Best Buy responds to critics of PS3 firmware install fee

7:00 AM on 10.07.2010

There's been a fair bit of raging on the internet about Best Buy charging customers to perform a firmware update on PlayStation 3 systems. IndustryGamers reached out to the company for a response, to which Best Buy replied with a less than apologetic statement:

While many gamers can handle firmware upgrades easily on their own, those customers who do want help can get it from Geek Squad, and we continue to evaluate this offering to ensure it meets their needs.  The service goes beyond a firmware updates, and includes user account setup, parental control setup and other components.

And you know what? I completely agree with Best Buy on this one. It may sound absurd to us that Best Buy is charging for something that's both easy and free, but we're gamers already. We're familiar with the process of installing firmware and setting the features on our consoles. Let's not forget that there are a lot of people out there who don't know how to set up WiFi in their home either (something I made into a lucrative side-job for several years).

It's really easy for us to say that this is a rip-off, but for people who are just getting into this hobby or are making these purchases for their kids, the peace of mind that comes with having a "professional" perform an installation can easily be worth thirty dollars. This is an expensive piece of hardware central to an expensive hobby and technology intimidates a lot of people. Plus, if it means that they get parental controls configured in a way that keeps even one midwest mommy from calling their local news station over violence in the games their kids play, it's worth it.

Was it a bad advertisement in the store? Sure. It should have stated all of the other services that they offer as a part of that package. But let's not condemn the company for offering a valid service at a price that clearly some people are happy to pay. Not everyone has the time or the interest to care about how this stuff works. They (or their kids) just want to play games.

Best Buy Unapologetic About Charging $30 for PS3 Firmware Updates [IndustryGamers]

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