My PS4 Was Fun, But It Was Also A Piece Of Junk

My PS4 Was Fun, But It Was Also A Piece Of Junk
Image: Sony / Kotaku
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The Xbox 360 was as famous for its catastrophic hardware failures as it was its A-tier catalogue of video games. My PlayStation 4 is very close to being remembered in the same way.

Let me ask you a question, and I want you to be 100% honest with me: if you have ever owned a standard PlayStation 4 — not a PS4 Pro or PS4 Slim — how long did it last before it started doing terrible things?

Was your PS4 loud? Does it beep at strange times (my God, the beeping)? Maybe it is both loud and hot. Have you ever seen a PS4, in a flight of fancy, simply spit a disc out of its disc drive for no reason. All of those things happened to me over the course of my ownership: first the beeping, then the increasing volume, and finally the exorcism-requiring disc-spitting (and no, before you ask, none of the myriad of tips available were of any help).

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I realise this is anecdotal, but pretty much everyone I know who owned a regular PS4 had at least one of the same problems. Google “loud PS4″ and you’ll see we’re not just talking about my innermost circle here.

It was so frustrating! This was a good console with good games, but the constant hardware issues were just the biggest pain in the arse, especially since they sat in this deeply irritating place on the “doesn’t matter” vs “get it replaced” scale, like an itch between your shoulder blades that’s bugging you, but you can’t quite reach it.

I’ve spent the last 2-3 years having to play every PS4 game with my headphones on, because the fan noise would get so loud under stress that it would drown out a game’s vocals. It got to the point this year, as I struggled to hear the whispers and footsteps in The Last Of Us II, that it started putting me off playing PS4 games altogether.

If these had been little things, I could have learned to live with them. And if they’d been serious issues that actually stopped me playing games altogether, I would have either paid for a repair or got a new console. But every single one of my PS4’s problems lay somewhere between those two decisions. I’ve been trapped in reliability purgatory.

Never in my life have I owned a console like this, and I’m talking about a large (and current!) sample size, since I keep so many of my old machines around the house. Right now, for example, I’ve got a PS2, PS3, Dreamcast and GameCube all plugged into a television, and those are all chugging along just fine.

Other consoles I’ve bought in the last 20 years that haven’t survived, like my first Xbox 360 (RROD) and launch PS3 (can’t remember the specifics) just stopped working, but their deaths were swift and sudden, and most important, took place under warranty.

My launch PS4, on the other hand, feels like its skin has been falling off its rotting bones for years now, and it’s just been the most frustrating thing. I can only hope that those goofy, big-arse fins on the PS5 (and its higher cost) are somehow related to stopping Sony’s newer console from suffering the same fate.

NOTE: I already said up top, but this is just an anecdotal story based on my own 7-year experience. If your PS4-owning years were incident-free, I am very happy for you!


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  • Never had an issue with my original PS4 from 2014. Replaced it with a Pro in the black friday sales in 2018 and not had any problems with that, either.

    I did get a couple of dodgy controllers which I had to return due to stick drift issues, but no problems with the consoles themselves.

    • Only problems I had were with my launch one. Lesson learned, never buy a launch console. Others warned me but I bit and was bitten back. Had power (angling the power button etc) and disc issues (beeping and not reading), rebuilding library, etc. Replaced it with another chunky PS4 and had no issues since. Fan was never that loud either, I feel like their volume must have been hella low if a fan can drown out a game.

    • So your PS4 stayed whisper quiet for 4 years? That’s impressive as I have 5 close frends and all of our PS4s are no longer what I would call even close to the vicinity of quiet anymore..

  • Having a PS4 Pro on my desk, capturing Final Fantasy 7 Remake footage and having it somehow be louder than the fan next to it AT FULL BLAST was quite the achievement.

    I like the PS5 much, much more by comparison.

  • For all the grief (much of it well deserved) that the XBone copped over the years, I’ve never heard people say it’s super loud. My 2013 Xbox One which was still my primary XB all the way until being replaced by the Series X (I had a One S but it was for the kids more than me) is still completely silent. Very very rarely the fan will kick in for 10-20 seconds and then go back to being quiet for weeks.

    Meanwhile, much like this article attests to, the Ps4 is jet engine-ing its way through games. It got to the point where I’ve just defaulted to subtitles for games on PS4.

    Since the RROD drama for X360 (I personally had 1 Xbox have RROD and 3 PS3s have yellow light of death, so for me the Sonys were less reliable) MS has overengineered their consoles for cooling, but Sony hasn’t done the same. Looks like the PS5 is a step in the right direction, but time will tell for both current gen.

    • Indeed, all due credit to MS there, they created a pretty good cooling system in the Xbox Ones. The Playstation 4’s though, eesh.

  • I have never had a single problem with my launch PS4 and even in retirement to the second room, I never had a single problem with my PRO. Likewise my original controller still works flawless, and in the entire seven years I only ever bought two controllers, they were never as replacements but as extras.

    My PS4 era was anything but full of junk. Meanwhile I had to buy like at least a new controller, a year for my Xbox, due to failures.

  • You got me, I’ll take the clickbait title. Yes my launch PS4 is loud, no I do not expect a 7 year old piece of hardware to remain quiet forever without some occasional deep cleaning (which I haven’t done). Haven’t had any other issues with it though.

  • My original PS4 didn’t die completely but I did have to send it back for replacement. Guacamele & Oli Oli 2 would still play but anything more graphically intensive and it would crash. The replacement had disk spitting issues about 18 months after that and I got refused any claim – but after a couple of months of the all the online fixes not working it just came good on its own and has soldiered on for the last few years. It’s probably full of dead cockroaches that somehow fluked the perfect short circuit – actually now that I think about it, most of the problems disappeared after I switched to a 2tb firecuda SSHD when 500gb wasn’t enough.

  • Everything about this article is me. I had all of those problems. And all. Of them I did nothing about because they were frustratingly in the zone of “is it worth it? Can I play through? Is THAT worth it?”

    I finally have up on it 6 months ago when trying to start up last of us 2 and the disc ejected 2 minutes in. But I still haven’t done anything about it. I moved on to playing the switch.

    Now I just have to contend with joycon drift

  • At the end I didn’t even want to play my ps4 pro because of the fan noise. It was so loud.

    I feel sorry for the best person who uses it. They’ll be inheriting a nice machine that works great, but has a ridiculously loud fan most of the time. And I’ve cleaned it out at least once a year.

    The best thing about going to the PS5 has been the change in noise level for me. Hands down. It barely makes a whisper.

  • I have my original PS4, still running away happily. Besides having to clean out the vents a little too often it’s fine – not noisy, too hot or too slow.

    Always said I’d get a Pro when mine finally carked it, but (knock wood), looks like i’ll be going straight to a 1st gen PS5. Well, may well be 2nd gen by the time I can walk into a shop and just get one.

  • I have a day 1 ps4. The fans are not even close to as loud as what some people here are saying. Although tbh there will be a failure rate on anything. My ps4 is still going great. I did have the disc eject issue but it was solved with a simple base restart. A shit load better than replacing my 360 3 times, and you can do it without sending the console back, wait that makes it 4 times. Tldr i had a day 1 ps4 with no problems to this day.

  • Had an og PS4 from day 1. Never any issues. Still sitting there next to my PS5, but thinking of giving it away to my neighbours kid next door.

    Had great times with that thing.

  • Me and 3 mates bought PS4’s launch day.

    All 4 working perfectly. no issues at all.

    well i cant speak for mine anymore as i replaced it 12 months ago with a pro.

    Certainly got my moneys worth.

  • I had early ps2, ps3 and ps4… and another one of each of them. My experience is that launch versions of consoles won’t necessarily last the whole cycle. The replacements are usually much smaller and cheaper, though.

  • Had my PS4 from launch and it’s done quite well. I honestly haven’t had an issue with it whatsoever, I haven’t ever purchased a physical game and only download them, so maybe that eases the wear and tare.. also I have the original PS3 with the sd and 4 usb slots I got a launch too. It’s still kicking on, load but strong 1.5 decades later.

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