Just when I thought all of my Playstation problems were behind me a new chapter opened in the epic saga of man vs. technology (or at least me vs. Playstation Store). Old timey readers will remember how back in October my 60gb launch Playstation suffered the dancing yellow light of death which bricked it. Some people believe this is symptomatic of a hardware failure involving the melting of solder used to attach certain chips to a circuit board but whatever it was the end result was like someone just ran KILLALLNERDS.EXE on my PS3. So after a considerably long mourning period for all the lost episodes of Shin Mazinger Z and other animes on my hard drive, I sent my system in to get repaired then they sent me a new refurbished one. And we all lived happily ever after doing what the PS3 was made for-watching torrented animes, surfing BigBooty.com, downloading podcasts and occasionally playing a videogame, right?
Of course not.
I WISH THEY HADN'T CHANGED THE STATION
The other night I went to download a movie trailer and I got a weird message on the screen-"This PS3 system cannot be activated...you must deactivate another system." And I'm just stunned looking there trying to figure out what it meant. Did I miss something when I was doing the system setup on this new machine? Is my old system still alive somewhere and now I have to worry about my credit card info getting stolen? OMG DO I STILL HAVE KILLALLNERDS.EXE? Well thanks to people who have been through this before, I figured out what happened essentially was that Sony uses a form of DRM that forever associates my PSN ID with the first PS3 I used it on. This first system then becomes the only one on which I can watch videos I download from their Playstation Store. To break the association I'd have to do what they call "deactivating" that first system and only after I do that can I log on to a new PS3 with my PSN ID and watch videos I've downloaded. But the problem is my old system bricked before I was able to do that. I can't watch any new movie content and I can't deactivate the old system because Sony has it, or it's been refurbished and some other guy now has it. Regardless, deactivation of my account is no longer possible on the old machine wherever it is.
SONY WARS EPISODE IV-A NEW HELP
But all is not lost. After reading a couple of other stories like this on message boards I've figured out that it is theoretically possible for Sony to deactivate my old console on their end. The trick is finding someone there who understands my problem and asking them to do it in a way that does not make me sound like an irate douchebag. Most irate douchebags call Sony up immediately once they find their phone number but I chose to play by the rules and I sent an email first explaining the situation and here's what I got back (more or less)-
Thank you for writing to us about deactivating your PlayStation®Network account.
We will submit the request for you to our PlayStation®Network Account Specialists. After the request has been submitted, it will be processed within 3-5 business days. If the PlayStation®Network Specialist decides to deactivate your account, then we will e-mail your information to the Sign-In ID (e-mail address) associated with the PlayStation®Network account.
You can check on the status of your deactivation under Case#BLAHBLAHBLAH..."
And that's where I am now. Hoping that some account specialist will have the common sense to do what should have been done once Sony decided to send me a new refurbed system. I understand that Sony uses system activation to keep people from logging on to multiple consoles and downloading the same movies on multiple machines but in the case of a system being sent in for repair or replacement, deactivation should be part of the procedure. I'm pretty sure they'll see I'm not a movie pirate and this'll all be figured out in a matter of days, but if they don't then I don't know where I'm going from here (aside from BigBooty.com.)
I got an email the evening of the same day I posted this. In it I got the news:
You recently requested assistance with your PlayStation® Network account and the Video Download Service. Per your request, we have deactivated your original console from your account.
You can now activate your new console."
AND THEN VOOWAAA-LA!: (if I could put exclamation marks after pictures this would get one)
So it got taken care of and I did it all via email instead of over the phone. It may have taken a bit longer than calling Sony directly but I weighed how much my time was worth being on hold versus getting on with my life. It was a little over 48 hours from January 12th when I first emailed Sony to January 14th when I got the notice I was deactivated. And we all lived happily ever after doing what the PS3 was made for...I hope.