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Failing PS4 Consoles "Within Expectations," Says Sony

Image: Sony

On Friday Sony launched the eagerly-anticipated PlayStation 4 console for $399 USD in North America. However, according to several reports, many proud new owners are receiving a blinking blue light, meaning something serious is going on with the console that needs attention. The company said last week that it was investigating the issue, but blew off any notion that the problem has become serious, saying that only 0.4 percent of PlayStation 4 consoles are affected.

"A handful of people have reported issues with their PlayStation 4 systems," stated a company spokesperson. "This is within our expectations for a new product introduction, and the vast majority of PS4 feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We are closely monitoring for additional reports, but we think these are isolated incidents and are on track for a great launch."

"There have been several problems reported, which leads us to believe there isn't a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of systems," the spokesperson added. "The number of affected systems represents less than .04 percent of shipped units to date, which is within our expectations for a new product introduction."

Eurogamer reports that videos of the problem have flooded YouTube, and on Amazon, there are around 600 one star reviews of the console. Many customers reportedly contacting customer service demanding a replacement or requesting a refund complain that the process is extremely difficult. Besides the Blinking Blue Dot of Death, other indicators of trouble include no video/audio output to the television, and the console powering off after blinking blue.

According to a new troubleshooter posted by Sony, the problem could be a number of causes including but not limited to TV compatibility, issues with the PlayStation 4 power supply, issues with the console's hard drive, and issues with other console hardware. The troubleshooter states that some users have resolved their problems by simply updating the firmware of their TV.

Sony also suggests that PlayStation 4 owners turn off the console and check the power and HDMI cables for damage. Also make sure that the hard drive is properly seated in the HDD bay. If none of this works, owners are encouraged to boot into safe mode (which is 480p), update the system software, and restart the system. The console can also be restored to factory settings if that doesn't work either.

"Due to the volume of contacts, we would suggest trying Live Chat rather than the phone line as the wait times will be shorter,"- reads the troubleshooter.

UPDATE: We're aware that there have been a mix of both 0.4 and 0.04 percent figures being reported on the web. While we suspect that the 0.4 percent is far more realistic (and nothing to be worried about), we reached out to Sony for the official word. Sadly, that official word didn't come with any numbers.

“We are aware that some people have reported issues with their PlayStation 4 systems. We are closely monitoring for additional reports, but we think these are isolated incidents and represent a very small percentage of total units shipped to consumers to date.”

  • thefiend1
    Is it .04 or .4? Both were mentioned...
    Reply
  • kdw75
    I would think that even .4 would be acceptable for a new product.
    Reply
  • babybudha
    @thefiend1 ..... both of those numbers seem very low to me. .04% is "4 out of 10,000" and .4% is "4 out of 1,000." While the first would be nice, even .4% seems quite good to me versus previous generations; albeit it's only been out for 4 day now.
    Reply
  • WAterTriAd
    I find it interesting that the .4% was mentioned prior to anyone actually having a console. Go find the original response from Sony, you'll find it came out Thursday morning and the quote implies they are using the entire shipped base for the less than 1% number. The console wasn't actually made available until midnight that night. Anecdotal evidence suggests it's higher. just a thought.
    _WAter_
    Reply
  • itzsnypah
    Well because this will be stated eventually RRoD was more wide spread.

    .4% is actually pretty damn good for a brand new product.

    Next up, XB1 with .4% also. Just gotta wait.

    Sensational Journalism is a fail. This is a tech site not Fox news.
    Reply
  • Sakkura
    11967928 said:
    Is it .04 or .4? Both were mentioned...
    They have also described it as 1 in 250, which indicates .4. Not an alarming figure anyway. What matters is how they handle the RMA process.

    11968061 said:
    I find it interesting that the .4% was mentioned prior to anyone actually having a console. Go find the original response from Sony, you'll find it came out Thursday morning and the quote implies they are using the entire shipped base for the less than 1% number. The console wasn't actually made available until midnight that night. Anecdotal evidence suggests it's higher. just a thought.
    _WAter_
    The .4% figure is their expected failure rate, and they're saying that the actual failures are within the expected range.
    Reply
  • vern72
    And that's why I don't buy sophisticated, highly anticipated items on the very first day of its release: there could be some fatal bug that would be fixed in the next batch.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    @vern i wait for the same reason, but you have to understand that people with broken consoles will be more willing to leave a negative review. people with working consoles might not care to right one.
    Reply
  • Simon Anderson
    Your opinion, vern72, is 1/250th logical! :P
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    Not my idea of how console gaming should be. It's a world away from the N64
    days of just turn on and start playing. Ditto the PS2 for the most part (still my
    current 'console'; for newer games I have a PC).

    However, given the current new gen choice, I'd still get the PS4 for various
    reasons, but I wouldn't buy on day 1, not given the way this tech is released
    now, with issues such as this that need to be sorted. As someone earlier
    said, let them iron out the initial bugs, then buy.

    Ian.

    Reply