Several Early PS4s Break, Pulse Blue: HDMI, HDD, Firmware 1.50 May be at Fault, Sony Investigating [Update: Affects Less Than 0.4% of PS4s]

November 14, 2013Written by Sebastian Moss


Update: Sony has sent the following statement to IGN:

A handful of people have reported issues with their PlayStation 4 systems. 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 number of affected systems represents less than .4% of shipped units to date, which is within our expectations for a new product introduction.

Original Story: While the PS4 isn’t officially out in the US until tomorrow, the press and numerous competition winners have got their hands on the console early. And some of them broke.

A few winners of the Taco Bell ‘Play The Future First’ competition have reported that their console stopped working, or never worked in the first place. Reddit user Arogon, for example, began an AMA (Ask Me Anything) discussion on the site, but had to cut it short because “When I turn on my console it just sits there pulsing blue”. This prompted other apparent winners to join the discussion and say their PS4s were also faulty.

On NeoGAF, user Dylx had a different problem: “After playing a brief game of NBA 2k14 I quit and inserted my Battlefield 4 [disc]. The system prompted for an update, so while watching the progress bar (Around 20%) my controller light turned from blue to white. Hasn’t worked since…”

Cory Climaldi’s PS4 “shutdown while downloading games in the background. Would turn on but never get back to the OS again”, with speculation suggesting the issue could be HDD based.

Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo also shared his experience: “the first retail unit that Sony provided me failed to work when I plugged it into a TV in Kotaku’s office” as “the bad unit had a faulty HDMI jack that we couldn’t fully plug an HDMI cable into.”

IGN’s PS4 also began to act up and “stopped working the morning after [they] updated to version 1.50”. IGN “tried a wide variety of methods to correct the issue: new HDMI cables, new inputs, new TV, putting a disc into the system, connecting it to and from the Internet, and, of course, holding down the power button during boot-up for seven seconds to try to reset things. Nothing worked. Oddly enough, [they] tried adding light pressure to the top of console and it briefly flickered a few active home menu images on the television.”

Both sites mentioned that the power light began to pulse blue (instead of the solid white of a normal booting PS4), and Sony support said the issue was to do with faulty HDMI ports.

Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida responded to the reports, saying:

Be assured we are investigating reported PS4 issues. The number is very small compared to shipped, we believe they are isolated incidents.

Clarifying that the number is small even when “compared to shipped pre-launch units”.

Of course, it’s expected for any hardware to have some problems, especially launch hardware, but if a high percentage of PS4s are breaking, it could be a serious problem. For what it’s worth, PSLS’ PS4 has yet to break, and all the current issues people have faced are covered by the PS4’s standard 12 month warranty.

Are you worried? Is this the PS4’s RROD? What should the PS4’s blue pulse of death be called? Let us know in the comments below.