BBC Examines Yellow Light Of Death In UK

The Xbox 360 has the Red Ring of Death—a system failure warning. The PS3 also has a system failure warning, the Yellow Light of Death. Maybe you've seen it, maybe you haven't. It all depends on your luck.

As the BBC's consumer site Watchdog points out, PS3 has broken down without warning, giving owners the dreaded YLOD. (Not nearly as catchy as RROD!) But out of 2.5 million PS3s sold in the UK, only 12,500 have been effected by Sony's own admission. You do the math.

"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," Sony explained. "The yellow light indicator is simply a non-specific fault indicator that can be triggered in a range of different circumstances."

The sudden failures are believed to be most common in the 60GB launch models.

While Sony'd replace consoles free of charge if this happened under warranty in the first 12 months of purchase, the company would not do that for consoles after that—and whaddaya know, BBC Watchdog states that the problem is plaguing consoles after 18-24 months of use. To fix the machine, UK PlayStation 3 owners need to pay £145 (AU$273)— a figure which was reduced to £128 (AU$241) in August 2009. Sony provides owners with door-to-door delivery of a good-as-new console. (Extended warranties, folks!)

This isn't profitable for Sony, reports Watchdog. In fact, the company is actually making a loss on this service.

"We entirely refute the suggestion that PS3 consoles have an inherent defect or other design issue," Sony stated. "Of all PS3's sold in the UK to date, fewer than one half of one percent of units have been reported as failing in circumstances where the yellow indicator is illuminated."

Show of hands: Who's had system failure issues with their PS3?

Watchdog: Sony PlayStation 3 and the "yellow light of death" [BBC]


Comments

    Still got my launch 60GB. Only problem i ever had was with firmware 2.00 with the screen tearing up and freezing. After the next update, not a thing has gone wrong.

      Launch 60GB going strong, and the 8 other people i know with various models of the PS3 have not had any issues as well, not even firmware update issues.

      2 of those people have the newer slim model, so will have to wait and see how reliable those cheaper models are....

    I've had my PS3 sicnce just after the launch date with an upgraded hard drive and have never had a problem. I'm on my thrid Xbox 360 at the moment and it's failed twice with my mate having to fix it for me so I can keep playing.

      In exactly the same situation as you.

    I have had my 60GB console since launch with no problems but apparently their was a bad batch of 40gb relesased.

    Nice report beating up less than 0.5% failure rate just as Sony releases its new console. Yeah.

      Just the media being the same worldwide. Yellow light? More like Yellow Journalism.

    I know three people who had their PS3 require repair. Whether it was the the yellow light I cannot say. I hope my dear machine stays loyal to me.

    I had the yellow light of death, was in the middle of playing wipeoutHD showing the playstation off to a friend who was going to buy one when it carked it.
    Just wouldn't turn on. Sony fixed it as I had an extended warranty, only problem being a game was stuck in the console, which they took out and then lost for 3 months until I called the office of fair trading and reported them.
    Got the game in the end and my original 60GB PlayStation 3 back, but it turns out they replaced the mother board in it, so I couldn't just put in my harddrive and get all my data back. Was annoyed I lost everything.

    i've got a 40gb (since put a 320gb HDD in it) i bought in december 2007.

    No issues whatsoever, bar a couple of freezes related to the 3.0 firmware, since fixed by 3.1. I don't know anyone whos had this issue either

    My 40GB model died with the Yellow light of death. Seems it is realated to how hot the internals get and is probably caused similarly to the XBox 360 with chips lift from the board

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now