I have owned a Playstation 3 for 1 year and 4 months. ( I received it for Christmas of 2007). I travel most of the year for work (about 7-8 months per year) and, thus, have not played it on a regular basis. The unit is practically brand new.
After coming home from a 2-month job on 4/9/09, PS3 required me to update my system via wifi to software version 2.70. After completed, the PS3 started freezing while attempting to play games. After 4 times of retrying to play, the unit no longer recognized any discs loaded into the machine. Discs include PS3 games, PS2 games, and Blu Ray Movies.
The PS3 worked fine before I left for work. No one lives with me or has attempted to play while I was gone.
I called Sony. I spoke with one of their Technical Support Representatives. After a couple of quick questions and no attempts at solving issues any other ways, it was determined that I need to send my PS3 in for service. If the PS3 is under warranty (1 year after purchase date), the service charge is free. If you are no longer under warranty, the minimum fee is $149.00. The PS3 retailed at the time of purchase for $499.00 for the 80 Gb model I have, the most expensive of consumer video game systems to this date. The minimum service charge is almost 30% of this outrageous price.
Due to the ease of which the determination was made for me to send my PS3 in and give them another $130 and doing a quick internet search to find out that this is a common problem and lots of other consumers have fallen victim to this PS3 burden, it can almost be implied that Sony is executing poor business ethics.
Beware!! Do NOT purchase a Playstation 3!!