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Open Letter to Sony (Or, An Ode to Barry)

Dear Sony,

My PlayStation 3 broke and I had to fork out £199.00 to buy a new one. I’m sure you get a lot of letters like this… and that’s a real problem isn’t it. I’ve had it for over four years and I named it Barry because it reminded me of Shaun Williamson’s character from Eastenders (it was the old fat design you see.) and I loved it.

It crashed and died as I was trying to save White Knight Chronicles (don’t ask), when I tried to turn it back on I was met with a yellow light, I believe it is referred to as the ‘Yellow Light of Death’, and the browser failed to launch. A quick diagnosis on your handy online ‘is my PlayStation buggered?’ guide told me that my PlayStation was indeed buggered, and I would have to call the Sony helpline for more information.

Going off point just for a second, this was the first and last time I have ever seen a yellow light emitted from the console. Why is it there if not to signify an inherent design flaw with the technology?

So, I called the helpline and spoke almost instantly to a very lovely and super friendly call centre technician (I forget her name, so I suggest you give all your female call centre employees a congratulatory pat on the back) who made the swift intake of breath that told me I was in trouble. She informed me that this was a known issue with the hardware and it could not be fixed over the phone.

“Oh dear”, I said.

She then told me that I could have the console swapped out for a reconditioned model at the cost of £110, but I would be receiving a model that would be the same age as my currently broken unit. This would leave me susceptible to yet another issue further down the line. She told me that it would be prudent for me, as a games writer who uses his console almost constantly, to purchase a new slim console as I would it would have less chance of failure.

“Oh dear”, I said.

“Yes”, she said; and that was that. I picked up my new console two days later with a burning sense of guilt that that money should have been spent on my beautiful girlfriend as we approach our anniversary. Interestingly, it was my girlfriend who suggested this letter as she doesn’t seem to think the whole ordeal was particularly fair… and I agree.

If the yellow light of death is a known issue with the older consoles, I mean an intrinsic error with the internal design of the unit, why am I getting punished for it?

Thanks for your time,

Richard Murphy

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in January 2011. Get in touch on Twitter @RichJimMurph.

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