Profit or Quality?


Silly me, what a stupid question! Of course it must be profit. No large corporation gives a toss about quality.

I’ve spoken of this in the past and been taken to task by certain individuals who I’d swear have shares in Sony, for spelling out the mistake of incorporating obsolescent technology with bad design in the end product, all for the sake of maximizing profit to the detriment of quality.

While they have spent a lot of time, energy and money to produce their latest gaming console, the PS4 still retains the same mechanical defects of their previous consoles and controllers in the form of a dust attracting disc drive and internal fan, and a controller with physically operated buttons and springs instead of a touchpad, and mechanical joy sticks. Which begs the question, why spend hundreds on a games console that you know will stop working.

Fact – from new, the internal disc drive will last a month at best before the dust attracted to it every time it spins up will stop it functioning, which means having to get inside the console (if you know how), just to clean it.

Fact – the Sony controller will give you 730 hours, or a month’s continuous use, before it also succumbs to one of several defects.

These are as follows:

1 – it will simply stop working.

2 – it will suddenly decide to turn itself off. I have two controllers with this defect.

3 – it will cause your game to begin to veer off to the left on your television screen. I have two with this defect.

4 – your controller will simply fail to respond to any and all of its buttons and joysticks. I have one with this defect.

Unless or until Sony decide to design and manufacture a quality product in the form of a game console that has no moving parts, specifically designed to download games from Playstation Network instead of relying on games discs manufactured out of cheap plastic which crack thanks to the internal heat build up of the current consoles, I will not be investing in another.

In the meantime at least I can still download games directly to my old PS3. But I still cannot find a controller no matter the manufacturer, that will last longer than a month’s continuous use.

The battery in the controller I bought recently from China lasts for two hours. Sony’s battery maintains its charge for at least two day’s continuous use.

With zero quality control by the games console manufacturers these days, the end user simply cannot win.

PS – The divisions within Sony could not be more different, I don’t have any problems whatsoever with my Sony Vaio laptop. So maybe the PC division should to take charge when it comes to designing and manufacturing games consoles? They at least produce a quality product…


Profit or Quality?

Masseffect_cover ME2_Cover_Art



You would think that given the number of glitches appearing in most video games these days, that the people responsible for making them would endevour to put out a quality product from the get go. Sadly that isn’t the case. Take the immensely popular Mass Effect trilogy as an example.

By the time the first of the games appeared in 2007, written for Xbox, both Bioware and Electronic Arts realised at the eleventh hour that the Sony platform was the dominant system, owing to Xbox being so unreliable. Subsequently the game was made roughly compatible with Sony’s PS3 system. But like most games originally conceived with just one game platform in mind, instead of doing a total rewrite of the software to make it work with the PS3, Bioware and EA decided to maximize profit in favour of quality.

Fortunately when Mass Effect 2 appeared in 2010, at least the game had become more player friendly from the point of view of ease of control over your character. But like the first game, ME2 had some serious glitches, which were taken care of by a downloadable patch.

Then in 2012 ME3 the third and final game of the franchise appeared. It is relatively glitch free thank goodness. I have installed all of the add-ons for both ME2 and ME3, making both games that bit longer and enjoyable. Had Bioware bothered to totally re-write the first Mass Effect game, making it user friendly, I would also have that on my hard-drive.

Now all we ask for is that the games platform of your choice is made reliable. I had endless trouble with my PS3’s Blueray disc-drive, due to it being a dust trap, thereby rendering it inoperable. That was until I cottoned on to doing away with game discs altogether in favour of direct download to my PS3’s hard-drive. Now the only problem I have is when it decides to lock up for no good reason. When that happens on restarting the platform, the first thing I see is a request for a report from Sony to find out why it locked up. So far I’ve yet to see any improvement in its software, which makes me wonder why they want to know what happened in the first place if they are not going to send a patch to fix the problem?

What everyone in the video game industry has to do is to get out of the habit of profit over quality. It’s a no-brainer, that if you sell a quality product, you will soon gather a faithful following willing to spend money…



Are you a serious video gamer?


If you are a serious video gamer, by that I mean you play for several hours each day as I do, sooner or later the technology will let you down.

Before I go any further, you should know that I am retired and therefore able to finally indulge my passion for video games. As far as the current crop of game consoles go, having tried them all down the years, these days I stick with Sony Playstation – currently the PS3. I’ve tried Playstation’s main opposition in the form of the Microsoft Xbox. To say the product left a lot to be desired, would be a major understatement. Meltdowns being the chief problem.

As for the Playstation, it is a far superior product, or it would be but for its Achilles heal – the BlueRay player (the unit you insert your game disc into), and a major internal design fault. For some totally unfathomable reason (probably financial cost cutting), Sony never redesigned the inner workings of the console to fix the problem. Or did they? Read on.

It simply beggars belief that the company who manufacture the best laptop on the market today (the Sony Vaio) would allow their game console division to use inferior components like their current BlueRay player. My latest standard PS3 lasted thirty one days before the BlueRay unit inevitably died. This is a typical length of time regarding daily use. I have only had one console in the form of the Sony Playstation 3 500GB Super Slim, which despite trying to die after a month, actually lasted for six month’s daily use.

Down the years I’ve read all the ‘how to fix your PS3 when it dies’ articles, which if you screw it up still leaves you without a working console, not to mention voiding the warranty. I even inquired about getting a console fixed under warranty once. The problem there was that it was going to cost me even more than a new console is worth, making a total nonsense of the whole free warranty system.

The chief problem in the standard console is that the Blueray unit allows  your disc to descend into its bowels where the fan designed to keep things cool, also sucks in lots of dust.

The Super Slim console keeps your disc away from any dust attracting fan. But even though it is totally enclosed, the simple action of a disc spinning creates air movement, attracting dust. But at least with the Super Slim’s Blueray unit it is relatively easy to wipe away any dust on the unit’s lens with a soft tissue.

So this latest unit goes to join the seven other standard dead consoles in my spare room. Its back to yet another new Super Slim console next week. At least my other one lasted a bit longer than a standard console…


PS – Ok, then why not simply play your games on a proper computer I hear you cry? I tried that over two decades ago. The problem then and now is that you need a hard drive free of all normal software to accommodate most games. Plus, the real problem is controlling your in game characters movements and actions. Using a combination of joystick and keyboard is ponderous to say the least. Give me a PS3’s  Controller any day.

PPS – Since posting the above article yesterday, a good friend of mine has offered to take my latest PS apart to dust it. Of course I accepted. But, given that this particular console behaved like all my previous Playstations from day one, by staggering, locking up, etc, I do hope he will forgive me for being a little skeptical about his conviction that the problem is nothing more than dust and not, as I still believe, mechanical… 😉

PPPS – If your console is connected to the internet, isn’t it about time the manufacturers of video game consoles did away with Blueray players altogether? After all, most game suppliers offer downloadable content, thereby eliminating the inherent, nay inevitable, mechanical problems. Just a thought…