Gaming's most hated technology failures

PlayStation 3's phantom leap year

The problem: Older PS3 models (i.e. the non-slim versions) thought 2010 was a leap year, which sent them into a Trophy-corrupting tirade that locked millions of PS3 owners out of their paid-for content, including games bought in a real-world store. The event was eventually dubbed “The ApocalyPS3.”

The response: Sony hopped on the problem pretty quick, but offered nothing to those who were affected. If you hadn’t synched your Trophies prior to the outage, sorry, you’re out of luck.

We hated it because: What kind of Y2K bullshit is this? A service outage is one thing, but having a malfunction that’s so dire it prevents us from even playing a goddamn game is absurd. How are we supposed to revel in the artistic splendor of Heavy Rain when all we get is “ERROR 8001050F?” On the plus side, this was only one day of inconvenience, compared to the months of Red Ring tyranny suffered by 360 owners.


Crackdown update erases save data

The problem: A mandatory title update accidentally erased saved data, likely removing hours upon hours of hard work you put into your genetically superior supercop.

The response: Realtime Worlds, developer of Crackdown, admitted the error in its forums and a slightly obnoxious workaround was found shortly after. The problem was handled, but that’s a big “FUUUUU” to anyone who happened to play a co-op game after downloading the update.

We hated it because: We spent dozens of hours dicking around in Crackdown and weren’t too thrilled with losing all of that progress. Good to see the devs jump on it like that, but it wasn’t the first time Crackdown would have to bear the brunt of tech problems happening out in the ether – the Halo 3 beta, which launched via menus inside of Crackdown, was riddled with day-one problems.


Online DRM locks people out of Creed II

The problem: Ubisoft employs pesky new DRM tactics that require users to be online while playing the PC Assassin’s Creed II. If your connection is lost, the game pauses until the connection is reestablished. And as if on cue, the servers dropped, kicking people out of the game, losing progress up to that point or locking them out of the game entirely.

The response: Ubi leapt into its own forums to say the loss was “unacceptable” and was working on repairs. It also said the outage was due to 1337 haX0rz and 95% of players were not affected by the attack on its servers.

We hated it because: This “online only” DRM sounded awful on paper, a premonition that came true almost the moment the game was released. If you’re going to force new technology and new restrictions on consumers, test that shit extensively before you roll it out on a highly anticipated sequel.


Far Cry 2 bugs last for months

The problem: Far Cry 2 ships with data-ruining, game-ending bugs. What seems like a job for a simple patch erupts into a months-long siege on the user experience.

The response: Ubi slowly gets around to acknowledging the issue, first with “try re-installing your files” caliber help, and then vague promises that the crashes would soon come to an end. Not so, as Ubi didn’t give the all clear until May 2009. That’s six months after launch, btw.

We hated it because: Two GR editors witnessed the bugs firsthand, losing progress and saves because of a rampant problem that Ubi seemed reluctant or unable to stamp out.


  • LeonLio - December 2, 2010 12:40 p.m.

    I stopped playing MAG for that reason, plus a few other issues. If they fix it, I'm sure a lot of players will return. Black Ops is doing a decent job at being a competition. Now if CoD: Black Ops took in the MAG Server Idea, fixed the kills that don't register (like shooting a guy from 2ft with an Olympia 3x and end up getting knifed), then it'll be the best FPS! Other than that. I think MAG is slowly losing their ranks.
  • LeonLio - December 2, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    MAG's 2.0 (Move) update should be added onto here.. Released an update that ended up making all the user's Game & PS3 System to freeze. Ending with the user unable to access the PS Menu. The only fix for a few weeks was to manually turn it off. Zipper Game Developers worked on it, and worked on it, for atleast a month, then finally released an update stating it makes the game smoother. Except, it continues to freeze up (only on the same game modes) which irritates some players. Especially if you have a good game going. Not sure if it's fixed NOW, but like many other player, I've stopped playing and notified other friends who still play it to tell me when they ACTUALLY Fix it. Its one of those things about that update that gets you thinking, did the Game Developers at Zipper know how to test any major updates before rreleasing it? (Just for your information...) The MAG 2.0 Beta, was out for a week for testing, to any player. Then it got closed down for a day or two. Then was a Mandatory Released Update. Which resulted after the following few hours of gameplay, to spam the Forums with issues.
  • Overlord153 - November 23, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    I hated getting a PSP that had a dead pixel right out of the box. Imagine the gift unwrapping the putting in of Tomb Raider Legend and bink a little orange spot right there. Damn you Sony!!!!!
  • ombranox - July 31, 2010 8:06 a.m.

    My 360 got a broken usb jack that ended up shorting out the console. Lame!
  • MaynardJ - March 29, 2010 11:23 a.m.

    My Gamecube is still working but froze on me several times over the years: "An error has occurred. Turn the Power Off and check the Nintendo GameCube Instruction Booklet for further instructions." No problems with the DS Lite and 360, so far...
  • oufour - March 29, 2010 10:38 a.m.

    i once bought assassin's creed and bioshock from gamestop used, and guess what? they broke. like, jsut stopped working. the worst part? it was the day AFTER the warranty expired.
  • super0sonic - March 29, 2010 8:09 a.m.

    The Ubi Copy protection has prevented me a would be paying customer from buying Silent Hunter 5 a game i have been looking forward to for MONTHS!! Now it's launch has come and gone and i still don't own it. i am very sad :(
  • Finklemeyer - March 29, 2010 6:31 a.m.

    whats with this .02% bullshit. my friend and i both cracked our DS's. and not even by dropping them!
  • bmxbiff - March 29, 2010 1:32 a.m.

    I had to replace my 360 5 times, as well as repair my Elite to avoid the DLC glitch. And yet I keep coming back for more. Guess I'm a glutton for punishment.
  • jackthemenace - March 28, 2010 6:36 p.m.

    My DS lite cracked righty in two, but luckily the wires were still attached, so i could still play it with the top haning off XD wasn't convenient, but kept me going till i got a new one :P
  • LenKice - March 28, 2010 2:20 a.m.

    Omg, the Xbox's cord blew up in my office just as soon as I plugged it in! ;~; I had to ask my little brother to plug it when once my family moved to the new apartment...
  • oryandymackie - March 27, 2010 4:26 p.m.

    No wonder the guy in GameStation sold me that original Xbox for fifteen quid, with an evil glint in his eye and a grin on his face...
  • mdiaz033 - March 27, 2010 6:50 a.m.

    wow, this article seems pretty neutral. no excessive wii and sony bashing and rightfully deserved microsoft bashing. good article brett. you are starting to give GR a good rep. keep it up.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - March 27, 2010 1:34 a.m.

    Both of my damn Ds's are hinge cracked, not to mention a f#@ked up screen on one and a broken L button on the other.
  • Ninja-KiLLR - March 27, 2010 12:19 a.m.

    ive managed to avoid all of these. well i dont have a 360 so that makes it a hell of alot easier appartently. but the wii motion flying incident almost happened.
  • helloimgaydo - March 26, 2010 11:46 p.m.

    My Xbox went RRoD, so I sent it off for repair the day it arrived back home I got the E74 error message. I has worked totally fine since though.
  • Biopiate - March 26, 2010 11:44 p.m.

    Ummm... Where is the PS3 version of Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition? My copy was all messed up...
  • nik41507 - March 26, 2010 11:37 p.m.

  • sleepy92ismypsn - March 26, 2010 9:25 p.m.

    oh and why would you have an hdtv if you were a wii gamer lulz. damn you xbox you baby killer. i guess thats what you get for buying an inferior console
  • sleepy92ismypsn - March 26, 2010 9:21 p.m.

    being a fan of sony i only endured one of these problems my psx died but i got a good first 5 years of my gaming career from it. i bought a launch day psp but didnt have any dead pixels. and i happened to play my ps3 on march 1st especially when i heard about the apocalyps3 so i still got all my trophies.

Showing 1-20 of 59 comments

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