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PS3 is reportedly overheating, Sony stocks tumble from a little bit of investor uncertainty

Share of Sony stock took a 2.75 percent tumble yesterday on account of dim expectations from analysts as well as a nasty report of overheating machine(s) at the Tokyo Game Show.  Goldman Sachs downgraded Sony’s stock from “buy” to “neutral” because of PlayStation 3 release confusion as well as the poor sales performance of the PSP, according to the Associated Press

Things got even more interesting after Macquarie Equities analyst David Gibson reported that PS3 units on display at TGS operated erratically and had to be repeatedly reset.  "While the reason for this is unknown, we suspect it may be due to overheating as a result of enclosing the units and the high temperatures at the venue," Gibson wrote. "We are concerned that such a problem has occurred so close to full production and is clearly negative news for the company." 

Sony spokeswoman Nanako Kato made several good points to defend the PlayStation 3’s behavior. Anyone who has seen what sort of environments consoles must endure during trade shows will know that ventilation is always in short supply – especially in a crowded area of sweaty, eager gamers. 

"It's not a problem with the PlayStation 3 unit itself," Kato said. "For a normal player at home, there shouldn't be any problem." With 200 PS3 retail demo units housed in see-through kiosks, one shouldn’t be surprised to see heat issues. Still, this demonstrates under what strict conditions the PS3 must operate. 

Another possible explanation for this supposed glitch is software related. Given that nearly all the software on display at the Tokyo Game Show were still in production, a crash-causing bug could very well be the culprit for the malfunction. 

The real test for PlayStation 3 build quality will come this year as up to two million units will be sold across North America and Japan.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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