What happens when a PS3 dies

Rather reassuringly for all of us that forked out a substantial sum of moolah on a PlayStation 3, documented cases of Sony's mighty machine buying the electronic farm seem to be few and far between. But what does happen when death descends and your PS3 flatlines?

This is exactly the unenviable situation that one poster - going by the user name blindrocket - on the NeoGAF forums found themselves in recently and, rather than suffer in silent mourning, logged their efforts to procure a replacement from Sony for anyone interested to follow. So, how helpful was the PlayStation support? Was the game disc that was stuck inside the broken machine retrieved? Most importantly, how long did it take Sony to send out a replacement?

Here's an abridged breakdown of the replacement process:

Sunday,April 8,2007
The user is browsing the internet on the PS3 when a loud POP is heard and the machine dies. Following the troubleshooting guide in the PS3 manual, the user plugs the console into different sockets, checks the cables and so forth, but to no avail. To confound matters, a game disc (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion) is stuck inside the PS3. The user calls the support number (evening time), but they are closed.

Monday, April 9
The user first calls the support number from their place of work, although they state that this isn't particularly helpful as the support team "won't do much for you unless you are standing right there in front of the PS3." Regardless, the user doesn't have access to the machine's model and serial number anyway - something that the support team require before they can help.

Despite this, the user speaks to a member of the support team, Martha. She asks some basic questions (Had the user experienced any trouble with the console? Was the latest firmware installed? Had the PS3 come in contact with water?), queries the user's choice of third-party HDMI cable and reveals that while she was used to taking calls from people needing help with their display settings, she hadn't taken many calls on actual hardware failure.

Asking about the game disc stuck inside the PS3, Martha tells the user that she knows the games are expensive and that they would do something about it.