of history for you to understand.

I was a big fan of the first Playstation. I had the original boxy gray one and I played a ton of games on it. Since I live in the Philippines, it was extremely easy to build a huge library of games… since you can only get bootlegs here at the time. I loved playing on it. And, after 7 years of entertaining me, it started to die out.

The design looked dated now, doesn't it?

The design looked dated now, doesn’t it?

Although the new version of the PS1 was already available (the very first “slimming” down of Sony’s consoles), I managed to keep it working for a few more months by just adding a little grease where the lens slides when reading the discs. When it finally decided to not work anymore, I just had the CD lens on my old one replaced and it was working fine. In fact, it was still in good working condition when I eventually gave it to my cousins a year ago.

Besides, by this time, I already had the Playstation 2, the original Xbox and the Gamecube. The Gamecube just didn’t have many games available for it. The Xbox just… died. I actually replaced the Xbox DVD drive since it konked out on me but, after 3 months, it died again. I never really bothered using it afterwards.

This was way before the Red Ring of Death was a thing.

This was way before the Red Ring of Death was a thing.

Eventually, my old PS2 started getting the infamous Disc Read Error. But it was easy to fix. Anyone with the confidence to open up their unit and make a manual (not electronic adjustment) can do it! All I had to do was make a few turns on a gear (which adjusts the height of the lens) and a few minutes of trial and error and it was working fine again!

So, armed with the confidence the Sony consoles were fairly easy to perform home repairs, I finally got my own PS3. It was in the early part of 2009. I saved up a good chunk of change to buy it. It was the 80 GB model and, since most of the PS3s available were black, I got the silver model just to be different.

I even decided to upgrade the hard drive since 80 GB was getting pretty small with a lot of the demos I’ve downloaded. And Sony designed it so it was extremely easy to just get any SATA 2.5″ hard drive and slip it into the console. I remember there was some problem with backing up my old data and transferring it to the new hard drive but, besides that, it was a piece of cake installing a 500 GB hard drive to my PS3. Once again, I was glad Sony made it a hassle free process to modify their game console.

Then, in April of this year, that’s when the problem started, which is the middle of summer in the Philippines. I was playing Tomb Raider during one of the hottest days of the year when the PS3 crashed on me. Thinking there was a problem with the game, I immediately restarted the system and played a bit longer before it crashed again.

It was the beginning of the dreaded Yellow Light Of Death.

Like Green Lantern, the color yellow is the PS3's greatest weakness.

Like Green Lantern, the color yellow is the PS3’s greatest weakness.

A couple of months passed and it started happening with other games. Even my demo of Injustice wasn’t immune to it. This month, my fat PS3 would have difficulty even starting up and would get the YLOD immediately. Thinking that I could repair the system like I did with my previous Playstations, I went online and looked for solutions.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a quick fix this time. There are a lot of theories as to why older PS3s get the YLOD. Most of them attribute the problem to the solders that connect the graphics and CPU chips to the board getting brittle due to heat as well as the thermal paste that connects the chips to the heat sinks drying.

Well, I wasn’t going to try to re-solder the chips myself (and possibly obliterate them because of sloppy work) so the only thing I could do was to add fresh thermal paste to the heat sinks and hope for the best. So, I opened my poor PS3 up and did what I could do for it.

The PS3 out of its shell

The PS3 out of its shell

The short version: It wasn’t successful.

The long version: It still would get the YLOD during start up but, after that, it would run. But, if I tried to play a modern game, like Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, it would die almost immediately. Thankfully, I could still run a lot of my older games, such as Super Street Fighter IV, with no issues.

But still, my fat PS3 isn’t the same anymore. And I actually feel guilty that it got to this point. Maybe if I didn’t play it so extensively during the summer heat, it wouldn’t be like this. Maybe if it was located in a better area so there would be better ventilation. Maybe if I actually followed a lot of people’s advice and game my console a 15 minute break after an hour of playing, my PS3 would still be fine. Maybe.

I do have a new Super Slim Playstation 3 now. I got some of my important saves from my old PS3 and I’m currently transferring them. But I can’t shake the feeling that, unlike my previous Playstations, I failed this one. I wasn’t able to take care of it and fix it like I did the others.

I’ll probably have it repaired the right way, at a shop that can reball the solders properly but, hopefully, I’ll take better care of it next time. It won’t be used for games when it does get repaired. I’ll make it the designated media player for the house. At least it can go into retirement peacefully without taxing itself too much.

Have you ever felt the same way with your things? If you have, please leave your experiences in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “Farewell, my Fat PS3.

  1. Pingback: I’ll Go Wait for the Super Slim Version Again, Sony | 3rd World Geeks

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