Is there a PlayStation 4 hardware disaster looming?

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Soon after Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was released ahead of the competition, a hardware problem became apparent, spawning the infamous red ring of death. It was a bit of a catastrophe, eventually costing the company over $1 billion to fix. Is history repeating itself? Sony’s PlayStation 4 launches first in the US tomorrow, and there are already an alarming number of reports of faulty PS4’s.

Both Kotaku and IGN have reported having hardware issues, specifically regarding the HDMI ports, rendering their PS4 units inoperable. That alone should set off alarms, but it apparently gets worse. A number of users who won early PS4’s in competitions have also had issues with their shiny new consoles.

Reddit user Aragon has detailed his issues in this thread.

When I turn on my console it just sits there pulsing blue. As far as I can tell it is supposed to turn white but it isn’t doing that. There is no signal on my tv either. I talked to at least 5 tech support people on the phone and 1 on-line. All of them but two outright refused to help me saying that the console is not yet released and they can’t help me. Two of the tech tried to help me boot it up into safe mode and that failed.

But he’s not alone. There’s a thread over on neoGAF detailing another user’s miserable PlayStation 4 experience, and another TwitchTV Stream of yet another early console owner experiencing similar issues.

Of course, any bit of new electronics is bound to have a number of faulty units, but the problem here is that the thing isn’t even out yet, and the privileged few who do already have units have had problems. This is a problem that Sony can ill afford. While Microsoft could swallow the billion dollar damage, Sony’s not in the same financial position to do that.

Last Updated: November 14, 2013

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