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Jamisonia
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My feelings about warranties and firmware

by Jamisonia Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:25 pm

In my opinion, we need courts to hold companies responsible for issues regarding firmware updates. Our new 21st Century electronics has caused firmware to enter the public lexicon, and its clear that it won't be something we'll be able to ignore. As video games and Blu-Ray Players require these updates to remain functional with new software, we, the public, are entitled to reasonable assurances that these firmware updates will not render our devices unusable, and if they do, we will be compensated for it, either in the form of a refund, or more likely, in the form of a repair.

The problem with this manufacturer to consumer relationship occurs after the expiration of the warranty period. A manufacturer of a video game system or Blu-Ray player will eventually require that their devices have a firmware update in order to play new releases of games and movies. However, the older the system, the more likely the update is to "brick" the system. Ironically, the systems most likely to be bricked, are those most likely to be out of warranty. In this case the manufacturer has no legal obligation to effect repairs on the system.

I feel when you buy a device, you are buying it with the reasonable assurance that this device will work for many years to come, barring issues caused by user error, and a small percentage of manufacturing defects or failures that may manifest after the warranty period, meaning they were defects at the original time of manufacturing. Firmware updates do not fall into either category because it is required for the device to remain usable.

Another cause for concern is the likelihood of an older products no longer being supported by firmware updates. This is more of a concern of Blu-Ray players. Again, when one buys a game system or Blu-Ray player, one expects it to be able to play all games and movies and that fall into the standard that said machine is said to support. With Blu Ray Discs this isn't a guarantee. There is nothing to stop LG from deciding not to release the newest security firmware to my, no longer manufactured BD Player, rendering my player unable to play the newest movie release.

In conclusion, if manufacturers insist on releasing firmware updates that are required so that the device can continue to work with games and movies that you expected it to able to use at the time of purchase, then they ought to be legally obligated to repair devices, free of charge, if the firmware "bricks" the device, and they ought to be legally obligated to provide firmware updates for all players they manufactured for that standard, so they they may be able to continue to play that standard.

Thoughts?
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ZeroAX
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Re: My feelings about warranties and firmware

by ZeroAX Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:00 pm

I agree with you, but who has the money to sue a giant corporation, and of those who do have the money to do that, how many of them care enough to waste their precious time in courtrooms over a "measly" 300€/$?

As many people say, we are living in the days of corporatecracy. I honestly can't think of a peaceful way of that changing, unless politicians start caring for people and not companies.
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Flake
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Re: My feelings about warranties and firmware

by Flake Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:17 pm

When you use Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo online features, you have agreed to have your device updated.

Essentially (with a few exceptions) that is the only time you really have to upgrade your firmware. If you do not like it, just don't use those online services.

I do not like firmware updates any more than the next guy (in particular, I would like to use my PSP without the seemingly daily updates) but they do seem to be a required evil.
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ZeroAX
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Re: My feelings about warranties and firmware

by ZeroAX Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:20 pm

Flake wrote:
Essentially (with a few exceptions) that is the only time you really have to upgrade your firmware. If you do not like it, just don't use those online services.


No actually new games force the new firmware on you. At least that's what happens with the Wii and the PSP. I don't know about the PS3, since I usually instantly update the console once a new firmware version is out.


....hey remember when PS3 firmware updates actually added things, instead of just adding new security measures, or even worse removing features?
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Re: My feelings about warranties and firmware

by Flake Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:22 pm

Yeah I get you. But my point was that even in those instances you have the choice to NOT update your firmware. You just do not get to take part in the activity.

I don't know. I hate firmware too. I just do not know what the alternative could be. But this is why I mostly avoid the current generation of consoles.
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ZeroAX
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Re: My feelings about warranties and firmware

by ZeroAX Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:24 pm

Flake wrote:But my point was that even in those instances you have the choice to NOT update your firmware. You just do not get to take part in the activity.


You know what, I would really love to return a game cause I don't want to update my firmware. I'm pretty sure the shop employee will be scratching her head for hours :lol: :lol:
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Jamisonia
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Re: My feelings about warranties and firmware

by Jamisonia Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:28 pm

That shouldn't matter. You buy a Wii with the reasonable expectation that your Wii will be able to play all games officially licensed for play on Wii. You buy a BD player expecting to be able to play all discs conforming to the BD standard. Thats not the case because of firmware updates. If thats not the case then those companies should offer repairs or replacements free of charge if a firmware update that was required to keep using the standard the device was intended to use at the time of purchase, if the firmware bricks the machine.
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Re: My feelings about warranties and firmware

by ZeroAX Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:33 pm

Jamisonia wrote:That shouldn't matter. You buy a Wii with the reasonable expectation that your Wii will be able to play all games officially licensed for play on Wii. You buy a BD player expecting to be able to play all discs conforming to the BD standard. Thats not the case because of firmware updates. If thats not the case then those companies should offer repairs or replacements free of charge if a firmware update that was required to keep using the standard the device was intended to use at the time of purchase, if the firmware bricks the machine.


Yeah I think we got a bit off topic. The OP was talking about firmware upgrades bricking your console, and companies not fixing it for free, though I don't know anyone who's console has been bricked due to a firmware upgrade, who didn't have his console fixed for free.
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Re: My feelings about warranties and firmware

by msimplay Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:42 pm

Jamisonia wrote:That shouldn't matter. You buy a Wii with the reasonable expectation that your Wii will be able to play all games officially licensed for play on Wii. You buy a BD player expecting to be able to play all discs conforming to the BD standard. Thats not the case because of firmware updates. If thats not the case then those companies should offer repairs or replacements free of charge if a firmware update that was required to keep using the standard the device was intended to use at the time of purchase, if the firmware bricks the machine.


I agree with this if they force firmware updates on you then there should be some kind of legal requirement / protection against bricking.
I mean I'm totally against the way companies force firmware updates without giving any guarantee that it won't brick your system especially since the warranties could expire before they stop releasing firmware updates.
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Jamisonia
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Re: My feelings about warranties and firmware

by Jamisonia Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:48 pm

ZeroAX wrote:
Jamisonia wrote:That shouldn't matter. You buy a Wii with the reasonable expectation that your Wii will be able to play all games officially licensed for play on Wii. You buy a BD player expecting to be able to play all discs conforming to the BD standard. Thats not the case because of firmware updates. If thats not the case then those companies should offer repairs or replacements free of charge if a firmware update that was required to keep using the standard the device was intended to use at the time of purchase, if the firmware bricks the machine.


Yeah I think we got a bit off topic. The OP was talking about firmware upgrades bricking your console, and companies not fixing it for free, though I don't know anyone who's console has been bricked due to a firmware upgrade, who didn't have his console fixed for free.


It seems to me that everytime there's a PS3 update a ton of consoles get bricked that Sony washes their hands of. Nintendo from what I've read and heard is pretty good about fixing or replacing consoles.

But another concern is withdrawal of support for older models. This is especially a concern with BD players.
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