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  (Source: YouTube)
Sony is the first OEM to respond, claims only 1 percent of consoles experience defects

The earlier bird certainly didn't seem to get the worm in the eighth generation of console wars.  Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s (TYO:7974) tablet-equipped Wii U console hit the market first debuting last year and seeing decent sales during the Holiday 2012 season.  But sales have since plunged amidst a lack of compelling titles and disappointment in Nintendo's new controller.

I. PS4 -- Blue Light Special

But so far Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) look to be off to an even rockier start, despite seeing strong initial sales.

The $399 USD PS4 launched last Friday and almost instantly reports of broken consoles started popping up.  Sony, to its credit, responded relatively quickly, saying that some consoles had shipped broken and it would be working with customers to replace these models.

Chinese language nternet posters claiming to be employees of Hon Hai Precision Industry Comp. Ltd. (TPE:2317) subsidiary Foxconn -- the Chinese firm responsible for assembling the PS4 -- posted in forums that they were disgruntled with working conditions and had purposefully sabotaged PS4s.

[WARNING: This video contains potentially NSFW language]

Whether or not those claims are true, what is clear is that many broken PS4s shipped.  The most common symptom appears to be an eerie "blue light of death" (BLoD, for short).

Sony says this may be due to more than one issue.  Sony Spokesman Dan Race states to Forbes, "There have been several issues reported, which leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of PS4 units.  We understand the frustration of consumers that have had a problem and are working with them and our retail partners to help troubleshoot issues and ensure affected units are exchanged."

A second Tokyo-based spokesman, Satoshi Nakajima, claims poor shipping may be to blame.  He tells Bloomberg, "There have been several issues reported, which leads us to believe there isn’t a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of PS4 units.  We also understand that some units were reportedly damaged during shipping."

Sony estimates 1 percent of consoles, roughly, are defective in some way.  If true this would indicate about 10,000-20,000 total defective units (given that the PS4 sold 1 million units in its first day (last Friday).  That wouldn't be so bad -- if accurate -- as new console often have a small number of non-working unit.  Even the WiiU -- a relatively reliable console had a few failure reports in its, Inc. (AMZN) reviews.

That said, the numbers on some sites seem to be a bit higher than 1 percent.   On Amazon there were 800+ one star reviews (~23 percent) -- mostly due to defective consoles, versus 2,300+ five star reviews (~66 percent).  Of course such statistics always need to be taken with a grain of salt as people with defective products are more likely to bother to leave a review.

II. Microsoft -- Fresh Ground Discs

But lest you think Microsoft was going to storm in and capture the day, its $499 USD Xbox One console launched today (priced at $100 USD more than the PS4) and already reports of problems are pouring in.  Of 619 reviews on Amazon 206 of them (~33 percent) are 1 stars, while 340 of them (~55 percent) are 5 stars.  In other words, so far a higher percent of users are claiming to have defective Xbox One consoles than defective PlayStation 4s -- on Amazon, at least.

The leading problem appears to be the "The Disc Grinding Noise of Death", which is reportedly ruining/chewing up game discs.  The noise certainly sounds rather epically bad.

There's also growing reports of "green screens of death" -- a tendency for the Xbox One to freeze on its green boot-up screen. Or on a subsequent screen showing the controller.

Microsoft actually reportedly started pushing an emergency update.  But that update to customers, an update which apparently was not ready for prime time.  This "fix" messed things up even worse, with it flagging some users consoles as "banned units", which has now been flashed into those consoles' memory.

In the past Microsoft's bans -- typically reserved for cheaters and extreme trolls -- were permanent and could not be easily undone.  So Microsoft might have to replace these consoles.  It was widely reported that one user who got their console early was "banned" for posting videos.  It's possible they instead ran into this bug.

Other users apparently experienced infinitely updating loops -- a so called "E100" error.

Last, but not least, some Xbox One consoles appear to be experience odd artifacting issues for some reason:

Some Xbox One games are also lagging/freezing.

Could more sabotage be afoot here?  Amazingly it seems like Microsoft's issues may be even worse, as at least Sony's consoles haven't experienced in-game issues for those whose consoles survived that far.

It looks like Microsoft and Sony's consoles are having a deathmatch -- a literal one.  And somewhere Nintendo must be laughing -- sure its consoles aren't selling like its rivals'.  But at least they're not breaking as often.

Sources: YouTube, Forbes, Bloomberg

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One Percent
By geekman1024 on 11/23/2013 9:00:19 AM , Rating: 1
It's 1% for Sony, but it's 100% for the poor soul who got a bad PS4.

I'll hold back till the slim PS4 is out.

RE: One Percent
By muIIet on 11/23/2013 10:32:23 AM , Rating: 2
I agree slim.

RE: One Percent
By nikeman513 on 11/23/2013 2:20:47 PM , Rating: 4
Hate to burst your bubble, but 1% is as low as it gets for electronic failures ( and very impressive at that). Norm is 3-4% defect rate (about double for Smatphones). I don't ill advise waiting. A later model might have a more energy efficient processors, but you'll be waiting two years.

RE: One Percent
By geekman1024 on 11/23/2013 11:56:35 PM , Rating: 1
I have no problem waiting. I waited for the PS2 slim to drop its price to $199 to get one, then got impatience for the next gen and got a 1st generation XB360, and was hit by RRoD. Sold the bugger as soon as it was back from RMA. A lesson well learned.

2 years, I can wait.

RE: One Percent
By Cypherdude1 on 11/24/13, Rating: -1
RE: One Percent
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/24/2013 10:56:56 AM , Rating: 2
Who is paying $800-$1000 for a gaming console? The price for these are $400US & $500US - Historically same price as any other gaming consoles of their caliber at launch even 10 years ago.

RE: One Percent
By ShaolinSoccer on 11/24/2013 11:50:41 AM , Rating: 2
He probably included games and peripherals, too.

RE: One Percent
By DFranch on 11/25/2013 8:43:50 AM , Rating: 3
Before I got the Xbox 360 I used to upgrade my PC every year. Alternating between new CPU and new GPU. Without the need to constantly upgrade my PC to play the latest & Greatest games, I only upgrade my CPU about every 3-4 years, and I haven't upgraded my video card in like 6 years. The investment in the 360 has paid for itself several times over by now. I expect the new generation to be equally as good.

RE: One Percent
By Digimonkey on 11/25/13, Rating: 0
RE: One Percent
By degobah77 on 11/25/2013 7:04:12 PM , Rating: 3
I'm an admitted graphics whore and even I don't care anymore about maxing everything out or playing at 105840p with 32000x FSAA all while getting 9,000,000fps.

As long as it doesn't look like total crap, I couldn't care less.

RE: One Percent
By maugrimtr on 11/27/2013 8:39:27 AM , Rating: 2
Before I got the Xbox 360 I used to upgrade my PC every year. Alternating between new CPU and new GPU. Without the need to constantly upgrade my PC to play the latest & Greatest games, I only upgrade my CPU about every 3-4 years, and I haven't upgraded my video card in like 6 years. The investment in the 360 has paid for itself several times over by now. I expect the new generation to be equally as good.

I play games on a 6 year old PC. I replaced the GPU about two years back (it was >7 years old). It could BF3 and any modern game at my screen's native resolution.

So basically, what you really mean is that you needlessly updated your PC every year. Most PC games are console ports - they don't need a super fast CPU and GPU to work unless you really need the top-notch graphics a recent GPU can pump out. There are occasional exceptions in the case of really bad ports to PC where optimization was never budgeted.

RE: One Percent
By geekman1024 on 11/24/2013 10:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about console manufacturing, but one of my previous job is in a hard disk drive manufacturing firm. The marketing guys are claiming the drives are 100% tested, which is true, since all the drives, fresh out of the assembly line, will be put into a tester that looked like a big electrical oven for formatting and basic read write testing.

However, when it comes to the QC side, a number of drives are randomly selected from each batch (or there may be some criteria guiding their selection, don't know, maybe they roll dice?) for QC tests.

If the sampled drives all passed, the whole batch of drives will be marked as PASS.

RE: One Percent
By sleepeeg3 on 11/25/2013 1:25:16 AM , Rating: 3
That's how QC works in any company. It makes no sense to test them all - you only test enough to ensure the replacement costs are at equilibrium with the marginal improvement of adding more QC testing.

RE: One Percent
By Roffles on 11/25/2013 9:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
have fun waiting 2 years... and i mean that sarcastically because you won't have fun waiting. i traded in my xbox360 and ps3 back in july and got a ps4 for $8 out of pocket (thanks gamestop for the 30% trade bonus!). i was so sick of the slow user interface, loud disc spinning on the xbox, loud sys fans on both consoles, and poor outdated graphics of both consoles that i was perfectly fine with not playing any console games for 4 months while i waited. i still can't believe someone took those old systems off my hands and gave me a new generation console in return. i kinda feel like i stole something. my ps4, and i presume 99% of others, works fine out of the box and it's a huge improvement in graphics, design, efficiency and responsiveness!

RE: One Percent
By nafhan on 11/25/2013 11:30:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'll hold back till the slim PS4 is out.
Not a bad idea, but the real reason to avoid both the PS4 and XB1 is the complete lack of interesting games. I'm happy to let the "beta testers" mess with the terrible release catalog - I'll get one of the new consoles once there's a reason to do so.

Who cares?
By ie5x on 11/23/2013 11:32:25 PM , Rating: 5
Nintendo must be laughing
When you are not in the competition anymore, your emotions count exactly zero.

RE: Who cares?
By inperfectdarkness on 11/24/2013 7:05:44 AM , Rating: 2
Completely disagree. Nintendo is the only company who makes 1st party games that will warrant purchase of the system based on those games alone. It's been that way since I started playing video-games in the 80's.

I know the fanboys are going to downrate me for this, but I'll say it anyways. Console gaming is no longer about the the HP inside the box. 1080p is not the grail of gaming, and ALL of the console mfg's (and those who develop for them) are still taking shortcuts with graphic rendering & resolution in order to eliminate framerate slowdown.

If there is any argument that can be leveled against Nintendo, it's that it lacks more 3rd party support. And the truth is, that's not even Nintendo's fault at this point. All of the consoles use the same hardware architecture--which is all x86 derivative. The so-called "lackluster power" of the Wii isn't even remotely a problem with the Wii-U. Developers are just not willing to program for Nintendo systems--having been largely jaded by the purchasing whims of misguided fanboys.

And you know what? That's ok. Even without one single 3rd party game of any consequence, I'll still buy a Wii-U. Nintendo games are just THAT good. Heck, the Wii was worth the purchase price just to be able to play Wii sports & Mario Galaxy (not to mention Mario Kart, SSB, etc). So from where I'm sitting, as long as Nintendo can still sell consoles for a profit (rather than a loss), it will continue to have a viable business model--because there are enough die-hards (like me) who require Ninten-crack.

No, I really don't care if COD #5,876 comes out for Wii-U.

I got downrated when I brought out the RLOD in the last PS4 topic. Truth hurts.

RE: Who cares?
By Totally on 11/24/2013 7:52:26 AM , Rating: 2
I've probably been gaming as long as you have you and have to say the the first party Nintendo console exclusives aren't what they used to be, not since the N64. The wii u does look good but doesn't have anything that I'd want to play other than the new Zelda, everything else just seems to be platformers and party games which quickly become stale after a while (mileage may vary).

Yes YLOD failures existed but are in the single digit %. Not even worth mentioning against the Xbox's at one time staggering 33% failure rate. A YLOD error was akin to winning the lottery, versus an xbox owner who expected an RROD. If you don't understand this I don't think you have the right talk about fanboyism.

RE: Who cares?
By BPB on 11/24/2013 3:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
Gotta throw the latest Mario for Wii U in the the list for great Nintendo games. My family really likes the Wii U. Oh, and the latest Rayman was great on the U.

RE: Who cares?
By inperfectdarkness on 11/24/2013 4:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
The verdict on PS4 is FAR from in. All we have to go off of at this point, is Sony's PR telling us it's 1%. For all we know, it could be significantly higher & that's spin to keep the damage control in check (because we know how fast consumers will jump ship these days).

Pikmin 3 is another must-have game for me, btw.

RE: Who cares?
By CyranD on 11/24/2013 9:20:55 AM , Rating: 3
All of the consoles use the same hardware architecture--which is all x86 derivative.

Wii-U is not a derivative of x86. They using a PowerPC architecture. PS4 and Xbox One are the first 2 consoles that using x86 base cpus.

As developers start abandoning all development for xbox360(PowerPC) and PS3(CELL) I got a feeling it going to be increasing hard to convince 3rd party developer to port there games to none X86 architectures when you consider that with just a little tweaking they can get there games to work on ps4,xboxone and the PC.

The exception will be if they believe there games can perform well on mobile devices. In that case they may be willing to port there games to ARM but that don't help Nintendo.

RE: Who cares?
By althaz on 11/24/2013 5:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
XBox One and PS4 are NOT the first consoles to use x86 - the original XBox did so (it had a 600Mhz Pentium 3 and a custom high-end GPU).

RE: Who cares?
By FITCamaro on 11/25/2013 7:41:26 AM , Rating: 2
700 MHz if I'm not mistaken and yes the GPU was a Geforce 2/3 hybrid.

It was probably the closest a console has ever gotten to being equal to the gaming machines of its time.

The repair is free but...
By The Von Matrices on 11/23/2013 1:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
Remember how some XBOX 360s scratched discs due to the lack of a spacer on the disc tray. I wonder if this is the same thing.

Whatever it is, if history repeats itself, Microsoft isn't going to be gracious to its customers. Sure, they'll repair your console for free, but they'll charge you $20 to exchange each scratched disc.

RE: The repair is free but...
By quiksilvr on 11/23/13, Rating: -1
RE: The repair is free but...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/23/13, Rating: -1
RE: The repair is free but...
By Mitch101 on 11/23/2013 1:38:43 PM , Rating: 3
I guess SONY cheaped out too then.

PS4 Disc Drive Problem First Day

Anyone else's PS4 scratching discs?

With two consoles both launching with BLU-RAY drives meaning someone had to mass produce 2 millions Blu-Ray drives for the consoles launch there is bound to be a few bad drives.

The guy with the banned account I have to wonder if he was banned on the 360 also or one of the people with an early console.

Either way Both Sony and Microsoft seem to be responding quickly to the issues.

RE: The repair is free but...
By Keeir on 11/26/2013 7:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think its more along the line of "Fool me once..."

Microsoft should have taken extra care this time around, since it burned them the last generation.

I don't recall PS3s scratching disks....

RE: The repair is free but...
By SuicideNinja on 12/4/2013 7:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
It took Sony until the 2nd slim PS2 to put a good laser in the console that was reliable. That was v13 of the console. The resulting class action lawsuit didn't offer much. I'm glad none of the companies can get away with that now.

But I don't think any other console took that long to straighten out. The 360 has to be a definite 2nd place though.

We'll see if Sony and MS can get this fixed quickly this round.

RE: The repair is free but...
By EricMartello on 11/23/13, Rating: 0
RE: The repair is free but...
By purerice on 11/25/2013 1:37:27 AM , Rating: 2
If games are as expensive as they are when they are on a disc that costs pennies to produce, would they be any cheaper on media that cost 100x the price?

Please think that one over again sir.

By kfonda on 11/24/2013 2:31:59 AM , Rating: 3
I just saw an alert from the White House about this. President Obama says "If you like your scratched disc, you can keep your scratched disc. Period."

Oh lighten up already, its really late on a Saturday night here. :-)

RE: Urgent....
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 11/24/2013 11:54:58 PM , Rating: 3
You didn't scratch that..

Thanks Obama!

RE: Urgent....
By jimbojimbo on 11/25/2013 12:34:37 PM , Rating: 3
We'll let you buy a new one for cheap by charging everybody that doesn't play games as well.

Impressive new DRM scheme
By MWink on 11/23/2013 10:38:46 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone's got it wrong. It's a feature, not a flaw. It's the all new Microsoft Disc Grinder DRM! It helps you dispose of those pesky used discs.

RE: Impressive new DRM scheme
By Reclaimer77 on 11/23/2013 11:39:15 AM , Rating: 2
lol good point. Plus you can't share a disc that's scratched up! So they made good on stopping used games and sharing of games.

RE: Impressive new DRM scheme
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/24/2013 11:00:03 AM , Rating: 2
Haha! Nice one!

By johnpombrio on 11/24/2013 4:00:04 PM , Rating: 2
Be wary of any post on Amazon that does not have a Verified Purchaser on it. One enterprising lad has posted only 5 reviews on Amazon, 1 verified purchased PS4 5 star review, and four unverified purchased reviews, 1 5 star review again for the PS4, and 3 1 star reviews for the XBox One.

Of the multitude of Verified 1 and 2 star DOA PS4 reviews, shipping is overwhelming the reason given for it being broken. Is the console so fragile that it cannot survive shipping? If so, wouldn't the major shipping damage be from China to the warehouse or due to poor packaging by SONY? Blaming it all on Amazon is a bit harsh.

By jimbojimbo on 11/25/2013 12:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
There's so much blind hate from either side I'm sure both sets of reviews are like that. Sad. It really degrades the reliability of these reviews when crap like this happens. I wish Amazon would show two review scores, one for verified purchase and one overall. I never trust the nonverified reviews unless they really are good reviews but they all still factor into the average.

i miss the good old days
By cokbun on 11/23/2013 8:38:22 AM , Rating: 2
i still have a working snes on my shelf, just blow the cartridge and have a good time, games these days are also lacking in soul, everything is about graphics, graphics, graphics..

By BZDTemp on 11/23/2013 11:14:21 AM , Rating: 2
With more than a million units sold of both consoles of course there is gonna be some issues, but once again it is being made out to be much more of an issue that it is.

I'm not saying that it doesn't blow for those sitting with a defective Console, but unless there is something close to a repeat of the 360 scandal then it is hardly news. Fortunately the coverage of the issues seems decent at places like this but in the mainstream press it is pretty silly with headlines along the line of "New PS4/XBOX sells well but has defects" :-(

By xti on 11/25/2013 4:49:17 PM , Rating: 2
Of 619 reviews on Amazon 206 of them (~33 percent) are 1 stars, while 340 of them (~55 percent) are 5 stars. In other words, so far a higher percent of users are claiming to have defective Xbox One consoles than defective PlayStation 4s -- on Amazon, at least.

I plan on getting the ps4 whenever a game strikes my attention, but this above is so misleading that not even a PS fan boy should be proud of.

I Wonder...
By mmatis on 11/23/2013 10:29:38 AM , Rating: 1
if Microsoft is going to sue Sony for infringing on its BSoD copyright with their BLoD? After all, such lawsuits seem to work for Apple...

By althaz on 11/24/2013 5:54:08 PM , Rating: 1
as at least Sony's consoles haven't experienced in-game issues for those whose consoles survived that far.

Umm, you obviously haven't looked too hard. CoD in particular has been very problematic on the PS4.

By StevoLincolnite on 11/23/13, Rating: 0
XBOX issues aren't surprising
By GatoRat on 11/23/13, Rating: -1
RE: XBOX issues aren't surprising
By drycrust3 on 11/23/2013 3:46:04 PM , Rating: 1
This is the same company which gave us the Surface, which was a monumental fail to the tune of almost $1 billion.

Don't be surprised if it still around in 5 years time. With the swings and roundabouts of software politics, it could be that the Surface ends up as the preferred tablet within the commercial and corporate sectors.
Microsoft make the Surface because manufacturers weren't making tablets with Windows 8 in it, so, have spent something like $1B developing Windows 8, and seeing the possibility that it would all go to waste, Microsoft had little other choice. If that is how much they spent on development then I've no doubt that it is a very good tablet.

RE: XBOX issues aren't surprising
By ET on 11/24/2013 2:08:15 AM , Rating: 2
It's true that the Xbox issues are less surprising, which just emphasises how Sony screwed things up. Over a million sold the first day means over 10,000 broken consoles sold the first day. That's a lot of users hurting.

By p05esto on 11/23/13, Rating: -1
Then.. quit.. your.. job..
By flyingpants1 on 11/23/13, Rating: -1
RE: Then.. quit.. your.. job..
By Saist on 11/23/2013 5:08:44 AM , Rating: 2
Okay. Let me be clear, I agree with you.

That being said, it's not like the many workers within China and other Asian Countries who have these kinds of complaints, have any other jobs to go to. Much like the American Old West, it's very possible that whatever city a Chinese or other Asian country citizen is in is dominated by an ODM like Foxconn. Such a citizen may often find themselves stranded due to no mobility [i](see Top Gear's commentary on mobility in Vietnam for example)[/i], and no other option to live other than to apply at an ODM.

Another factor to consider, even in ODM dominated cities, is that the flood of people pouring into the ODM's each day looking for work is often driven by other outside factors... such as other [i]"Available Jobs"[/i] having even worse working conditions.

We, those of us outside of such Asian countries, squeal in horror at the conditions such citizens put up with, but we also fought tooth and claw for years to have our collective rights as workers codified into laws and then enforced. For example, as much as everybody likes to pick on OSHA, if weren't for OSHA being able to enforce labor conditions within the US, many employers would happily allow American citizens to operate under the same conditions that many Asian employers allow.

RE: Then.. quit.. your.. job..
By drycrust3 on 11/23/2013 3:13:58 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree. I can't see why a company like Sony or Microsoft don't demand certain work practices in their contracts with their suppliers, they would expect those practices when putting out tenders in the USA, so there is no excuse to not expect those same working conditions when putting out tenders outside of the USA.
The real problem here is that because they don't put an expectation of those working conditions into their contracts, then those factories that do win the contracts do so because they didn't, and those that do offer them don't win the contracts ... meaning their workers are out of a job too. The responsibility goes back to Sony and Microsoft.

RE: Then.. quit.. your.. job..
By GatoRat on 11/23/2013 11:03:48 AM , Rating: 1
Do a little research. In many cases, they can't just quit since they are indentured servants.

RE: Then.. quit.. your.. job..
By flatrock on 11/26/2013 2:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
They aren't indentured servants so much as they suffer from a lack of better choices. Foxconn isn't having trouble finding workers because it provides the best opportunity for most workers to make a decent amount of money in the region.

I'm not saying they don't deal with worse work conditions than they would in the US, but it seems like the workers there are still better off than most Chinese workers.

They have had some tragic incidents there, but also remember that you are talking about a facility with somewhere between 250,000 and 450,000 employees depending on which reports at which time.

Eighteen suicide attempts in less than a year is a significant number even with a workforce that large, but with that many workers that work and live at the factory you are talking more about a city than simply a workplace and no city of that size is free of strife and unrest.

But when you start suggesting the Apple, Microsoft, and company quit dealing with Foxconn you are talking about putting somewhere between a quarter and a half million people in one region out of work.

I think Apple is doing a good thing in trying to improve conditions for workers there and I would like to see more companies doing the same. Force decent working conditions on them which also allows other manufacturers that treat their workers better a chance to compete. But don't expect drastic change.

Drastic changes would likely mean drastic changes to the prices of consumer electronics which would have some ugly fallout in economies around the world. It would also likely cause a lot more harm than good to the workers at least in the short term.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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