Sony Pre-Emptively Blasts BBC Report On PS3 Failures

Tonight, the BBC will broadcast a report claiming the PS3 suffers from systemic hardware failure and Sony's repair service is inadequate. has a six-page salvo from SCEUK to the BBC, ripping the report and implying legal action could follow.

The program, Watchdog, said it received 155 complaints from viewers regarding the so-called "Yellow Light of Death", in which the PS3 suffers a fatal hard drive failure. Watchdog then set up a street stunt outside Sony's UK office, in which they offered to fix consoles suffering from this problem for free. Ten people brought in consoles for repair. Watchdog sent a technical report to Sony based on three of them, one of which had already been subjected to an attempted repair by its owner.

Ray Maguire, the Sony UK managing director, seized on that small sample size in his letter to the BBC.

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 2.5 million. One of these had in addition been materially altered by the owner. 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.

Sony also cautioned that allegations its warranted repairs are inadequate come from third-party refurbishers with an interest in profiting from such claims. The one Watchdog sought out fixed a console for £103 (AU$195); Sony's cost is £128 (AU$242) for a console past its one-year warranty.

Importantly, it is clear that third party repairers will profit from any public concern that is raised about the reliability of the PS3, 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.

Maguire concludes the letter, dated September 11, with a reminder that whatever is broadcast, Sony won't take it lying down.

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.

Maguire's letter is reprinted in its entirety at

Sony Tackles BBC Over 'PS3 Failure' Report []



    Before all the trolls come in bagging out the 360, I'll slip in and say my PS3's blu ray drive died a year after I bought it, with only light usage. And then a system update corrupted it so it's unusable anyway. Prettiest paperweight in my room!

    I'd always wondered what you're problems with the ps3 was, i now understand.
    I'll give you a dollar for it, throw in a geniune paperweight (a rock with eyes!!! how cute!!!) & i'll pay postage
    (woot cheap 2nd ps3 for me!!!)

      argh your, not you're...
      soz speeling nazis...

    Wow, "Watchdog" fail.

    lol Jesus give me a break, so they did a survey on a WHOLE 3 PS3s and think that actually qualifies them for judgement? I'm surprised they didnt just make up statistics, they would have had a better chance. And no doubt Sony are pissed, wouldnt you if that was your product these idiots were trying to discourage people from buying?

    Its not good... whether you like the PS3 or not, Sony as a company have always been regarded as one of (if not the best) manufacturers of quality electrical equipment. I hope they sue them if they broadcast this crap. More companies should IMO - it'd stop the Today Tonight's and A Current Affair's of this world broadcasting media propaganda.


    Check the offical forums & note how many PS3s have died from firmware updates. Blu-Ray drive on my launch console stopped working but lucky it was still under the 1 year warranty.
    Not allowing migration of backup data to a new unit is an absolute f*ing joke.

    Computers die all the time.

    Of course if your going to concentrate your attack on Sony your going to get 155 complaints...the only 155 complains in the country. And why is this story only specifically about Sony, what Microsofts RRoD too yesterday? Attacking one company specifically doesnt help the problem with poor product quality it just means the other companies have escaped the chopping block.

    I work with PS3 (repairs) for a job, and I wish I could show you the amount of fatal throwaways we have. PS3 is harmless when compared to 360's and their failure rates. I've personally had a 60GB PS3 since launch day, and I've never EVER had an issue with it and it still looks in perfect condition, and I use it regularly for video streaming. However the amount of consoles I'm unable to repair due to 3Beep or Yellow Light errors is understandable when you have a look at the consoles themselves. These people must play Soccer with them, using their cars, in the middle of the Desert. Here's an idea, regardless of the next gen console you have (Wii's, who cares, don't get me started on them) make sure they have adequate ventilation, are off the floor (and not gathering dust through suction) and that when you put a disc in them, make sure it's clean, and not manhandled. This is just going to wear you laser out ever more.

    How does one wear out a laser by having a dirty disc? I'm serious how? Does the laser detect dirt and increase it's intensity? When my PS1 died it was the drive (part that spins) not the laser. Considering my brother had it running nearly 24/7 I was not surprised, still got three years out of it.

    I can not recall the amount of times I've rented a DVD (Movie) from a video store only to find the surface of the disc covered in finger prints. Most times I give the disc a quick glance and throw it in, sometimes I miss a few or don't see em, or not check. My DVD player is older than my Original X-Box and never had a problem.

    Never had to wipe a finger print off any disc I own, I actually know how to handle them. I once tried to put a lasting finger print on a AOL disc (Read coaster) I got from somewhere. I couldn't do it without being an idiot.

    But yeah some people are so stupid you wonder how they actually worked out the console in the beginning. And are more surprised it works than when it has an issue.

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