why do older consoles still work after all this time

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by tiamat999, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. tiamat999
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    tiamat999 GBAtemp Regular

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    But from 360/ ps3 onward they seem to break more easily
     
  2. SomecallmeBerto

    SomecallmeBerto The Anti-Hero

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    Not as complex, less heat, more moving parts...take your pick.
     
  3. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    Pretty much that.
    Electronics these days are specifically manufactured to break after their warranty has ended.
    It entices people to buy more instead of clinging onto old equipment.

    I know that in certain televisions, heat sensitive parts are purposely put next to heat emitting parts.
     
  4. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein More coffee, please!

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    Because:
    • Old consoles usually had no moving parts, it was all solid state.
    • Old consoles usually ran way cooler, they didn't push CPU/GPU to thermal limits, they usually didn't even need active cooling
    • They didn't use flash memory, it was generally ROM and RAM
    • Etc.
     
    Last edited by sarkwalvein, Dec 9, 2016
  5. Sliter

    Sliter GBAtemp Psycho!

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    and made thinking of not being replaced, now they do like " it gonna be outdated in 10 years so don't have to last 20 of use"
    well... I do believe in scheduled obsolescence :x
     
    Last edited by Sliter, Dec 9, 2016
  6. Jao Chu

    Jao Chu GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    My nintendo 64 died quite early in it's life (Pretty sure we only got 2.5 years maximum during my childhood)

    My SNES however (from when i was 5 years old, i'm now 29) surprisingly still works, despite being well over 20 years old.

    PS One is still going strong last time i checked, as is my old PSP-1000.

    My gaming computers usually last me a good 5-6 years until their maintenance and upkeep starts annoying me.

    CECHA02 phat PS3 YLOD'd a few years ago, it's still going strong now since a reball.

    Launch day xbox360 developed RROD after 1 year, conveniently just after the warranty expired.

    There's certainly a pattern developing here...
     
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  7. Axido

    Axido GBAtemp Fan

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    Older consoles are entirely made out of a mysterious material called Nintendium. It's nearly unbreakable, even though it just looks like plastic. Sadly, the concept of gaming consoles was not expected to last that long, so companies wanted to create their last console generations so that they could last forever. Then console gaming became more and more mainstream, but the companies ran out of Nintendium. And that's also why nowadays we get Remakes of games that are only a few years old.
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    There are many faults with older consoles (NES connector, megadrive/genesis capacitors), though I will grant they are less evident. Part of it might also be there are more game players around now, and it is more popular and we have the internet to whine on.

    The biggest killers of electronics are heat, electromigration, switches (ever had to jiggle a switch to get something working?), creep and capacitors.

    The PS360 stuff, so as to be able to be crammed into a small case, runs quite hot. This plays into general heat related issues (the small and very fine wires inside things, and also the small and very close together solder balls that are under most chips rather than pins). Capacitors I have seen less of in consoles but I saw it all the time in older screens, there is a lot there but the short version is there was a massive batch of bad ones that went very cheap so a lot used them and everything died so many years later.
    Creep is one of the failure modes of metals, and lead free solder is not great either, and is directly related to heat. Solder being noted for melting at low temperatures compared to say steel means that room temperature is actually really hot, relatively speaking, for solder. If you have ever had a previously working solder joint crack and need to be redone it might well have been creep at play.
    Electromigration is probably what will end a lot of devices that don't succumb another way. The general idea is inside the chip there are traces connecting things around. Not everything is going to be a uniform size so some will be smaller. These smaller bits are higher resistance (resistance = resistivity x length all divided by area, and smaller thickness is smaller area) and so electrons come along and slam into these smaller areas knocking things around, knock enough around it is then effectively smaller still and you have a nice runaway situation.

    Older stuff ran slower (less need for signals integrity, also possibly less heat - if it ran fine without a heatsink and maybe even a fan), had fatter wires/traces, might have dodged the bad capacitors as well as relied less heavily on electrolytic capacitors which are slightly more prone in general to this failure mode).

    On top of this you also have lasers as the dominant read method compared to cartridges. Connectors are not without their issues but for the most part it is dirt which bothers them and you can sort that, I would not rate the average person's chances of being able to pull off even a pot tweak on a laser (adjust the variable resistor to increase the current to the laser and hopefully get it a bit brighter as its resistance increases as it ages and then dies), let alone being able to replace and recalibrate one.
     
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  9. Sliter

    Sliter GBAtemp Psycho!

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    yeah I remind when I was young my (brother's ) mega drive and snes got to maintenance some times... Idk about the mega but the snes I think was font and RF cable problems... I miss them XD
    but my N64 far I remember never needed it, and we got it second hand(well the snes too)... I can't say it was overplayed ... I think the way of game play can interfere here xD
     
  10. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    my dad works for nintendo.
    because the new technology has much more parts that are not so resistant
    for example, the laser on thoose consoles is one of the most common causes to stop working..
    other thing to easily break is the ac\dc adapter
    my mega drive ac\dc adapter reached a point where it was so hot it could burn my hand, one day it died, needed to replace it
    while some new consoles has an integrated ac\dc adapter you need to open up the console and replace it, isntead getting a new one from a store
    more parts, more complexity= more weak points
    (for example the military preefers guns that are simple as possible because it has less parts that can fail...)



    heat.
    while older consoles didn't use much power to overheat, new consoles require fans to keep their components cooler, they easily gather dust inside for this reason and ventilation itself is another thing that can break

    and other causes:
    Planned obsolescence

    companies only have to keep their product working for 2 years, this can be achieved by strategically choosing ( example ) and placement of components in some places that break after the warranty and in enough time so it's in most cases it's reason to buy the next gen product
     
    Last edited by migles, Dec 9, 2016
  11. azoreseuropa

    azoreseuropa GBAtemp Guru

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    Not really, I have a PS3 slim and it hadn't been break for 6-7 years now. We played it a lot. Maybe PS3 Phat was the one seem to break more easily than PS3 slim.
     
  12. dimmidice

    dimmidice GBAtemp Addict

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    I don't think they've actually become more unreliable. The opposite in fact. But when they do fail now we hear about it more because of a bigger online presence by people. In the days of PS2 most people weren't on twitter/facebook/reddit/forums. So if their shit broke nobody really heard about it.

    Personally i've never had a single console break on me. Except for a GBA, which i punched in a bout of teenage rage. So not its fault. I dropped a DS on concrete. Was fine except for a cracked hinge. again user fault. I dropped something on a 3DS which damaged the screen slightly. Again my fault. The only fault i've ever had was on the aforementioned 3DS. The R button wouldn't work unless pressed very hard. That's all the problems i've ever had.
     
    Last edited by dimmidice, Dec 9, 2016
  13. sarkwalvein

    sarkwalvein More coffee, please!

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    I haven't had many consoles or hardware die, but...
    Around ~2000 my 4 years old PS1 started showing some mechanical problems and it had problems reading CDs.
    Around ~2003 that same PS1 stopped reading CDs altogether.
    Around ~2006 my around 15 years old Sega Megadrive stopped working beacuse of cap problems I think.
    Also around ~2006 my 4 years old PS2 started showing problems reading discs (damn lasers).
    My Wii always had problems reading dual layer DVDs (it suffered with SSBB), but I suppose that was a design problem.
    In the other hand still today my 30 years old C64 refuses to die, it just won't fucking die! (but is it a console anyway?)

    Well, checking back, most of the hardware dying problems I've personally had were related to optical/moving parts.
     
  14. pwsincd

    pwsincd Garage Flower

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    Samsung put under voltage capacitors in their tvs on the main power boards. I've changed several to repair tvs
     
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  15. TVL

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    It's so dumb. If I buy a brand of electronics and it breaks within a few years, I will then never buy that brand ever again and I'm sure to warn everyone I know of what garbage they are selling. Hate that planned obsolescence is a real thing.
     
  16. guisadop

    guisadop GBAtemp Regular

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    the ps3 and 360 cases are special because sony and microsoft were pretty negligent with their original designs; it was the first batch of consoles running at pretty high temperatures, so a lot of unexpected errors occurred. Most problems were fixed in later hardware revisions though.
     
  17. slaphappygamer

    slaphappygamer Frizzle Fry

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    No software updates. Software kills hardware, you know. Example, iPhone, "I JUST updated my phone and now it's so slow. I'm using iOS 10 on my iPhone 5c."
     
  18. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    my dad works for nintendo.
    but you still will be buying a tv right?

    most of people going all like "i had a samsung tv for 2 years, i liked it, so gonna buy almost the closest thing again, because i am familiar with"
    while there are appliances you can't live without nowadays like a clothes washing machine.. theese are the favorite to do planned obsolescence.. because people need them.. you can easily live without a tv, but try to live lets say a way to wash or dry your clothes..

    and obsolescence helps the market, ok your tv just broke, you are angry at samsung, next tive you buy a LG
    while other person's had a LG which broke... that person will buy a samsung next...
    no big company gets really harmed by this...

    when you buy, you actually get what is available to you.. nowadays this is getting less truth because the internet is the biggest store on earth, but what you buy is decided by availability, you go into a store and you got offered several options.. between the price, functions you want, form\design, etc... you don't see somehting that pleases you, go into the next store, same stock? check yet another store? now you are too tired and buy the first one that seems more ok for your needs\desires...
    but a lot more people are buying online now, but if that exact specific product that is perfect for you is no easily available, you gonna spend a buck in shipping alone
    and it's really hard to buy something from a brand you never heard
    i can easily get a samsung tv for 300 bucks because it's a big known brand, i see a bunch of their tvs displayed in stores to understand that the brand has experience in what they sell, than waste 300 bucks on a product by people i never heard about
     
  19. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Personally I wouldn't buy a single device from a company whose TV only lasted 2 years, but you may be right about the majority of users.

    There are enough bankrupt "big" companies and new ones that have taken their place to prove that wrong.
    After enough broken TVs, people will abandon both Samsung and LG and go for that new company that's been getting good reviews.
     
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  20. natanelho

    natanelho GBAtemp Maniac

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    But if you did enjoy it very much? And it lasted like 10 years while the average tv lasts 12~ years? Those 2 years are a lotta money for the company... and u will tell ur friends u enjoyed it very much and it was ur fault...