Thursday, 11 August 2011

A console for life…

…but how long is that? 

My PS3 just died this week.

 It was an original 60G model...

The one that played PS2 disk.

I asked around on a few PS forums to try and figure out if it was worth trying to fix it, and the consensus of opinion seemed to be that I was lucky to have had it last this long.

Now, the thing is a lot of these people were very genuine in their response. They really did believe that this was a good run for a console. Even though I didn’t even play it all that regularly.
And there lies the current problem…

People today seem to expect the lifetime of most new electronic products to be up to around five or six years at the most. And my dead PS3 got me thinking about why this is. It’s not like this is the first time this has happened with new electronics ether. We have had a total of two PS3’s and a 360 give out on us in our house, but… and this is the other side of the coin, but when my PS3 gave up the ghost I walked over to the other side of the room and switched on my Vectrex, which completely unsurprisingly burst into life and worked perfectly.

So why is this? Should we blame it on build quality? Well if the build quality is that bad, why is it allowed to be that bad? Why do people now think that five or six years of intermittent use, from what is still a relatively expensive product, is a good deal?
I think there is a huge difference in expectations from products in general nowadays, and I’m not entirely sure where this attitude came from.
Yes, in real-terms these types of goods are cheaper than they used to be, hence more affordable and wide-spread. But surely this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be built to last?

I still use, and program for, my Vectrex and VIC-20, both of which are working fine.
I also haven’t had much, if any, problems with most of my 8 and 16 bit systems.
It’s only really since the Dreamcast and PS2 era that I started to get console machine problems. But the latest generation definitely seems to have much more problems than anything in the past (yes including the Dreamcast. In my experience the hardware isn’t half as bad as a lot of people made out)

At this stage in life I now fully expect my oldest consoles to work at least as long as I do, probably longer, but when I shell-out for another ‘new’ machine I’m apparently getting another five years at best!

OK, so I am as guilty as the next person, because I will get another PS3 to replace the dead console… just like we got a new model 360 to replace the dead original model 360.

But it doesn’t make the question any less valid…
Why do new consoles seem to have such a short life, and why do current-generation gamers just seem to accept it?

No comments:

Post a Comment