For just $30, Best Buy will update your PS3 firmware – a service that Sony offers for the competing price of absolutely free.
You know, there’s a lot of money to be had in offering computer services to the less-nerdy. It’s understandable, too: Computers are expensive and sensitive snarls of hardware and software that can be difficult for a layman to make heads or tails of, and people don’t want to risk messing something up permanently. Still, there is a very fine line between a service and a scam, and what Best Buy is pulling falls squarely on the “scam” side of the line.
The image you see here was taken at a Best Buy in Staten Island, NY. As you can see, the establishment’s Geek Squad is selling PS3s for $329.98 – just under thirty bucks greater than the manufacturer’s retail price of $299. Why the extra $30? Because Best Buy is gracious enough to update the PS3 firmware for the hapless consumer, of course.
This is the same firmware update that Sony ships out free of charge to any PS3 with an internet connection. If you want to connect to PSN, you’ll automatically be updated to the latest firmware. Some games even include it on the disc. It isn’t even that complicated – when prompted to install the firmware, you select “yes,” and go make yourself some food for an hour or so.
Oh, and if you already have a PS3, the same Best Buy will helpfully install the latest firmware for the same $30 – which will buy their time as they take it into the back, plug it into a wall, and select “yes.”
It’s unclear whether this is a new Best Buy store-wide policy or if this Staten Island location is just particularly unscrupulous, but this is one of the most shamelessly blatant retail scams I’ve seen in ages.