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New Gen Console Blues

About a week ago I packed up my PS3 and sent it out to Sony to be replaced because the video was freezing constantly. Just started happening a few weeks prior. In a couple of days, I'll be packing up my XBox 360 and sending it back to Microsoft to have it fixed because the console was freezing under a specific condition. Both are under warranty so the whole thing won't cost me a penny but still, kinda irritating. Not a huge deal though since I don't play console's as much these days.

I just thought I'd note down the differences between these 2 companies when it comes to support. First off, Sony:

  • Phone support seems to be located in the US.
  • Got to talk to an actual agent in a relatively short period of time. Still had to go through a menu system first but not too bad.
  • To have my unit fixed/replaced, I need to send in EVERYTHING. Console, controller, all cables that it came with. It's a good thing I save the unused cables in the original box instead of just chucking them.


  • I think their phone support may be located in India. Called twice and both times there seemed to be a hint of a non-US accent. However, the agents were quite fluent in English so communication isn't a problem.
  • To actually get to talk to an agent on the other hand was a bit of a pain. You first get routed through an automated self-help system that works ok but is annoying if you're calling back a second time. And the recorded voice is funny cause it's indicative of the type of audience that Microsoft is aiming for with the XBox: teenagers. Basically the way the voice talks is a bit more informal and extreme gamer-ish than what we usually encounter with these types of systems.
  • To send my unit in for repair I only need to send in the console. Actually I need to send in the console minus its hard drive and faceplate. Nothing else.
Now while the support agents I spoke with from both Sony and Microsoft were nice, easy to talk to, and polite, the Microsoft ones came over as a bit too polite. They apologized for literally everything. They apologized in advance when they had to put me on hold, they apologized again for putting me on hold, they apologized after they came back from hold, they apologized about the length of time they put me on hold. Alright already, I get it! I'm an American consumer, I'm used to being put on hold when I contact faceless corporations so cut the unnecessary apologies and just get to the business at hand.

So the reliability of these new console system hardware is a bit suspect. I don't recall ever having to repair a console system prior to now. Although my first PS2 bit the dust after 2-3 years, that's perfectly reasonable to me at least. By that time getting a replacement didn't cost as much as when they first came out. The issue with the 360 wasn't particularly severe, I had noticed it a few weeks after I bought it over a year ago but didn't really care to do anything about it till now. It was an annoyance more than anything. But I finally figured I'd put the extended warranty I had dished out for to some use at least.

As for my Wii, it's just sitting there minding its own business.


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