Monday, September 02, 2013

Bad Buy: Playstation 3

A deal I couldn't resist
Once upon a time, I had a Playstation 3. It was about a year after it had been released, and there was a post-Christmas (i.e. Boxing "week") sale. The unit came with a "free" game and HDMI cable, so it seemed like a great idea. These two items don't sound like much, but the game was still going for full retail price ($60) and HDMI cables were still stupidly expensive then -- $30 for a 6' cable. And I had not owned any full-sized, TV based consoles since a Sega CD from about a decade ago. It was supposed to be my return to console gaming.

Had some fun
I got about five or so games for the machine and had a ton of fun with some of them. It became my one and only Blu-ray movie player during the two or three years I had it too. Metal Gear Solid and Uncharted were the tops and were alone almost worth buying the console for.

Not all smooth sailing
Ownership of the Playstation didn't go that well. The Blu-ray player died almost exactly one month since I got it. One day, the unit would no longer recognize any of my Blu-ray discs. I may be mistaken, but I seem to recall it still working with DVDs and CDs -- different laser?

I wasn't able to get a direct exchange and ended up having to do a full RMA that required couriering the unit to another city. The RMA service did send me a cardboard box to package the console in. All I had to do was pack it and drop it off at a courier office.

Unfortunately, the plastic they used for the Playstation 3 I had was very shiny and easily scratched. Whoever repaired it didn't baby it like I did and the unit came back scratched and scuffed all over the entire body. I really have no idea what the repair shop did with it because the serial number of that came back matched the one I got.

Another minor annoyance was that my monitor -- didn't have  a new generation LCD TV yet -- didn't have an HDMI connection. I had to go out and buy component cables that were thick and bulky. And they set me back a good $20.

Why was it "bad"?
Because I barely used it. After the initial "coolness" of a brand new purchase wore off, I didn't really use it much. Remember that part about where I only had around 5 games? That was over the two or three years I had it. Those were not very long games. With replays, they were maybe a few dozen hours long each.

The fact that I had to plug the console into my computer monitor meant that I couldn't use the computer when I was using the console. Being an internet addict, this really got to me. And having not had a console for over a decade, the change was very difficult to adjust to. Should have known after the Gameboy Advance that suffered from the same problem a few years before the Playstation 3 -- I thought it was the graphics. When I got an LCD TV, freeing up my computer, I still didn't use it much. I found that having a TV on playing something random was even more important than having internet access.

Much of the time, I turned the power button in the back of the Playstation to the "off" position. It didn't make sense to burn standby power when I knew I wasn't going to use it for months. This was also the time when I stopped buying DVDs and Blu-rays because I realized that I only watched them once or twice, then never touched them again.

It was me, not the console.
Got rid of it
After getting tired of seeing the black chunk of plastic collect dust, I decided to sell it on Craiglist. I got it when it was new-ish before a few major price reductions, so I paid around $400. Selling price? Exactly $150 with an extra $40 controller I paid full-price for. Oh well, I got a shelf back.

Guess who isn't getting a Playstation 4 or Xbox One.


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