Well, after about an hour and forty minutes, I was finally connected with a Sony rep. I was instructed to disconnect my PS4, remove the cover (the glossy part is removable!), and take out the hard drive. Then, I was told to hook the console back up and see what it said, namely that, well, there’s no hard drive.
When that was done, I put the hard drive back in, hooked everything back up, then rebooted into Safe Mode to re-initialize the PlayStation 4. That basically restored it to factory settings–but when I tried to restart the console from there, it crashed again. After that, I got it to take me to the home screen. But by that point, the rep and I agreed that my console was probably not in fine working shape, and that it would probably benefit from repair.
So I’m getting a box sent to my apartment, at which point I’ll hand it to FedEx and let Sony figure my console out. I asked if a lot of people were calling customer service, and he said there were, but not necessarily more than they’d expected. He put it like this: there were 800 people on hold…but compared with the 1.3 million people who bought machines, that’s not so bad. And he’s right–but that’s also not necessarily accounting for people who a) haven’t called or b) hung up.
He also mentioned that a lot of folks who ordered their consoles from Amazon (like me) were having major issues. The poor showing on the Amazon product page would seem to bear that out, too. HDMI port issues, the Blue Light of Death…we’ve got some issues here, people.
But at the end of my adventure with the PlayStation 4, I don’t feel super bad. The fact that video games are kind of my job–and that I’ve got tons of great games to play on PS3, PC, Vita, and Wii U–means that I’m not sad about my PS4 not working right away. Hardware launches always have hiccups like this…it’s just the first time this has happened to me.
So that’s my experience, more or less drawing to a close. Let us know in the comments what you’ve been going through.
As you know by now, Sony launched the PlayStation 4 on Friday. In the days leading up to it, reports started to swirl about defective units going out—particularly reports from press outlets like Kotaku and IGN. I was a little concerned since my own unit would be coming later on Friday via UPS (purchased myself, not provided by Sony or Inside Gaming), but I figured that Sony’s assurances that the number of defective units were small would work in my favor. What could go wrong?
Well, as it turns out, a lot could go wrong. Simply put, my PlayStation 4 is defective, and that sucks.
The first crash happened after I tried waking the PS4 from sleep on the evening of my first day with the console. It flashed on, turned off, then rebooted into Safe Mode. Then it turned on, admonished me for unplugging the power cord while it was still on (I didn’t) and seemed to work fine. Before this happened, my girlfriend and I had spent the evening watching Netflix and everything was going fine. And even earlier that day, I’d been enjoying about an hour’s worth of Killzone: Shadow Fall with no problems.
The second crash was this morning—again, waking it from sleep mode. The same thing happened: flash on, turn off, safe mode, then back to normal.
The third crash was about a half-hour later, while I was downloading games from the PlayStation Store. I just left the console in the home screen while it downloaded Contrast, Warframe, and Blacklight Retribution. Resogun had downloaded and installed without a hitch the night before (after the initial crash). I went into the other room to make coffee. When I came back in, the console was off. I turned it back on—booted into safe mode.
The fourth crash came while I was playing Contrast, after it had finished installing. After booting into safe mode, the console didn’t want to turn on by itself. I pushed power again. I tried to turn it on, but only got a blinking blue light on the top of the console. After waiting for ten minutes or so, this time I did take out the power cord for a hard reset. That finally got the thing to boot up again.
The fifth crash came when just browsing the settings menu. Once again the console spazzed out and turned off.
I have not had this thing hooked up for 24 hours yet.
While I was on hold with Sony support, Landon recommended that I boot into Safe Mode, and then Rebuild the Database, so that’s what I did. It all worked fine. I had been on hold with support for about a half hour, so I figured that I could hang up. I started playing Contrast again, to see if it would crash. While trying to solve a puzzle in the first level, the controller went dead, my character started moving of her own accord, and then the game froze and went black. The console shut off.
That’s six crashes. Plus, the HDMI port seems a bit loose and wiggly, and at one point, when reaching to the back of the console during a freeze, I touched it and the image flicked between black and back. So…that’s not so good either.
I booted back into Safe Mode, rebooted the console, removed my Killzone disc, and turned it off. I’ve been on hold with Sony support again for the last forty minutes. The recorded hold message lady who intermittently reminds me I’m still on hold tells me that I can go to Sony’s Support page and do a live chat—but that’s not true:
I can’t click it, I can’t try it—they’re just too overloaded.
So what do I do? I could wait for Sony to pick up the phone, run me through the same things I’ve already done, and hopefully replace my console. My other big option is to simply return my unit to Amazon for a full refund—they won’t replace it, since they’re out of stock (surprise!).
And with all that, I’m not really even that upset…though I wouldn’t say I’m not annoyed. Hardware launches are riddled with bugs and problems, so this kind of thing isn’t too surprising. But here we are, ushering in the next-generation, and all I want to do is plug my Xbox 360 back in.
Any readers out there have similar stories? And what are the chances that the Xbox One launch will be similarly problematic? After all, the Red Ring of Death has achieved legendary status by now…has Microsoft shifted its launch curse to Sony? And while it’s too early for me to tell myself, how have people’s experiences with Sony support been so far? I have some sympathy for the company since its employees are likely just as frustrated by this as I am. But at the same time…this isn’t quite how I wanted to spend my Saturday.
In the meantime, I’m still on hold. I’ve already done the dishes. Any good books I could read while I wait?