Today I got my PS3 back from repair. This whole thing has been quite a nightmare. A little over a week ago it crapped out on me while I was watching an episode of The Boondocks
on DVD. I got the dreaded "Yellow Light of Doom". And the PS3 would turn on no more.
My initial research informed me there were two ways of going about this situation. I could send it in to Sony for $150 so they could take 4-6 weeks to send me back a different refurbished PS3 (at which point I'd be better off just buying a refurbished PS3), or I could give it to some sort of sketchy unauthorized console repair guy in my area and that way I wouldn't lose my hard drive (but the repair might not last).
But I wasn't too worried about losing my data, because I upgraded my hard drive three Augusts ago from the original 40GB to a 320GB. So I could just send in the old one and hang on to the good one, data intact. And, as it turned out, the price to service it wasn't quite so steep; here, for my model, it cost about $112 after tax. And it didn't take long either; I got the thing back, what?, four business days after I sent it in. Swell.
And here my troubles began...
So my 40GB hard drive has been cleared. And the PS3 will not accept my 320GB hard drive without first reformatting and clearing that. It must only work with my original console. And though I'm pretty sure they sent me back the same console, it doesn't recognize it any more. And because the backups that the PS3 accepts are encrypted in some special way, there is literally no way I can back up the data on my 320GB drive. In order to back it up, my PS3 would have to never have been broken in the first place.
So I'm screwed. I have all my data on the hard drive in front of me, and I have no choice but to erase it.
Back up your PS3 hard drives, folks!
My sole consolation is, I still have my backup from two and a half years ago. So I don't lose all
my data... Just the last two and a half years of it. Ugh. And god knows the headaches I'll get even trying to recover what is backed up! Apparently certain games have 'locked' save data and can't be recovered (still holding out hope for my Fallout 3
and most of my LittleBigPlanet
data, at the very least). I'm going to have to redownload so much DLC and so many PSN games it'll probably be more than my monthly internet usage allowance, all at once. So much crap to reinstall. This is assuming the back-up even works.
I remember the headaches when I first upgraded the PS3's hard drive. Here's a portion of a blog post I wrote, way back then:
Now, I was always under the false impression that an external hard drive would add space without the need to actually go through the potentially arduous task of replacing the internal hard drive. So one of the things I got for my birthday is an external hard drive. I formatted it to fat32 and added the folders and plugged it into my PS3, only to find that it's only good for pictures and videos. That's no good, it's the game data and psn games that take up all the (40GB of) space. I had a bunch of money from my birthday, so I went out and bought an internal (320GB) hard drive for about $60, followed Chris Roper's tutorial on replacing it, and had difficulty every step of the way. From waiting like 40 minutes for the Best Buy guy to check the back room to see if the one I was looking for was hidden in the back somewhere (He couldn't find it; I ended up going to PC cyber, a computer specialty store and getting a good one for cheaper than any at Best Buy with no difficulty whatsoever) - to the tray my hard drive is in being designed differently than Chris Ropers - to the PS3 not starting up the same way - to, worst of all, the backup utility restore failing. I had backed up all my stuff to my new external hard drive, but whenever I would restore, after an hour of restoring it would fail. A lot of my files would be back, but the PS3 wasn't completely back to normal. I ended up switching back and forth the hard drives and spent the better part of two days on this before deleting as much of my game data as I could stand (I kept Rock Band and LittleBigPlanet - I ain't redownloading all that DLC) on my old hard drive, creating a back up, resetting my new hard drive and then restoring again. Finally it worked, names didn't have asterisks beside them, my brother's theme showed up, and I began reinstalling all my games. Thank God that's over with.
God knows if I even by miracle had
backed up my hard drive before the console crapped out on me, if I would even be able to transfer the data, with all my game data on there, which wouldn't transfer back then! Fuck, this is all so frustrating!
I've never lost save data like this before! I loath to lose data like this! I have 92 save files in Skyrim, lost. All that time a couple months back I spent acquiring all the clothing I could get in Way of the Samurai 4
, just to have it. And now I don't. That's the kind of thing I do in all sorts of games. I have no choice now but to adopt a 'well, I probably wasn't going to revisit those games in a meaningful way anyway
' attitude. But truly, save data is important to me.
And here's where I need to go on a bit of a Jimquisition
-style rant. Because fuck Sony! This bullshit where the hard drive can only work with one PS3, or where the backup data is encrypted so only that PS3 can back it up, is not at the service of the consumer but rather is some bullshit anti-piracy measure. And the 'locked saves' are for what, to make sure people don't cheat at trophies? Fucking trophies?
I see no sign that Sony gives a shit about people being able to recover their save data. That's not important to them. They're interested only in preventing piracy, at the expense of the consumer.
And now I can't help but like Nintendo even more. My Wii broke a couple years back. It cost half as much to repair (a third of the $150 it costs some PS3 owners), and took half as long (a fifteenth of how long it took some PS3 owners), and they saved all of my data. I wanted to improve my Wii's storage space, so I got an unused SD card that was lying around the house and plugged that in, end of story, how does that compare to my story above about switching the PS3's hard drive? It's all so easy with Nintendo, and they seem to actually care about seeing you keep your save data.
And now, as we begin a new console generation, I don't see myself buying a Playstation 4. It's not just because of this. My first console was the N64, then the PS2, then the Wii. It wasn't until 2008 I first became a multi-console owner. And now, for real life reasons, I have less time than ever to play games, and I've been thinking I'll just stick with the WiiU for a while. But after this disheartening experience I am more
convinced to stick with just the WiiU.
I don't actually identify myself as a fanboy, like the title of this post suggests, but in the coming years, I'll probably be resigning myself, in the realm of games, to being a 'Nintendo guy'. The Wii was my favourite console, but I think now, increasingly, I'm finding Nintendo is the only
console manufacturer I can really respect.
I just hope the WiiU starts getting some freakin' games already.