PS3 Failure Rate - Time to Panic?

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#1 Posted by RotaryRX7 (7182 posts) -

The Playstation 3 has been around for more than two years now, going on three this year. Over this period of time, we have seen a trend of activity in the forums relating to the Yellow Light of Death (YLOD) or other hardware failures (Blu-Ray drive, etc.)of the PS3. The competing consoles of this generation have varying reliability, as I'm sure we all know, with one of them having a significant widespread issue, and the other with virtually no complaints. This brings up the question...Does the PS3 fit in to the category of having a widespread failure rate issue? Or, does it fit well-within normal parameters of consumer electronic failure rates?

With current forum activity, one can easily argue that the PS3's YLOD and other hardware failures are becoming more and more common - perhaps a problem even. Users creating threads such as, "My PS3 died!!" or "How can I prevent YLOD!!?! :cry:" certainly make it seem like the PS3's failure rate is becoming higher and higher. However, is this valid data that can be used to analyzethe PS3's failure rate? The answer, is a completely obvious "no".

[spoiler] Warning: You might learn something here. [/spoiler]

The electronic manufacturing process is not perfect, as with ANY manufacturing process for ANY product. Mistakes and imperfections happen, and this is where the term "failure rate" comes in. It's never a question of if a new product will have a failure rate, it's when. SquareTrade, an extended warranty company, has compiled some data that you might find rather comforting.

In 2008, SquareTrade released data on the failure rate statistics for the three consoles of this generation. The table below indicates the percentage of failures for each console.

Well, I'm sure you're saying now, "RotaryRX7, that's fine and dandy, but I bet you that number is higher now in 2009, and I bet the YLOD is indeed a problem, so there!"

Sure, you have a valid point. However, even if that failure rate of the PS3 was at double (6%) or quadruple (12%) at this current stage, would that be bad? Let's find out.

Consumer Reportsprovided some statistics (as of 2006, but still completely relevant) to show the failure rates of common devices as well as the average of most electronics. What did they come up with?

Well, let's take a look at that! After a 3-4 year life span, MOST consumer electronics reach a failure/repair rate of 15%.

What does that mean in the PS3's case?

If anything, the PS3 is on a COMPLETELY NORMAL ROAD towards the average failure rate of consumer electronics. The PS3 is reaching its third birthday, and we hear more and more about failure rates with it. So, the bottom line is... the PS3 does NOT have a widespread problem of failures, and it is WELL WITHIN normal parameters for consumer electronics reliability.

Even if the PS3's failure rate was quadrupled, as I mentioned earlier, it would still fall UNDER the consumer electronics average for a 3-4 year old product (which is the category PS3 is about to fall under later this year).

So, in conclusion...While we don't have any 2009 data on the PS3's failure rate, we can easily assume it's not too much higher than it was back in 2008, especially since the press has barely even bothered the PS3 for the YLOD compared to the attention the Red Ring of Death (RROD) gets. The PS3 is not suffering from a 'YLOD pandemic'.

What does this mean? Everyone here who owns a PS3 has a chance of their PS3 dying. However, that chance is more likely to not happen. So, I hope you learned something today and read through this...or at least the high points.

This thread was inspired by the 1,000,000 threads of "ZOMG my PS3 diedzorz!!" and "YLOD will kill us all!!!" etc.. I couldn't have done it without you guys.

Sources:
Ars Technica- Article on current-gen console failure rates, Feb 2008.
SquareTrade- Explanation of electronics failure rates, using Consumer Reports' data from 2006.

#2 Posted by xmitchconnorx (2649 posts) -
Very nice post.
#3 Posted by Furi-Kun (10903 posts) -

Very interesting.:shock:

#4 Posted by vincent380 (2243 posts) -
Cool post It actually made me feel better...LoL
#5 Posted by emitsu97 (10720 posts) -

:| When have facts and logic ever been effective against mass hysteria? Besides, conspiracy theories are more entertaining. :)

#6 Posted by RotaryRX7 (7182 posts) -

:| When have facts and logic ever been effective against mass hysteria? Besides, conspiracy theories are more entertaining. :)

emitsu97

I always had a feeling that this guy was you, emitsu...now I know. :P :P

Well, I'm off to work, I'll have to check back later...hopefully more people will be enlightened by this information. :)

#7 Posted by hip-hop-cola2 (2454 posts) -

I'm surprised by how low the 360 is on that graph....

#8 Posted by lpeter31 (298 posts) -

Convincing argument. Hopefully this will put a stop to all the paranoia.

#9 Posted by freekninjinc (260 posts) -
plain crap,tell it to the people spending 80-150 to get their ps3 repaired.i hate salesmen in sheeps clothing
#10 Posted by newhighscore (2037 posts) -

It still doesnt make my barely 2 yr old PS3 with a failed blu ray drive look any better as it stares back at me. :cry:

#11 Posted by FireFox67 (1012 posts) -

great post :)

seem like it was a blog :P

#12 Posted by jimm895 (7703 posts) -

Very good information. In the real world anything man made can and will have some kind of problems at some point.

#13 Posted by yazter (454 posts) -

Yeah, I guess I've got two years up my sleeve.

Plus, remember than the prices are going to go down bythe time your PS3 crashes (i.e. 3 years after release), so a replacement is definitely plausible.

#14 Posted by freekninjinc (260 posts) -

I think the facts are self-explanatory:the laser diode used in the pre-80/40(non-bc) gig ps3 models was manufactured using a very unstable process,that is continually being improved upon,and only the newer post backwards compatible ps3s are seeing any benefit(even now they have defects).the process was developed by an engineer(shuji nakamura)who had to create his own modded chemical vapor deposit reactor to fabricate the quality of materials(gallium nitride/gallium indium nitride crystals)needed to create the blu laser diode.this process still had/has problems with the crystal formation having too many dislocations(aka defects) to allow for most of the crystals maded to be used in diodes without catastrophic optical failure at unacceptably low stress levels(aka laser goes poof).long story short:the earlier lasers were too fragile to be put into consumer products,but htey did it anyway,and alot of peoples warranties were up by the time they found out the hard way.uncool.

#15 Posted by thelastguy (12030 posts) -

Excellent post, this should make things clearer for some people

#16 Posted by kweeni (10948 posts) -
nice post
#17 Posted by IPwnNooBs666 (1422 posts) -

Nice post, thanks for the info.

#18 Posted by eo_the_shaman (1800 posts) -

my launch ps3 is still running strong but i have noticed too lately people saying launch ps3 finally dies lol it kind of worries me that i might not be able to play MGS 2 or 3 :( i hope they backwards compatability the hell out of their newest models

#19 Posted by Nephilim83 (4378 posts) -

I'm surprised by how low the 360 is on that graph....

hip-hop-cola2
That's from 2008. The 2006 graph will probably show you that ugly 30%. Anyway, TC, awesome thread. I apprecitate the work you put into to it. Nice.
#20 Posted by rajeev101 (368 posts) -

I think the facts are self-explanatory:the laser diode used in the pre-80/40(non-bc) gig ps3 models was manufactured using a very unstable process,that is continually being improved upon,and only the newer post backwards compatible ps3s are seeing any benefit(even now they have defects).the process was developed by an engineer(shuji nakamura)who had to create his own modded chemical vapor deposit reactor to fabricate the quality of materials(gallium nitride/gallium indium nitride crystals)needed to create the blu laser diode.this process still had/has problems with the crystal formation having too many dislocations(aka defects) to allow for most of the crystals maded to be used in diodes without catastrophic optical failure at unacceptably low stress levels(aka laser goes poof).long story short:the earlier lasers were too fragile to be put into consumer products,but htey did it anyway,and alot of peoples warranties were up by the time they found out the hard way.uncool.

freekninjinc
OMFG the wall of text is going to CONSUME ME!!!
#21 Posted by freekninjinc (260 posts) -
ever notice when youre typing something you are excited about,your brain forgets every grade past 3rd lol
#22 Posted by SolidTy (45080 posts) -

Great post!

but two thing that deserves mention :

1.) Fake fanboy's come in here and post a lot of the YLOD stuff, just for fun.

2.) Nintendo does have a problem with Wii's, the GPU malfunctions, making the screan tear, and eventually disables the system...it's a very small problem like YLOD, but fanboy's are going after the Wii as much (The Sony Hate is strong after the PS2 winning.), so just google it to check that out.

I myself have never had a problem with my launch Wii or my two launch PS3's.

#23 Posted by noble_aryan (722 posts) -

the consoles getting ylod are all 60gb models.

#24 Posted by thelastguy (12030 posts) -

the consoles getting ylod are all 60gb models.

noble_aryan

Not true, my friend had a 40GB and he got it

#25 Posted by 4NGoods (1025 posts) -

Good read, very informative. Also i find it very ironic that you're posting a thread about the reliability of the ps3 and your handle is RotaryRX7 ;).

#26 Posted by brooklynPS3ds (241 posts) -

umm this is kinda bogus cus the 360 fail rate is notttt at 16%, there was an article on this site that the failure rate is around 60% in reality, but for some reason it was taken down the same day

#27 Posted by jay_rock_ (1720 posts) -

Nice too know thanx..

#28 Posted by noble_aryan (722 posts) -

[QUOTE="noble_aryan"]

the consoles getting ylod are all 60gb models.

thelastguy

Not true, my friend had a 40GB and he got it

mostly the old models. the mojority of ps3s owned are 80gb models and i havnt heard anything about them breaking. maybe the ones that came out at launch but the newer models are solid

#29 Posted by Chaos_Bladez (5801 posts) -
Post of the month. :D Great post, I feel good. :)
#30 Posted by yarou1000 (6466 posts) -

wow thanks man, very good post, and well researched.

#31 Posted by freekninjinc (260 posts) -
you people are blind
#32 Posted by RotaryRX7 (7182 posts) -
you people are blindfreekninjinc
plain crap,tell it to the people spending 80-150 to get their ps3 repaired.i hate salesmen in sheeps clothingfreekninjinc
Crap? What do you expect? 100% perfection in the manufacturing process? That's crap. It's unrealistic thinking, and impossible with current technology. I don't know how you think things should work, but in the real world, EVERY product has a failure rate, and there's no going around it. Maybe 300 years from now if the world still exists, we will have robotic productions perfected...until then, failure rates will exist. And thanks to all who enjoyed my post, I had fun putting it together. :)
#33 Posted by RotaryRX7 (7182 posts) -

Good read, very informative. Also i find it very ironic that you're posting a thread about the reliability of the ps3 and your handle is RotaryRX7 ;).

4NGoods
Thanks! As for the irony, I assume you mean as in... RX-7's aren't reliable cars? I'm guessing that's what you're referring to. No doubt either. I had plenty of issues with mine, which ultimately led to me selling it. I miss it a lot, but my new car is a ton of fun to drive, without the poor reliability, and with a bit of luxury :)
#34 Posted by freekninjinc (260 posts) -
[QUOTE="freekninjinc"]you people are blindRotaryRX7
plain crap,tell it to the people spending 80-150 to get their ps3 repaired.i hate salesmen in sheeps clothingfreekninjinc
Crap? What do you expect? 100% perfection in the manufacturing process? That's crap. It's unrealistic thinking, and impossible with current technology. I don't know how you think things should work, but in the real world, EVERY product has a failure rate, and there's no going around it. Maybe 300 years from now if the world still exists, we will have robotic productions perfected...until then, failure rates will exist. And thanks to all who enjoyed my post, I had fun putting it together. :)

the research and development for the blu laser was done by one person,with little support from the company he was working for,and he ultimately sued them and quit after they didnt properly compensate them.that is the problem with the attitude that results in these kind of defects.the companies want the money more than a properly functioning product.nuff said
#35 Posted by PoisoN_Facecam0 (3734 posts) -
well done... i've been saying very well the same thing for little under a year as more and more of the YLOD's pop up...
#36 Posted by RotaryRX7 (7182 posts) -

[QUOTE="RotaryRX7"] [QUOTE="freekninjinc"]plain crap,tell it to the people spending 80-150 to get their ps3 repaired.i hate salesmen in sheeps clothingfreekninjinc
Crap? What do you expect? 100% perfection in the manufacturing process? That's crap. It's unrealistic thinking, and impossible with current technology. I don't know how you think things should work, but in the real world, EVERY product has a failure rate, and there's no going around it. Maybe 300 years from now if the world still exists, we will have robotic productions perfected...until then, failure rates will exist. And thanks to all who enjoyed my post, I had fun putting it together. :)

the research and development for the blu laser was done by one person,with little support from the company he was working for,and he ultimately sued them and quit after they didnt properly compensate them.that is the problem with the attitude that results in these kind of defects.the companies want the money more than a properly functioning product.nuff said

The Blu-Ray drive is not the only thing that fails on the PS3 though. HDD's have failed, and the YLOD is said to be caused by thermal paste failing on the CPU and/or GPU, causing it to dry out and crack - then the CPU and/or GPU overheat.

Regardless of what you heard about the BR drive, it doesn't negate the fact that a 0% failure rate is impossible in current times.

#37 Posted by freekninjinc (260 posts) -

[QUOTE="freekninjinc"][QUOTE="RotaryRX7"] Crap? What do you expect? 100% perfection in the manufacturing process? That's crap. It's unrealistic thinking, and impossible with current technology. I don't know how you think things should work, but in the real world, EVERY product has a failure rate, and there's no going around it. Maybe 300 years from now if the world still exists, we will have robotic productions perfected...until then, failure rates will exist. And thanks to all who enjoyed my post, I had fun putting it together. :)RotaryRX7
the research and development for the blu laser was done by one person,with little support from the company he was working for,and he ultimately sued them and quit after they didnt properly compensate them.that is the problem with the attitude that results in these kind of defects.the companies want the money more than a properly functioning product.nuff said

The Blu-Ray drive is not the only thing that fails on the PS3 though. HDD's have failed, and the YLOD is said to be caused by thermal paste failing on the CPU and/or GPU, causing it to dry out and crack - then the CPU and/or GPU overheat. Regardless of what you heard about the BR drive, it doesn't negate the fact that a 0% failure rate is impossible in current times.

I agree with that,but if its going to end up as it has,you cant say sony did a good job,and they should admit that.

#38 Posted by RotaryRX7 (7182 posts) -

[QUOTE="RotaryRX7"][QUOTE="freekninjinc"] the research and development for the blu laser was done by one person,with little support from the company he was working for,and he ultimately sued them and quit after they didnt properly compensate them.that is the problem with the attitude that results in these kind of defects.the companies want the money more than a properly functioning product.nuff saidfreekninjinc

The Blu-Ray drive is not the only thing that fails on the PS3 though. HDD's have failed, and the YLOD is said to be caused by thermal paste failing on the CPU and/or GPU, causing it to dry out and crack - then the CPU and/or GPU overheat. Regardless of what you heard about the BR drive, it doesn't negate the fact that a 0% failure rate is impossible in current times.

I agree with that,but if its going to end up as it has,you cant say sony did a good job,and they should admit that.

Well, unfortunately, most companies in today's corporate world are out to save the most money on production while making the most profit in sales. While I definitely agree with your point that companies should be looking at quality rather than being cheap...the truth is most companies would do the same thing as Sony. I was watching the new show on the Discovery channel last night, "Pitchmen", and it's about how new inventors pitch ideas to this one company that does infomercials (like Oxy-Clean and all that crap). Their way of making the products was just sickening. The inventor gave them the idea, if they accepted it, they essentially made it as cheap as possible to produce by sending it over to China, and then getting major money on sales. The windshield wipers that were one of the segments of the show didn't even work because they were made so crappy... So I see what you mean, but unfortunately it's how today's corporate world functions...for the most part....I like to remain optimistic and think there are some decent companies out there yet. :?
#39 Posted by freekninjinc (260 posts) -
i think its confusing cause there are many people working at a company who have good intentions,but they stifled sometimes down the line,and these kinds of things happen.its just too bad it takes mistakes to learn that,as ps3s aint cheap lol!
#40 Posted by RotaryRX7 (7182 posts) -
i think its confusing cause there are many people working at a company who have good intentions,but they stifled sometimes down the line,and these kinds of things happen.its just too bad it takes mistakes to learn that,as ps3s aint cheap lol!freekninjinc
Yup, true. Power and money can change people.
#41 Posted by Nesto415 (8 posts) -
nice! thanks for the report dude, that is comforting, too bad i cant say the same for all my friends who are on their 2nd, 3rd and one of my friends on his 4th 360, im not slammin the system cuz i can care less, i bought my ps3 cuz of the games n cuz of blu ray, i aint dumb enough to go buy a stand alone blu ray for 300 when ic an get a ps3 for 500 ;O) but thanks for the report bro. by the way can anyone advice me as to whats the best bang for your buck on upgrading my hdd? i got a 60gig but thats not enough for me, i like to put movies and music in my ps3.
#42 Posted by Dreadedsniper (141 posts) -

nice post, interesting statistics.

#43 Posted by ellez (250 posts) -

Iam on my 2nd ps3. My launch 60gb ps3's bluray drive died. Luckily I had a 3 year store warranty. Yeah it cost 100 bucks but it was worth it. Got it replaced with a 80 gb. I do miss bc though =\

#44 Posted by Garudo (432 posts) -
still nothing's wrong wif my 80 gb model..still looking gd n running properly..but thnx for the post..is informative
#45 Posted by sevansoares (685 posts) -
Great post. Just had a problem with my 60 gig the other day, it stopped playing blu-ray disks after almost 3 years. I had the lens replaced, so it's all good now.
#46 Posted by Shhadow_Viper (2300 posts) -

Nice post, although I am on my third 60gb console.

#47 Posted by 4NGoods (1025 posts) -
[QUOTE="4NGoods"]

Good read, very informative. Also i find it very ironic that you're posting a thread about the reliability of the ps3 and your handle is RotaryRX7 ;).

RotaryRX7
Thanks! As for the irony, I assume you mean as in... RX-7's aren't reliable cars? I'm guessing that's what you're referring to. No doubt either. I had plenty of issues with mine, which ultimately led to me selling it. I miss it a lot, but my new car is a ton of fun to drive, without the poor reliability, and with a bit of luxury :)

Yeah but even with the reliability issues, the FD's are still some of my all time favorite cars. I'm still hoping they make a comeback. A buddy of mine has the RX8 but it's not the same kind of animal the 7 was. If you dont mind me asking, whatcha driving now?? I'm a big import fan myself and currently have an s2000.
#48 Posted by david_lck (3198 posts) -
Interesting read, now I can rest easy and game hard!
#49 Posted by emitsu97 (10720 posts) -
Yeah but even with the reliability issues, the FD's are still some of my all time favorite cars. I'm still hoping they make a comeback. A buddy of mine has the RX8 but it's not the same kind of animal the 7 was. If you dont mind me asking, whatcha driving now?? I'm a big import fan myself and currently have an s2000.4NGoods
The 7's were perfectly reliable for a performance car. You can't call yourself a car enthusiast if you owned a wankel and never put a new rubber band on it. :lol: If you have a performance car and it hasn't broken down on you then you're driving it wrong. Case in point, old man with brand new corvette.
#50 Posted by Communistsheep (1516 posts) -

Nice post, although I am on my third 60gb console.

Shhadow_Viper
Did you abuse them?