×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Firmware Troubles For Old Xbox 360s, Possibly PS3s As Well

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the if-it-ain't-broke dept.

XBox (Games) 196

Several readers have tipped news of firmware updates causing problems for both Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. The Xbox issue was caused by a recent update thought to be preparing the platform for a new disc format that gives developers another 1GB or so of space to work with. As it turns out, the real purpose seems to be piracy countermeasures. Microsoft acknowledged the issue and promised that affected users would receive a new 360S console and a free year of Xbox Live to compensate. The PS3 problem was highlighted by reports of overheating consoles while playing L.A. Noire on the recently-released 3.61 firmware. Rockstar Games initially confirmed that the firmware was causing the overheating, but later backtracked. They issued a joint statement with Sony saying that neither the game nor the firmware was the culprit, leaving users wondering what else it could be.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

196 comments

Not the new update (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36189662)

http://majornelson.com/2011/05/18/clearing-up-some-confusion/ The new update is not what is causing the problem it was a previous update. It also explains this at the bottom of the gamasutra article

Re:Not the new update (0)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190784)

I love how despite not reporting the news as it's breaking, Slashdot still manages to get the facts wrong story. If you follow any other blogs, this was all sorted out two days ago. Slashdot is like the slow friend who shows up late to the party and says "Hey guys didja hear...?"

Yes... yes, we all heard, and we're done talking about it already.

Re:Not the new update (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190904)

So why are you here? Go and read something new then.

Re:Not the new update (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191202)

After reading that, I'm glad I play on a platform that "just works".... PC. At least with PC there's a good chance you can tweak a few things and be playing.

I still can't finish God of War 3 because it crashes halfway through on my PS3.

Take that console fanboys! ;)

Gel Packs (0)

jflo (1151079) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189670)

I think they need to start using biogel packs, like the ones used on USS Voyager... that way Janeway and B'lanna can troubleshoot more decisively.

joint statement with Sony (4, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189702)

Rockstar Games initially confirmed that the firmware was causing the overheating, but later backtracked. They issued a joint statement with Sony

So, Sony talked to them nicely, convinced them with irrefutable logic that neither the game nor the firmware was the problem, and they skipped happily, hand-in-hand to the podium to announce it jointly. Sony would never be so evil as to threaten Rockstar Games with new firmware that prevents all Rockstar Games' games from working at all.

Re:joint statement with Sony (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189772)

Sony would never be so evil as to threaten Rockstar Games with new firmware that prevents all Rockstar Games' games from working at all.

Even Sony wouldn't be that stupid.

Re:joint statement with Sony (2)

burnetd (90848) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189774)

The irrefutable logic being that it effects Xbox 360's too.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2011/may/19/la-noire-overheating [guardian.co.uk]

Haters, don't you just love them.

Re:joint statement with Sony (2)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189804)

To be honest, the logic should be that NO game should ever be able to overheat a console, if the console had been build correctly and is able to handle 100% load on all resources.

Re:joint statement with Sony (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190488)

Every normal computer on the planet could overheat, block ventilation circulation or put it in a closed cabinet and run and intensive process, but the hardware must not break if temperature reach designed limits. That is what happens on the PS3, the system shutdowns itself and refuse to work in that environment. I am sure the XBox 360 must be able to do something like that

Re:joint statement with Sony (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190492)

That's a pretty tall order. From an engineering standpoint, logic is on your side. But (and my apologies) if this were a car, then similar expectations should exist such that a crash at any speed should be survivable and that the engine should never be able to overheat.

In this case, software should never create a 100% load on resources. The speed and snappiness of a data processing system relies on its "availability." If a machine's resources are occupied at 100%, then it is not available for additional use so the target is actually somewhere around 10% load or less so that availability remains high and general performance remains high.

On a side note: In the past, I have had the damndest time trying to convince an employer that a good IT person or team should be "highly available" to respond to situations that occur. Typical management mentality is that "we are paid to work" which is only partly true -- the rest is that we are paid to be there when things go bad and to have the capability to handle them quickly and efficiently.

So from an management/engineering standpoint, I see your logic. But in a real-world application, that is not the case. We do not and arguably should not design products for "worst case scenario" applications. They should target just a little higher than average use applications.

Re:joint statement with Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36191256)

To take your car analogy. The driver of the car is basically the software drivers & firmware in the consoles. Something that the manufacture has complete and full control over. The games on consoles are basically backseat passengers. They can give whatever orders they want, but the driver is the one in control. The driver decides what speed and when to turn and where his hardware can go. The driver should determine the load limits and make sure the hardware doesn't get damaged or the travel experience is with in contract guidelines.

Given that, you should be able to make guarantees the car will not be damaged by the passenger, nor will they die due to their requests. Unless, you program really bad drivers. Which is the reality, the drivers are poorly programmed. Historically, computer drivers were horrible compared to consoles, but today console firmware & drivers are just as bad as their computer counterparts.

Re:joint statement with Sony (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190118)

Rockstar has a lot of clout and rightly so. If they said "Fuck consoles, GTA5 is going to be PC and Mac only" they'd still sell millions. While I think you may be right, I also don't think that Rockstar can be pushed around as easily.

Re:joint statement with Sony (1)

LoganDzwon (1170459) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190464)

What about if they said, ""Fuck consoles, GTA5 is going to be Mac only. Drink the cool-aid bitches!" would they still sell millions?

Re:joint statement with Sony (2)

staticneuron (975073) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190196)

But of course, it MUST be the Sony firmware. That explains why 360 owners exhibit the same exact issues. Man, sony is evil and far reaching with that kind of pull. SMH.

Re:joint statement with Sony (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190266)

If Sony do that to one developer, even one much smaller than Rockstar, they lose all ability to offer exclusive console titles. No publisher will release Sony-only titles as they lose their entire business if Sony decide it doesn't like them.

On reflection, I think this could be a Very Good Thing.

Re:joint statement with Sony (2)

schlechtums (2108798) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190560)

Seriously? Did you not even read the HEADLINE of the story? Let me spell it out for you. It's happening on xbox 360 consoles as well. SURELY IT MUST BE SONY'S FAULT AS THEIR EVIL KNOWS NO BOUNDS!

new big game (2)

mzs (595629) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190748)

As others have noted, LA Noire overheating is also happening on xbox 360. Notice that in both cases it's older consoles? What's the game that a high percentage of people are playing now? So the big new game is what people happen to be playing on their dusty old hardware which is overheating. Same thing will happen next year with the big game and the older consoles around then. Anyway, it's the simplest explanation at this point.

Re:new big game (1)

milkmage (795746) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191284)

FWIW.. from what I read yesterday (too lazy to find it now). some of those reporting the problem on either console say there are no problems with any other games. (they tested after the LANoir crash.) - same dusty old console, but only one title causes a freeze. OTOH, some with older consoles reporting no problems at all.

Re:joint statement with Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36191622)

Imagine a PS3 console stamping on a human face, forever.

Say what you like about Microsoft... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36189740)

...but this is how you do customer service.

Microsoft acknowledged the issue and promised that affected users would receive a new 360S console and a free year of Xbox Live to compensate.

Acknowledge the problem, fix it (or replace it in this case with a superior model), and give compensation.

No nonsense customer service, and it gives gives them good PR.

Compare that to Sony...

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (5, Funny)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189964)

Acknowledge the problem, fix it (or replace it in this case with a superior model), and give compensation.

To be fair, Microsoft have had quite a bit of experience with replacing defective Xbox consoles. This is probably the second item on their customer service checklist after turning the unit off and on again fails.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (3, Informative)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190348)

I like that you were modded Funny for that. Having experienced two Xbox failures, that is just about exactly what happened.

MS left me with a sour perception of their testing/manufacturing standards, but their customer service is pretty darn good.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1)

jesseck (942036) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190786)

Reminds me of Dell. When I work with companies that exclusively purchase Dell, I ask why. I'm usually told because their customer service is awesome when they have a problem. My response is, "Why not go with a system that has a lot less problems?"

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36191034)

Because getting 5 computers repaired with a simple phone call each is far easier than fighting to get some service with hours of phone calls and multiple emails for a single machine.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190456)

To be fair, Microsoft have had quite a bit of experience with bricking hardware with updates.

FTFY

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190008)

Microsoft: rich as hell company who uses terrible tactics to get where it is in the business world

Sony: not-so-rich company who uses slightly terrible tactics to get where it is in the business world.

Hmm, I can see why.
This argument is the most retarded argument in all these cases.
Seriously, stop using it. It doesn't work.
Microsoft are quite happy to lose billions (they already have) on the Xbox section of the company if it keeps up a steady income that they can fix later.
Sony don't have the luxury of having the countless millions of souls that Microsoft have devoured over the years.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190094)

Microsoft: rich as hell company who uses terrible tactics to get where it is in the business world

The worst Microsoft does to their end-user customers is engineer lock-in or turn off DRM servers. They do some shady business dealings to keep themselves prominent, but that's not close to Sony:

Sony: not-so-rich company who uses slightly terrible tactics to get where it is in the business world.

Sony intentionally installs malware on computers via music CDs.
Sony shuts down MMORPG servers without notice.
Sony disables features you payed for (and sues you when you try to get them back).
Sony doesn't tell you when your CC# was stolen. Then they tell you it was, it wasn't, well it might have been...
Now they don't admit when their console overheats. Software shouldn't cause computers(consoles) to overheat unless the computers are poorly designed. What could L.A. Noire be doing that the U.S. Airforce isn't doing with their PS3 compute nodes? Sounds like it's the firmware...

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190776)

You forgot one for Sony:

Sony GIVE you features for free that would normally set you back a fair penny, ie turning your Blu-Ray player/Games console into a 3D capable Blu-Ray player/Games console.

Oh, I forgot. You are interested in the pluses are you. You are just here to troll like the moron you are. Considering XBoxes are also overheating when playing LA Noire how in Hades can it be the bloody PS3 firmware you idiot.

And this suing to get back features is a load of baloney. You are showing yourself to be truly pathetic. Are you a Microsoft shill/troll/fanboy/marketeer by any chance? Considering you continue to spout stuff that is factually incorrect. FYI this is why they sued Hotz: HE PUBLISHED THE KEYS AND POSTED VIDEOS ON HIS WEBSITE ON HOW TO HACK THE PS3. Get it now?

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191426)

Sony GIVE you features for free that would normally set you back a fair penny, ie turning your Blu-Ray player/Games console into a 3D capable Blu-Ray player/Games console.

If by "give" you mean "advertised on the box to attempt to justify the PS3 being more expensive than its competitors at launch" then yes.

Oh, I forgot. You are interested in the pluses are you. You are just here to troll like the moron you are. Considering XBoxes are also overheating when playing LA Noire how in Hades can it be the bloody PS3 firmware you idiot.

Great, fine, even if I give the "Plays Blu-Ray Discs" as unqualified plus because the new models are the same price, I get to add this set of pluses/minuses for the new models.:
PS3: - Can't play previous console's games.
Xbox 360: + Can play previous console's games.

Of course, maybe I'm bitter because my PS3 is currently broken (I turned it on last week to play Arkham Asylum. but it doesn't display anything on screen via HDMI, but audio through the same cable works; tried it with two HDMI cables. Haven't tested the other video outputs, but who the fuck wants to play on composite or component on an HD system?) and I haven't had a chance to find out if it can be fixed, and if so for what cost.

Strangely, my Xbox 360 from 2007ish is still working correctly. Maybe I just got lucky there, as I've heard all about the RROD on older models.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191538)

Incidentally, the "can't play previous games consoles" are why I want to get my PS3 repaired instead of replaced; I have a PS3 that can play PS2 games, and I don't want to have to buy another PS2 in addition to a new PS3.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190412)

According to Wolfram Alpha, Sony's revenue is 7.316 trillion yen (about $89 billion), Microsoft's revenue is $68.62 billion. Although Microsoft's market cap is much larger (almost x8).

They are both immensely rich companies.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (0)

loonyjuice (1744114) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190030)

Compare that to Sony...

...or Apple. Who would likely blame the affected users for not buying the latest hardware every year.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190040)

...but this is how you do customer service.

Microsoft acknowledged the issue and promised that affected users would receive a new 360S console and a free year of Xbox Live to compensate.

Acknowledge the problem, fix it (or replace it in this case with a superior model), and give compensation.

No nonsense customer service, and it gives gives them good PR.

Compare that to Sony...

You mean fry any old hackable consoles, say "whoops, sorry", replace with unhackable ones, and come out smelling like roses. Brilliant, sneeky, underhanded, but transparent.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190128)

All working Xbox 360 consoles are hackable. You just have to pay the $99 per year homebrew tax to Microsoft.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1)

Carlos Rodriguez (136019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190050)

To enhance the difference between the two, there's no question that the new Xbox you'll receive in compensation is better than the bricked model. Now imagine the owner of a 60GB backwards compatible PS3 having his unit replaced by one of the newer "superior" models...

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1)

magnusrex1280 (1075361) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190158)

Uff, I would kill to have one of those 60GB models...backwards compatible, AND card readers for every memory card under the sun. One of my friends has one and I hate him for it.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190684)

You can solve a part of your problem by attaching a $5 650-in-1 usb card reader to your new playstation. It will probably read more cards than the native one found in the old models.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190984)

The new one only has 2 usb ports the old one had four.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (2)

B1 (86803) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191488)

If you have an older unit that needs service, Sony won't railroad you into a newer unit.

I recently sent in a 60GB backward compatible PS3 for repair (wouldn't power on). They gave me the option of a $129 repair, or for $99 I could swap it for one of the newer models instead. The Sony rep left the choice up to me but she definitely understood why I wanted to stick with the older model, in fact almost encouraged me to go that route (I would have anyway).

I paid the $129... they ended up swapping mine for another 60GB backward compatible console. I got my replacement a week after I shipped my old one. The unit I received looked brand new. It was shiny... clean... still had the vinyl cling film. It was a different serial number... but the same model number (CECHA01). It may have been a refurbed unit, but regardless, Sony definitely took care of me.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190364)

Despite all the haters, I agree. I'm surprised that Microsoft is seemingly being so generous with this.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (3, Insightful)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190644)

Acknowledge the problem, fix it (or replace it in this case with a superior model), and give compensation.

No nonsense customer service, and it gives gives them good PR.

They're not doing anything good. That's the minimum they can do for bricking their users' consoles. Hadn't they done that, they would get sued, lose, and then they'd have to pay both a new console and the lawsuit costs.

Compare that to Sony...

...who only gave away 3 high rated games, one or two months of free premium service, a year of credit card protection, and other junk I can't remember for 3 weeks of downtime of a free service. Those bastards.

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (0)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191012)

They didn't give that away because the service was down, they gave that away because they gave my personal info to hackers on a golden god damn platter.

Fuck off fanboi

Re:Say what you like about Microsoft... (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191544)

Which (if it really happened, since there's no proof so far that the hackers actually got the information), is a fault to be attributed to the hackers and not to Sony. Unless there is evidence of negligence from Sony's side, which of course will be found by a judge during the lawsuits that are sure to follow, I won't blame the robbed, I will blame the thief.

Selling faulty consoles which melt under normal operation would have been Sony's guilt. But that's the specialty of others.

MS needs to stop futzing around with the DVD drive (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190736)

Acknowledgment or not, MS needs to stop futzing around with the DVD drive and just design a new generation console with a blu-ray drive. They're still limping along with an increasingly obsolete DVD drive (becoming more and more problematic on newer games like L.A. Noire) because they're too proud to pay Sony royalty rights for blu-ray and because they've been so focused on their Wii knockoff Kinect add-on. So, here we are at the end of the traditional 5-year console lifespan, and they don't even have a new console on the horizon. And now they're trying to squeeze more life out of their aging console with a software fix that breaks a lot of their older versions (and which will only add one lousy gig to the disc capacity anyway).

Bad move, MS. You used to have the definitive lead (in the U.S. anyway), and could have secured it by sticking to the traditional 5-year life cycle. But now Sony (and even Nintendo now) is catching up and preparing to pass. And you're just standing still.

This Is Indifference (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189762)

There are millions of game consoles out there - millions - and yet there aren't very many revisions of hardware per model. It's not hard for the manufacturers to test how these required updates are going to affect their hardware. But here we are again, a story about revisions of two major consoles having serious issues with a firmware update.

These required updates are ridiculous. We wouldn't put up with having to take our cars back to the dealer to have required maintenance done that would take away some feature or option we paid for, let alone having the maintenance leave the car in a troubled or non-working state.

There needs to be some sort of consumer protection to prevent these types of things. What's next, an update for our phones that prevents us from dialing 800 numbers because they are costing corporations too much money when we call?

Re:This Is Indifference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190100)

Oh please save the hyperbole. The 360 FW issue only affected beta testers, and so it's only testers that may have the issue. The general public is not affected, and those that are (how does one become a beta tester for the 360?) get a brand new console.

Sony have this issue with every FW update and big title. It doesn't matter what it is, a new game running on the very latest FW apparently has issues. One month later, the same game on the same FW doesn't. Those making the claims only have a single post in the Sony forums too.

Totally with you on required updated. Want to watch netflix, sorry you cannot log into the PSN until you've updated. No quick TV for you.

Re:This Is Indifference (1)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190686)

I have a launch xbox 360 (yes, it never RRODed) so they don't get any older and my system appears to be fine. I don't believe we have the accurate story on what is causing Microsoft to replace some systems. I have two theories...

1) They briefly put out a bad firmware that only a small number of users got and then pulled it, some of those users may be the ones effected.
2) The upgrades explicitly invalidate or blacklist a very small number of xbox 360s (by their unique IDs) that Microsoft believes were tampered with in some way (in order to assist cracking the DRM) and so they are just willing to replace those machines, just in case innocent users are affected.

Re:This Is Indifference (1)

afex (693734) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191084)

you are fine because you don't have the offending drive. I believe it is hitachi - the other one was samsung at the time. Now there are 4: hitachi, samsung, liteon, and benq.

Re:This Is Indifference (1)

loonyjuice (1744114) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190842)

We wouldn't put up with having to take our cars back to the dealer to have required maintenance done that would take away some feature or option we paid for, let alone having the maintenance leave the car in a troubled or non-working state.

A friend of mine is an Audi technician and claims if you purchase a re-map for your cars ECU, some manufacturers will reset it back the the factory defaults (or maybe some minor upgrade) when you take it in for a service. So you may well lose something you paid for on your car.

Re:This Is Indifference (1)

afex (693734) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191060)

as a homebrewer/legal backuper/whatever you wanna call it, you need to remember that this update is mostly geared towards anti-piracy. In fact, the 'newer' disk format being bigger is really just a side effect of completely re-doing the video partition and other pieces of the piracy puzzle.

They KNEW that this update would not work on certain 360 drives (hell, even WE know what the different drives are capable of). My guess is that they are willing to just accept it and hand out free consoles just to get this update pushed out, because it looks like its going to be disastrous in the backup community (dvddrive firmware read/writes by the MOBO?!), and they are willing to pay a bit to eradicate the pirates.

Re:This Is Indifference (1)

benhattman (1258918) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191306)

There are millions of game consoles out there - millions - and yet there aren't very many revisions of hardware per model. It's not hard for the manufacturers to test how these required updates are going to affect their hardware.

To be fair to Microsoft, I'm sure they they wanted to test some of the older XBox360s, but all theirs had already RRODed. Plus, how many first edition 360s are even still out there? Microsoft can easily afford to replace the 7 guys who bought a 360 on day one and it finally failed them during this latest firmware update.

wondering what else it could be (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36189766)

Why, hackers, of course!

PS3 Issues (0)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189826)

Every single new major game has reports of people saying it overheated their PS3 and bricked it. Every single one.

I would be -surprised- if this one didn't.

As for MS, good for them. I think it's time to pull my old 360 out of the closet and update it in hopes of getting an even newer 360. :D

Re:PS3 Issues (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189868)

Yeah, it's PEBKAC syndrome. some PS3/360 owner does something stupid like putting their console on thick shag carpet, covering it with a blanket, or blocking the vents by putting it right against a solid surface because it makes too much noise and it overheats. Then they blame the game: "The game bricked my 360", or "this new firmware bricked my PS3".

Re:PS3 Issues (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189922)

Blaming the game in such cases is stupid; but blaming the hardware or firmware isn't.

A computer shouldn't be expected to operate at full performance under all conditions; but failure to throttle clocks on high power silicon or halt gracefully before suffering hardware damage is pretty shoddy work; doubly so in something like a console or laptop, where the manufacturer has full control of every component, thermal sensor, fan, and airflow path inside the chassis.

Re:PS3 Issues (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190134)

where the manufacturer has full control of... [the] airflow path inside the chassis

The incredibly piss poor design of the original 360 in terms of airflow amazes me. You'd think that they would have at the very least brought someone in to do some basic consulting on heat dissipation in the case, but obviously they didn't spend any time at all thinking about it.

Seriously, if I remember right there were only two small exhaust fans in the entire system. Processor / Graphics were cooled only by a passive heatsink, nowhere near the intake of those fans. The only way to get any appreciable airflow past that heatsink would be to use a very restrictive shroud that forced those fan's intake to pass over the heatsinks. They used nothing. Nothing at all. The air around those heatsinks was pretty much completely stagnant.

With the first revision, they finally wised up and put a shroud in, but it only extends up to the front of the heatsinks and doesn't cover them. This most likely pulled air past the heatsink where they were near the shroud, but the far side still wouldn't have had much airflow.

They really just needed a fan blowing on the heatsink. It's the same basic strategy used in most computers. Move a lot of air past the areas of concentrated heat, then use case fans to slowly change the heated case air for fresh cool air. Heats up other components away from the big heat sources a bit more, but dramatically lowers temps for the processor. Either that or use properly designed shrouds that force ALL the intake air for those fans through the whole heatsink. Also, bigger fans so the thing didn't sound like a damn vacuum cleaner wouldn't have hurt.

Re:PS3 Issues (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190994)

It could be that I'm just a geek whose concern for WAF is basically zero(and, indeed, it probably is); but I think that the fetish for thinness and apparently-seamles plastic shells in non-portable consumer electronics has really done more harm than good from a user-experience standpoint.

Just as a function of basic geometry(and the fact that it is hard to get the central motor portion of a fan below a certain size) smaller fans have to either move less air, be louder, or both. Then you get into the pitch issue. 40mm fans whine. High speed ones whine really loudly. 60mm units are only slightly less annoying. 80s have the decency to "hum", and 120s just sort of whirr. If you make your device really thin, you are pretty much forced to either use small, annoying, inefficient fans in the standard 'snapped in to rear grills' location, or use a larger fan in some sort of ducted horizontal/blower configuration that usually just serves to emphasize that the static pressure capabilities of standard DC ventilation fans are pretty lousy.

I'm hardly arguing that every desktop and console should be an overclocker tower studded with illuminated 160mm units(and in portables small, custom, ventilation systems are definitely a necessary evil); but today's consoles would be substantially quieter, and less vulnerable to overheating, if the designers weren't pathologically afraid of showing a few mesh inflow/outflow areas, and using cases that can accommodate an 80mm or two... Particularly after they've been given a year to start wearing out their bearings(or sleeves, gotta keep that BOM down...), those 60s just suck, and sound like mosquito root-canal doing it.

Re:PS3 Issues (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190244)

but failure to throttle clocks on high power silicon or halt gracefully before suffering hardware damage is pretty shoddy work; doubly so in something like a console or laptop

PS2's and PS3's (at least the models I've owned) make a shrill noise and blink lights when they get too hot., I've had it happen once with both. Both times it was accidentally restricted airflow. The PS2 will shut itself down

Re:PS3 Issues (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191514)

I haven't owned any of them, so I don't know the specific behavior of any given console, I was just expressing the general position that no computing device sold for consumer use should be considered as other than defective if it can heat-damage itself under any conditions that a human would reasonably endure(the classic "all day in a locked car in the summer sun" or "stored at sub-freezing temperatures then taken inside and operated while condensation is forming inside" cases, for instance, would fall outside of that bound).

If you restrict their airflow, fill them with dust, or cram them against the wall right on top of your monstrous 70's tube amp, it is entirely reasonable for them not to run for very long; but being capable of graceful throttling or shutdown, ideally with an informative error response of some kind, is a perfectly reasonable baseline expectation.

I don't honestly follow the issue much, so I don't know whether, or how often, actual thermal brickings occur; but I'd count them as design defects rather than PEBKAC. On the other hand, somebody who restricts the airflow and then whines about how the device keeps displaying "Thermal shutdown, ensure that the device has proper ventilation." and shutting down is just a dumbass.

Re:PS3 Issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190272)

So is there any way I "help" this update affect my older Xbox 360? I would like a new replacement.

Thanks,
Everyone with an older 360.

Re:PS3 Issues (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190046)

As for MS, good for them. I think it's time to pull my old 360 out of the closet and update it in hopes of getting an even newer 360. :D

This. Hopefully the update is still available.

Linux isn't that generous as MS. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36189834)

If the Linux screws up your data, you don't see Linus ponying up for some data retrieval. Instead he goes "gee too bad." I'll stick with companies that care.

Re:Linux isn't that generous as MS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190526)

Last time a customer had a Windows activation problem, Microsoft told us "Yeah, that happens, we know about it, and we have no plans to fix it. Reinstall."

They definitely give a fuck about their customers.

Or at least, their customer's wallets.

Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36189852)

Whether the culprit is the PS3 or the game itself, if the one-year warranty is expired, you're SOL. Just ask anybody who's gotten a Yellow Light of Death (either by defective firmware or defective solder).

The repair fee is $149. Hope you spent that PSN downtime earning some extra cash!

Re:Does it matter? (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189892)

Wouldn't that be legally fightable? I always thought the difference between "in warranty" and "out of warranty" (but within the expected lifetime of the device) was that "in warranty" the supplier had to prove you damaged it by using it in a wrong way and "out of warranty" you had to prove it was their fault.
IANAL, I am curious.
This may be country related, so I'll define that I am Dutch, I learned these definitions in the Netherlands.

Re:Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36189910)

According to Sony, when agreeing to the firmware update and the PSN terms, they are not liable for any damage even damage admittedly caused by them if you are out of warranty. Meaning that they can systematically brick old consoles (this wouldn't be hard to accomplish if they jack with fan settings based on the consoles serial number) and then charge you $100 or $129, or $149 to repair or upgrade them. Once they get all the old ones killed off, they can rinse and repeat and basically create a nice inflow of old parts for refurbishment and create a decent product turnover rate.

Re:Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190000)

you forget to add "except in the EU where this type of removing user rights is illegal" EULA's are not actually able to be enforced in the EU if you give away consumer rights in them.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190052)

In the EU all non-perishables have two years minimum warranty too.

Re:Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190520)

It's kind of fiddly. The two year period covers non-conformity (generally manufacturing defects or features not working as specified) that were present when sold, even if symptoms or the actual failure occurred later.

It may be the case that a claim under that legislation is only valid if the failure was due to an original manufacturing fault - not caused by a firmware update damaging otherwise good hardware. At least that's how it works in the U.K.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190392)

In Germany and I assume in Dutch too, as those are mostly EU regulations, you have two kinds of warranty:

Regular warranty (Garantie), which is a free service offered by the manufacturer, this can be anything from 90 days to 5 years or just not exist at all, as the manufacturer isn't require to provide it.

And then there is defects liability (GewÃhrleistung), this is required by law for all electronic goods and last two years (even longer in UK I think). This liability however is against the seller not the manufacturer, if you bought your console at Amazon, you send it back to Amazon and you get a new one or they send it in for fixing. Those two years are split into two segments, the first six month the seller has to prove that the device wasn't already broken when he sold it and everything after that requires that you broke that you didn't break it by accident. In practice that is rarely relevant, as no good seller will require proof and instead just exchange the troublesome device unless of course the damage is obviously your fault.

As far as USA is concerned, I don't think here is any mandatory warranty at all, so you often only get 90 days or so from the manufacturer and after that you have to deal with the issues yourself. Class action lawsuits might however allow you to get some of your money back or pressure the manufacturer into extending the warranty (see 3 year warranty on RROD).

Re:Does it matter? (1)

PeterKraus (1244558) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190752)

Hello,
I'm in the UK. I've worked in PC retail. The warranty business is completely ridiculous here. Where did you get those EU-wide information from? I've heard it from a couple of customers too ("oh you have to fix it, it's guided by the EU regulations"), but obviously managers POV was - your warranty is with the manufacturer.

So i'd just be interested to learn more about this.
Cheers!

Re:Does it matter? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191206)

I've heard it from a couple of customers too ("oh you have to fix it, it's guided by the EU regulations"), but obviously managers POV was - your warranty is with the manufacturer.

The relevant paper seems to be: 31999L0044 Directive 1999/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees [europa.eu]

And contains this:

1. The seller shall be held liable under Article 3 where the lack of conformity becomes apparent within two years as from delivery of the goods. If, under national legislation, the rights laid down in Article 3(2) are subject to a limitation period, that period shall not expire within a period of two years from the time of delivery.

3. Unless proved otherwise, any lack of conformity which becomes apparent within six months of delivery of the goods shall be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery unless this presumption is incompatible with the nature of the goods or the nature of the lack of conformity.

As the EU just provides the outlines, not the exact implementation, details might of course varry from country to country. There is also a page on Implied Warranty [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia, but it doesn't seem to contain anything specific to the UK.

that doesn't make any sense (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189926)

How do you add additional capacity like that? If the drive could always read the higher density disks, why didn't they use them in the first place? Surely it's not that the manufacturing process is more expensive and they only just now figured out how to make it affordable.

Is there any grain of truth to this or is it pure BS cover for the piracy stuff?

Re:that doesn't make any sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36189976)

In one of the links, it describes how all that space was formerly used by a long-ago compromised anti-piracy system that was on-disc.

Re:that doesn't make any sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190002)

The original 360 disk format had 1GB for "reserved purposes" (copy protection IIRC). So yeah, what was already the weakest part of the console was crippled even further.

Sony did its part too with RAM (64 MB reserved from the main RAM and 32 from the video RAM, so almost 20% of the memory "wasted"). They retracted a bit too (down to 48 MB of main RAM last I heard).

Re:that doesn't make any sense (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190074)

The same happened to the PSP: Sony limited the CPU frequency to 266MHz and only enabled the 333MHz with the 3.5 firmware update. Of course, hacked firmwares like M-33 let the user enable full speed way before that update.

Re:that doesn't make any sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190026)

Optical disks contain a certain amount of redundant data to ensure that it can cope with minor imperfections. I believe the technique is called Reed-Solomon encoding. Basically if they have a better algorithm they could give more bits to data and less to redundancy, the side effect is that your more likely to get read errors if the encoding isn't as effective.

The question is that if they are doing this then I am assuming they either need to have the firmware in the optical drive upgraded and hope the controllers can manage the new algorithm or send it to the CPU and get it to do it. The only concern with that is your giving the CPU more work, right when your giving it the most complex games in the generation which will likely require every bit of CPU power it can get....

If your xbox or ps3 breaks... (2, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189954)

... I'll let you come over and play with my Wii.

--
BMO

At least the 360 has official home dev (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190152)

To the best of my knowledge, Wii lacks anything comparable to XNA Game Studio, App Hub (formerly XNA Creators Club), or Xbox Live Indie Games.

Re:At least the 360 has official home dev (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190228)

The humor shibboleth. You failed it.

--
BMO

Re:If your xbox or ps3 breaks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190264)

I got all 3 of them, let me tell you that if the PS3 *AND* XBOX goes bananas I'll play cards or truth or dare or any other game that doesn't involve the WII.

Re:If your xbox or ps3 breaks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190306)

No thanks, i'd rather go outside and interact with other people

Re:If your xbox or ps3 breaks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190600)

That's What She Said...

Re:If your xbox or ps3 breaks... (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190910)

I had to return both my 360 and the Wii.
Nintendo was just as good about the exchange as MS was. 5 minutes on the phone and a new one was in the mail. Nintendo even sends out the new one before receiving the old one, provided they have your CC number on file.

The early Wiis had issued with the graphics chips which manifested as "sparkle" before eventual failure.

Re:If your xbox or ps3 breaks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36191118)

weeeeee :D

Easy fix for Rockstar (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#36189992)

This would not be a problem for Rockstar if they had developed this title for the PC platform. Gaming PCs have much better ventilation than consoles.

I would argue that this is exactly the type of game that PC gamers would love, so it would have made a natural home for the title. (As you can guess, I'm rather miffed at not being able to play this one.)

Re:Easy fix for Rockstar (1)

magnusrex1280 (1075361) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190114)

Why can't you play it? Does your computer explode if a console is the house? Mine doesn't, maybe it's true for yours as well.

Re:Easy fix for Rockstar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190454)

yeah, go waste money on an xbox. sound financial investment there....

Re:Easy fix for Rockstar (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#36190886)

What is it with you PC snobs anyway? When a PC exclusive title comes out, you don't see scores of console gamers spamming the game's message boards complaining that it isn't coming to consoles (and there are *WAY* more PC exclusives than console exclusives). And yet every time a console exclusive comes out, you see scores of "When is this coming to the PC?", "The PC is so superior to consoles", "How could you bastards NOT release this on the PC?", "WAAAAAAHHH, I'M GONNA TELL MOMMY!!" posts on every one of the game's message boards.

Christ, get over yourselves. Developers don't owe you jack (if you want to blame someone, blame all the PC pirates, not the studio). And, believe it or not, your shit DOES stink.

First Hand Experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36190952)

I bought a Japanese 20GB PS3 nearly day one off eBay and its been working like a champ ever since. I recently bought a used US 20GB PS3, and it worked fine long enough to download an update, brick itself with a YLOD, and I had to send it into Sony for $129. It would be nice to have some way to know if the firmware update will cause the console to be bricked, and have some option to recover the console myself, but what will I do about it? Not much.

Smokeout (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36191322)

Sounds like a smokeout to me. Some older hacked Xboxes are invulnerable to M$'s new anti-piracy countermeasures, so they make a firmware upgrade that totally breaks the DVD drive. Replace the broken Xboxes with new ones. Now they don't have to worry about old hardware that they can't control...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...