When the Sony Playstation 4 launches at midnight tonight, fans of Sony’s beloved gaming console will either lose sleep due to the immense gaming that will take place… or due to the rioting that will commence.
Early Thursday morning, reports of “broken PS4’s” began to surface after the lucky few who won Taco Bell’s “Play the Future Now” sweepstakes reported that their Playstation 4 units simply wouldn’t work. There were reports of the system never turning on and faulty HDMI ports on the pre-release shipments are beginning to worry consumers planning on purchasing, or picking up their console later tonight and over the weekend.
The horror of the disabled PS4 even hit IGN headquarters in San Francisco, as their unit malfunctioned after they updated the firmware to version 1.50. And yes, they tried so much of everything that Sony hand delivered them a brand new console.
This is the last thing Sony needs going into day zero, considering they’ve had the upper hand over Microsoft’s Xbox One, which will be released next week.
“Be assured, we are investigating reported PS4 issues. The number is very small compared to shipped. We believe they are isolated incidents,” said Playstation President Shuhei Yoshida in a tweet around 10am Thursday morning.
Yes folks, he’s trying to keep everyone calm.
It’s not uncommon for the first generation of new consoles to have issues. The “fat” Playstation 3 had a fairly serious overheating issue when the system was released in 2007, along with the yellow light of death and the death of your pocket thanks to its original $600 price tag, while the Xbox 360 had the “three red-ring-of-death” problem. However, those issues, minus Sony’s original launch price point usually pop up in year two of the lifespan.
For the moment, however, we’re talking about five incidents, including IGN’s; five out of an estimated 5,000. So, don’t’ necessarily panic yet.
But, should this become a serious issue come midnight, this is a problem that could hurt Sony down the long run. If this is not an isolated incident as Yoshida expressed it may be on Twitter, Sony could be in for a massive recall, and a massive loss, one that could be close to impossible to recover from.
It’s an issue more than just the bottom line, it’s an issue of trust. Trust between the consumer and the company.
In 2007, after the huge success of the Playstation 2, Sony hit fans with a $600 price tag for the PS3. In 2011, as the PS3 began to finally take off, Playstation Network was hacked, leaving players who played online, offline. And those who had valuable billing information on their PSN accounts, exposed.
But we’ve got past that part. At least, we thought we did. It’s almost as if we’ve given Sony so many chances not to mess up. And they have. And they tried to make up for it, which they have.
If the PS4 issue, whether it be a hardware issue with a faulty HDMI port, or a software issue affecting the signal between the console and the HDMI affects more than, say 50. Sony’s in for it. And Sony will be out of it. And it won’t be a pretty exit. It’ll be like watching that football player who was amazing in college stink it up in the NFL.
In short, if this does become a serious issue come midnight, the PS4 will be a bust. And we’ll have another hour-long bow from Yoshida and Co. apologizing for what happened. Except this time, it’d be one apology too many.
But, a slow start, even with this current issue isn’t anything new with the Playstation brand. Since the PS3’s launch in 2007, Playstation always seemed to be slow starters. Even in 2012 with the abysmal release of the Playstation Vita, Sony just never gets it right on day zero.
So, it’s fitting that there’s a “hardware issue” on the eve of possibly their biggest, most hyped console in their history. It’s fitting that while Sony has the upper hand over MIcrosoft throughout the 2013 calendar year that, on the final countdown toward their biggest release, there had to be some kind of issue.
Price tag, online hack, another price tag, and now, something as simple as putting on the HDMI port correctly.
Tonight, we’ll find out if we really awaited “Greatness” or “Failure.”
Playstation, you’re officially on the clock.