I will be the first person to admit that I don’t really have a clue about what’s new in gaming. You lovely people post so many excellent reviews for games I’ve barely heard of, and I’m often left scratching my head after reading, wondering how I’ve gotten to be so out of touch. Well, that’s all about to change (maybe only a little?) because I got a text from a friend that works at one of the local thrift shops a few days ago with news of a modern console: a Playstation 3 *thunderous applause*! At $20 with no cords, controllers or games, the price seemed decent. There were a few there to choose from, so we opted to go for the one that seemed backwards compatible – it was the heaviest by far, and also had the telltale 4 USB ports on the front rather than 2, which was a cost reduction revision made in later models of the system.
Because we had an excess of Playstation 2 connectors hanging around, we were able to get the machine running without much issue. When we plugged the console in, much to our dismay we discovered that all of the text was in Japanese. With a snowball’s chance in hell of deciphering Japanese and no controllers to navigate the menus, we decided on a backdoor route and plugged in a USB keyboard and mouse which worked wonderfully. After consulting the internet for some hints on where to find the language settings and successfully changing it to English, we were in business. Tommy, the previous owner of this PS3 hadn’t bothered to delete his content from the machine before donating it. We were privy to a number of treats in the form of his photos and videos (don’t worry, we didn’t go through them, but we can’t delete them yet!), and a bunch of music. We wanted to test the machine to see if it would overheat at all, but since the PS3 won’t accept regular MP3s from a USB stick, we had to use some of the music stored on the machine. We picked the first song in the list and had the
torturous experience pleasure of listening to a song called “S on my Chest” by DJ Khaled, featuring Lil Wayne and Birdman. This experience brought our testing to a grinding halt. In case there was dust or sand in the disc drive, I didn’t want to put any of my discs into the machine without it being cleaned first. To continue our quest of gettin this thing going, my boyfriend went about one of his favourite hobbies: taking machines apart, cleaning them, and putting them back together. Below is a photo of all the machine’s guts.
The machine was absolutely disgusting. Every interior surface, even parts shielded by exterior pieces, were covered in a yellowish-brown sandy dust. Here are some photos of the awfulness.
After cleaning everything carefully and thoroughly, new thermal paste was applied to the CPUs and the machine was reassembled with a few screws left over. To test the machine, I watched the first third of season 12 of King of the Hill. The machine did not overheat or set on fire, though the fan did kick in quite often! We drilled a hole the width of the fan (about 5 inches) in the bottom of the chassis to allow for more air exchange and circulation to keep things a bit cooler.
We also tried both PS and PS2 games to validate our hunch about the backwards compatibility, and sure enough it plays both generations of games! From what I understand, later PS3 models were only backwards compatible with PS games, so we definitely lucked out. Another cool thing we discovered was that it is the 80GB model. Most early PS3s were only 40GB or smaller, so it was a happy accident that we picked up one of the best and roomiest versions of this console.
For anyone wondering why I haven’t taken the plunge into newer Sony consoles earlier than now, it was purely a boycott on my part. As someone who stands firmly on principle and good customer service values, to have a new console using the same type of media as the previous generations and not have backwards compatibility was unacceptable to me. Since I never buy consoles new, by the time I was interested in buying a PS3, the backwards compatibility was no more so I decided to never buy one new. However, at a price of $20 and a little love and elbow grease, we are now the proud owners of the machine I’ve always wanted. Maybe I’ll even invest in my first blu-ray and just go completely topsy-turvy.
The question of the day is this: what are your PS3 recommendations? I only own Little Big Planet so far, but I’ve heard that there are many excellent RPGs and other types of games available for the system. I’ll be pouring back through many of your previous reviews with a new perspective for some ideas as well.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions and for reading! I hope you’re all enjoying this wonderful long weekend if you’ve got one at your disposal! Happy Family Day to my fellow Canadians (and belated to anyone overseas). Happy President’s Day to those of you in the US! If you’re celebrating a holiday that I don’t know about today, happy holidays to you as well 🙂