Want An Extended Service Plan On Your PS3?

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PlayStation Protection Plan

If you've ever worried those crypto-code error messages your PS3 occasionally spits up might brick-ify your system after Sony's one-year manufacturer's warranty expires, the company's now offering up to two years extra...for a price.

For $49.99, you can extend your PS3's warranty by a year, or two years for $59.99. Even PSP handheld owners can get in on the action with a $29.99 one year or $39.99 two year upgrade. And since the PSP's more likely to fly through the air (or plummet to the ground) with the greatest of ease, you can purchase a no-fault cracked-screen coverage version of the latter at $39.99 or $49.99 for one or two years respectively. The only catch: You have to add accidental coverage for the PSP within 30 days of original purchase. Sorry all you 19 million U.S. PSP owners.

Depending where you bought either system from, you may already have extended coverage, if you picked up one of those annoying checkout retailer plan. Best Buy offers one. So does GameStop. They're mostly profit padding, since a fraction of a fraction of users ever end up cashing in, but if you need peace of mind, who can blame you.

Consumer Reports offers this sage advice on extended warranties:

Appliances usually don't break during their warranty period, typically three years. For example, our appliance-repair-history data have shown that the likelihood your gas range will need repair in the first three years is less than one in five.

When breakdowns occur within the extended-warranty period, the average cost of repairing the appliance is not much more than the average price paid for the warranty.

Extended warranties often contain loopholes, such as not covering problems caused by normal wear and tear.

If that doesn't convince you, here's a second more detailed pitch from same, titled "Why you don't need an extended warranty."

Whether Sony's move will hurt stores like Best Buy or GameStop is difficult to say. I say no, because you're not mailing anything in when you haul your system in to the latter, where you'll have to sit on your hands for days--perhaps weeks--waiting for Sony to process, remedy or swap, then return something your way by post.

As for Sony's terms and conditions, you're covered for "hardware failures due to defects in workmanship and/or materials," but more importantly, anything "due to normal wear and tear." Not bad--at least it's more than most auto warranties I'm familiar with.

Though if you're in the habit of dressing up like a pimp and taking a sledgehammer to your system, Sony probably reserves the right to deny you coverage.

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