11

07/12

On Homebrews and Canned Air: How to Take Care of Your Game Console

8:41 am by admin. Filed under: Uncategorized
NES PowerGlove

NES PowerGlove

Between the genius that was Pong and the god-forsaken NES Power Glove (if you’ve never heard of it, then good for you!), game consoles have come a long, long way to fill in the gap of being ten and stuck indoors, until the time you can legally get a pint, (and perhaps long after) with hundreds of hours of solid gameplay.

You cringe each time Altair takes a Leap of Faith; you’ve swooned over Rinoa Heartlily (or Aeris Gainsborough, if you like them quiet and more ladylike) and you’ve had the silly, pubescent dreams boys will invariably have about bunny ears and cotton tails with the archer-slash-mechanic, Fran from FFXII.

Unless you’ve been saving your lunch money for when your unit dies (which might take a lot of school days), you’ll have to take good care of your game console to keep it up and running for all the new titles and sequels you’ll inevitably scream for. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your gaming rig.

Don’t move it around.

Believe it or not, there was a time when game consoles were built like tanks and you could “accidentally” step on a FamiCom and not hurt it one bit. Although game consoles are a lot more powerful, they’re very fragile.

Avoid moving your PS3 or X-Box 360 especially when it’s running a game. This could jar up its internal components and leave your game disc with a large, deep scratch that may render it potentially unplayable.

Beer, Pizza & Xbox

Beer, Pizza & Xbox

Clean and organize your console.

It’s easy to be a slob around these things, especially when you’re in the middle of a Halo 4 weekend marathon and the beer cans and pizza boxes are piling up. Try not to spill any on your unit.

While good, old-fashioned dusting and a bit of elbow grease is enough to keep your console in tip-top shape, you might find specialized microfiber cloths and canned air can easily bring a battered unit back to life. When in doubt, take it to the shops lest you do more harm than good. 

Invest on the right accessories.

When the Wii first came out, Nintendo was literally inundated with letters, emails and phone calls due to the Wiimote’s straps. The earlier releases were utterly flimsy and it wasn’t unheard of for gamers to fling them across the room, into brand new mammoth HDTVs or flying out the window. Try not to get too carried away with gaming. If you’re angry at the baddies, don’t stomp on your game console. Take out elsewhere.

Heat is also a major console killer. Shell out a few extra pounds for a good fan but don’t train it directly on the vents because this is where the unit’s stock exhaust lets out the warm air. Although there have been a quite a number of water cooling systems, they’re largely a waste of your money.

Wait for your unit to cool down.

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing the Red Rings of Death on your X-Box or the dreaded Yellow Light of Doom on the PS3, smart money says your unit has overheated and powered off a touch too soon. It’s a minor inconvenience and one that can be easily repaired at a surprisingly low cost.

Don’t turn off your unit immediately. Wait for the fans to quiet down and then power off. If you do this, the unit gets a chance to dissipate the internal heat. This way, the motherboard won’t warp.

Clear case for Xbox 360

Clear case for Xbox 360

Leave the mods to the pros.

Yes, you’ve trolled the Internet forums for weeks and you’ve played the YouTube tutorials so many times that you see the video behind your eyelids long after you’ve gone to bed, but hand in heart, overclocking your game console is never, ever worth it.

Manufacturers come with more and more creative ways to lock out gamers from trying homebrews and mods but if you’re hell-bent on pulling off one, consult with a pro. Game consoles are precision pieces of engineering. Try not to ruin them.