The reports of the PS4’s dreaded “blue light of death” error have risen since the console rolled out this Friday, marring the console’s launch.
We recently reported that many gamers who got their hands on an early PlayStation 4 suffered from faulty units, and this trend has carried over to the retail market as well. Winners of Taco Bell’s promotion were affected, as were professional gaming websites like Kotaku, IGN, and even Forbes wasn’t spared.
The error, which has been dubbed the blue light of death (BLoD) is centered around a faulty HDMI port that fails to broadcast a signal to a user’s TV.
When booting up a functional PS4, the the console pulses blue for a bit and then turns white shortly after the PlayStation symbol appears on-screen–those that suffer from the BLoD are met with a frustrating continued pulse with no TV signal.
This problem has not only put a growing blemish on Sony’s campaign but has led quite a few gamers–an exact number isn’t known–to their wits end after paying $400 for a very sleek and eye-catching brick.
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Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida has recently responded that the company is indeed investigating the errors, but he believes that these are isolated incidents.
The Japanese gaming giant has also issued a statement revealing that 0.4% of consoles are expected to be faulty, and that this number falls in lines with their launch projections.
While Sony has stepped up to acknowledge the problem, this doesn’t help any of the users who have been ailed by faulty hardware. So far, the best step to take if you’re affected by BLoD is to contact Sony’s support line or visit the retailer you purchased it at and try to get a return.
As a result, Sony’s support lines have been overwhelmed, with some gamers reporting negative experiences–but the general consensus is that you’ll end up having to ship it back to Sony for a fix. That, of course, means you’ll be missing out on next-gen gaming for a week or more.
No one retailer has been cited as a source for the faulty units; there are reports from all over the board, from gamers who pre-ordered their systems online from Amazon to those who picked them up at Wal-Mart’s launch event and everywhere in between.
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The PS4’s Amazon page has been one-starred over 400 times, with a fair share of the users reporting faulty HDMI ports as the cause of their dissatisfaction. As much work it took for all of the retailers–and Sony’s factories–to put together the console’s launch, it will be a hefty task picking up the pieces and righting all of the wrongs.
While Sony is aware of the problem, there appears to be no real solution to the “blue line of death” other than a hardware replacement. Sony support’s troubleshooting includes holding down the power button for seven seconds, unplugging the console’s power cord, and then plugging it back in.
Other tips point towards how the console’s internal hard-drive is situation as well as having the current up-to-date firmware on your television.
Sadly, it seems these troubleshooting tips aren’t working; so far there doesn’t seem to be any reports of this method fixing the BLoD malfunction.
Gamers afflicted by the PS4 error have been voicing their frustration across social networks like Twitter and Reddit, and while many of them could be disingenuous, there have been a number of YouTube videos (see above) published that chronicle gamers’ struggles with the bricked units.
Some users have come across a pleasant experience with Sony’s support, whereas some have had their frustration compounded by tedious troubleshooting guides. As Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo reports, a Twitter user by the handle @JohnMusiM had a reassuring conversation with a Sony support rep:
“After a two hour wait, a 10 minute phone conversation mostly involving address and ticket # exchange, Sony is sending me a box to ship… my DOA PS4 and they’re going to ship me a brand new PS4 in return…
“The customer service rep I talked to was extremely reassuring, confident, and knowledgeable which was extremely nice… Also I should remind everyone with DOA’s that the customer service rep on the other end is a person to who is not the cause of your problem… Well most of them aren’t at least. There’s always that 1%”
Other PlayStation fans have discussed mixed experiences with support, but the major consensus is that you should expect to be sitting on hold for a while, and to jump through a few hoops with support tickets and laborious tests with your PS4.
In a way the whole support troubleshooting process can make you even more crestfallen as the potential fixes offer a glimmer of hope–which is almost always dispelled when the cool pulsing light returns and no signal is present.
While many gamers are waiting to pick up a PS4 after Sony has worked out all the kinks (Microsoft’s Xbox 360 suffered from the same dreaded Red Ring of Death error, hence the “blue” ring of death), millions of excited PlayStation fans worldwide took part in the console’s launch.
Considering how many PS4’s that Sony assembled and shipped, it’s not surprising that some of them should break or suffer hardware faults; but this provides no solace to those struck by the malfunction.
Hopefully Sony will determine a solution for the problem once they get their hands on the broken systems for analysis, but until then many frustrated gamers will have to grit their teeth and wait for their new system to come in transit.
Coupled with the recent PlayStation Network outages–which is to be fairly expected, but still nonetheless irksome–the PS4 malfunctions have somewhat undermined the console’s launch.
But as time goes by and Sony rectifies their wrongs, rolling out new firmware updates, Gaikai, and providing functioning systems for BLoD sufferers, the Japanese console-maker will no-doubt continue the snowballing momentum they achieved at this year’s E3 Expo.