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Saturday, September 20, 2008

PSP repair: MTC Coquitlam

Update on my PSP repair. So, I mailed in my PSP Slim to MTC, which is a 3rd party repair depot that services Sony products in Canada. They have 2 depots, one in Ontario I believe, for the eastern part of Canada, and one in Coquitlam for the west, which is where I sent mine.

This is a video of my PSP with the problem:

(yeah that's my hand)

They have a web site where you can keep track of your repair status, so I kept checking in on how it was doing.

Coquitlam isn't that far from me, so I knew it would only take 1 day to mail it.

For 2 weeks, it said "Waiting for test"..... then in the 3rd week it changed to "Waiting for Exchange unit", (I think they were waiting for Sony to send them a replacement) then "Exchange unit picked"... and about 3 weeks after mailing it in, I got a PSP back!

I'm pretty sure it's not the same one I mailed, the serial number's different. I assume it's a refurbished PSP, but it feels like new. No scratches, the USB port is stiff like it's never been used... but it could still be refurbished I guess. They sent it back in the same box I mailed to them. There was no communication with them at all, but since they did what they were supposed to, guess there didn't need to be.

So for the last couple weeks, I've been "testing" my new PSP, being forced to make sure it's in good working conditions by playing games on it as much as I can... oh yeah, it's tough but I'm a trooper, hehe. Been playing Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron on it lots, because that game was malfunctioning on my PSP quite a bit before I sent it in (and it's my fave game) but I've also been playing games that use the UMD drive a lot, like Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror. So far, everything's good. [EDIT: Just found 1 dead pixel... popped up this morning, near the center of the screen. Crap... I knew I shouldn't've spoken too soon....]

When you buy a product from Sony, they have a 1 year warranty. I basically waited almost that year to send it in, and now my replacement model has a 90 day warranty. I kind of feel like I have 90 days to see if I can break it.... it works great now, but I'm always wary of refurbished product.

The PSP Slim, A.K.A. PSP-2000, is a bit of an advancement over the original PSP A.K.A. PSP-1000. But I'm sure that a big part of it was also for Sony to cut manufacturing costs. They replaced whatever they could that was metal with plastic, and the biggest change is the UMD disc door. On the PSP-1000, the door is spring loaded to eject, and there's a metal tray that holds the UMD firmly in place. Back in 2005, Sony was (rightfully) concerned with making their portable device play discs without skipping and can stand up to travel.

On the PSP-2000, the door is now manually opened, and there's no metal tray. The UMD just flops against the door until it's shut!

I'm not sure how common this UMD drive problem is with the PSP Slim... but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a higher than normal failure rate. When you think about it, it's only been out for a bit more than a year. I suspect a lot of people put up with it. Unlike my original PSP door, which is tight when closed, the PSP Slim doors move quite a bit, they jiggle. That can't be good. Definitely feels cheap.

I think the PSP Slim isn't quite as sturdy as the old PSP. It's just another reason why I've grown to *HATE* Sony, particularly their PlayStation division. I *LOVE* the PSP, but I hate Sony, they're really degrading their quality, and driving what was once a good PlayStation brand, into the ground.

My original PSP was bought in May 2006, and it still works fine 2 years later. My PSP Slim started malfunctioning 3 months after I bought it in Oct 2007... so I wonder how long this replacement will last. And with the PSP-3000 coming out in a couple months, I wouldn't be surprised if Sony found another way to cut their costs and skimp on some more quality.


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