Monday, August 31, 2009

Article: Both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 Are Prone to Hardware Failure

Will this article ever banish the myth that PS3 is more reliable than the Xbox 360? I seriously doubt it, considering how rabid [and pointlessly defensive] the Internet fanboys can be about the console brands that they love.

That said, whatever console you own, for this gaming generation, be ready to face the inevitable!

(For the entire article, click the link below)
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-system-failure-article

System Failure: Why PS3 and 360 drop dead for the same reasons
August 29th, 2009

Page 1 of 3. Page 2

In a week where Xbox 360 production boss Aaron Greenberg stated that Microsoft's hardware issues were "well behind us", I found myself finally facing up to the notorious unreliability of the older 360 consoles, and attempting to do something about it.

In many ways, this feature is an off-shoot of a personal story. Readers of the Digital Foundry Twitter feed will know that both of my retail Xbox 360s died of RROD in quick succession. While Microsoft was nice enough to send me a new PAL "Jasper" model, swapping out my prized NTSC 360 Elite, originally purchased for a Eurogamer hardware test would be much more difficult. Over and above the luxuries of having the ability to play region-locked games, the concept of binning off two consoles that cost me the best part of £600 was basically wasteful and unacceptable. Something had to be done.

Looking for a more permanent resurrection for my unit, I'd heard that the best fix involved the rather manly-sounding process of "reballing" the GPU - resoldering the joints from the motherboard to the graphics chip. That being the case, I found myself at my nearest independent console workshop, Colchester Computers, staring at their impressive BGA rework/reflow station. Working from an industrial unit just off the Essex town's bizarre Magic Roundabout, this was an interesting opportunity to find out from the experts first-hand why the average games console ceases to function, and how they are fixed. Upon arrival at the workshop, the vast stack of dead consoles up against one wall ("spare parts") was somewhat eye-opening.

Talking to the company's engineer, Darren Thickbroom, it instantly became apparent that many of the Internet truths surrounding the console failures were anything but, and that the heat dissipation issues that plagued every revision of the Xbox 360 up until the most recent Jasper version were hardly exclusive to the Microsoft console. Slowly but surely, just like its competitor, the issue of PlayStation 3 reliability is being brought into question.

While the scale of the so-called YLOD issue is difficult to judge in context of the all-pervasiveness of RROD, the fact is that what I learned on my visit was pretty shocking: whether you own a Microsoft or Sony console, it seems that the act of simply using our consoles for the job they were designed can cause cumulative damage, with the very real danger that our games machines may go "pop" after the manufacturer's warranty expires.

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