Best Buy Charging For PS3 Firmware Upgrades

In what may be the greatest example of Capitalism at its best, Engadget broke the news about how a local Best Buy’s Geek Squad was selling a Firmware Upgrade service for the PS3 for $30.  That’s right, the same Firmware upgrades the Sony offers for free by connecting your PS3 to the Internet can be done in the hands of “experts” for $30.

I have no problems with a company making a buck, but I would love to hear the sales pitch being used on unknowing customers for this service.  While the act itself is not illegal, or even wrong, if it’s pitched as a necessary service to customers, or portrayed as being any more difficult than turning on the machine, I’d take issue with the practice.

IndustryGamers then reported that Best Buy is defending this decision, stating that they offer the service for people who want the peace of mind of knowing they have the latest firmware installed, and stated other services are also provided, including setting parental controls and user account setup.

If I may quote the great David Spade, Best Buy is doing an impressive job of selling a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves.  If even one system in 20 gets this service, then that’s an impressive profit margin that helps make up for the very minimal margins that are found by selling game systems.

What do you think? Is Best Buy doing anything wrong here? Do they deserve to make money off of people’s ignorance? If you saw someone standing in line ahead of you contemplating this purchase, would you say anything?  Do you care how other people spend their money?

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  • Spoon

    I’ve been offered this service. The whole firmware upgrade thing is actually kind of tacked on to a full setup service (adding it in makes it seem like they’re doing more than they really are.) People like you and I would never think of paying for this, but a suburban housewife picking up a system for the kids may take comfort in knowing that the PS3 is properly set up.

    They do the same thing when they sell PCs. Geek Squad will actually charge you to remove the junk programs that Dell puts on their new computers. I’m not going to lie, I almost forked over the cash for that one… Even though I know how to do it myself.

    Props to Best Buy for coming up with something that nobody else thought of.

    Capitalism win.

  • Jey

    It may seem like a big joke to anyone who has owned a system in the last 20 years. however my father who works as a vidoe/music editor needed me to get his netflix working on the ps3.

    it is not hard to see him spending up to 30 minutes aiming to update the system. I for the older generation it might be something that has some merit or use.

    Depending on how it is being pitch is the way to see if there is any wrong doing.

  • Ok first off let me state I Work at Best Buy. (Ok knock it off with the boos and hisses already lol)

    As far as a rip off for the service goes many people may see it as that. You also have to look at it from the aspect some people don’t have any form of internet or fast enough internet to download the update.

    So yes the 30 dollars may seem high but what if your system requires that update and you have no where to turn to get it. What if it came to be that the update was something that was needed to continue using your system.

    Yes it is all in the way the associate offers it. You will find some that say hey you need this or your system won’t work which I aggre is wrong. If it is sold right or offered right there should be no mis-lead customers. Unfortunately you will hear stories of it happening because that is the nature of the beast called retail.

    Also wha if an unknowing parent comes in and wants to buy little 12 year old Jimmy Grand Theft Auto, This is where education of the customer comes in then we offer the parental contorl set up and the ease of mind that the system will be up to date.

    Lets just say your internet at home is slow would you wait an hour for some of the long PS3 load times for updates. Me myself I would want to game right away so in turn that 30 dollar price tag seems a little more worth it.

    Christmas time also offers another great reason to get it. Instead of hey kids lets update your PS3 then we can play. Wouldn’t it be better to just be able to have the system already set up and ready to go.

    So yes it may be non economical to some but for others it is a benifit. Like someone said before it is all about the pitch. If you walk in blindly then yes you may find yourself pushed into it. Just as long as the sales associate is doing his or her job (Which I know dosent always happen, they should be asking the right questions to see if the service is right for you.

    Just my thoughts

  • Nonyabusiness

    It’s bull crap. If u can afford a ps3. Most likely u can afford and have broadband Internet. U are not gonna spend hours updating your system cuz u don’t download them all, it goes from the one u have to the latest available, 1 download. If u don’t have Internet download it to a USB thumb drive or memory card at a friends ir whatever and install it t home. Nit to mention this is all pretty much highlight and select on the screen, not complex codeor external pc use. If ur a parent and don’t know what ur doing, fear not, little 11 yr old Timmy there knows a heck of slot more than u think about computers and the PS3. Let him do it. In conclusion, do some research before u fork over that much cash for your purchase and then some more for something that is uber simple and don’t need to pay BB for.

  • Yodakiller

    There are easy step by step set up instructions for how to do this for free, I don’t know how they do things in America but if you can’t find one of your friends older kids to set it up for your young kids then don’t buy a big black box which has no complications on it. As far as the ones who clean crap off your computer well that makes more sense but still you can ask a friend for free and spend that $30 on a game, keep up your cons best buy and stay out of Europe

  • Gern

    I heard someone in the gaming press mention that only 50% of the Xbox 360 consoles are connected to the internet. I would assume this is about the same ratio as PS3. Given that, I think this firmware update service is okay. You have to keep in mind there are a lot of people out there that don’t know or don’t want to know how to connect all of their devices to the internet. You either take in your PS3 to get the firmware update, or pay someone to make a house call to do it. The house call will be much more expensive.