The PlayStation 4's first weekend in the US has been plagued with users whose new consoles either didn't work at all or crashed after booting.
The PlayStation 4 is not off to a strong start. A number of users who purchased the console after its Friday launch in the US have been reporting via Amazon reviews, PlayStation forum posts, Twitter and YouTube that their new units are booting up with the "Blue Light of Death" (BLoD) — a pulsing blue light that indicates the console has bricked itself.
According to the Amazon reviews, the BLoD either occurred straight out of the box or while the console was in use. "Just like everyone else who ordered a PS4, I have one dead right out of the box. Blinking blue light, nothing on screen," reported baldmessiah, while Okpaise said, "Purchased from Amazon. Started to set up, but during the update download, the system went dark and never recovered." Jake Zula said, "Unfortunately, I'm among the unlucky ones whose PS4 is bricked. At least I got to play it for a few hours first."
At time of writing, 563 of the 1966 user reviews on Amazon are showing one star, most related to the BLoD: over 25 per cent. This does not mean that 25 per cent of consoles have been affected, unhappy users are more likely to leave feedback than happy users, but it does seem to indicate that Sony's projected failure rate of 0.4 per cent was overly optimistic.
Although some reports are suggesting that Amazon's packaging is the issue, other users are reporting the same problem with PS4s purchased from GameStop and Walmart — and, according to Redditor high_iso, Amazon (and possibly other retail outlets) received a bad batch of units.
Sony has issued a step-by-step troubleshooting guide on the PlayStation forum, but there are no guarantees that it will work, and users are also reporting a hard time getting on to Sony PlayStation support to try to fix the issue.
CNET Australia has contacted Sony for comment and will update this story if we receive more information. We're not holding our breath — the company has so far not responded to requests for comment from other media outlets.
Even if the number of affected users is very small, this is not a good look for Sony — nor an auspicious beginning for the console, which won the hearts of gamers with its marketing campaign dissing the Xbox One.
The PlayStation 4 is due to launch in Australia on 29 November. Here's hoping Sony can issue a fix before then.