Sony: ‘Blue Light of Death,’ other issues affect fewer than 1 percent of consoles


A Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) controller sits next to the company's games console, manufactured by Sony Corp., in this arranged photograph taken in London, on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)
November 19, 2013

Sony said Tuesday that reported problems with the PlayStation 4 are affecting fewer than 1 percent of the customers who have picked up the console since its launch last week.

News about the problems have cropped up on social networks and in news articles ever since the launch. But company spokesman Dan Race said in a statement that while Sony is working to troubleshoot a number of small issues with the console, it hasn’t received any indication that there is a single, widespread problem plaguing the device’s launch.

“There have been several issues reported, which leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of PS4 units,” Race said in a statement.

The PlayStation 4, which first went on sale Friday, has enjoyed a successful launch, with Sony disclosing that the console sold over 1 million units in its first 24 hours on the market. But consumers have reported a handful of problems with the console, including some complaints that the device has trouble connecting to televisions or doesn’t turn on properly. In those cases, users are seeing the console’s blue light illuminate to indicate the device is powered on, but still face blank television screens.

That’s led some consumers to give the problem a name — the Blue Light of Death — a reference to a widespread “Red Ring of Death” malfunction that affected the Xbox 360 in its earlier days.

The Xbox One and Playstation 4 have excited the gaming world. But which should you choose? Richard Taylor of the Entertainment Software Association and Endgadget editor Ben Gilbert weigh in on both. (The Washington Post)

Even the perception of a major bug could seriously hurt the firm as it takes on the forthcoming Xbox One this holiday season. Race said that the number of units affected overall, however, is fewer than 1 percent of all consoles sold and added those issues are “within the expected range for a new product introduction.” He added that some of the units may have been damaged during the shipping process.

Sony has released a troubleshooting guide to help consumers resolve some of the problems and is also working to exchange non-functioning consoles.

“We understand the frustration of consumers that have had a problem and are working with them and our retail partners to help troubleshoot issues and ensure affected units are exchanged,” the statement said.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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