Totilo At Play

April 30, 2009

Game Diary - April 30, 2009: Fear Of A Console Death

Filed under: Totilo Game Diary — Tags: , , — stephentotilo @ 10:00 am


It started with a mobster falling through the floor of a bank, arms waving as he plummeted to blackness and as my PS3 stopped running “The Godfather II.” It was going to end, I feared, in the death of my Sony super-console.

Yesterday, I stared down the impending doom that would snuff out my PS3. And, I think, I won.

I’ve now faced catastrophe with each of the modern consoles.

First was the Wii. Only a few months after I obtained my launch system from Nintendo, I needed a replacement. It was my fault. I had been carrying the Wii back and forth, from home to the office. I carried it in my bag, in which I also carried lose change. A dime or some other object that wasn’t a game disc, fell into the Wii’s disc drive slot. I didn’t see that happen, but I determined that it did oncethe spinning of discs in my Wii started producing buzzsaw noises. I sent the system back to Nintendo and was sent a new one. I had backed up my save files, but those Miis my family and I had made in the heady days of Wii launch could only be transferred to my new Wii as guest creations. I’d never be able to edit them again. I also learned that I couldn’t put my transfered save files onto my new Wii until I had put the disc of the game associated with any of those files into the drive. Odd.

Second to go was the Xbox 360. My launch console lasted years longer than I thought it would, finally meeting its maker late last year as a malfunctioning something-or-other tainted the graphics of my 360 games with a yellowish-green tint. Through the magic of a transfer cable and the swappable Xbox 360 hard drive, I moved all of my save data and downloadable game licenses along with my Gamertag to a new 360. It was like a preview of the future, when our brains will be moved from our decaying old bodies to young healthy ones. That’s happening in 50 years or so, yes?

Third to kick it was going to be my PS3. Yesterday, the crashes and awkward reboots of the system following some odd bugs in “The Godfather II” had me scrambling to clean my system’s digital innards. None of my disc games were loading past their title screen. I identified the way to restore the machine’s factory defaults. To begin, I started backing up game-save files to a USB drive. Not every game allows you to do this, oddly. I was going to have to say goodbye to my saved game for “Killzone 2” and, fittingly, “The Godfather II,” neither of which would transfer to my drive.  And I prepared for the worst — the worst being that my launch PS3, which can play PS2 games, was going to have to be replaced by a newer PS2-incompatible unit.

As of this writing, however, my PS3 seems to be working again. Time seemed to heal its wounds. I’m keeping “Godfather II” away from it, though I’m fascinated by the game’s design so much that I will buy the safer 360 version and play a bit of that.

The PS3 clings on. Its EKG will beep for another day.

Next: I will test the health of my PS3 today with “Valkyria Chronicles.”

UPDATE: Looks like I wrote too soon. “Valkyria Chronicles” just crashed on me. It’s clearly not the games. Something’s very wrong with my PS3. It’s weird, since the console had been so sturdy up until now.


  1. I just hope our new healthy young bodies don’t have a risk of red ring of death. Hope your PS3 keeps working.

    Comment by Greg Sanders — April 30, 2009 @ 11:10 am

  2. I guess I’m blessed that all my systems have never given me any problems…that includes my launch 360…


    Comment by SnakeLinkSonic — April 30, 2009 @ 11:10 am

  3. Watch out for the yellow light of death!

    Comment by Classic Gs — April 30, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

  4. I find this interesting because I really haven’t read much about PS3s crashing at least in comparison to 360s. I hope you get the problem worked out.

    Comment by Traxiz — April 30, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

  5. My Wii started show graphical glitches when I was playing Elebits, which then bled over to other games. My 360 failed while I was playing the TMNT game (What can I say, I grew up in the 80s!), right before Bioshock game out. Both Nintendo and MS replaced their consoles free of charge, for which I offer kudos. My PS3 has been sturdy up to this point, though I’ve had two friends lose PS3s and have to send them in, while another almost managed to brick his. That was totally his fault though.

    Comment by Eric F — April 30, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  6. @everyone… I talked to a Sony tech guy today. Looks like we’re going to have to swap out my system. Nothing else worked. Oh well. At least the machine outlasted the 360 and Wii.

    Comment by stephentotilo — April 30, 2009 @ 7:09 pm

  7. Ah, if its a disc problem.. do remember to have a disc always inserted into the drive! Its a slot loading thing, and they get dust-damaged quite easily.

    Comment by Reeteshinator — May 1, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

  8. Stephen, this is seriously a flaw with the game. One of my European OLC staff writers had the exact same game breaking glitch, which resulted in his 60GB PS3 being bricked. I wonder how many more have had the same issue?

    Comment by Shaun McIlroy — May 1, 2009 @ 7:32 pm

  9. My xbox died recently, the inFAMOUS (get it?) RROD. I’m kind of sad about it but I have to admit it lived a lot longer than I expected for a first generation used xbox, it lasted on my hands a little over 3 years and I wonder about the previous person.

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