How very suspicious Sony. How very coincidental that on the day of the PS4's release in Europe my PS3 just happens to break. Never once before has it had a problem and now look at this, all blinking and flashing its yellow light at me; a vague warning to its owner that the something has gone wrong with the console. Not that I needed a stupid little yellow light to tell me that since just not working in general would have been enough of a warning. I can't fix you PS3, stop trying to explain to me what's wrong with you. I cannot help.
So there we have it. My PS3 is now broken. I took it to the gadget repair shop place to try and get it fixed, but was told a few days later that it was full of dust and that this had caused some kind of cataclysmic graphics card overheating and that they couldn't replace individual parts. “If it were a PC I could just remove the broken component and simply fix my platform at a fraction of the price” I thought, letting my new found PC gamer within throw scorn over my now dead console. I pulled myself back though. Yes, it would cost more now to buy another console, as opposed to just the cost of simply repairing a PC, but I couldn't feel hatred for my PS3. I couldn't feel hatred for any of my games consoles, some of which had lasted the generation and others that had perished before their time. They had bought me a lot of great memories of me and it cooped up in my room on a beautiful summer's day compulsively collecting a series of collectibles that I no longer remembered nor could quite understand why I had ever spent any of my precious mortal existence mindlessly picking them up with little to no meaningful reward. But they had made me happy once, so I gave the benefit of the doubt to my terrible decision making past self who had wound me up in all the current messes and dissatisfactions that now comprised the present me.
And so that was the end of that. In one single moment and thousands of moments after it, I had a choice to make. Should I upgrade to the PS4? Right now it was only a few hundred more than what a used PS3 would cost anyway. Was there any point in stepping back when I could step sideways instead. And then I remembered. The PS4 isn't backwards compatible and suddenly there was a deep hatred within me for Sony. No backwards compatibility was bullshit. Obviously I have no idea how hard it was or how expensive it would be to actually implement. But even without these facts it didn't stop there being a blind rage towards a faceless corporation and a parallelogram black block that rivalled the hate I've felt for even my deepest real life nemeses.
Everything I am has been now rendered useless
A lack of backwards compatibility is usually, as I just demonstrated, hated because it has always been a standard of consoles and so we expect it. Even though in the scope of games existing it's actually a relatively new development, having been and gone in just 3 generations of consoles, it has been a large enough development for us to have become completely dependant on it. It's a lot like the internet, electricity or 24/7 Tescos. These are things that we have put our faith in for so long that now if any of them become unavailable, we are thrown into a blind rage. I've planned my entire life around the routine that I can basically piss away my life on a constant stream of entertainment, porn and late night sandwich trips and never have to worry about anything else. Whenever one of these choices is taken away, it's as if all choices are taken away, since especially with electricity, it is what my life basically revolves around. Without them, I have nothing and am nothing.
Backwards compatibility was the same. When the PS2 came out, my PS1 broke a few years later but I never thought to buy another one since I already had one inside my PS2. Then when the PS3 was released, I gave my PS2 away to a friend who didn't have a console since the early models of PS3 were all 3 consoles rolled into one. The years rolled by and my PS2 was broken by idiots who clearly cared little for other people's things, but my PS3 kept whirring on. And now it had stopped whirring and lay smashed up in a bin; its disc drive gaped open from where I had tried to retrieve my copy of 50 Cent: Blood on The Sand with nothing other than a hammer and sheer patience. I should have smashed the disc right there and then for what it was worth to me now. Also because it was a pretty shitty game too.
I wanted to upgrade to the PS4 and had planned to do so, but now without it having backwards compatibility, that meant that I would have to also buy a PS3 to play the games I'd invested into it since I didn't want to have to buy any of them again on the PS4. But the new PS3s don't have backward compatibility either so that meant that I would also have to buy a PS2 as well. In one short stroke I had gone from having simple ease of one console to having to invest in several consoles, all of which would have to find a home somewhere around my cluttered TV for when I wanted them.
Here's another shot of my plastic bullshit, but taken from a cool angle to make it appear like it has any worth
This is obviously all very first world problem stuff, but even so it seemed the more I invested in my consoles, the more I was set to lose when they broke and so then the more I had to spend to make my investment mean anything. If I were to not buy a PS3 and PS2, then I would have 168 games that would remain unplayable. My room would simply be a clutter of plastic boxes adorned with bright images on the front and a mysterious flat silver centre less disc set firmly in the middle of the interior. I sound like some sort of alien merchant with his stock of strange and foreign wares. All of this stuff is useless now. The best I can use any of them for is little baby plates and even then the food would just slip through the middle. That's not even including all the controllers and peripherals such as Guitar Hero instruments and Eyetoy attachments that I have lying around. I can't even think of any use for those except as uncomfortable dildos and the most pointless musical instruments known to man, which the Guitar Hero stuff already was in the first place.
168 games equalling on average £25 a pop. 4 controllers at £40 each and then all the other add ons for about £70 and we're looking at a total of £4430. Christ. All those Christmases and Birthdays and savings, all poured into this one hobby for all those years. Imagine if I'd put it to anything useful I might actually have something to show for it. But now I have nothing. Just trash. Trash that I now have to spend even more money on to make it worth anything. Games and gaming in general really is the most fragile possession you could ever earn in terms of worth. One malfunction and it's all for nothing.
And that is what I learnt when my PS3 broke.
Oh and that no backwards compatibility is a fucking joke as well.