I like to spotlight good behavior from a game publisher, developer, or hardware producer whenever one of them does right by me, so I want to take this moment to heap a little praise on Sony Computer Entertainment of America for honoring the warranty on my DualShock 3 controller for the Sony PlayStation 3. After seventy-some days of moderate to heavy use, my controller began to malfunction. The R2 button lost its springiness, resulting in a button that was always pressed no matter what. That sort of thing works OK for games like Burnout Paradise where R2 is the accelerator pedal, but for games like Street Fighter IV, it means that poor Ken is locked in a neverending cycle of kicks. Then the digital pad began to fail, causing the controller to think that the Down key on the control pad was always being held down. Again, not a problem in Burnout Paradise, but now Ken was trapped performing crouching kicks forever and ever. That was all followed by the sound of something rattling around inside the DualShock whenever the tilt functions were engaged. Obviously, something had to be done.
I've had terrible experiences with trying to convince companies to honor warranties, so I dreaded what was to come. The controller was still basically new in the grand scheme of things, and goodness knows I take superb care of my possessions so that they lost as long as possible, and yet there was something wrong with the unit. So, gearing up for a fight, I contacted SCEA's support department and started the procedure to have the controller repaired. After a little back-and-forth e-mailing, I agreed to ship the controller off to the company for repair along with all of the relevant paperwork. I expected that weeks or even a month or so would go by before I heard back, so I went ahead and bought a replacement controller so as not to be out of the game for long. Imagine my surprise today when a brand new still-in-the-box DualShock 3 landed at my door as a replacement for the broken controller. Frankly, I'm amazed at the response and the service. I never once had to escalate to the next level of customer support. The company just replaced it without a fight. I'm thoroughly impressed by SCEA's behavior on this issue, so it's a pleasure to say to everyone at Sony that did their part to make this issue right, "Thank you." I would hope that this is the last item I would need the company to replace, but should something else in the PlayStation family fail in the future, I won't hesitate to get in touch.
And as for that second controller I now own? Well, someday when I find that mythical Player 2, I'll be ready.