Amid selling over 1 million PlayStation 4 consoles in North America in the first 24 hours of the North American launch, a handful of buyers were presented with problems that gamers have coined, “the blue light of death.” This phrase has been taken from Microsoft’s well known Xbox 360’s error, “the red ring of death.” Sony has now release a guide for anyone that has been plagued with the problem, which Sony states are approximately 4000 units.
The error is a blue blinking light followed by the console shutting down when gamers attempt to power up the PlayStation 4. Some gamers have been able to overcome the error by power-cycling the console, but others have not been so lucky.
Many consumers that experienced the problem uploaded videos to YouTube. The videos showed the problem with the blue flashing light, followed by many of them giving their honest and uncensored opinions at how displeased they were with Sony after spending somewhere between $500 and $600 dollars to purchase the PS4.
Playstation 4 manufacturer, Sony, says that the cause of the problem is either a faulty power supply, faulty hard drive or another piece of hardware, or an incompatibility with a connected TV. Sony’s guide lists troubleshooting steps for the buyer to try that may offer a solution and offers support to the effected customers through their online chat support. Sony does offer phone support but suggests that their live chat often has much lower wait times as their phone support queue.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 had some negative feedback on Amazon, with some users rating the console very poorly, but has since then rebounded back to reviewers rating the PlayStation 4 at a very good 4 out of 5 stars.
Sony did not hesitate and took accountability with the issue as soon as it was discovered and issued a statement to media outlets. Originally, Sony quoted the problem with the PlayStation 4 as affecting .04%, but was quick to correct themselves to .4%, or 4000 of the 1 million units sold.
Electronic devices will often have a small percentage of problems when they first launch and even large companies, such as Apple, are not immune to encountering problems when releasing their new products. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 had a much larger error percentage with the “red ring of death.”
Devices can sometimes be damaged in shipping, long before the consumer takes it out of the box, which is clearly something that is not a problem with the manufacturer. In some cases the error was found to be a bent HDMI cord, which is how the PlayStation 4 connects to the TV.
Users should always follow the manufacturer’s guide with problems such as the “blue light of death”, as taking advice from self proclaimed experts and fellow gamers can often further complicate the issue.
Sony’s problem with their PlayStation 4 and subsequent release of their troubleshooting guide, comes just days before Microsoft is releasing their new game console Xbox One on Friday of this week. The other third big competitor in the gaming world, Nintendo, released their latest console, the Wii U, last year.
By Brent Matsalla