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PlayStation (Games) Bug Sony

Blue Light of Death Plagues PlayStation 4 309

Posted by timothy
from the lights-of-death-always-with-the-lights-of-death dept.
jones_supa writes "A classic game console freezing problem seems to affect the newest generation too. It has been found out that a bunch of Sony PlayStation 4s suffer of a problem which has been christened 'Blue Light of Death'. When a PS4 is turned on with a press of the power button, the light that runs along the side of the console should first pulse blue and then switch to white. At this point the console turns on the picture signal to the display device. Those who have a unit with the glitch are instead finding that their PS4 pulses blue, never goes to white and never outputs an image. We do not have accurate statistics of how widespread the issue is, but reports are popping up in Amazon reviews, Twitter, YouTube and other websites. PlayStation support is still in midst of investigating the issue, but has already posted a bunch of magic tricks you can try to get the console past the initial startup stage."
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Blue Light of Death Plagues PlayStation 4

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  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:22PM (#45448911)

    on all Sony stuff.

    • by mrwolf007 (1116997) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @03:11PM (#45449563)

      Correction.
      Its called the "Pulsing blue Dickpunch of sadness", in case you didnt know [cad-comic.com]

    • Remember back when a console just worked? SNES, NES, PS1 etc. They really DON'T make them like they use to. No, dirty contacts on the SNES/NES don't count, that was user error for not keeping it clean and it was a simple fix that every child knew about; just blow on it.

      Try blowing on those pretty lights, see how well that works.

  • Rambo (Score:5, Funny)

    by tuo42 (3004801) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:26PM (#45448929)
    What's that?
    It's blue light.
    What does it do?
    It pulses blue.
  • Sabotaged (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrspoonsi (2955715) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:26PM (#45448931)
    See this article: http://www.neowin.net/news/foxconn-intern-claims-ps4-was-sabotaged-during-manufacturing [neowin.net]
    Seems the workers were not happy.
    • And that's how to properly protest something that you don't agree with!
    • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:43PM (#45449047)

      even more so if you have a boss like bill lumbergh so you work just hard enough not to get fired

    • Re:Sabotaged (Score:5, Informative)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:04PM (#45449165)

      First, this hasn't been verified. You're citing a single (deleted) post on an internet forum. It would be like me claiming Microsoft CEO Ballmer visits my cube during late nights coding and molests me. Credibility = Zero.

      Second, quality control is handled externally to FoxConn -- or at least it damn well should have been. I don't think this is a worker revolt. We would have seen more than one post. If you ask me, it's one of two things -- the most likely is a bad batch of capacitors or other commodity parts. It's happened before -- just ask Monkey Man (who isn't molesting me, btw) about the XBox 360's RROD (Red Ring Of Death) -- which was traced to substandard parts and compounded by poor design regarding air circulation within the unit. The other possibility, an outlier, but considering this is Sony... is that their DRM has malfunctioned in a spectacular fashion. There are literally dozens of layers of DRM in this device, and it could be that a conflict has emerged at the hardware level due to authentication, etc. But like I said, it's an outlier; My money is on shit components.

      • It would be like me claiming Microsoft CEO Ballmer visits my cube during late nights coding and molests me. Credibility = Zero.

        Now if you said he visits you at night and threw a chair at you...

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Second, quality control is handled externally to FoxConn -- or at least it damn well should have been.

        Hahahahaha. You haven't been a Sony customer very long, have you? Sony does not test their equipment. It goes in the box, it comes to you, you open it, and maybe it works. These devices are too complex to test without human intervention, so they just trust in the channel to handle the failures. They test some samples, sure.

        Remember, if there were a test procedure for every console, then consoles would ship with updated firmware...

    • See this article: http://www.neowin.net/news/foxconn-intern-claims-ps4-was-sabotaged-during-manufacturing [neowin.net] Seems the workers were not happy.

      Is this the same plant in Yantai where Foxconn essentially forced students to work for free [sky.com] on Apple and/or Sony stuff? If so, the sabotage is understandable, albeit still reprehensible.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I wouldn't call it reprehensible. Being forced to work without compensation is the definition of slavery. Throwing a wrench in the master's machine is your moral duty if you can get away with it.

        • by slew (2918)

          Throwing a wrench in the master's machine is your moral duty if you can get away with it.

          Of course, you might be apocryphally be throwing a sabot [wikipedia.org] into the master's machine, but why would it be your moral duty to continue wearing crappy shoes? ;^)

          The question is why continue to support companies that do this? In the '90s, people boycotted companies like Nike for the labor practices of their sub-contractors, but sadly other than some brief noise to channel Apple, electronics companies have largely gotten a pass.

          I think one underlying reason is that both the customer and the companies fear they h

          • by Gogo0 (877020)
            there were pictures of ten year old kids stitching air jordans, the "think of the children" was (rightfuly) strong. if foxconn has that sort of thing going on, its less-publicized.
            it matters less to most though. plenty of people are willing to switch from nike to adidas or the like. phone/pc/console choice seems to carry almost a religious dedication for a lot of people. theyre not willing to switch from their chosen brand, even if they think their brand does deplorable things.
            • by slew (2918)

              The point is not to switch. Every one of the brands have nearly the same supply chain labor practices (do you think the Samsung device is made with labor conditions substantially different than an Apple device).

              The point is to apply pressure to the brand that has the highest volume so it has the most incentive and the most leverage to change the situation and can benefit most from positive publicity for changing, not just to change the king of the hill. Otherwise the supply chain folks just get to meet the

              • by tlhIngan (30335)

                The point is not to switch. Every one of the brands have nearly the same supply chain labor practices (do you think the Samsung device is made with labor conditions substantially different than an Apple device).

                Actually it is. Samsung earlier this year had a leak of hydrofluoric (HF) acid [wsj.com] that killed several of their workers and poisoned the environment. Of course, it's covered in a lot of places, but it barely made a ripple. As I recall, Samsung only had a small fine for that - something like $50k or so.

                Ch [wsj.com]

        • Sabotage comes from the French word Sabot; that means clog, wooden shoe. It is said that sabotage originates from workers used to throw clogs in machinery to make the masters machine fail. I'd say they probably just bashed with their wooden shoes or kicked it, since they wouldn't want to go barefoot, but that's just a minor detail.
    • The Xbox 360's RROD made some sense, since they really were pushing things. It was a lot of hardware, quite high end, in a little box. Cooling all that was problematic. This generation of consoles, not so much. Their hardware is decidedly mid-range compared to what you see today, and is single chip. That is much easier to deal with, and shouldn't have nearly as much room for defects. That isn't to say there won't be some, there are always issues, but one wouldn't expect it to be widespread.

      So I could buy th

      • by lgw (121541)

        I'm betting it's a problem with error handling in drivers, and will be fixed by a firmware push soon enough. QA for that sort of thing isn't easy (though that's no excuse - it's not that hard either), and tends to get cut short when a product is rushed.

        If the project was running late and Sony was looking to cut corners to make the date, saying "well, we tested it on a dozen TVs and didn't see any problems, so lets just call the HDMI drivers tested so we can ship" is exactly the sort of thing I can see happ

      • by exomondo (1725132)
        I would imagine we will still see defects, though they shouldn't be thermal-related defects. If this is indeed a HDMI issue then that is pretty poor, they've already put out a number of revisions of a HDMI console (my first-gen PS3 is still going strong and fine on all the TVs I've used it on) and they haven't introduced any new features in that area either so they shouldn't be making mistakes there.
      • by Xest (935314)

        Even if the new hardware is mid-range it's still being packed in a small box which they're also trying to make as quiet as possible. That eliminates the cheap and easy cooling options yet they also want to keep the price low, which eliminates the expensive cooling options, so what compromise did they make?

  • Stats (Score:5, Funny)

    by Spad (470073) <<slashdot> <at> <spad.co.uk>> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:26PM (#45448935) Homepage

    "We do not have accurate statistics of how widespread the issue is, but according to Amazon reviews and Youtube comments, over 500% of PS4 units sold so far are suffering from this issue"

    • Re:Stats (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) * <(mojo) (at) (world3.net)> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:14PM (#45449211) Homepage

      Quite. Note that most of the negative reviews on Amazon state that the package arrived DOA, often poorly packaged or damaged externally. Those things have mechanical hard drives in them, for example.

      To be honest I'd be amazed if any new device shipping tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of units wasn't subject to some rate of failure. I hate Sony as much as the next guy but we basically know nothing at this point.

      • by Narishma (822073)

        To be honest I'd be amazed if any new device shipping tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of units wasn't subject to some rate of failure. I hate Sony as much as the next guy but we basically know nothing at this point.

        Make that million+ units [twitter.com].

      • by Xest (935314)

        Well it was being reported prior to launch by a decent number of people with review units, and folks who had won consoles pre-release. Given that there were a widely reported bunch of failed consoles before mainstream release when the sample size was drastically smaller I'd wager this is probably above the industry standard failure rate if nothing else.

      • A properly parked mechanical drive is quite robust. Obviously it still has moving parts so you wouldn't chuck it onto a hardwood flood like you could an SSD, but as long as it's not powered on and in use they're very resistant to physical damage.
      • by gmclapp (2834681)
        To add to this... With any electronic devices, failures are over represented because people who opened their new PS4 or Xbox1 and had no problems are happily playing their games and not reviewing anything.
      • by synapse7 (1075571)
        The fact Sony admits to the issue and has troubleshooting steps is suggestive. Sony could have pulled an Apple and denied the issue all the way down.
  • by bignetbuy (1105123) <r0ckNO@SPAMoperamail.com> on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:27PM (#45448949) Journal

    That's a little more than a "glitch" when the unit don't play games, display output, or otherwise do what it's supposed to do.

    • by Albanach (527650)

      If there's a troubleshooting step you can take to resolve the issue, so that the games display and can be played then it is indeed a glitch.

      For some units, of course there's going to be hardware failures. Those folk certainly have my sympathy. Hopefully Sony have a well stocked return/replace process so those unlucky customers can be running quickly.

      Videos and occasional complaints are somewhat meaningless. Unless there are hard numbers to show more failures than would be expected, this is just another prod

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ganjadude (952775)
        This is why i miss cartridge based gaming. I dont recall any of my nintendo products prior to the gamecube ever haveing any issue doing its intended goal (play a game)
        • I have.....NES and SNES cartdridge connectors can and do go bad.

        • by tragedy (27079)

          So, you don't have fond memories of inserting and removing NES cartridges over and over and over, uselessly blowing on the contacts in between, hoping against hope that, this next time, the game would come up and stay up? I loved the NES and have many fond memories, but I could never afford the special edition Deluxe Set which came with not only R.O.B., but also the rose colored glasses you seem to have gotten.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      Ctrl-Alt-Del [cad-comic.com] has named it the "Pulsing Blue Dick-punch of Sadness". I think that's way too good a name not to be generally adopted for the condition.

  • Power On! (Score:5, Funny)

    by the_skywise (189793) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:40PM (#45449025)

    Awww screw it... let's just mix and match memes...

    Han Solo: "Oh yeah? Watch this!"

    Pulse blue: Atomic Batteries to power
    Switch to white: Turbines to spee... BLAM

    Leia: "Watch what?"

  • by Anonymous Cowled (917825) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:43PM (#45449053)
  • HDCP? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @01:54PM (#45449103) Homepage

    Could be an issue with HDCP over HDMI. I would not surprise me if this is DRM failing thus holding up the boot process.

  • Is Jones_supa really #4 from Ctrl-Alt-Del?

    http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20131115 [cad-comic.com]

    Even linked to kotaku ^_^

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 17, 2013 @02:17PM (#45449233)

    For giving Sony money. Don't people ever learn?

  • For all the eager beavers that had to have the first PS4s I laugh at your gullibility. You are the public BETA testers. If you haven't noticed this trend in the last twenty years, here's some sage advice about new gadgets. Buy them a few months after launch once they get to Rev B or higher on their boards and more software comes out. First adopters are always the BETA testers for the hardware because of all the secrecy and money that goes into the development. Unless there's something especially good about
    • by AK Marc (707885)

      that doesn't last long if your Rev A model keeps BSODing.

      This time it isn't BSOD, but PBDS (Pulsing blue dickpunch of sadness).

      • that doesn't last long if your Rev A model keeps BSODing.

        This time it isn't BSOD, but PBDS (Pulsing blue dickpunch of sadness).

        What's the difference? Both cause no gaming outcomes, and BSOD has precedence.

  • since the PS1. The Saturn had troubles. The Dreamcast had troubles. This is nothing new. hat I don't get is why people act surprised.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @03:00PM (#45449489)

    It's easy, take the cartridge out, blow on the contacts, wave it around if it feels hot, then put it back in.

    • It's easy, take the cartridge out, blow on the contacts, wave it around if it feels hot, then put it back in.

      And failing that, ram it in and out a few times. It's funny how we're back to blinking lights at power on because stuff's broken. (Long live the NES!)

  • * of Death meme (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hadlock (143607) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @03:12PM (#45449569) Homepage Journal

    Where did this start? On Windows it was obviously the "Blue Screen of Death", Zip Drives had the "Click of Death". Did this phrase have any widespread use before Microsoft/IBM? Wikipedia points to OS/2 as the original BSoD monkier, but I'm wondering if it has roots that go back further than the late 1980s/early 90s.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @03:29PM (#45449679)

    At least it happens now instead of the usual 2 days past warranty.

  • by Torp (199297) on Monday November 18, 2013 @02:27AM (#45452385)

    And this is one of the reasons I'll get my PS4 next summer at the earliest.
    The other being that there are fuck all games to play on it at the moment.

  • I think the major issue here is: The blue pulsing light is a bit like the "blinking red light" or "check engine" light on a car. It can stem from a number of different things. There certainly seems to be QC issues with the HDMI port, and the provided HDMI cable is of rather poor quality. But another major issue seems to be Amazon shipping them with inadequate packaging, resulting in a lot of damaged systems that come up as "pulsing blue light."

    The light could be from a bad HDD, faulty HDMI port, faulty cabl

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