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The PS3's "Yellow Light of Death"

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the doesn't-have-the-same-ring-to-it dept.

PlayStation (Games) 292

Xest writes "More and more reports are appearing about PlayStation 3 consoles failing in a similar way to the earlier models of the Xbox 360, except for Sony, it's the 'Yellow Light of Death.' The BBC has an interesting article which suggests the problem could be almost identical to that which caused the Red Ring of Death — poor soldering connections. From the article: 'Several of those businesses have told Watchdog that the vast majority of consoles they see with the "yellow light of death" can be repaired by heating up specific parts of the circuit board. This process is called solder re-flow. By heating the connections between the components and the circuit board to temperatures in excess of 200 Celsius, the metal solder joints melt, just like they did when the device was first assembled. Console repairers say that this process method is commonly used to repair fractured connections, or dry joints.' But that's not the only rule from Microsoft's playbook Sony has been following; while they have admitted 12,500 out of 2.5 million systems have failed (a convenient 0.5%), they refuse to release full figures of failure rates, citing them as being 'commercially sensitive.' Unfortunately, Sony does not appear to be following Microsoft's lead with regard to an extended warranty, stating that if a PS3 fails after 12 months, it is not their problem. In the UK at least, the Sale of Goods Act would disagree with that statement."

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How about Nintendo? (3, Interesting)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473575)

So it seems that Microsoft has gotten a LOT of press over this... Sony is picking it up now... how have survival rates been for the Wii?

Re:How about Nintendo? (5, Funny)

Tanman (90298) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473611)

It's hard to tell -- wiimotes impaling consoles have skewed the numbers. It's called the "White Wiimote of Death"

Re:How about Nintendo? (3, Funny)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473741)

WmD? Has the wii been released to Iraq yet???

Re:How about Nintendo? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473761)

It's illegal to play with your own Wii in towelhead land.

Re:How about Nintendo? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473633)

Not sure how they are on failure rates, but when it comes to customer service, they are awesome! Nintendo DS failed on me and they didn't ask for a receipt, date of purchase or anything; shipped me another right out at no cost with a label to ship the failed one back for free.

Re:How about Nintendo? (4, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474113)

I can second that, I had left a DS lite in my pocket...forgot it was there and went four wheeling...cracked both screens. It was only a couple months old but was clearly my fault. I called Nintendo and told them what I had done, they thanked me for my honesty told me the price to repair and then said they would share the cost. The entire replacement cost $50 and was done in less than 10 days.

Compare that to my PSP which spontaneously just stopped reading umd disks. It had never left my house and was kept in a techshell case since day one. I had it less than 6 moths, the Sony rep told me that I must have dropped it since they didnt just fail on their own. I was then told it would be $95 to repair since it was in their opinion abuse and not covered under warranty. I love sony's products but I buy them with full knowledge that they are disposable items.

Re:How about Nintendo? (3, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473635)

Hmm. You're right there does not seem to be comparatively very many people out there complaining about dead Wii consoles. I wonder why that is...

Re:How about Nintendo? (5, Insightful)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473683)

[Apologies in advance to Wii fans]

It's because most people play Wii Sports for a week, put it on the shelf, and never touch it again...

Re:How about Nintendo? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473897)

[Apologies in advance to Wii fans]

It's because most people play Wii Sports for a week, put it on the shelf, and never touch it again...

It's true! I haven't played Wii Sports in a long time. There are so many other fun games out on the Wii now that I'm too busy playing them...

Re:How about Nintendo? (4, Insightful)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474021)

I had to ship mine back to Nintendo twice. Does that count?

Of course, in my case, the console still worked. It just had graphical glitches over the screen that made some parts of some games nearly impossible to play through.

And I got a really nice letter of apology from Nintendo about needing a second repair.

So, now we just need another anecdote and we'll have data, right? :)

Re:How about Nintendo? (-1, Flamebait)

zonker (1158) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474207)

I hear if it requires a third repair some middle manager in Japan is forced to commit seppuku to save face.

Re:How about Nintendo? (3, Funny)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474049)

Perhaps they are still trying to catch their breath from blowing on their Mario Brothers cartridges?

Re:How about Nintendo? (4, Informative)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473643) []

Nintendo products are quite rugged in general. The only hardware issues that people have sited a lot are the DS lite hinge cracking (which is only cosmetic) and the Wiimote strap.

Googling turns a number between less than 1% to 2.7%.

Re:How about Nintendo? (4, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473667)

I seem to remember quite a few people with worn out analog sticks on their N64. Although I'm not completely sure if those were official Nintendo controllers, I seem to think they were. Also, the Wii doesn't have any problems because it doesn't heat up. It's actually hotter when it's in standby (with the WiFi still on) then when it's playing games, because the fan turns off.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

munrom (853142) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473729)

I still have a N64 and yes, the analog joystick would wear done with time, even the offical controlers, very frustrating. All of my mates with N64s had the same issue. If you open the controllers up you'd see the plastic dust from the wear.

Re:How about Nintendo? (2, Interesting)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473735)

I remember stuck A and B buttons on the official N64 controllers. SNES controllers were indestructible. You could build a bunker [] out of Game Boys.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473909)

My original black-and-white Game Boy's direction keys started sticking after six years or so; the rubber pad that held the little pieces of metal under each direction button tore, making the metal stay stuck against the contact points. I eventually repaired it by stealing parts from a spare NES controller.

Re:How about Nintendo? (4, Interesting)

Tyrion Moath (817397) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473975)

There's a story in one Nintendo Power from ages long past about a kid who lost his GB in the yard once. It got mowed over twice and rained on and still worked fine, although there was a crack in the screen I think. They had a picture of it too. Impressive craftsmanship.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

bangthegong (1190059) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474111)

I remember stuck A and B buttons on the official N64 controllers. SNES controllers were indestructible. You could build a bunker [] out of Game Boys.

great pic. mod parent post up. amazing to see the damn thing still works after you drop a bomb on it and set it on fire.

Is that a manufacturing defect? (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473825)

Everything wears out - shoes, clothes, cars .... and consoles.

Similarly these rings of death ... is it really supposed to last for years if you give the power connector a hard pull three or four times a day or pile so much junk on top of it that it overheats?

Re:Is that a manufacturing defect? (3, Interesting)

c_forq (924234) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473849)

You obviously never had an original GameBoy. I had one that was handed down to me from my brother, both of us abused it pretty badly. I rediscovered it when visiting my parents a few weeks back, popped four batteries in, and the thing still works exactly as I remember. If I recall right someone had one that survived an explosion in the Gulf War too. I think it might take a silver bullet to the screen to kill one of those suckers.

Re:Is that a manufacturing defect? (3, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473903)

And when they turn on us, we will be helpless.

Re:Is that a manufacturing defect? (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473919)

When I was a kid I dropped my original Game Boy onto some concrete while it was running some game or other. I don't think it noticed.

I think my brother still has that same Game Boy in a drawer somewhere, though he rarely uses it (in favor of his GBA or DS, depending on the game). Last time I checked (earlier this year) it still worked.

Re:Is that a manufacturing defect? (5, Interesting)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474107)

I still have my original Gameboy, which my father bought for me when the machine launched in the US. (Incidentally, I got a Gameboy FIRST. I got an NES later.) It still works, but like many original Gameboys it eventually suffered from the Screen Rot of Doom problem, and it's lost probably 25% of its vertical columns of pixels on the left and right edges of the screen. So it works for only suitably small values of "works." Despite a couple of decades of being abused, getting dropped, smashed, sat on, having batteries left in it for years on end, being locked in closed cars, etc., etc. It's surprising that the screen rot problem (which seems to be a function of oxidation and not mechanical failure) is the only thing that's wrong with it.

I also have a Gameboy Pocket which is not quite as old, but if it were alive it'd be easily old enough to get a driver's license... They corrected the screen rot problem from the Gameboy Pocket on up and mine works flawlessly. Despite the same abuse.

Come to think of it, even my original front-loading NES still works. It developed the same fatigue problems with the cartridge connector as every other front-loader in the universe, but all I had to do was bend all the pins back and smear a little dielectric grease on them and it works better than new... I don't even have to push the cartridge down anymore.

My SNES, Genesis, N64, and oodles of Gameboys... All still working great. Even both of my Atari 2600's are still trucking.

Meanwhile... One of my Playstations: Broken. One of my PS2's has a dead laser, and the other one is in the process of dying. Original Xbox: Dead. One of my Dreamcasts: Dead. Etc., etc. The pattern? Things with moving parts have finite lifetimes. The sad fact is, it seems that optical disk based consoles are just predestined to fail because their piddly little lasers, spindle motors, and tracking assemblies wear out. ROM/cartridge based machines can be made to last forever, partly because the older ones are bog simple machines that barely generate any heat, but also because you can ALWAYS find a way to bodge electrical contact between the cartridge pins and the CPU.

For this reason I predict that the DS will be the last classic console. Your 30+ year old Atari will probably game on forever, but your 2 year old Xbox, PS3, or Wii can never be expected to.

Enjoy it while it lasts, kiddos.

Re:How about Nintendo? (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473723)

An entire generation of young gamers received their only exercise from blowing vigorously on the connectors for a certain console's cartridges...

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474015)

I always licked my cartridges, I found they worked longer than just blowing afterward.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473805)

The only hardware issues that people have cited a lot are the DS lite hinge cracking

There, fixed that for you.

Re:How about Nintendo? (4, Interesting)

fizzding (1171839) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473893)

I borrowed Banjo-Kazooie from one of my cousins many years ago. While giving it back to her, we had a snowball fight and it fell out into the snow somewhere.

Next spring, we found it on the lawn and dried it out. The damn thing still worked fine. A year or so after that, they had brought it on vacation. Their houseboat *burned down then sank*. They recovered it.

To this day the game works fine.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1, Interesting)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473957)

I washed my Super mario bros. for GBA, after drying it out it worked fine. Still works to this day with the original save files intact.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474077)

I washed my keyboard in my dishwasher. Dried it out and it still works fine. Water doesn't hurt electronics unless it's submerged for a long time, or it's plugged in when it gets wet.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

REggert (823158) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473991)

In any case, everyone knows that if your Nintendo games don't work properly, all you need to do is blow the dust out of the cartridge.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

Cerium (948827) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474087)

I had an old school Game Boy get submerged when my basement flooded once. When I finally found it, it was completely covered in mud and I assumed it was shot. Just to be sure, I threw new batteries in it and gave it a try and, sure enough, it worked fine. I was a little shocked.

My GBA, however... not so much [] .
(Trivia: That photo was taken five minutes after the GBA had been shut off and the game removed. The image remained on the screen for another ten minutes or so. Props if you can identify the game.)

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474115)

My brother mashed the D-pad on his Game Boy Advance so severely that the up and left directions barely work at all any more. That's after several years of use, though, and he's insanely rough on controllers in general.

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:How about Nintendo? (2, Interesting)

Slavik81 (1457219) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473653)

There's a decent number of Wiis with poor disk drives. They became apparent when Smash Bros. Brawl released. It was a popular game and was on a dual-layered DVD, so it exposed latent problems many Wiis. There's also occasional defective video hardware. But all-in-all, the Wii seems to have had pretty low failure rates.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

grotgrot (451123) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473803)

When SSBB came out it was the first dual layer disc. My Wii was one of those having disc reading issues. Nintendo replaced the drive at their expense very quickly and added some more time to the warranty (I was out of warranty by about 3 months). At no point did I feel it was my fault or that Nintendo didn't like me. There was a minor concern over save games etc should the whole unit need replacing (their webpages of the time basically said "bad luck"). You can copy some savegames to SD card, but some prevent you which does make me angry. I only have 3 downloaded titles as I decided I wanted to own not rent them (ie I am only paying for stuff I can move to new systems at my choice.)

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474003)

At no point did I feel it was my fault or that Nintendo didn't like me. There was a minor concern over save games etc should the whole unit need replacing (their webpages of the time basically said "bad luck"). You can copy some savegames to SD card, but some prevent you which does make me angry. I only have 3 downloaded titles as I decided I wanted to own not rent them (ie I am only paying for stuff I can move to new systems at my choice.)

Odd. If the Wii dies, Nintendo wants you to return it to them, and when they repair/replace it, they'll move the DRM keys AND your content over to the new Wii automatically as part of the refurb plan. (I recall this happened to the Wii failures that happened close to launch.) I believe they ask you if you've purchased anything from the Shopping Channel - if you say yes, they will do the transfers and ensure the DRM keys are moved. (And I won't worry about Nintendo support - didn't they only stop supporting the NES only a few years ago?).

Re:How about Nintendo? (5, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473835)

The Wii has issues with what might also be poor soldering. On the Wii it causes pixel "snow" to appear, which is more prominent with some games than others. Mine started doing it and then spontaneously fixed itself. Others have had less luck.

People tend to blame the WiiConnect24 idle mode for it ("yellow LED mode"). The WC24 power design of the Wii is extremely poor (that's why it's such a power hog in that mode, even though the main CPU is, in fact,off). The secondary ARM core used for WC24 stuff lives on the same die as the GPU ("Napa"), and my bet is there's a lot of leakage current and they probably don't turn off power to the GPU part. It also doesn't help that the idiots at BroadOn didn't use a wait-for-interrupt instruction in the IOS idle loop: that ARM chip is running at 100% CPU utilization even during the idlest of moments in WC24 mode (the idle thread spins around endlessly). Even though it's an ARM core, it's shoehorned into a (relatively) power-hungry GPU process and runs at 243Mhz (full time, due to the stupid software issue above), so my bet is it chews up quite a lot more power than your average cellphone ARM core. You can prove that pretty much all of the Wii is on in WC24 mode, minus the CPU: there is power going to the expansion ports (easily measured), the main power buses are on (IOS needs NAND flash and the GDDR3 RAM, among others), and even the video output hardware is on (bugs in homebrew have at times caused a video signal to remain present on the output after switching to WC24 mode).

The fan is off in WC24 mode, so the end result is that the Hollywood chip gets quite warm for extended periods of time. People speculate that this causes the failures.

Re:How about Nintendo? (1)

Zero_DgZ (1047348) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474125)

The fix to this is as simple as the fix preventing original NES power supplies from cooking themselves: Shut off your power strip when you're done with the console for the day.

Blame RoHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473579)

see title.

Re:Blame RoHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473659)

see title.

The article title? Are you saying its because they used yellow LEDs?

I always knew blue LEDs were bad for the environment.. showing up dust, dirt and bullshit blood in silly tv shows like CSI.

I blame aliens. If they hadnt given us velcro in exchange for the recipe to make blueberry muffins this never would have happened.

Re:Blame RoHS (3, Informative)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473725)


Blame incompetence and cost-cutting. There is no inherent problem in RoHS (been using it for years), but you CANNOT cut corners in the PCB design or use cut-rate production facilities.

12 Months? (5, Informative)

Mistakill (965922) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473595)

12 Months doesnt apply in New Zealand either... an item must be of acceptable quality to last for its reasonable expected lifetime... a PS3 would be expected to live longer than 12 months

Re:12 Months? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473673)

That's quite arguable. With the track record of consoles, I don't think it would be unreasonable to expect a console to die within 12 months. It would be stupid to spend so much money on something that would die so fast, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect it would die. Who get's to determine how long one should expect a product to last for? Should I expect a console to last for 20 years (my old Nintendo is still going strong), or should I expect it to die in 3 months (like the xBox 360 seems to do)?

Re:12 Months? (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473701)

Planned Obsolescences.

Re:12 Months? (4, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473681)

The Sale of Goods Act in the UK places the responsibility on the retailer, not Sony. It also allows the consumer to claim against the retailer for up to six years after purchase.

Most retailers will claim against Sony and probably be reimbursed, as Sony want them to continue stocking their products. However, if the retailer you purchase from has gone under, you're out of luck.

Still it's better than nothing, and a great deal better than anything that I'm aware of in the United States. For those in the UK - remember and keep your receipt!

Re:12 Months? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473833)

What's the "reasonable expected lifetime" of a product if a heavy handed moron sits and pounds on it for 16 hours a day with his cheeto-dust covered fingers?

Re:12 Months? (3, Informative)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473969)

Yes, and in NZ the Case Law is based on a case a woman took about her washing machine where the motor failed after 2 years. In that decision the adjudicator ruled "A person should expect a washing machine to last 4 years without requiring significant repair".

As a side note , a contract limiting this is against the law and instantly nullified. Making those "extended warranty" things pointless. A rort is a kind term.

The Sony I knew is dead. (4, Interesting)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473605)

I worked at an independent repair center that had the highest status you could get from Sony. We could extend any warranty for any reason and fax it to the president of Sony and they would approve it within 24 hours. This was before the console craze when Sony made excellent quality products. It's been a while but I think they were called 'prime' servicers and there were not many of them.

That business is long gone due to the son of the owner embezzling enough money to collapse the business.

I've checked and I don't see any mention of a prime servicer in this area anymore.

I morn the lost of the "One and only" because it's made in a third world country now like everyone else.

YBSD (0, Offtopic)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473617)

Awesome Yellow BSD is the latest OS!

How about a post... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473619)

that doesn't sound obviously xbox360 biased in tone...

Affected Models (4, Interesting)

corychristison (951993) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473629)

The problem is mainly thought to affect the 60GB launch model

This doesn't exactly help me much. First thing I did was replaced my hard drive when I bought it. It's now a 160GB PS3. (upgraded because I upgraded my laptop to a 320GB drive, and the 120GB drive was just sitting around)

According to Wikipedia [] there were two different 60GB models. One for North America and one for Europe.

So which one is it? Europe? North America? Both? (note the article is from the BBC == Europe)

Re:Affected Models (5, Informative)

fredc97 (963879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473663)

I can confirm personally that the North American launch model is also affected by the YLOD issue, as I had my PS3 reflowed a month ago to cure its YLOD.

Unfortunately as any victim can tell you with Sony's DRM you cannot switch models (to a slim for example) and restore a backup easily.

Most savegames will transfer to a slim after a restore, all the downloadable content has to be fully redownloaded and anything related to Singstar needs a call placed to Sony's customer service in order to allow redownload to a new console.

Re:Affected Models (1, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474233)

I can confirm personally that the North American launch model is also affected by the YLOD issue, as I had my PS3 reflowed a month ago to cure its YLOD.

No, you can confirm that your own personal PS3 broke. That's it. You cannot confirm that there's some systemic problem with launch US PS3's.

I also have a launch PS3 and it's fine. Does that mean I can "confirm" that there's no YLOD problem with US PS3's?

Microsoft Employee Behind This Garbage (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473873)

Iian Lee is the person behind these lies: []

He is a paid consultant for Microsoft.

You know...the company with a 33, 55, 75 percent(take your pick) failure rate on their Xbox 360 console...

"So which one is it?"

None. There are no 'affected models'.

This is a slanderous lie from a person who works for Microsoft as an attempt to do damage control over the RRoD hardware failure fiasco.

Re:Affected Models (1)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473933)

So which one is it? Europe? North America? Both? (note the article is from the BBC == Europe)

I don't [] know that [] !

cool story bra (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473651)

but let's be honest, the potential Google vs. Apple fight refereed by the FCC is about a billion times more important:
  - Google outs former(?) friend Apple publicly for lying to the FCC
  - Apple fanatics are turning on Apple
  - Despite having a multi year head start with Windows Mobile, Microsoft doesn't even remotely factor into the hottest topic in technology right now.

  Let's get off our butts and pick it out of the firehose, eh?

This is honestly a non-story... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473655)

... and I have strong suspicions that this stunt was funded by Microsoft. It's a classic move out of their playbook - tear down the competition if you're getting bad press. Microsoft is getting TONS of bad press for the red ring of death, and they want their competition to be seen as unreliable, too.

The numbers tell the truth, though - depending on which report you read, the XBox 360 has anywhere from 15% to 50% failure rates. The ones for the PS3 are about an order of magnitude less.

Re:This is honestly a non-story... (0, Troll)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473745)

bullshit, this sounds like sony. the PS2 had massive failures and sony denied it till they were hit with a class action lawsuit. the PSX had heat problems as well, and sony wouldn't admit it.

Re:This is honestly a non-story... (1)

TriezGamer (861238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474097)

Isn't that all the more reason why they may have made sure to build a longer-lasting PS3?

Re:This is honestly a non-story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473763)

Xbox at 15% for 1000 units is 150 units
Xbox at 50% for 1000 units is 500 units

Sony at 0.5% for 1000 units is 5 units.

Im thinking MS has a big problem. Bottom line affecting problems... I know I for one will wait a few months on the next Xbox whatever it is called and see what sort of fail rates it has. Mine? Sometimes it red rings, sometimes it works, and sometimes the screen just garbles up. Sits in a nice ventilated area. Dead. The PS3 and Wii are still ticking.

Re:This is honestly a non-story... (1, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473999)

Bullshit the time to pull that play way over twelve months ago. You Sony fanboys will say anything.

Only fair to link to Sony's reply... (5, Informative)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473671)

...which can be found here [] .

Re:Only fair to link to Sony's reply... (1, Insightful)

fredc97 (963879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473737)

It should only be fair to note that Sony might not be handling most YLOD repairs since they charge more than many third parties that reflow the PS3 and also Sony will only provide refurbished console which will force the customer to redownload most content (because of the strong DRM that is used).

So even if 0.5% is quite small, that number is what Sony actually gets to repair/refurb, so it should be viewed as a sample of the actual problem.

It would seem that the oldest launch PS3 is most affected by the problem, yet since its price was very high at the time (notwithstanding its actual manufacturing costs) it only seems unfair to customers that Microsoft would extent its warranty and yet Sony would claim it's such a small problem that it's a customer issue not a manufacturing problem and thus not act on it and show some good will.

A 10 year lifespan on current gen consoles is quickly becoming a farce in light (yellow?) of this...

Re:Only fair to link to Sony's reply... (3, Informative)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473759)

Well that pretty much demolishes this story. Straight from Sony's mouth:

"SCEUK has run searches of its customer complaints/warranty database to identify the number of reports made to it regarding instances of system shutdown or failure in circumstances where the front panel yellow indicator is illuminated," added Maguire. "The results show that of all PS3s sold in the UK to date, fewer than one half of one per cent of units have been reported as failing in circumstances where the yellow indicator is illuminated."

So where's the problem? Consumer electronics have a high failure rate. Certainly more than .5%

Microsoft Contractor Doing Damage Control For RRoD (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473907)

There is no problem.

This is a concerted smear campaign by Microsoft to try to neutralize their broken console hardware. The scumbag behind these lies is Iian Lee. He is Microsoft contractor using the BBC program as part of a Microsoft PR effort to smear Sony and the PS3.

Fucking pieces of shit Microsoft employees. Can't get a decent product out the door so they try to trash a competitors.

Part of a wider campaign where suddenly when the RRoD fiasco started becoming public claimed to have had '5 PS2s die on them' and that their 'launch 360 is still running'.

And Xbox fans are constantly crying why the gaming world hates Microsoft, the Xbox, and its fans.

Re:Only fair to link to Sony's reply... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473913)

so what happened here? I've seen 20 bad consoles in the past month......but to be honest most of which are the consoles that play PS2 games. But more of the newer consoles are start to show up! unfortunately!! !

Re:Only fair to link to Sony's reply... (-1, Flamebait)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474019)

After the rootkit fiasco you trust Sony to respond truthfully and without spin.

Your faith disturbs me.

What A Fucking Loser (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29474029)

You just have to laugh that there really is some piece of shit sitting there actually typing that.

Hilariously pathetic and sad.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29474149)

No kidding. I seem to recall that Microsoft claimed there was nothing wrong with the Xbox 360 until, well, they couldn't cover it up any more.

Sony saying there's nothing wrong is meaningless. Let's see, who is the trustworthy entity in breaking news here: Sony, or the BBC. Gee, that's a tough one.

Of course Sony is saying nothing is wrong. Companies always say nothing is wrong as long as they can get away with it. Wait until someone threatens a class-action lawsuit against Sony, then we'll see how fast they admit problems and extend their warranty.

I can't believe how many people have bought Sony's weak whitewash attempt hook, line, and sinker. Company says product is fine despite mountains of evidence of issues, news at eleven. Sheesh.

Microsoft's RRoD Fiasco (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29474221)

"No kidding. I seem to recall that Microsoft claimed there was nothing wrong with the Xbox 360 until, well, they couldn't cover it up any more."

Golly! Could that possibly be because:

* Xbox 360s were dying in store demo units all over the world before launch?

* Xbox 360s were dying at gaming media offices all over the world before launch?

* Xbox 360s were dying in huge numbers when Xbox fans got their hands on the console

* Xbox 360s were dying in such huge numbers that some stores had to stop offering warranties for them because they were losing so much money on the massive number of returns?

"I can't believe how many people have bought Sony's weak whitewash attempt hook, line, and sinker."

That's right you miserable little fuck, you're gonna cry because this disgusting PR smear by a former Microsoft employee didn't turn out like you wanted.

Here's a clue dipshit. You actually have to have console dying in huge numbers for there to be a 'fiasco' for a company to deal with...

Microsoft has a fiasco on their hands with the RRoD.

Sony doesn't.

Deal with and shut the fuck up.

When We Stop Offshoring to China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473689)

...That is when quality may improve. (We might even reverse unemployment.)

I'm still waiting to see when homeowners insurance audits households for how many lithium ion batteries are present.


RoHS strikes again (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473719)

Ahh, lead-free solder... is there any problem you can't cause. (Aside from lead poisoning, anyway)

Re:RoHS strikes again (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473739)

Next they need to make the case out of cardboard.

Re:RoHS strikes again (2, Insightful)

Rainbird98 (186939) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473749)

You beat me to it! This is absolutely the problem and not just for the PS3. This lead-free solder problem as plagued most manufactures of electronics.

Re:RoHS strikes again (2, Insightful)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474183)

I agree. We see it with any and all high thermal density chips. The old leaded solder was a much better product in terms of operating lifespan and conditions. The only problem was that there was no required recycling of products which used it. If that was the case, there would have been no problem with it at all since the lead itself was trapped in the medium and not able to be absorbed by humans or animals who were in contact with it in that form. It was only after it was sitting in a landfill with rainwater running down it when the lead would leech out and contaminate the local ground water supply. Again, nothing that mandatory electronics recycling would not fix. Heck, it would probably be worth it to for the amount of copper interconnected contained on the circuit boards would probably pay for the cost of recycling to begin with (especially the way the prices on copper have been going).

Re:RoHS strikes again (4, Interesting)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473819)

Hence the industry push to move from BGA to CGA on high pinout packages for the greater robustness in handling thermal stress. That change alone would solve their problems.

Re:RoHS strikes again (2, Informative)

Brain_Recall (868040) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473905)

I had to look up CGA (no, not Color Graphics Adapter). He means Column Grid Array. Essentially they turn the solder balls into solder cylinders.

Re:RoHS strikes again (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474065)

Hence the industry push to move from BGA to CGA on high pinout packages for the greater robustness in handling thermal stress. That change alone would solve their problems.

Wha??? I know retro is big, but releasing a modern game console with CGA graphics?!? It may not generate as much heat (what's that, like 1/8 the number of pixels), but sheesh.

Re:RoHS strikes again (-1, Flamebait)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473929)

RoHS? Nowhere in the article does it say that lead free solder is the cause. The 'yellow light' failure rate for the PS3 is less than 0.5%, no different from leaded solder.

What evidence do you have that the failure is caused directly by RoHS compliant manufacturing techniques?

This looks like your standard Straw-Man fallacy.

Re:RoHS strikes again (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474085)

RoHS? Nowhere in the article does it say that lead free solder is the cause. The 'yellow light' failure rate for the PS3 is less than 0.5%, no different from leaded solder.

What evidence do you have that the failure is caused directly by RoHS compliant manufacturing techniques?

This looks like your standard Straw-Man fallacy.

How come you can CTRL+F in just about any /. thread and find some mention of the Straw Man Argument? It wouldn't be so bad if peoples' claims were actually true -- that a SMA was being used against them -- but usually, people cite SMA when they are just angry that they've been bested in an e-debate.

Ever since the PS3 came out, Sony fanboys have been pointing out the fact that PS3s weren't getting these fatal errors all the time like the 360 was. The RRoD is a very widely known problem that the 360 used to have. Now the XBOX fanboys are using the PS3's YLoD as ammo against the Sony fanboys (in the console war that has been irrelevant for 2 years, mind you) saying "HEY LOOK YOURS IS JUST AS BAD AS OURS NEENER NEENER NEENER".

GP has some sense in him, and he decided to come to Slashdot to try and spread that sense to others by saying that it's NEITHER manufacturer's fault. It is an issue with the RoHS-compliant lead-free solder. It is not nearly as reliable as the wash-your-hands-after-you-touch-that-stuff-lest-your-testicles-shrivel-up-and-start-making-stupid-semen solder of the good ol' days. But then the parent comes in and accuses GP of providing a SMA. The definition (per Wikipedia [] ) of a Straw Man Argument is as follows: "A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To 'attack a straw man' is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the 'sraw man'), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position." How can saying that this issue is neither party's fault, and that it is a problem with the materials that both parties use be considered a Straw Man Argument?

Re:RoHS strikes again (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29474215)

solder reflow is a fix for cracked joints. cracking joints is a common problem with lead free solder because it is brittle. heat expansion or any other flexing breaks it. exposing it to cold [] will also destroy it.
xbox had this problem.
some laptops have had this problem.
nvidia had problems with some of their graphics cards because of this.
all lead free solder. this is why RoHS has exemptions for aircraft electronics and medical equipment.

lead solder is soft so it doesn't to crack. the only other durable solder available is gold.

Buy an Extended Warranty (1)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473731)

I think this is a lesson in buying an extended warranty if the manufacturer warranty isn't long enough. Otherwise you're gambling - those things see a lot of use and get very hot, especially if you're buying the launch model without the refinements of newer ones. I don't know if I can blame Sony when they are offering a fair price repair alternative - repairs aren't free! It's simple economics - what does the consumer want? The risk of having to repair at cost or buying a new (perhaps improved) one, or insurance against paying for repair when they are buying a new and complex technology. When the next generation comes, people will be more likely to get one I'm sure.

nothing to do with the slim, it's a paid attack (4, Interesting)

distantbody (852269) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473751)

So from reading the title and skimming the summary I thought 'ooh, lots of faulty ps3's. Must be the new slim version. Guess I won't touch that then.'. But only 0.5% failure rate? And nothing to do with the slim? It seems to be a subtle slander piece. I wonder why the program producers would make it?

I'm not a fanboy for the Xbox360 or the PS3 but the simple fact is that a high failure rate is so-far a feature exclusive to the Xbox360.

P.S. There's a long 18 point reply in the comments from the Sony Computer Entertainment's UK Managing Director Ray Maguire.

Re:nothing to do with the slim, it's a paid attack (1, Flamebait)

fredc97 (963879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473799)

The Slim is fine, but then again the YLOD issues seems to be affecting launch consoles after 18-24 months. So maybe the Slim will be affected too in 24 months.

The solder is not the heart of the issue but more the usage of cheap thermal paste that was not applied evenly, in order to get solder issues you first need a heat problem, one that would be caused by improper thermal dissipation through the heatsink and fan.

Most third parties that reflow the console will gladly use artic silver or other quality thermal paste for a better heat transfer and dissipation and thus might fix the problem for good, unfortunately if the console has been damaged by heat before the YLOD there is no way to know when it will fail for good but the clock is ticking.

If only Sony had acknowledged the problem before and offered to reapply quality thermal paste for less than their current repair flat fee of 150$ USD then maybe customers would not cry foul.

Reply from SCE's UK Managing Director (5, Informative)

distantbody (852269) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473771)

[This statement is currently in the public domain - 18 September 2009]

Further to your recent correspondence with our PR agency and parent company, I am writing to respond to your queries in connection with the edition of Watchdog that is scheduled for broadcast on Thursday 17 September 2009. I should state at the outset that we are, of course, disappointed if a small number of our consumers appear to have experienced problems with their PlayStation 3 units outside the manufacturer's warranty period and we take our customer care obligations very seriously. It is for this reason that SCEUK operates a service of out of warranty repair or replacement (replacement with a refurbished unit within 48 hours at the consumer's convenience by courier). To be clear, this service is subsidised by SCEUK, there is no profit made by SCEUK on this service.

You have informed us that this broadcast will include a report concerning faults alleged to affect PlayStation®3 consoles, and SCEUK's policy on out-of-warranty (OOW) repairs. Most importantly, we entirely refute the suggestion that PS3 consoles have an inherent defect or other design issue which is akin to any warranty issue experienced by another console manufacturer. SCEUK has sold 2.5 million consoles in the UK since March 2007 and stands by the quality of its products. Clearly the allegations you propose to air in your program might have the potential to adversely effect Sony Computer Entertainment's reputation for supplying high quality products and customer service and we take very seriously any issues that can impact the public's or our customers' confidence in those products.

From the correspondence to date, I have serious concerns as to the accuracy of these allegations and the likely tone of the Watchdog report. The information that you have provided suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of the technical issues and a mis-characterisation of SCEUK's OOW repairs policy. It is in all parties' interests that your reporting does not contain inaccurate or distorted information and the facts are presented in a manner which is not misleading or exaggerated. I trust the detailed information in this letter will enable the BBC to adopt a more balanced and sober approach to this issue than we have experienced to date.

1. You have indicated that a number of viewers had contacted you to complain about a fault affecting their PS3 systems, whereby "a yellow light appears and their console then stops working - anecdotally called the 'yellow light of death'" (your email of 18 August 2009).

2. You clarified in your letter of 25 August 2009 that the majority of those viewers had experienced problems with the 60GB launch model of the PS3. In that letter, you went on to say that, after examining three PS3 systems that had "displayed symptoms" of this fault, the consultancy Electronics Yorkshire noted the presence of higher levels of voids in soldering than would have been expected, in the case of two of those units. Your letter continued: "These voids can be problematic in some cases, but by no means in all cases. In some instances,... these voids can fracture at the inter-metallic interface... If this fracture was to occur on a vital connection, it would stop the console from working. [Electronics Yorkshire] is of the opinion that this problem [presumably: excessive voiding] has occurred during the manufacturing process and not as a result of consumer use or a thermal effect during use."

3. Your letter went on to say that, in the opinion of three commercial repairers of PS3 systems, the supposed "'yellow light of death' fault is caused by a soldering issue".

4. With respect, neither your letter of 25 August nor any other information you have provided (including the Electronics Yorkshire report) establishes that there is such a thing as a "'yellow light of death' fault". In this regard:

The phrase "yellow light of death" has been adopted by certain members of the online community to describe the situation in which PS3 systems have shut down following the illumination of the yellow light on the PS3's front panel. The yellow indicator is simply a non-specific fault indicator that can be triggered in a range of different circumstances. For example, it could indicate a problem caused or exacerbated by the console's power supply, by overheating, by poor ventilation, by software issues or by any one of a range of issues that may inevitably affect any complex item of consumer electronics.

SCEUK has run searches of its customer complaints/warranty database to identify the number of reports made to it regarding instances of system shutdown or failure in circumstances where the front panel yellow indicator is illuminated. The results show that of all PS3s sold in the UK to date, fewer than one half of one per cent of units have been reported as failing in circumstances where the yellow indicator is illuminated. As Watchdog has a very high awareness amongst the UK audience, it isn't surprising that some people have contacted you with regard to this issue. However we think it is highly unfair to suggest that from an installed base of 2.5 million that the numbers you mention somehow are evidence of a 'manufacturing defect'.

The comparison with other console warranty issues is wholly inappropriate, in circumstances where - as here, and as discussed further below - there is no evidence of a manufacturing voiding defect affecting any PS3s; where the voiding identified by the expert contacted by the BBC is within the tolerance levels set out by the applicable IPC standard; and where that expert analysis considered a sample of only three units and reached no firm conclusions as to the existence of a defect that could be detrimental to device operation.

5. The technical evidence that you have provided to support the assertion that there is a manufacturing defect affecting PS3s comes from two sources. First, you rely on anecdotal reports made by the three repairers whom you have contacted. As discussed further below, evidence provided by organisations of this sort who have a commercial interest in the repair of electronic goods must be treated with caution. Second, you have asked Electronics Yorkshire, a respected not-for-profit testing house, to carry out testing on a small number of reportedly failed units. We understand Electronics Yorkshire did not produce a written report and you have provided a summary of your understanding from an interview with the relevant person. As regards the Electronics Yorkshire analysis:

The testing concerned a sample of only three PS3s, which cannot, on any basis, be deemed to be representative of a UK user base of [c. 2.5 million]. One of these had in addition been materially altered by the owner.

The report identified "higher levels of voids than expected" in only two of these three units, which is itself sufficient to suggest that the technical hypothesis set out in your letter of 25 August 2009 (namely, that solder voids cause system failure) is incorrect. If this were the case, wouldn't "higher levels of voids than expected" have been present in all three units?

Mr Burnley does not indicate the basis on which he considered that voiding at the levels seen - which, by his own admission, in no case exceeded 25 per cent sphere mass - were higher than he expected. In fact, assuming Mr Burnley is applying IPC standard A-610D (Acceptability of Electronic Assemblies, February 2005), that standard makes clear that "25% or less voiding in a ball x-ray image area" means that the product in question meets the relevant criterion for compliance. Although we have not been given the opportunity to confirm these results, Mr Burnley's findings appear to show the voiding levels in the consoles he examined to be below industry-accepted levels.

Most importantly, nothing in the report supports the conclusion that voiding was the cause of the problems reported as affecting the units in question. Indeed, the report specifically noted that: "Mr Burnley could not say if these voids would be detrimental to the device operation, as this can not be determined by x-ray, but he said that they have the potential to be detrimental." The other language that he chose to use (e.g. "These voids can be problematic in some cases, but by no means all cases") is likewise extremely cautious.

6. The BBC simply has no technical basis for asserting that the supposed "yellow light" issue results from a defect in the manufacture of PS3s, in circumstances where the BBC's own technical expert is unwilling or unable to say that voiding (which is, in any event, within recognised industry tolerance) is problematic per se, or that it would have affected device operation in the case of even this small sample of units. All the more so, given the low level of complaints or warranty claims received by SCEUK on this score. Nor does the technical data justify the negative and hostile tone of the planned broadcast.

7. Overall, the allegations outlined in the correspondence to date are simply not substantiated by the technical data collected in support. Given the commercial and reputational harm that unsupported allegations of this sort may do to Sony and the PS3 brand, I would hope that the BBC exercises appropriate caution before leaping to conclusions or creating a "scare" among PS3 users by broadcasting such allegations on national television.

8. Customers who purchase a PS3 benefit from a manufacturer's one-year warranty, which is standard industry practice.

9. If a PS3 develops a fault during the warranty period, the customer can contact SCEUK, who will organise collection and supply of a refurbished unit (typically within 24-48 hours) by courier at the consumer's convenience, free of charge. Under the terms of the warranty, customers are advised to make regular back-ups of the data they have stored on their PS3 and, in particular, to do so before submitting their console for warranty service.

10. Once the warranty period has elapsed, the customer will be charged £128 (inclusive of VAT). This figure reflects the cost of repairing a PS3 to the high standard required and includes a door-to-door courier exchange service and other general administrative costs. SCEUK does not profit from this service; in fact, it operates it at a loss in order to offer customers with OOW PS3s the best price possible.

11. Sony has invested substantially in creating state-of-the-art diagnostic and servicing facilities to support both in-warranty and OOW repairs. As regards the purported solution to the supposed "yellow light" issue adopted by commercial repairers, effecting a reflow correctly, to the required engineering standards and in a properly controlled static-safe environment requires the use of an infra-red BGA soldering station, which must be set up and programmed to run at very specific temperature profiles. Each such station costs tens of thousands of pounds. The diagnostic equipment required to test that the solder has been performed correctly costs a similar amount.

12. Consequently, even if a yellow indicator/system shutdown were triggered by a soldering issue/voiding, it would be misleading for you to suggest to viewers that the basic solder reflow process you describe in your letter to Susan Pluckrose of 7 September 2009 is necessarily a reliable procedure when performed in that way, or that it can properly be done cheaply and quickly1.

13. Various commercial organisations not authorised by SCEUK provide repairs to PS3s and other consumer electronic devices. For example, eSales, Inc. (trading as "The PlayStation Pros") - who, you informed us, participated in the "PlayStation Repair Action Team" activity which you recently staged in Great Marlborough Street (see below) - charge customers £103.50 (inclusive of VAT) to repair and return customers' PS3s which (in the company's words) are affected by the "yellow light of death"2. This figure is only £24.50 less than the cost to the customer of high-quality SCEUK repair, conducted using state-of-the-art equipment. In addition the consumer needs to arrange and bear the cost of getting the console to this organisation.

14. Importantly, it is clear that third party repairers will profit from any public concern that is raised about the reliability of the PS3 (as indicated by the use of language on their websites3), and have an interest in criticising SCEUK's after sales service (despite the relatively small price differential in their own service offering). The BBC will therefore doubtless wish to exercise caution before relying on anecdotal evidence, provided by them, concerning the extent or cause of these issues. The "PlayStation Repair Action Team" stunt

15. On 1 September 2009, BBC Watchdog filmed technicians from eSales, Inc. carrying out repairs to PS3 units affected by the supposed "yellow light" issue. It was emphasised that this service was carried out free of charge, and that SCEUK does not carry out OOW servicing free of charge. For example, as is evident from stills available on the internet4, the van in which the technicians worked was clearly labelled: "PlayStation Repair Action Team - SONY charge a fee - let Watchdog repair it for free" (emphasis as original).

16. I would ask you to think very seriously before including this segment in any report that is broadcast:

The premise behind this stunt (i.e., that SCEUK charge a repair fee whereas commercial repairers do not) is demonstrably false. As noted, the commercial repairers who occupied that van, and others like them, do not provide free servicing as a matter of routine. Indeed, their business model involves providing unauthorised servicing at only a minimal discount to the approved servicing provided by SCEUK. The BBC should not allow its agenda to be influenced by third party commercial interests who stand to benefit from revenue generated by repair fees.

It is standard practice for businesses in the electronics and many other consumer products sectors to provide free servicing/repairs only during the warranty period, but to charge for OOW repairs. It is therefore unfair to criticise SCEUK in this way.

The slogan on the van is in any event misleading, in that SCEUK does not charge any fee for in-warranty repairs/replacement.

Further as regards that slogan, if BBC Watchdog is indeed providing PS3 servicing at its own cost, then this is a questionable use of the licence fee, and one which may breach the BBC's Charter. If, on the other hand, the eSales, Inc. technicians involved in this stunt were, on this occasion, providing their services gratis, then we trust that this segment of the programme, if broadcast, will provide full details to viewers of eSales, Inc's usual terms, conditions and pricing, so as to permit viewers fairly to assess to whom they should turn in the event that they require an OOW repair for their PS3.

Finally, this stunt as a whole (and, in particular, the use of the acronym "PRAT") treats with inappropriate levity an issue which may do serious damage to SCEUK and the Sony and PS3 brands. BBC's duty

17. As a publicly-funded broadcaster, the BBC is under a duty to licence-payers to preserve its impartial editorial stance. It also has a duty of fairness towards SCEUK. Should the BBC decide to include an item on the PS3 in the 17 September edition of Watchdog, it will therefore wish to make sure that the issues you have raised in correspondence receive as accurate, fair and balanced a treatment as possible.

18. I regret to say that neither the correspondence to date, nor the "PlayStation Repair Action Team" stunt, have given me much confidence that you are treating this issue fairly. If the report is broadcast in what appears to be its current form, SCEUK will scrutinise its accuracy and will take all necessary steps to protect its reputation and that of the PS3. Unsupported and potentially misleading allegations of the sort that the BBC appears, from the correspondence to date, to be planning to make concerning the reliability of the PS3 could do significant commercial and reputational harm to Sony and its brands. This is particularly so, given the recent, highly successful launch of the new, slimmer model PS3 and the fact that the last quarter of the year is the busiest sales period for the consumer electronics industry.

Yours sincerely,

Ray Maguire,

Senior Vice President and Managing Director UK

Dunno about this error but .... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473795)

I did encounter an issue with my 60GB "launch" PS3 a while back, where the HDMI port seemed to die, no longer outputting any video. I did a Google search on it, and found a fair number of other people reporting the same issue. Some of them seemed to have success "reviving" their port by simply following the procedure to hard reset their PS3 (holding down the front power button for 10 seconds or so after turning the system off with the switch in back first, and then switching that back on) - but multiple attempts at that did me no good. I get nothing but a quiet-ish "pop" on my TV speakers when I boot the PS3, and one quick flash of light on my plasma TV's screen, followed by it going totally black.

I switched to the component cables and everything works fine through them (or through composite, which I tried too just for curiosity's sake).

The other people describing the exact behavior I got with mine said they wound up having to send their PS3 back to Sony for repair (actually received a different refurbished system). I've just been living with it since I don't really need it to connect via HDMI anyway.....

WTF? (3, Informative)

topham (32406) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473801)

With a failure rate considerably lower than Microsoft you are seriously going to harp on Sony? Really?
Who wrote this, Microsoft?

Yes, Microsoft Pretty Much Did (4, Informative)

MediaStreams (1461187) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473935)

Just take a quick look at this thread: []

Basically a former Microsoft employee is behind these lies about the PS3's reliability.

Xbox 360 (4, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473811)

The comparison is a little unwarranted... Xbox's failure rate was around 16.5%~33%. Having systems fail isn't a problem.... infact .5% is nicely below the industry standards. It is when you can get 5broken ones in a row that it becomes a problem...

Numbers Schmumbers (2, Interesting)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473843)

What I have to go by is the fact that I personally know 5 people who had the XBox issue. I've never met anyone who said their PS3 bombed out. Maybe more people own the XBox. But my impression is that the 360 is not very reliable. That's the major why I bought a PS3 recently instead of an XBox. I could be wrong, but I went with my gut on it.

Re:Numbers Schmumbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29474157)

I know two people with PS3's, and one of them died and they had a hard time getting Best Buy to do anything even though they had bought Best Buy's warranty, so the failure rate is 50%. I don't know anyone with an Xbox 360, so they do not exist.

RoHS fault (4, Insightful)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473847)

I suspect this is just another case of RoHS coming back to bite the electronics industry on the butt. I've used a number of the various lead-free solders, and it's bloody difficult to get a decent solder connection with them -- and even if you do, they still seem to get brittle/cold after some period of time. Too, there's the likelihood that the Chinese manufacturers cut a few corners to increase their profit margins, exacerbating the problem.

Ooh.. ooh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473851)


Oh, wait a minute... that hasn't got shit to do with shit, does it? My bad, carry on.

Now no one else has to bring it up in this discussion!

I experienced the YLoD... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29473859)

My yellow light of death was caused by fan failure rather than solder issues. Considering how hard that fan has to run (as if it's cooling the LHC, I have a launch console) I'm surprised the failure rate is only 0.5%.

conversation with tech support... (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473979)

So you want me to put my PS3 in the oven at 400 degrees?

Probable cause (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 5 years ago | (#29473987)

I bet it's the lead free solder. That's the big deal in electronics circles right now. It has a different melting point and has different characteristics. Gimme rosin core any day!

And let us not talk about the experts on YouTube's Make channel who cold solder like crazy.

Couldn't happen to a nicer root-kitter (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29474071)

Payback's a bitch.

Rumors on the internet that the Bat is to blame (3, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474075)

The scuttlebutt I've heard is that the new Batman game is especially hard on old PS3s. It's a bigger problem than it would have been because the game is popular and good so a lot of people have been playing it heavily, ultimately to the demise of their PS3.

sony rootkit (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29474141)

never forget, never forgive []

don't buy shit from sony!

I'm one of those. (1)

TheRequiem13 (978749) | more than 5 years ago | (#29474153)

Got my launch model (60gb) in August 2007, it failed Oct 2007 with the yellow light code.
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