Sony Testing Bricked PS4 Units for Blue Light of Death, Amidst Sales Boom

Sony testing bricked PS4 units for BLOD amidst enormous sales

Sony’s PlayStation 4 hit the ground running, selling a not-too-shabby one million units within just 24 hours of becoming available on the market. The next generation console went on sale in the United States and Canada on Nov. 15.

This represents a considerable improvement over their previous generation console, the PlayStation 3. During the PS3’s 2006 launch, Sony only managed to push out around half a

PlayStation 4 sales exceed one million in week one
PlayStation 4 sales pass the one million mark, in the first week alone.

million devices to the Japanese and American masses, within the first month of launch.

During a recent press statement, president and chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, Andrew House, reflected upon the Japanese conglomerate’s latest sales figures for the much-touted PS4:

“Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on Nov. 29.”

Around 0.4 Percent of PS4 Units have BLOD Issue

However, the PS4’s launch was somewhat marred by some users reporting technical faults in Sony’s online forums. Sony has already confessed that approximately 0.4 percent of all distributed consoles were dead on arrival, or perished within a short while of being booted up.

Taking a quick perusal of Amazon’s customer reviews section for the PlayStation 4: Launch Edition, the review scores appear somewhat mixed. From the date of writing, over 1,800 reviewers have given the console a 5 star rating. On the flip side, around 700 customers have awarded the PS4 with the lowest possible rating. Many dissatisfied users have reported the “deadly blue light,” and one individual even claims they purchased two devices to resell, only to have the misfortune of neither system operating successfully. ABC News even reports that their first PS4 review system suffered the same fate, and had to be replaced by Sony.

According to recent reports, there does not seem to be any specific cause for the bricked consoles, and it is believed that a range of issues could be contributing towards the demise of user’s PS4s.

The Xbox 360, which was maligned by many a gamer for displaying the dreaded ring of death, seemed to be a separate issue. Whereas the 360’s defects appeared to center around thermal failure, resulting from overheating after having played for a number of days or weeks, many PS4 units are unable to function out of the box.

As shown in the clip above, gamers are setting up their brand new rigs, only to encounter the flashing blue light of death (BLOD). Whereas the console should initially display a pulsating blue light when firing up, before transitioning to white, systems that are afflicted with the BLOD issue are unable to get past the blue light startup phase and the television continues to register no input; as a result, many disgruntled buyers have dubbed their PS4 a useless, $400 paperweight.

Some PS4 owners, meanwhile, are experiencing this fault after having booted up the console on multiple occasions, whilst other customers report system failure after updating the firmware to version 1.5.

Currently, even Sony remains uncertain as to precisely what technical issues are responsible for the pulsating blue light of death. Many have speculated the flaw to be a manufacturing fault, since the problem manifests so quickly. Over on the PS4 forums, PlayStation support officials are providing some suggestions as to the likely sources of faults – principally revolving around the power supply, hard drive, software and television compatibility – and provides a number of brief troubleshooting guides (see sources section, below).

Internal Testing Ongoing at Sony

It’s also worth noting, if the stated 0.4 percent failure rate is an accurate reflection of how many units are problematic, and Sony is not underestimating the scale of the issue, this does not yet represent a disastrous launch; although, this will come as no consolation to owners of bricked PS4 consoles. Nonetheless, if 0.4 percent of all shipped units are believed to be faulty, in just under a week since launch, where will we be in a year’s time, or even a month for that matter?

Meanwhile, speaking to Mashable, Sony representatives claim they are doing everything in their power to determine the problem and seek a speedy resolution:

“We take any problem very seriously, which is why we’re having each of the affected systems sent back to us and tested to eliminate all possibilities and identify the issue.”

Users who have dispatched their bricked PS4 devices back to Sony technicians will be provided with replacement units immediately. In the meantime, the company is currently conducting internal testing on those affected console systems that have already been returned. We await the results of their analysis.

By James Fenner

Extreme Tech


ABC News

PS4 Forums

Amazon Review Scores

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