The PlayStation 4 launches in the U.S. today, and lines have been forming as eager users queue to get their hands on Sony’s next-generation console. But some of those who have already got their hands on a PS4 have been reporting problems with the device, which Sony has now acknowledged.
IGN reported that one of its PS4s stopped outputting a signal to the TV through HDMI, which apparently mirrored a similar problem with one of Kotaku’s units, which had a faulty HDMI jack. Kotaku editor, Stephen Totilo, said in his review: “The first retail PS4 we got from Sony didn’t work.” However, the site also added that “one pre-release PS4 and three retail PS4s [worked] with no problems”.
Reddit user ‘Arogon’ – who won a PS4 in a Taco Bell promotion – posted: “When I turn on my console it just sits there pulsing blue… There is no signal on my TV either.” Arogon added that Sony’s support had not been entirely helpful: “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.”
Shuhei Yoshida – President of Worldwide Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment – took to Twitter to acknowledge that some users had been experiencing problems:
Be assured we are investigating reported PS4 issues. The number is very small compared to shipped, we believe they are isolated incidents.— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) November 14, 2013
A statement provided to IGN by a Sony rep said that "the number of affected systems represents less than 0.4% of shipped units to date, which is within our expectations for a new product introduction", suggesting that the problem is indeed limited to a very small number of consoles.
One user, @Skee_J88, quickly responded with gratitude for Yoshida’s response, after apparently experiencing the same issues. The same user tweeted that he had had a much more positive experience with Sony’s tech support than Arogon, and that Sony had said that a fix would be coming by Friday.
Another PS4 owner also praised Sony’s response:
@yosp I was one of the users that is having problems and I gotta say the support team was incredibly helpful. Going back to get fixed.— Cory Climaldi (@coryclimaldi) November 14, 2013
The good news is that Sony seems to understand what the problem is. In a follow-up post after its review, Kotaku reported that Sony had investigated their console that had suffered the problem, and identified the issue:
The obstructing piece of metal in the formerly-broken PS4 had actually knocked some of the "teeth" out of the HDMI wire—the one bundled with that PS4—that we'd originally plugged into the unit, the Sony folks told us. We checked two other HDMI wires that we'd used during our brief bit of troubleshooting, and sure enough, they were missing the same teeth, too."
However, the bad news is that no-one seems to understand exactly why this occurred, which means that the issue is far from resolved. Kotaku acknowledges that it may have happened while they were plugging and unplugging the HDMI cables into the console, but also points out that this simple act shouldn't really cause the kind of damage that was seen. As Kotaku states: "Sony doesn't know. We don't know." Only time will tell if all of the issues are the same or if there's a bigger problem surrounding the HDMI port.
Image via Sony