Submitted by godashram 1015d ago | opinion piece

Why does it seem like game hardware doesn't have a long lifespan?

Geek-Grotto: Like most gamers, I have more than one console. Like few gamers, I have consoles that span decades! I have been gaming since the 80's, and with the exception of an Atari 5200 destroyed by a hurricane, I still own them all. A working Atari 2600, NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Sega Genesis, multiple working Saturns, Dreamcasts, PS Ones, Turbo Duo, TG-16 /w CD, 2 Neo-Geo MVS units and more! All with dozens of games, all work. What I have noticed is that with the last 2 generations aren't as "durable" as the consoles of the past. (Microsoft, Next-Gen, PS2, PS3, PS4, Sega, Sony, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

Godmars290  +   1015d ago
The Lynx and several other early entries into CD tech were pretty much crap from what I recall.

And I've actually gone through two YLOD which were two too many. I did switch PS2s twice but only once because it was a bad launch system. Second time was just because the slim was a better DVD player.
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koehler83  +   1015d ago
I've never had a system completely die on me in my life.

I replaced one SNES because of a broken AC connection that I could probably fix today. I had a couple PS2s with nagging disc read issues that could always be fixed by opening it up and cleaning the lens. I used them for years playing FFXI which didn't need a disc so it was likely caused by extended periods of inactivity.

I just got rid of my NES a couple years ago but it still worked. I gave the second SNES away years ago still working. My N64 and PS1 got traded up. My 60GB PS3 purchased July 07 still runs perfectly. I'm even still on my first 360.. not that I would replace it at this point.

All in all, I'd say I haven't noticed much of a change in hardware quality over the years. Maybe it's just the quality of the users that's changed as represented by a percentage of a vastly larger population today.
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Tzuno  +   1015d ago
Some people are irresponsible they put their consoles in bad places with no ventilation like over blankets or small spaces and then they cry about ylod :)
Servbot41  +   1015d ago
My PS3 was on a shelf by itself with no wall behind it for a good 3 feet and a foot of space between the side vent and a shelf. It was also dusted weekly and rarely used. YLOD. Twice.
darthv72  +   1015d ago
i went to play my turboexpress the other day and there was no video. I looked it up and the problem i am having is from old capacitors (one in particular related to the video signal). Same thing happened to my gamegear.

Older electronics....they dry up. It just happens. Im sure the batteries in the various devices that cant be replaced as easily (like the dreamcast or carts with battery backup) go dead and any save information you have is lost.

Nothing lasts forever. Even if well cared for. It comes down to how its made and if the build quality exceeds the design limits for durability. The "old days" of doing things, there was more effort put into them. Then companies changed to save $$ and as a result, we get components that dont last as long.

The difficult part of any extreme collector is when something does die....getting it fixed could be more expensive than what its worth. My jaguar CD drive no longer works and I cant find replacement parts as easily. My laseractive cd drive no longer works and the same holds true.

If it were my 360 or ps3 then yeah...parts for those are far easier to obtain. Older retro systems....good luck with that.
Persistantthug  +   1015d ago
I've never had any game console break on me.
-Atari 2600

I've also owned 2 computers and a Laptop, and they all work, even the 1 I gave to Goodwill 3 months ago.

I guess my secret is, is I never buy until said console is between 1 - 2 years on the market.

I didn't buy my FAT PS3 until it was 2 years 1 month old. I changed the thermal paste myself Sept 2011 as a preventative measure, and I expect it to last until about 2015 or so when I'll probably upgrade to PS4 or maybe something different.
dangert12  +   1015d ago
Yes thats one thing i have been thinking about, i played the N64 all the way up until 2006 and the only reason i dont play it no more was cause i didnt take it when i moved out, if i could of i would of lol.

I've gone through 5Ps3s and 2 xbox360's and i don't see any of them lasting the span the n64 lasted me which is a shame the ps3 has some classic games, but im not going to keep buying old ps3's which will break when sony pack them in
k-dillinger  +   1015d ago

5 ps3 and only 2 xboxes your either lying or you just counting all the ps3s you have and ps2s and ps1 because we all know xbox breaks down more then any system in history so ya try again
dangert12  +   1015d ago
Different people go through different things simply really i prefer the ps3 to all current gen consoles and i will say it 1000 times proudly.
but that does not change the fact the ps3 broke on ME more times then the xbox did...the failures i have do not account for the failures of the hole console gen so those statistic can and have been turned on there head in my personal experience
ANIALATOR136  +   1015d ago
I've had 2 xbox consoles. the first one never broke on me but i think i traded it while it was on its last legs. The second Elite model I just sold because I never played it. I had a launch 60gb that got the YLOD and now I have the newest model 500gb PS3
BlackTar187  +   1015d ago
5 ps3's must be playing outside in the desert. i've had 1 ps3 3 xbox's to be fair 2 of the xbox were launch and the ps3 that died was a fat 20 gig launch . It lasted forever but DCUO killed it. I played xbox for about 2 years after ps3 came out like 20:1 ratio with the ps3.
theWB27  +   1015d ago
Why not??? Cause tech is awesome and people are steadily trying to push the boundries of said tech. Keep it up...I want to see virtual helmets that put me IN THE GAME...360 degree immersed gaming before I die. Im 27...lets get it : )
Sucitta  +   1015d ago
I'm happy to be the one to inform you that you won't have to wait that long = )

Google "oculus rift"

I have dreamt of this for quite some time now. After this, bring me the holodeck before my passing
theWB27  +   1015d ago
Googled-diggin it- holodeck is even better.
Ryto  +   1015d ago
I think game hardware lasts quite a while in terms of consoles.
Think of phones or laptops, I replace my phone every year and get a new laptop every few years, had my console a lot lot longer.
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Aggesan  +   1015d ago
Mechanical parts and increased temperatures, that's why.
MysticStrummer  +   1015d ago
It's not a mystery. More complex hardware means more chance of failure.
Servbot41  +   1015d ago
The hardware for older consoles was just as complex as today's if you take into consideration its own time period instead of the current one we currently live in.

What I'm saying is, the SNES was pretty complicated hardware 20+ years ago. Sure, it doesn't look that way now, but I bet the 360/PS3 will look simplistic as well in 20+ years. The difference being this gen has obnoxious failure rates, most SNESs still work.
MysticStrummer  +   1014d ago
I have to disagree, though I won't click the disagree button. Saying those old consoles were complex for their day is true but pretty meaningless in this context. The original cars were incredibly complex for their time, but you can't tell me they were just as complex as today's. More parts, and particularly more moving parts, means a greater chance of breakdown. I don't know for sure but I'd also guess that modern consoles generate a lot more heat, which would also potentially lead to breakdown.
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sway_z  +   1015d ago
It's just a case of the more they do, the more they break...look at Cellphones as an example, remember when your basic camera less phone was reliable...now most these smartphones freeze up or turn off...

Aww my wonderful cartridge based SNES still works since 1992...come to think of it, I do believe (historically) Nintendo make the most reliable hardware ;)
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solidboss07  +   1015d ago
I have a PS One in the attic - it still works perfectly, a PS2 under my telly that has more hours gaming on it than my PS3 could ever dream of - it still works perfectly, and my second PS3 under my telly -it works for now.

I have always treated my hardware with respect, hoovering them and dusting them dilligently ect, but my PS2 was always in a smokey enviroment (golden gaming years) and it never had a hic-up. Where as my old 'fat-boy' PS3 60Gig launch system didn't last long, and it was treated to a smoke free enviroment, a surge protector, and was worshiped daily. I was convinced that my first PS3 would see out the 10 Year life cycle but it wan't to be.

Just bad luck, or a difference in manufacturing standards?
talisker  +   1015d ago
Electronic devices are now less durable due to ROHS. This is EU legislation but many US states apply similar laws.
kingPoS  +   1015d ago
Only reason my 60gb ps3 died was I was fool enough to leave it close to an open heat vent after it was done backing up 88gb while my niece wanted to play gta4.
While I was out of the house.
True story

I've learned my lesson... hide the controllers when I'm gone.
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godashram  +   1015d ago
Well, my systems are cared for. My entertainment center has multiple fans to exhaust any lingering heat. I can honestly say my console internals have always been clean and bug free. Tomorrow a buddy and I are going to try to resurrect my PS3
Tapioca Cold  +   1015d ago
Wasn't the fault rate on PS3 like 1%?

Microsoft had to put a BILLION dollars aside to help with the RROD fiasco. The failure rate was above 60% I think. maybe higher.

Generally, I find consoles well made. It was only the 360 which had the issues. I think Nintendo and Sony built/have built quality hardware.
DwightOwen  +   1015d ago
Um, more like 100%. EVERY fat 60GB/20GB launch PS3 WILL die from the YLOD. It's a fundamental design flaw. I've lost two myself (one bought new and one bought off eBay).
MysticStrummer  +   1014d ago
lol PS3's failure rate was definitely higher than 1% as Tapioca Cold claimed, but it sure as hell isn't 100%.
CyrusLemont  +   1014d ago
Only thing that ever broke on me, was the 2007 Xbox 360. Was so disappointed, just sold it all and got a PS3, had no problems but then I wanted an Xbox again due to Mass Effect 2. Sells PS3, gets Xbox, Mass Effect 2 gets announced on PS3. First world problems :(
godashram  +   1014d ago
And this is the issue.... Official failure rates were never officially released...so all stats are pure speculation.
aLucidMind  +   1014d ago
It's not the console or the tech, it is more the person using it that causes it to break. I have the Super Nintendo, N64, Gamecube, Wii, PS1, PS2, PS3, and the XBox 360; not one of them have ever had a bit of trouble with exception of occasional game freezing in the current gen (occasional as in maybe a handful of times over the last 5/6 years).

It won't have any problems if you actually take proper care of it (short of manufacturer errors that are present in specific batches and such).
kingPoS  +   1014d ago
I believe you... I stopped playing games on my 60gb due to it's age. Before it's untimely death I used it mostly for bluray movies & streaming services like netflix. The fan didn't even kick in high gear when on netflix and some bluray's.

R.I.P. 60gb
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