Video games beat the heat

Aug 062003
Authors: Jason Kosena

For Rory Roth, a student at CSU, playing video games is a fun way of relaxing. Roth, who owns a Sony Playstation 2, enjoys a game of John Madden Football or a round of Tiger Woods Golf, and so do most of his friends.

“Everybody I know likes to play video games, people will never get out of my room they play so much. I’ll leave to go somewhere and my friends will be playing on my PS2 and when I get back they are still there, sitting on my couch,” Roth said.

Roth had some problems with his Playstation 2, however, It Broke.

“One day I went to play my game and it just kept saying ‘disc read error’ and it wouldn’t play my game,” Roth said.

A disc read error is common in the Playstation 2’s according to Vic Galey, the manager of Buy Back Games in Fort Collins, who says the problem is with the laser that reads the disc the game is on.

“The average (PS2) laser life is about two years,” Galey said.

An average laser life of two years seems pretty short to Roth, who paid $200 for his PS2 a year and a half ago.

“I hope this doesn’t mean that I am going to have to buy a new unit every 18 months,” Roth said.

According to Galey, buying a new unit might not be necessary if a PS2 starts giving a “disc read error” message.

“The main reason the laser goes out is because Sony put the cheapest parts they could find into the system,” Galey said.

Sony did this, said Galey, to save money on production, due to the fact that when the PS2’s first came out, they were more expensive to produce than to sell. So any price reducing activity would be good. The laser did not get excluded from this idea.

The lasers can be fixed sometimes, according to Galey.

“We can clean them and we can tweak the adjustments to the laser,” Galey said, which might save a person from buying a brand new unit.

PS2’s are currently being sold in Fort Collins for $179.99. Buy Back Games will attempt to fix a broken laser or other unit problems for $20-60 depending on the amount of work involved.

“I very rarely charge $60,” Galey said, admitting that most problems with a PS2 can be fixed for $20.

For Roth, fixing his PS2 seems a lot better than having to go and buy a brand new one.

“If somebody can fix it for $20 I would be very happy. That is a whole better than having to buy a new system,” Roth said.

If a student does currently own a PS2, Galey has some helpful hints as to how best protect it for a longer life.

“Nicotine from smoke and dust are what are extremely harmful if they get into you system,” Galey said. “Make sure you leave the unit in a wide open space, and never place it on the floor when you are using it, and go and buy a DVD cleaning kit.”

Finally, Galey has one last bit of advice for the gamer out there. If the unit has problems “don’t bother opening it up, if you don’t know what you’re looking at, you could make it worse.”

For anybody who has recently had their PS2 go bad and doesn’t want to buy a new one and doesn’t know enough to open it up themselves, they can call Buy Back Games at 221-4121 to find a possible cheap fix to an expensive problem.

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