Grim outlook for PlayStation 4 launch

According to quite a few sources, including big-name gaming websites Kotaku and IGN, some of the PlayStation 4 consoles that have been shipped to lucky early recipients have been fraught with problems. Some have reported their new PS4s being completely bricked right out the box, while others have complained about non-functioning HDMI ports. It’s all a little too reminiscent of that other console’s red ring problems of a few years back, and doesn’t bodes well for Friday’s North American launch.

IGN received a detailed report from a winner of Sony’s “Play The Future First” competition that ran in the US. He said his console turned on, but showed only a pulsing blue light (it should be solid white) and nothing showed on his TV. In the same story, IGN reported that their own review console did something similar after being updated to firmware version 1.5, although it was working fine just before then, and Kotaku had a problem with one of their consoles’ HDMI ports that didn’t allow for a proper connection between the cable and the port, resulting in no picture.

helpful soul on the PS4 forums has offered up a potential solution he picked up from someone on the Gamefaqs forums:

So one guy on Gamefaqs was able to fix his broken PS4. If your PS4 seems to be having an issue (System turns on, blue light pulses, but no picture or OS) follow these steps:

1. Remove the HDD

2. Turn the system on (yes, even though the HDD is out). Then turn it back off.

3. Put the HDD back in and turn the system on.

The bad news is that this will re-format your HDD and erase everything. However, I’m sure Sony will release a proper fix soon. In the mean time, we should all probably back up our game saves to USB.

Failing that, another potential solution could be to follow the instructions posted by Gamespot on their “How to replace a PS4’s hard drive” video: download the official 1.5 system recovery update to a FAT32-formatted Flash drive and reinstall everything from scratch by pressing and holding the PS4’s power button for 7 seconds or so, which boots it into its safe mode where the recovery can be performed.

Finally, a reason to be happy South Africa only gets the PS4 on December 13: With any luck, Sony will have these issues sorted by the time our shipment of consoles arrived. Well, maybe – it might already be too late for them to do anything except issue a different Day One patch, which won’t really help if the problem is physical. We can but wait and see.

Update: Talking about this potentially disastrous turn of events in the office, we’ve come up with a possible acronym for the PS4’s symptoms: FBLOD. It can stand for the Flashing Blue Light of Death, or another word that starts with F (depending on the level of frustration of the individual experiencing its effects). It’s your call. And remember, you read it here first. 


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