After coming back from the Asia Game Show, I fired up my PS3, and got a new reason to write something about my only problem with PS3. The Sony Playstation 3 does not just work with all routers or access points. Yes, it is semi-officially confirmed (see below):
It all began when I tried using the wireless feature of PS3 with my nimble Asus WL-530g router. The wireless connection will set up fine, even the internet connection test, but then it will disconnect after approximately 30 seconds. This will keep on happening and every time a notification message will be displayed in the upper corner of the screen – even when playing games. On top of this, the Playstation Network account will sign in and out. Surfing the web still works, if you are prepared to have to reload pages often. This problem has been noted before in forums, such as here.
Evidently, this is an unacceptable situation. I called the Sony Hong Kong support and inquired about the problem. The problem was not immediately recognized, but after my second call, I got some facts on the table. The (simplified and freely quoted) discussion went something like this:
Support: “The PS3 can have compatibility problems with different routers. We have not tested them all to function properly with PS3”
Me: “How come normal computers have no problem using my router, or almost any router, for that matter?”
Support: “The PS3 is not a computer. It does not work in the same way.”
Me: “So, buying a new router is my only option? How can I know which router that actually works with PS3?”
Support: “Most Buffalo and Linksys routers will work, but not all. We will try to post an official list of supported routers on our web site or through other channels.”
I suspect that the PS3 is not a computer is a different way of saying “computers have stable wireless networking code, we do not”. Of course, technically, PS3 is quite much like a computer and in any case, if computers and handhelds have no problems dealing with any normal router, how come PS3 fails? Apparently, Sony sees the wireless ability more as a cool, extra feature than a really needed one. They still hope people just use their cables. But hey, wireless is the future and PS3 should embrace it.
Let’s see if that list of compatible routers show up. If it does, Sony indirectly admits their error. A list will in any case be a great help for anyone with these problems or any future PS3 buyers. As the support guy also said, future PS3 system updates might remove these router problems – and I believe him, I just hope it will be soon enough. Soon I will be able to test with some more routers to see if the support was right. If anyone reading this has problem with their wireless, or if their wireless works fine, why not post the brand and model number of your router for reference?