4.06.2009

Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) Blu-Ray failed

Last Friday, I had the unpleasant surprise of noticing the death of my PS3 blu-ray drive.

The last time I saw it alive, was the day before, when my 21 month old daughter played PS1 Dora The Explorer game on it (it does look better on the PS3 than on the PS1 or PS2 ;-) ). The same evening, I launched a software update to update the firmware to the latest 2.70 version. I let the firmware install and shutdown the PS3 when it was finished.

When I got back from work on Friday, my little baby wanted to play Dora again... So I booted up the PS3 and waited for the Dora game to appear in the menu... But when the little disk spinning icon in the top-right corner of the screen stopped spinning, the game did not appear in the menu.

I tried ejecting and reinserting the disk a few time to no avail. Just to confirm that the disk was not the issue, I put it in my PS2 and it worked... I let my little one play Dora and soon forgot about the issue.

Fast forward a few hours later, with two freshly rented blu-ray movie. None of them loaded. I then tried some of my PS3 games... Not working either. Back to the video rental store to exchange the blu-ray disks for DVDs.

On Saturday, I searched on the Internet in hope of finding others with the same issue after upgrading to 2.70. While I did find some problems with this update, none of them related to the blu-ray drive. When searching for ps3 blu-ray failure, I did find a lot of people having the same issue as I.

On Sunday, I decided to call costumer support. They where very friendly (I did made the mistake of asking for service in french, my native language, as they hook you with an English tech support rep and with a translator) but of no real help beside telling me that my warranty was expired (I got the PS3 as a gift in March 2008) and so that my blu-ray drive decided to go dead a few weeks too late. I mentioned that in the Province of Quebec, we have a consumer law that state "38. Goods forming the object of a contract must be durable in normal use for a reasonable length time, having regard to their price, the terms of the contract and the conditions of their use." It means that consumers can expect to be under warranty for a reasonable length of time (which may be greater that the warranty period offered by the manufacturer). The rep stayed silent when hearing this. Like he stayed silent when I specified that the failure happened after updating the firmware. The only thing that he was able to say was that it would cost me 169$CAN +TX to have it serviced and that the shipping will be free! They will send me a box to put the PS3 in and to ship it back to them. That is kind of costly... Almost half the price of the PS3. I could get an XBox 360 for just a little bit more.

So I guess I'll have to pay for the repair, if I want to play games in the near future, and then send them a nasty formal notice to ask them for my money back. I guess I'll have a great chance for winning a suit in the small claim court. There are plenty of jurisprudence and the claim that the PS3 has a 10 year lifespan in the eye of Sony would certainly not hurt!

Here is a Google Search for ps3 blu ray failure.
And here is a link to an Online petition demanding Sony to extend the warranty period for this issue.

11 comments:

Emmanuel Pirsch said...

It looks like I will not have to pay for the repair!

I got a hold of my receipt which was date March 31, 2008. My PS3 failed on April 3, 2009. I emailed Sony support the same date and made an official support request on April 5.

I called them back last weekend to inquiry about the situation and they friendly responded that I should call the repair center (because they already shipped the return box) about the situation. In this phone call, the lady seemed very open make the repair under warranty because it failed just a few days after the warranty expiration.

This morning I called the repair center. And without any question, when I told them about the receipt, the nice lady said that they will do the repair under warranty.

So I packaged the PS3 and dropped the box at a Purolator drop zone.

Let's see how long its going to take now to get my PS3 back :-)

I have to say, that the people at Sony where really friendly. I guess it help to make the call in English rather than in French and go through a translator.

Emmanuel Pirsch said...

Wow, that was fast... I shipped my PS3 on Monday and got it back on Thursday! According to the service report, they replaced the Bluray drive. I swapped back my 320G hardrive and the PS3 did not recognized it has a hardrive that was linked to it (probably because I cleaned up the PS3 with a system restore before shipping it). So I restored it from the backup I made before shipping it. Everything is now up and running, Bluray disk works but I had to re download everything I downloaded from the PS Store.

So it is a happy ending... Now I just hope that it will not fail again with the same problem. While I'm happy now, I still feel a bit disappointed that it failed just after the warranty period and at the same time than a system update.

I did signed the petition mentioned above, and still feel that Sony should come up with real numbers for Bluray failure rate (and period).

Kris said...

If only I had read your blog 6 hours ago. I was in the exact situation I watched several youtube videos and felt like superman. I opened the case and did the fix shown in the videos. Still doesn't work. So now I'm online looking for a replacement BluRay Drive. Found one on ebay for $49.00 us. But still has been very difficult without playing call of duty.lol
If you know where I can get a drive let me know.

sparklingpinkgorilla said...

My ps3 died today, well yesterday, this moth is one year since we bought it and the bad news is I lost the receipt when moving. I keep reading these post in forums about how people should be responsible and keep receipts. Well I'm very responsible and have all my receipts, i keep them in the boxes of the products with their manuals and extras. But I lost this receipt. Another thing they keep posting is how defects happen with any product and so Sony shoudn't have to extend it's warranty, but why should I pay a good chunk of money and be ok with a faulty product?? Microsoft stands by their mistake with the Xbox360, Sony should stand beside this. If it's really "not that common" like everyone keeps saying, then it shouldn't be a problem to help out those select few, right?

Emmanuel Pirsch said...

Here a a few statistics for those who wants to know if many people have this problem.

All these stats are based of my Google Analytics tracking for this blog post. Note that this is just one post from a blog that has roughly 400 page view each month (so this is not a high traffic blog).

In the last month, about half of my page view are for this post only... That about 200 page view for the past 30 days.

This post has been viewed a total of 370 times by unique visitor since it's been posted.

Most page view comes from Google searches (94%).

The top search keyword used to find this post (if I exclude Sony, ps3, playstation, drive, bluray and similar keywords) are : repair, failure, failed, replacement, fail, update, fix, warranty, fails, failing.

What I can conclude from these stats is that most people who find this post find it because they search for failures related to the ps3 bluray.

While 370 unique page view may not seem a lot, for a site as little trafficked as this one, this is a lot of traffic. And this is still 370 different people having the issue.

It may be a small drop in the internet and Playstation 3 world, but I guess that the real number of people having the problem may be a lot higher than that (if I search for one of the highest keywords term used to find this post, it appear on the second page of the results). The same search yield more that 300,000 results.

Keep on calling Sony support to put pressure on them.

Senthil said...

Actually.. googled it because I'm planning on buying a PS3, and wanted to know what the warranty period is.

Really good info on this post though - gives a general sense of what I could expect in case things go fubar. Hopefully I never need to find out!!

George said...

Same problem, bluray drive stopped working. Very disappointed considering this is the second time sending my ps3 back to Sony for repair within 1 year of purchase. Still covered under warranty but come on. This is truly unacceptable for a product that costs as much as this does. I don't think this failure is random at all. I truly believe that the bluray drives being used are sub-standard. I think Sony should speak up & inform the public of this problem. Until then, it's up to everyday people like us to put the word out. Should be getting my PS3 back in a few weeks. Will post results of what was repaired when I get it back.

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